Seaworld Orlando:An experience that can only be felt, not described. Had a GREAT day. Saw things that one can only hope to see, dud stuff I would not have, learnt extraordinary things.
The day started off quite well with us getting on the road at the required time. Reached seaworld well ahead of schedule so we were in early [mama saved $300 using a coupon he had!]. Got ourselves the map, & set our course for ‘Manta’, the brand new ride that had been put up in the park [FYI:This is the first roller-coaster ride of my life] that shivani just had to go on.
Having arrived early there was almost no waiting & the waiting area was a tunnel so that we could see the sea life. Got on the ride, strapped in & went horizontal[unlike other rides we were facing down with our backs parallel to the ground! We could see the drops drown to the ground. The theme was the Manta Ray & you are strapped to its belly]. Take off! With the first drop came the feeling of falling & scared the hell out of me, but once the rolls started it was superb! sitting gives you a sense of orientation, but with you face down, it is way weird! Tried to shout but the turns/twists/rolls kept knocking the air out of my lungs :)It was truly exhilarating & had a big adrenaline rush after the ride. Shivani, Mama, Papa & me were jazzed up to go again, but Mum, Mami, Aabhas & Aastha were kinnda in a petrified-shock! Put it off for later.Next on the list was the ‘Journey to Atlantis’.
After riding the Manta
It was pretty tame considering manta, but equally fun as you got to get wet! Mum & Papa sat in front & got soaked :D. It had three drops with a storyline of the lost city of Atlantis. Interestingly had zero wait time!
The last ride was the ‘ Kracken’ . It was the longest, lasting 3 mins though not as scary as Manta. Enjoyed it the most!! I was worried that my glasses would slip off during the ride & it almost did on the Manta! Had to close my eyes while plunging straight down, but they were open for the rest…though that did get me giddy:). I could not figure out where the cameras were located…so the pics came out real freaky. Shiavni & I wanted to go on again so that we could get a pic that looked good!
After the Kracken
Sample Videos: Manta, Kracken [not mine, vids by others just to give you all an idea of what the ride was like :)…manta may look slow, but it runs around 90kmph,kracken at 100kmph].
We were done with the rides at around 10am. Shamu, the famous killer whale, had a show soon so we made our way to the ‘Shamu Stadium’ all the way across the park. The Shamu show is the most popular show at Seaworld, & runs for about 20 mins. And it was beautiful. With the new ‘Believe’ theme to raise awareness for nature, the show put on was simply wonderful.
The trainers & the animals have a connection that you can feel sitting in the audience. It is humbling to see a tiny human & a huge whale work alongside in a pure combination of trust & love. Looking at the Orcas[scientific name] you feel that they are as intelligent as you, and they probably are. Shivani & me sat in the “splash zone” while the others went up. The sun was beating down hard by now and we were glad when the whale thumped its tail drenching us in the surprisingly cold[~13˚C] & salty water! This, coupled with the rides had already vasooled us the $80![watch:shamu underwater video]
The next 4.5hrs were spent going to a couple of other shows[the sealion show was very funny, with the caricature & all. The sealions were better actors than those we have in bollywood! Hilarious], having lunch & watching polar bears, dolphins,sharks, turtles etc. Went back to the resort around 4 to rest. It had gotten very HOT, with the sun shining down brightly & no wind at all :(. Had drunk loads of water only to have it sweated out. We were wearing our swimming trunks, that too was no helping in the heat. Having multiple entries, we decided to return when it was cooler, around 6. Went back to the resort & caught forty winks.
Were back at seaworld by 6:45, planning to ride the Manta & the Kracken again[only shivani & me, rest had chickened out :)] but the weather had become overcast & they shut down the rides due to the lightning. In the time we have been here in florida, the weather has gone freaky everyday, but in the afternoon making the evenings pleasant. Unfortunately, today it went exceptionally freaky & in the evening at that. This caused most of the things to shut down as it is park policy to bring close all open air sites with lightning within a 3 mile a radius of the park. This sort of threw our plans awry as we simply had to watch the famous ‘Shamu Rocks’ at the stadium & it was made of metal & only partially covered. As we started to make our way to the statdium, it started to pour, & I mean pour! Found shelter tried to wait out the storm, but it showed no signs of abating. Made the journey in spurts, walking as fast as we could when the rain slowed & hiding under when it intensified. It was a 15 min walk to the stadium & by the time we got there we were soaking wet. We almost didnt make with mami worrying that we would fall sick if we got wet. The stadium was not as full as usual, probably due to the storm, but it was good for us as we got good seats. Did not sit in the splash zone this time though :).
Unlike the previous Shamu Show this was a Rock concert with Shamu & the trainers as the star dancers. The show was to start at 9, but one of the trainer said that they could perform only when the storm moved on & they would inform us in 15 mins. Thankfully everything went right & we were able to see the show. And what a show:FANTABULOUS!! It truly was a rocking show, with the lights, the music & the swift moves of both the whale & the trainers. The whales sure did dance! Indescribable.Here are some videos instead:Vid 1 , Vid 2.
Loved Shamu’s both performances….even the videos dont do justice to them.
Next was a fireworks & lights show:Reflections. It lasted for almost 20 mins! The show was a delicate choreography of water fountains, lights, showers, fireworks & music. It was amazing to watch, have never seen this or anything like this, it was one of a kind. Have a small video, the dang battery ran out, so its pretty short, but you will get an idea. It was a perfect way to finish of an absolutely magnificent day. One day that will be a flag point throughout my life!
Am putting up the pics that I have. Some really good ones are on mamas camera, but will be able to get them only when we return to rome…will make a different album of those & put them up separately. Enjoy, & feel free to comment!