I regretted my decision to purchase admission plus a dolphin interaction here about 15 minutes after I walked in. I strongly suggest that if you plan on going here, well, don't. Just perform a web search of this place and make an informed decision. Here's my take:
Old, run-down and small, 2 hours was all it really took to see everything (and there wasn't much)
Most are slackers, inattentive and were constantly on their smart phones directly in front of guests. Those working at animal exhibits (with the exception of the dolphin odyssey) seemed bothered by children asking questions. They definitely looked like they did not want to be there. Oh, and the whale trainer had the most annoying, high-pitched voice I've ever heard, when you could understand her.
Cost more than $200 for about 20 minutes with a dolphin. Very little interaction and just not-interesting (if you have to swim with dolphins, do it in the wild in Hawaii with Sunlight on Water - nothing compares to observing dolphins in their natural habitat)
Tanks are way too small, particularly for the killer whale who shares space with dolphins
The whale trainers still had ponytails, despite a trainer at Sea World of Orlando being killed after being dragged to the bottom of the tank by her hair, not sure if the park knows about that or just doesn't care. Sidenote - They had a whale in the 1980's named Hugo that died after repeatedly banging its head into the side of his tank (he was kept in the tank that they now have the manatees in). You won't find any record of that in the park. What's even worse is what the park did with the whale's body - they sent it to the dump. Something about that seems cold and heartless for a theme park.
Look, I love animals, I enjoy observing and am definitely NOT a PETA-loving activist-type. I actually like going to Sea World, not just because the parks are entertaining and have adventure rides, but Sea World does good works with the environment and places a large emphasis on education as well as entertainment. This place was depressing on so many levels that I would urge everyone to stay away, or make the 4-hour trek to Orlando to see marine mammals that are actually treated decently.
Just writing this made me angry all over again...
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