Sunday, June 13, 2010

A day at Sea World

My family spent Saturday at Sea World. On the plus side, there's a whole heck of a lot to do. My kids' favorites were Sea Lions Live, Shark Encounter, and the rides and climbing equipment in Sesame Street land. The Sea Lions Live show was particularly good, enjoyable for young and old. The redheaded star on 6/12 deserves a raise.

On the other hand, the efforts of the park designers to extort money are so, so tacky. Food costs a fortune, which I can accept, but fountain drinks don't come with lids or straws, so you can either risk spilling a jumbo coke on yourself, or buy a new drink at each destination. The meat at the smokehouse restaurant was great big globs of fat.

The Shamu show features a movie about a kid and his precious (ugly) carved necklace and some sort of vague message about believing in . . . something. As you exit, vendors pressure you into buying the necklace.

The Sea Lions Live show (which again, was otherwise excellent), features an extended scene about people (and an otter) buying a Pepsi:

If you want a decent seat at the shows, you have to get there at least 20 minutes early. During that time, there's no entertainment at most of the shows, including the Blue Horizons show that's so popular you have to get a wristband when you enter the park. So, for at least 20 minutes, you have to sit there entertaining your kids - - all so vendors can hawk shockingly priced merchandise:

All in all, it was a satisfying day, but I definitely rank it far below Disneyland and Lego Land as Southern California destinations.


  1. I have to say I think it's important to consider the horrific conditions Sea World's animals are kept in. As I understand it, (especially following the publicity surrounding the movie 'The Cove', and the recent death of one of the orca trainers), whales in captivity are being brought into question in the States, with Sea World being the main target.

    I have no issue with theme parks, but the use of these animals as entertainment is simply inexcusable in a developed country that prides itself on its good morals. Britain banned whales in captivity in the mid eighties. It would be fantastic to see the States follow this example, especially given that we know better than ever just how intelligent dolphins are, and how much emotional distress captivity causes them. It doesn't take a marine biologist to see that the pens these animals are kept in are utterly inadequate when their natural home is miles of ocean.

    Sorry, this rant wasn't directed at you! But I think your post just shows how Sea World's only concern is profit, and the exploitation of these incredible animals.

  2. After I've heard the activist stories, and watched The Cove who showed some of the questionably criminal activities Sea World takes to the industry and the animals, I decided just last year I'd never make the trip. It's a shame how they distort things.

    Pretty much in agreement with Ben, and by no means intending to be up tight or rain on your adventure. I just never considered it until someone went into detail why.

  3. I haven't been to Sea World in ages, but I'm vegetarian and other vegetarian friends of mine told me not to bother because they wouldn't have a single thing I could consumer other than soda.