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Old 11 Sep 17, 08:14 PM  
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LostPrincess
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Garth and Louise's Graduation Celebration June 2017 - Day 4 - SeaWorld

Welcome to my trip report! The index is here, and day 3 is here.

Friday 16th June - Day 4

I woke up at around half 5 but managed to get back to sleep until half 6. My bites had been super itchy in the night so I think that got in the way of sleeping a little bit. Still we were excited to start the day as we had our Sea Lion up close experience to look forward to at SeaWorld today! We were quick getting ready this morning, we both had quick showers, messaged our Mums and then left at 7.20.

It was the plan to go to the hotel restaurant to use one of our free breakfast vouchers we’d got for booking through Virgin. As we walked past it looked packed out, so we made a quick decision to go to Denny’s instead! International Drive was quiet this time of the morning.

The sun was still on its way up.


We were at Denny’s by 7.30. It was lovely and quiet and we were sat in a booth towards the back. We started perusing the massive breakfast menu. We were hoping to fill up seeing as the food as Busch hadn’t impressed us too much, so hopefully a big breakfast would see us through until tonight. We both got obligatory coffees.



I didn’t note the name of our server but my notes say she was lovely. I decided on getting the French Toast slam and Garth got the sticky bun pancake breakfast.


It was with us in by 7.45.


We both had our eggs overeasy. It was a yummy breakfast but there was waaay too much food. Garth loved his pancakes, they were so sweet. The bill came to $25.74. I did have a Denny’s voucher in the room but we’d left it behind because of the impromptu decision to come here! We left a $5 tip and then headed outside to order an uber. Luis was with us at 8.12. Luis was another silent driver which we were fine with but we noticed he had a sign up saying tips were appreciated. We hadn’t been tipping our uber drivers, we just told them we’d give them 5 stars at the end of a journey. But it seemed cheeky that he had a sign asking for tips when he couldn’t even be bothered to make conversation like some of the other brilliant drivers we’d had! Because uber was advertised as a cashless system we just hadn’t bought enough cash with us to cover the tips, and we weren’t going to tip somebody who was asking for it but not providing the amazing service other drivers had provided. Anyway, rant over, we arrived at SeaWorld at 8.23am. We were super early because the new VR Kraken was opening today and we were hoping to be one of the first in to get it done at the start of the day. As we arrived I snapped this pic of my arm

to show my goosebumps! Although it was early I was still surprised at how chilly I was considering it was June. It was really quiet about so we stopped for some pics


and then arrived at an empty bag check.

Garth needed the loo so he nipped off while I stood in the queue with only 1 family in front of me. It looked like they were starting to let people through so I held back and let people go ahead of me, only to see that they weren’t letting people through at all, they were just letting them up to the gates! Garth rejoined me and we only had a few more people in front of us. It was pleasantly warm as we were waiting. We decided it was time for a selfie!

Garth was on his phone and saw that Tim Tracker was heading here today which was exciting! They let us in at around quarter to 9 and we followed the crowds towards Kraken. As we got there there was a lady on a podium holding us who was giving us all sorts of facts about the Kraken and trying to keep us entertained.

It was looking good for us to be one of the first people on! They had introduced a spot save thing which meant we could get a return time on the app or at a booth to come back and ride Kraken. However there were clearly issues and it was down! Which meant we’d have to leg it when we were let in. They let us through just before 9 and we rushed to the lockers. Then it all went wrong! There was a locker issue and the person in front of us was taking a while. Then when we got there it wouldn’t accept my cards so we had to get cash out. The locker receipt says we finally got access at 9.03am, which means for 5 minutes other people without bags had been walking through into the queue for Kraken We had a sea lion up close tour booked for 10am and the queue time was now showing as an hour, but we decided to give it a go anyway and just leave if we had to. If you’re familiar with the Kraken queue you’ll know there’s the room where you load, then a room before that with zig zaggy queues going up ramps and then a room before that with TV screens. We hit the queue in the TV screen room so it wasn’t too long. We were quite excited to try a VR rollercoaster. Our itinerary had been planned before the announcement that it would open today so we debated moving the day around to avoid crowds but ultimately decided to keep it as it was, partially as we’d already booked the sea lion tour. Unfortunately, as we should have learned from Gringotts in 2014, opening day means technical difficulties We waited patiently until 20 to 10 but the ride kept breaking down and people were boarding and then having to get off the ride again. We were gutted to have wasted the hour but we decided to give up and go to our tour. We were so close having got to the loading bay. The vehicle was just sat there though and it hadn’t moved in at least 10 minutes. We grabbed the stuff from the lockers and walked round to the sea lion area, using the SeaWorld app on Garth’s phone to navigate. Timestamp on the photos tells me we got there at 9.52.


The meeting spot was right next to us and we were the first people there. Our tour guide was Hundy and we had a chat about where we were from while we waited for the others on the tour to join us. We weren’t waiting long, and were soon joined by a large family group of 11 and a family of 3 with a teenage daughter with downs syndrome. The group of 11 told us they were a bit late because they had just seen one of the sea lions give birth on the rocks! Hundy told us there were loads of babies around as it was pupping season. They let them just have their babies on the rocks as they would in the wild! So we’d be looking out for the baby later on. Hundy took us up to the private tour area and gave us loads of information about sea lions and the differences between them and the harbour seals that they also have in the sea lion area. He told us some stories of how they’d rescued some of the male sea lions from being killed by the US government. The sea lions were eating the endangered salamander but whenever they relocated them they just came back to the same place, so the government were going to kill them until SeaWorld rescued them. I know SeaWorld are a controversial company but I do think that the good they do is sometimes forgotten. While Hundy was talking the sea lions and seals were getting very vocal, making so much noise! One seemed to be doing really loud burps over and over again Hundy was giving us all sorts of information and stories but he soon lost our attention when we spotted the baby! The keepers had come out to try and clean up some of the blood and Mum got very protective over her baby.



That is a protective mum face!

Hundy told us that mum had been pregnant for a whole year! The sea lions don’t go into the water for a couple of weeks after they’re born which is interesting! After 15 minutes of watching and hearing about the sea lions we went to the Clyde and Seamore stadium to meet one. On the way Hundy told us that all the sea lions are trained to help them get medical treatment and for check ups. Several males are then also trained for the show. We’d be meeting one of those males today, and his name was Clarke.


He showed off for a bit doing some tricks and his keeper (no note of his name!) told us some information about Clarke himself. Clarke was 13, and his trainer described him as being like a jock at college. He looks impressive and can show off but there’s not much going on up there Clarke didn’t look impressed!

It was time for our photos with Clarke now. The large family group went first, taking hundreds of different photos with different people with Clarke! It was like in Disney when people are having their own photoshoots and take forever with a character! You do pay for this experience though so I can understand them wanting specific photos. The other family went next and the daughter was slightly nervous to get close to Clarke. With some encouragement she went and had her photo taken, it was so endearing seeing her so happy! She looked so proud of herself. We went last and they took plenty of photos on our camera, as well as ones on their camera. They did give us a card to go see the photos and pay for them but we were happy with the ones we had.


Clarke gave me a kiss on the cheek when we were done! It was fishy to say the least! He did a bit more showing off and we were given the opportunity to ask any questions we had.



We were then ready to move on to the final part of the tour, which meant we could feed the seals and sea lions! Mum and baby looked a bit more chilled out now.

They bought out a bucket of fish for each of us on the tour. The fish were capelin and herring and we had to scatter them so that the smaller sea lions still got a look in.

They knew it was lunch time!




While we were flinging fish Garth managed to drop one of the biggest ones on to my foot! It was disgusting and left a mark on my shoe We’re still joking about the time Garth threw a fish on my foot

The tour was now over! We weren’t sure of the etiquette but we wanted to tip Hundy as he had been so helpful and friendly and attentive to all our questions. I think we just gave him $10 before taking a last pic of Mum and baby and then leaving the tour area.

We really enjoyed the tour! It was so nice meeting Clarke and we learned some really cool stuff. It was 11 when we finished and it was hot so we decided to head to Atlantis for a cool down. I think around now Garth managed to get us a spot save time for later for Kraken which was a bonus, we were glad spot saver was working as it meant we had more chance of getting Kraken done.

We paid for the locker and stowed all our stuff, only to be told when we tried entering the queue that it was down! They really should tell you this before you pay for the locker! We decided we’d still get use out of the locker so Garth got up the app for directions and we wandered round to Manta. It was a crazy stupid wait time so we carried on until we got to Mako which was showing 10 minutes, more like it!

We pretty much walked on and then I suddenly realised what ride it was when we were sat in the seats. I have a thing about heights and although I’m normally fine with coasters this looked flipping tall and it was only a puny lap bar holding me in. Safe to say I freaked out and hated the ride. I hated how loose I felt and I hated the drops, and I don’t think Garth was a massive fan either! I’m glad we did it but I don’t think we’ll rush back at all. With soggy underwear (not really but it was a close one ) we walked back to Atlantis, with my wobbly legs just about carrying me! It was around 11.30 by this point and the lady was still standing on the podium talking about Kraken! It was showing as 400 minutes! I’m not sure if this meant you could save your spot for 400 minutes time or if you had to wait 400 minutes when you turned up for your slot, I hoped it wasn’t the latter It wasn’t time for our slot yet and Atlantis was open now showing 10 minutes so in we hopped. I remember this ride from my childhood visits and I quote the lady saying “leaving so soon? I think not!” all the time, but I was distraught to find it was gone from the ride?! All the cool Atlantis storyline theming had been stripped. We read afterwards it was because they were changing the ride to fit in with the VR Kraken storyline. What a let down. Still it was fun and the splash of water cooled us off. We decided to go check Manta again now, passing this fellow on the way.

It was showing 10 minutes, much better! We loved the fish tanks in the queue. I was nervous for this ride following Mako, and the idea of being laid down has always scared me. I was nervous getting all strapped in but as soon as we were away I loved it! It felt like flying! It’s such an amazing feeling I can’t even describe it. We came off and went straight back on it again. We waited a little bit while there were technical difficulties but it didn’t take long. It was sooo good again, I can’t believe I was nervous to go on, it was amazing. We were peckish now so decided to get a snack. We liked the look of the pineapple twist at Manta soft serve so jumped in the queue.

They had sold out so we’d have to wait for Dole Whip for a pineapple treat, definitely worth the wait though. Instead we both got vanilla and chocolate soft serve swirls. Total came to $10.63. They were mahoosive.

and refreshing! It was approaching our Kraken time so we went and sat down by the ride and people watched while we ate our ice creams. Garth went to get a locker while I finished eating and then we scanned in at 1pm. Wooooo we thought it’d never happen! Surely nothing could get in our way now! We got into the queue and all was going well until we got to the room with the ramps just before the loading bay. We had been waiting for half an hour when it we stopped moving. We soon heard the inclement weather announcement We decided to sit on the floor and wait it out. I proceeded to fall asleep while sat on the floor while Garth amused himself on his phone It got to 2 and Garth had had enough, and there’s no point really waiting out a storm on a June afternoon in Orlando! We gave up on Kraken (again) and headed into the rain towards the Empire of the Penguin. I have no note of the queue time but it was significantly shorter than it had been earlier on in the day. We had to wait in the rain for a bit before getting into the inside queueing area. Ponchos were whipped off and we put on our hoodies ready for the cold! In the pre-show we thought the narrator was trying to be an awful lot like David Attenborough! We soon joined Puck on his adventure. It was a cute ride, it reminded us a lot of Ratatouille at DLP. It was real penguin time now! We thought it was so lovely how the ride turns you round and bam all the penguins are there, it was a real wow moment.




We loved the different viewing platforms. We didn’t find it too cold in there, a cast member said it was 0 degrees but I think we were ok because we’d prepared with our hoodies. When we got out we had a much needed rest break and got some water. It had stopped raining but it was still super murky. Next Port of Call was the sea lion stadium to catch the next Clyde and Seamore show. Garth took a snapchat photo with a cool caption.

From the stadium we could see Mako in the distance… I just remember thinking “why on earth did I do that” I must have taken about a million pictures of the show.





The show was great and really funny. We love the sea lions and it was cool having heard facts about how they train them and everything this morning. During the show we saw Kraken up and running behind the stadium. We weren’t up for wasting more time on it today and decided we’d try again tomorrow after Discovery Cove. We snacked on some nutter butters before leaving the stadium and heading to the dolphin show. We got there early and decided to visit the stingrays while we waited. I think we paid $5 for 5 little fish to feed them.


While we were feeding them a bird came and snatched the bird clean from my hand. It scared a girl behind me so she didn’t want to feed the rays anymore It’s a cool experience other than the crazy birds out for the fish. It was time for the dolphin show now.



I don’t remember much from this show. Garth had never seen dolphins other than on TV before so he was pretty impressed at them jumping around. We still had a fair bit to do in the park, it seemed to be really big. Like Busch Gardens we hadn’t really planned our day very well. We went to Turtle Trek (after repeatedly calling it by the wrong name, turtle trail, turtle tree, there was no logic). It was a 4d movie experience, basically a circle vision. I was expecting chairs so my poor legs were upset at not having a rest! It was a movie about the life of a turtle, we could have given it a miss really We had a look in the aquarium in this area.



We went to the manatee hospital next.


Some of their stories are so sad. Garth got chatting to the cast member about the manatee with the purple blanket on her. She got hit by a boat and the blanket was keeping in her lung. The cast member said they don’t always name them because they try not to get too attached, they often don’t make it One of the manatees there had a brain injury and could only swim in circles. They’re such friendly animals it’s heartbreaking seeing them so poorly. We thanked the cast member and left, heading towards Wild Arctic. The park was pretty deserted now. We had some cookies and stopped for a selfie.



There was no queue for Wild Arctic. We went into the preshow room and were the only people in there! We waited for a few more people and then got going. The ride was so much fun, it was like a really crazy Star Tours. I remember coming off thinking I was going to have so many bruises from being thrown around! We looked at more animals on the way out, stopping to weigh ourselves. We may have gained a pound or two by this point!




It was half six now and the park closed at 7. We decided to take a slow walk towards the exit and go on the observation tower before leaving the park. It had dried up a lot now.



We hopped into the queue for the observation tower and we were on with the next group. I was a bit wobbly but the small child sat next to me kept telling me it wasn’t scary You get a good view of the coasters from up there.





It was nice to finish the day up this way, it was sad to see how small the pools for the orcas were though. On the way out the park we ordered an uber and then headed towards the taxi pick up point. There were mears people there and we thought we’d check that this was where uber picked up, it seemed like we were in the right place. 10 minutes later our driver Aguila was ringing us, we were in the wrong place oops. We shamefully ran to the carpark where she was and apologised but she seemed really grumpy with us, telling us she couldn’t get into that part of the car park. We sat in the back like naughty children who had been told off the whole time We still told her we’d give her 5 stars as we left but I don’t think it made her feel any better! The journey cost $6.06 and took 20 minutes arriving at 7.35pm. We got changed and freshened up and were leaving the Rosen not long after. It was a lovely evening.

We arrived at today’s dinner destination of Miller’s Ale House at 8pm. The location here was so good for food and quieter than the other end of International Drive where we had stayed before. We had a little wait for the table so went outside.



It was another beautiful sunset. Our table was ready at 10 past and our server Megan bought Garth a Dr Pepper while I had a Pepsi. We noticed a lot of the servers had really funky socks on, is this a Miller’s thing?! I reeeeally wanted to try their Cajun chicken pasta but I had eaten so much pasta already and thought I should try something else so we both went for the 1/2 baby rack of ribs.

It was a good atmosphere while we waited for our food, a bit noisy and definitely for the sports fan but considering its location and the good things we’d heard about the food it worked for us!



Our food was with us at half past. Garth upgraded his fries to loaded bacon and cheese fries.


The food was good, not as good as Olive Garden and Applebees but it was definitely yummy. We had room for dessert so I ordered Captain Jack’s Buried Treasure and Garth ordered the Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cake. He had been dreaming about this for weeks after seeing it in a trip report!

Again the food came quickly



And they were amazing! The dessert definitely made this meal for us. I loved the caramel sauce in mine, and Garth’s was amazingly creamy. We have to go back to Miller’s next time just for these puddings! Looking at the pictures makes me emotional We asked Megan for the bill and it came to $43.38. We left 20% and were leaving the restaurant at around 9.15pm. We both noticed we felt a little rushed in Miller’s but it was a good meal and as I said we will definitely back for those desserts next time. We decided to pop into Walgreens on the way home but we didn’t buy anything, I’m not too sure why we went in! We got back to the hotel and ran ourselves baths. I noticed I was a little bit sunburnt, it was bound to happen at some point! I updated the budget spreadsheet, took some notes and we were in bed by 10.30. Another amazing day

Tomorrow we go to Discovery Cove and then finally ride the Kraken

Steps today: 18217

Edited at 09:12 PM.
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Old 11 Sep 17, 08:48 PM  
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Floridaagogo
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Fab day.so sad with the manatees tho 😢
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Old 11 Sep 17, 11:54 PM  
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Boo to the cool weather!

Really appreciated your Denny's menu pictures haha, had me drooling.
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Old 12 Sep 17, 09:21 PM  
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Breakfast looked lovely!

Such a shame you found it chilly. I think we were at Epcot that day - can't remember it being cool to be honest but I do remember it raining in the afternoon which made me abit cool in the aircon when wet.

I had Millers on my list but we never made it as the list was crazy long :')
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Old 13 Sep 17, 03:33 PM  
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stormflm595
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Really enjoying your report so far, it's making me excited for my first trip!

I'm now considering a day at Sea World as well seeing as this is popular in peoples reports and it looks really fun!

Clarke is such a gentleman! What a good and different idea in doing the sea lion experience!
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Old 25 Nov 17, 08:19 PM  
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spencem
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I got really annoyed with SeaWorld not stopping you paying for lockers when they close rides as well. Other than that it sounds like you had a great day.
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Old 9 May 18, 08:39 PM  
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Sounds like you had a great day despite the problems with Krachen.
Not been to Sea World in recent years. The last time we were there you could feed the Dolphins but I think that ended some time ago.
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Old 12 May 18, 01:02 PM  
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LostPrincess
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Originally Posted by Floridaagogo View Post
Fab day.so sad with the manatees tho 😢
It is sad but it's good to remember that SeaWorld do some really good things for animal care and conservation.

Originally Posted by collybird View Post
Boo to the cool weather!

Really appreciated your Denny's menu pictures haha, had me drooling.
I'd love a Denny's right now Thanks for reading!

Originally Posted by H_C-2017 View Post
Breakfast looked lovely!

Such a shame you found it chilly. I think we were at Epcot that day - can't remember it being cool to be honest but I do remember it raining in the afternoon which made me abit cool in the aircon when wet.

I had Millers on my list but we never made it as the list was crazy long :')
I feel the cold quite easily, but on a day in June it's not really expected!

Millers was good, the proximity to the hotel made it easy for us to just nip over there. So many other places to try though!

Thanks for reading

Originally Posted by stormflm595 View Post
Really enjoying your report so far, it's making me excited for my first trip!

I'm now considering a day at Sea World as well seeing as this is popular in peoples reports and it looks really fun!

Clarke is such a gentleman! What a good and different idea in doing the sea lion experience!
Sea World was a fun day out, and had a nice slow pace compared to the Disney parks. The sea lion experience was so much fun

Thanks for reading and commenting

Originally Posted by spencem View Post
I got really annoyed with SeaWorld not stopping you paying for lockers when they close rides as well. Other than that it sounds like you had a great day.
It is really irritating! There was even a CM near the lockers who could have told us! At least we still got use out of the locker. Thank you for reading and commenting

Originally Posted by Our Grumpy1 View Post
Sounds like you had a great day despite the problems with Krachen.
Not been to Sea World in recent years. The last time we were there you could feed the Dolphins but I think that ended some time ago.
I wouldn't rush back to Sea World but it was good to visit. Because I've been growing up but Garth only visited Orlando for the first time in 2014 I wanted this first week of our trip to cover a lot of parks that we might not get round to for a long time. I'm definitely glad we went

Thanks for reading and commenting!
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Old 1 Jun 18, 10:17 PM  
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What a busy day again! To be 21 again with your energy
Another great day, I really do enjoy Sea World I just find it a bit confusing finding our way around.
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Old 6 Jun 18, 10:45 PM  
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Another great day.

I'm having visions of falling out of Mako and i haven't even seen the ride in real life yet A lap bar! What was they thinking!?!?!

Awesome to see a baby seal being born

Miller's is one of our fav's, but we tend to eat too much and have no room left for dessert
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