I’ve never been to a place before where I honestly felt the entire construct was there just to take my money. I’ve looked at a lot of places and thought it; but I’ve never actually been to such a place.
Seaworld is open from 10am to 5pm, and tickets are $84 on the website. Fortunately our Hostel does a partner deal for them at $70, which was a blessing. It wasn’t far away, so we piled up in our little red sports car and zoomed off to sea what all the fuss was about.
Upon arrival, it was obviously very quiet – the carpark was less than half full. At the parking gates (Parking costs $16 ye land lubbers) we saw that not one, not two, but three main attractions were closed. Two of them were the ones we wanted to see. Manta – The high speed roller coaster which hits 42MPH, and SkyTower, the impressive spike that stands something like 100meters in the air and has a revolving room that goes up and down it’s shaft.
We came into the gates and wandered around for a bit – there was only 1 show that day in which the Orcas were performing. We touched some fish and looked at some sharks and crabs. We went on a water ride and went to see a dolphin show. We got a little wet when they brought out little whales (a mere 12ft) to splash us all.
The park wasn’t clean and it felt like the staff didn’t really care. We went to see the Orcas in their tank and it was really sad to see the great beasts with collapsed dorsal fins swimming around in what would be a huge swimming pool, but in reality was a very tiny tank for just one whale. They were fitting several in there. I sound like a walking advertisement for PETA or Greenpeace or something but it’s true – as much as they say they “really care” or say that they’re doing conservation work, it just doesn’t feel like it, and it just doesn’t look like it. Everything just smells fishy!
We saw the Orca show, which was kind of cool – we got to see the whales do some pretty impressive stunts. Afterwards Bex and I went to grab a bite to eat at the Shipwreck Cafe. It doesn’t even warrant stars. Their soda machine was out, so they poured 12FL (355ml) of coke into a 20fl cup, and filled the rest with ice and carbonated soda water. It tasted like terrible watered down coke. The food was sub-par and we both got little desserts to try which were both dry and over-sweet. The whole cafe experience was how I’d imagine a public prison lunchroom to be on a bad day. No one smiled.
After drying out at lunch from our various damp endeavours we wandered around to see the last few nails in Seaworlds coffin. We took a ride on a rather tame but dizzying attraction called “Riptide Rescue”. We went to the “Penguin Encounter” to stand on a moving conveyer belt as we were rolled past a room overflowing with penguins. There were some underwater and some walking around but most were just standing there. There was no-where for them to go. The exhibit was about 40meters wide by 10meters long by 5 meters deep. Most of it was a single level concrete-coloured-to-look-like-ice platform, with holes in it which lead to water. Crammed into this space I’d estimate were 120-150 penguins.
Finally, we stopped by the “Wild Arctic” attraction. It’s meant to be a simulated helicopter ride, but it was so cheesy, it was really only suitable for kids. Bex and I both said nothing throughout or afterwards – we just put it behind us and moved on. We both agreed that if the next ride involved getting wet, which it did, we’d go home.
On the way out, and attendant asked “If you wouldn’t mind giving us 5 minutes of your time to tell us about your day today?” I just answered “It was terrible” and we left.
If I could give it negative scores, I would. Do. Not. Go. To. Seaworld.