The home of many killer whales called Shamu. This is my guide and advice if you’re thinking of going…
This is a great park, especially if you’re on holiday with young kids. The first time we went ours were 4 and 7 and they had a fantastic time because they could see everything from their height! The aquariums are either to the floor or have a step for little ones to stand on; and also they won’t feel like they aren’t missing out as there aren’t many height restrictions – actually I think there are only two.
It’s a big place, and it’s a bit bewildering as to what to do first; if you plan it well, it can all be done in one day. This is my advice on how to do it. First of all, if you don’t have to worry about the height restrictions, turn right to the Journey to Atlantis rollercoaster. We didn’t do it, so can’t tell you anything about it! It is probably safe to assume that it will have a long queue later in the day though. Then walk right across to the Rockin’ Rapids ride. Again, this has a height restriction, but I didn’t see why – it seemed fine for small children to me. The family sit together in a circular boat and the rapids push it along. Now. Be warned: you don’t get splashed, you don’t get a little bit wet, you get absolutely, soaked to the skin drenched. I seemed to get it worse than everyone else! You WILL need a waterproof bag to put everything in you don’t want soaked. Your pockets won’t do it! After 10:30am the queue is an hour long, so it is important to get there early; also it allows you the whole day to dry off.
Next, check the timetable of shows that they gave you on the way in (that you’ve kept dry in the bag!) and go and sit and watch the Shamu or the Dolphin show. The auditoriums are well exposed to the sun, and the second after you’ve dried off, you’ll burn. So while you’re waiting for the show to start, re-apply the suncream! Also while you’re waiting, you get the chance to properly study the map and timetable and work out the rest of the day. It is possible to see all the day time shows if you’re careful. We had to miss the night-time Sea Lions show though, in order for us to see the night-time Shamu and Dolphin shows. All of which were brilliant! Be warned, the Believe Shamu show was unbelievably sickening. They were going on and on about Believe in your dreams and you can achieve anything; Hold onto your desires and never forget them etc and all the Americans thought this was perfectly fine!
Then, in the heat of the midday sun, go and do all the aquariums at the back of the park; and the penguins which are adorable. All this area is the coolest place to be, so head there if you need a break from the heat. After you’ve done all the indoor things, sit and watch the cirque de la mer show. I enjoyed it and all the various bits were impressive, but put together I actually thought it was a little dull. Younger ones will think the two people at the beginning are funny though. See any daytime shows you haven’t seen yet. There’s a good adventure playground area to let the kids run around while you take a break for a little while.
Then get your tea before running around from area to area doing the night-time shows. These are only on for the summer season, but they are good and worth the wait as they always start late. The fireworks are also worth hanging around for (especially if you’re not going to Disney Land). The riptide show is a selection of performers such as street dancers, acrobats, drummers etc and was actually really good. The problem was there’s nowhere to sit and at the end of the day our feet were killing, so we only watched a little in passing. Then collapsed in bed at a nearby motel.