My husband and I LOVED Theater of the Sea, it is so much better than a bigger Sea World in my opinion, you have a better view of the shows and experience. Also, the grounds and gift shop double as a cat rescue, homing SIXTY cats! And following every show the trainers give a small blurb about how you can help conserve the species and their fragile environments.
When you enter the grounds you walk through the gift shop to buy your tickets, which is a little confusing because there are separate areas if you're buying a "swim/touch/feed" experience or just general admission. The cashier will direct you to the next show (there is only one show running at a time).
Our first show was the parrot show, amazing! I had no idea they were so smart and they are very well trained and informative. Next was the dolphin show, this is what I'm talking about when I say you have better seats and an experience in a small venue. The dolphin is so close, you get to see his amazing maneuvering and they select people out of the audience to come meet him, meaning you get to choose if you want a kiss from the dolphin or to pet him.
Our third show was the walrus show, I had no idea they were so intelligent! They caught rings from audience members, showed how good they are with taking medication and know the difference between their food (jello cubes) and ice. My husband's favorite part was when the walrus smiled -- not very pretty!
Next up we were SUPPOSED to go on the boat tour (just to the end of the dolphin's lagoon and back with dolphin tricks thrown in). Well not everyone could fit on the first trip, so we remained standing in line -- when the boat came back to load up the second trip an employee came out and told us that we needed to line up in a completely different area -- therefore my husband and I lost our spots in line even tho we'd remained where the last line was! That was very frustrating and we decided to skip the boat tour. Also, before arriving at the park I thought this would be a glassbottom boat tour, no it's a 7-minute ride, so if you're interested check out John Pennekamp State Park.
So we also skipped the nature walk because now our schedule for the day was all thrown off. We wandered through the park seeing the fish, HUGE turtles, alligators, crocodiles, parrots and more.
We had lunch in the park which was iffy, there were two guys working it, don't order a pizza because it takes 12 minutes and don't expect free refills after paying an insane price. Husband and I split chicken nuggets with fries and a drink for $17! You're definitely paying amusement-park prices for food here.
The swimming lagoon was also disappointing, it's a small area and right before we went to jump in a lizard joined us and I no longer wanted to swim! But make sure you check out the gift shop, the clothing prices are really good in comparison to other places we looked, but we got ripped off on post cards. They have lots of nick knacks too.
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