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Old 20 Aug 21, 10:06 AM  
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The First Trip 1993 – Day Two – Seaworld – 11th September 1993

Obviously Seaworld splits opinion, but remember this is 1993 and the rights and wrongs of keeping animals in captivity had not been explored to any great extent or were certainly not as public as today. I was really looking forward to visiting the Park as images of the orca show were really prominent in the brochures I had collected. I remember driving to Seaworld vividly, as I had got from the airport to Kissimmee the previous afternoon in a bit of a daze and had been concentrating so hard on driving the car that my hands had cramp when we got to the hotel. Today was a different story, I was confident and calm and I was king of the road in the ‘big green machine’.

Going to Seaworld also set a precedent as it was the first park we visited and it became the first park we visited on all of our trips. I just find it really relaxing and less crowded than jumping into a Disney park or Universal park on day one. We went down the 192 and took the intersection for the I4 which was all fine until I started to get overtaken by cars on all sides, but after I picked up the pace and pushed on it was all good. Seaworld was easy to find and we were soon staring at the orcas at the entrance to the car park and as we were early, we parked up quickly near to the entrance booths. We had bought our tickets from one of the street sellers the previous evening and we were a little nervous as to whether they were real or not, but we simply went up to the booth handed them over and we were in. The tickets were real paper tickets in 1993 and I guess these guys picked them up from people who hadn’t used them because as well as selling tickets, they offered to buy any unused tickets.

Here we are outside the ticket booths on our first day.

We picked up a map not knowing really where to go, saw there was a timetable for various shows and decided to head over to Shamu Stadium for the orca show. I remember it being a hot day and as it was a Saturday and the first show of the day, the stadium was fairly full and we ended up sitting in the sun to one side of the main stand. I burn in January, so this was the first time I was in the full Florida sun, so I liberally covered myself in factor 50. The show was all that you would have expected at that time, music with jumping orcas and trainers in the water being thrown around and flipped by the animals. We thought that it was fantastic seeing these majestic animals up close.

We came out of there grabbed some drinks and went over to the water ski show which had just started and then from there so see the ice station ride and the polar bear which looked just as sad in 1993 as it did in subsequent trips. There were a number of other animals in there as well such as a walrus and other whales.

We then rode the kids carousel like children and went round to the shark encounter and thought this was really cool – I seem to remember we went through this twice. We then came upon the butterfly gardens and the bar and restaurant where Infinity Falls is now. The park at that time was owned by Anheuser Busch and they offered free beer in the bar area – it was equivalent to a half a pint I guess. We went through some stables where they had the Anheuser Busch shire horses and into the bar area, showed our ID and grabbed four cold beers and sat in an area in the sun. We also bought some sandwiches and sat there just chilling out. I think it was 2 beers person, but they were not too bothered about that and I think we had 3 or 4 before we headed onwards.

There were no coasters in the park at this point, so we watched the Clyde and Seymour show which was very good with the mime artist, fed the sealions at Pacific Point which was brand new that year, looked at the manatees, another new exhibit that year and the penguins and ended with the dolphin show before the sky turned grey and we headed to the car before it rained. As usual on the first day, you are running on adrenalin and by this time we were starting to flag and the long travel day, the day before, was catching up on us.

We headed away from the park and settled on a place to eat on the 192. I can picture it now, as it was a fish restaurant with a huge lobster tank in the entrance near the front door. I can’t recall what it was called (I think it was Captain Nemo’s but can’t be sure) but we realised the irony of spending all day looking at fish to go to a restaurant to eat them. My friend’s partner, whilst a vegetarian, ate fish so it was sensible choice for us all. I remember my wife decided to have lobster for the first time in her life and the waiter showing her how to crack the claws. It was a great day and a good meal, but we were all tired now and headed back to the hotel for another dip in the pool.

It was dark when we got back, but it was glorious just sitting in the pool chatting about the day in the heat of a Florida night. There was a huge thunder and lightening storm in the distance which was putting on a show and we debated getting out of the water, but another couple who were American said we were safe as it was a long way away, so we trusted them and stayed where we were and watched the light show for a while.
Trip report 1993: The First Trip 1993
Trip report 2008: The Stacey J Aswad Memorial Tour
Trip report 2013: What No Stacey?
Disneyland Paris 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014
Florida 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013
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Old 20 Aug 21, 10:21 AM  
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I think there was a restaurant called captain Nemo, we never ate there but I remember seeing it.
Our daughter left her daisy duck hat at the water ski stadium and never saw it again ! $9 I could have killed her 😂
It was 2 beers that you got free, and they also did a tour of the brewery but you had to be 21 I think so my husband did it and I took the kids to see the clydesdale, he got a certificate at the end, they also had a Budweiser shop in there and he bought a hat and tshirt
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Old 21 Aug 21, 09:56 AM  
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The free beer I remember it well . We’d taken 10 rolls of Kodak film with us for the whole trip and I remember taking a lot of photos of Shamu ,then regretting it later at Disney where there was a ton of fantastic things to photograph

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Old 21 Aug 21, 10:15 AM  
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Melanie R
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It was Captain Nemos - we ate there several times back in the early 90s 😊
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Old 24 Aug 21, 02:51 PM  
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I believe Seaworld has brought back the free beer during certain times of the year. It's surprising how getting things for free seems to stick in the memory and we all miss them when they go (Disney, take note ).
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Old 24 Aug 21, 03:40 PM  
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Originally Posted by Melanie R View Post
It was Captain Nemos - we ate there several times back in the early 90s 😊
99 cent breakfast every morning.
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Old 27 Aug 21, 09:53 PM  
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taffs travels
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We remember the free beer, sitting in the sun then going to see the huge Clydesdale horses.
I also took rolls and rolls of film. I had brought a camera with a panoramic setting on and when they were developed I had these really long envelope shape pictures with lots of water and tiny dolphins in the middle of the shot. I remember being annoyed as snappy snaps charged extra for the panoramic shots and I had 3 rolls of 36 pictures taken before I realised I needed to change the settings
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Old 5 Sep 21, 05:24 PM  
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They had really stupid rental strollers shaped as dolphins. Useless for a sleepy toddler.
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