Aquatica is another water park similar to that of Volcano Bay, but older. There are only about eight rides there but they’re good rides. We arrived there at 10am and didn’t have to queue to get in a) because the weather was crap and b) it only opened at 10am! Bit of a win win really!!
The weather was so different to what we’d been used to. Gone was the thirty degree heat, now all we had was grey and white clouds with dashes of rain every so often.
We actually parked at Aquatica because it was $17 and we could get the I-Ride across to SeaWorld afterwards, plus it was cheaper than a locker.
We dumped our things on a sunbed on the man made beach and headed up to a ride that sees you slide through a tank of commerson dolphins. I imagine it would have been really cool to see, but not one of us managed to catch a glimpse of these small black and white dolphins, because just as you arrive at the tank, the water sprays up into your face until you then reach the pool at the bottom. Aquatica, I think a little rethink may be needed here!
After that we found rubber ring rides which sent you backwards down the whole ride and unable to turn round. I think I lost my bikini bottoms on almost every ride at Aquatica!
The rapids were fun and you didn’t have to do any work to get yourself round at all, the current did that for you. The lazy river however was possible the worst we’d experienced as you literally didn’t move anywhere. It did take you through a fish grotto and past the dolphins though!
The sliding mat ride confused us as we came out in different places than when we went in. It finished up with a drop and as you’re lying on your front the water splashes you in the face and then when you finally stop you can see who won. Sam won, I was second, Nathan third and Brenda fourth.
The boys were stupid enough to venture into the trapdoor rides. Not quite the 120ft as at Volcano Bay, but a big enough drop all the same. We had pretty much done all the rides by just gone 11. Not bad considering at Volcano Bay we didn’t do as many and were there about six hours! The joys of queueing! Aquatica did have really good rides but it needs some modernisation. I mean the paint is faded on the rides, the water is full of leaves from the surrounding bushes which isn’t as in keeping with the rest of the parks we’ve visited which are so clean!
We trudged back to the car to dry and change before waiting to catch the I-ride over to SeaWorld. The plan was to get there and watch the 12:15 Shamu show.
We sent the wrong I-ride trolley away thinking we needed to go south, when actually we needed to go north. That meant we had to hot foot it over to SeaWorld by foot if we were going to make it in time. We had plenty of time to spare and the fact there was again, no queue, aided that.
We located Shamu Stadium.It was only then that the SeaWorld up popped up to tell us the Shamu show would be at 1pm instead. All that fast walking for nothing 😂. So we got a drink and then headed inside to take our seats. It was by now, raining intermittently. We didn’t sit in the splash zone instead we opted for the row behind it.They had an opening video called ‘One Ocean,’ which highlights how we can help stop animals becoming endangered and the work that goes on at SeaWorld to rehabilitate injured animals, with the ultimate goal of setting them back into their natural habitat. There are six killer whales at SeaWorld Orlando of varying ages. They were amazing. The show started and it didn’t seem like many hand signals were given, the whales just seemed to know what they were supposed to do! They were jumping out of the water, sliding onto the stage, splashing the audience with their tails with a huge amount of water. They were just completely encapsulating.The show lasted half an hour and it was incredible. There’s been lots of controversy around SeaWorld and it’s treatment of the animals etc, but I’m pretty sure that if these beautiful animals didn’t want to do something, they wouldn’t…The trainers also talked about the next phase of a show like this. Due to new laws and public pressure, the Shamu show as we know it, will most likely cease to exist in 2019. San Diego has already called time on it whilst San Antonio and Orlando will have adapted it by then. The aim is to make it a much more natural show with a much more natural environment. The trainers could explain how the ‘tricks’ the orcas do are similar to that in the wild, but the whole setting will be more like an ocean.
I’ve been lucky enough to swim with dolphins, turtles, nurse sharks, all kinds of fish, interact with a beluga whale, it would be amazing just to see these majestic creatures in their own habitat.
From the show we headed to the rollercoasters. Kraken was down for maintenance but Mako and Manta were up and running…for Nathan and Sam anyway! The thought of riding almost backwards not being able to see where your going wasn’t one that thrilled me, so instead, I was photographer! I think this little beauty isn’t a bad shot 😂The rain was getting more and more heavy so after stopping by the gift shops, we bid farewell to SeaWorld and headed on to Applebee’s for some delicious appetisers. The appetisers in Applebee’s are in my humble opinion, the best part of their menu. So we had a couple of rounds of the 3 for $13.99 and had a leisurely evening spent dining out. It was a really nice evening.
Until next time…