Last Saturday SeaWorld Orlando kicked off the first of four Just for Kids Festivals. Each Saturday through February 4th, SeaWorld is celebrating kids with concerts and special events geared towards the pre-school set. The concert line-up looks like this:
- January 14 Lazy Town
- January 21 Max & Ruby
- January 28 The Doodlebops
- February 4 Choo Choo Soul
Now remember, my kids are 16 and 18 so while I have heard of Max & Ruby and The Doodlebops, both Lazy Town and Choo Choo Soul are totally foreign to me.
Saturday my husband and I headed to SeaWorld with my 5 1/2 year old friend, M whom I happened to be babysitting for the day. M has never been to SeaWorld and was very excited to go with Mrs cindy and Mr Ron.
We arrived at the park around 10am, grabbed a map and planned our day around what M had told us he wanted to see and the fact that we had tickets to the 2pm Lazy Town show. Note: Seating for the 2 daily concerts is limited. The concerts are included in park admission but you must go to the table across from the Nautilus Theater to pick up your tickets early in the day to insure that you can get in to the concert. the concerts take place at 11am and 2pm.
We spent the morning wandering the park, visiting the Key West area and looking at the Sting Rays and Dolphins, though M wouldn’t go near the touch tanks or even let me pick him up so he could see better. We attended the Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island show and then headed to the Shark Encounter. M was mesmerized by being in the shark tube and he probably could have stayed there all day.
Around the park there were educational Ocean Adventure Stations that you could visit and get stamps to earn a special prize. Unfortunately, these stations were small and very crowded-the one we did get close to in Wild Arctic, had adults doing the activities while kids waited in line! we skipped the stations as well as the Wild Creation Station.
On our way to lunch we stopped at Shamu’s Party Zone for a quick dance and then over to the photo op with a polar bear (man in a costume not a real polar bear). M wanted to wave at the polar bear but he did not want to have his picture taken with it so we moved on. We chose lunch at the Spice Mill because M is fond of chicken nuggets. I have never eaten at this particular restaurant before and hubby and I chose to share a steak burger because the signs throughout the restaurant led you to believe they were something special…they were not. I was glad we had decided to share a meal because I couldn’t have choked down and entire burger and I hate wasting money on over-priced theme park food. The burger was cold and chewy and not at all appetizing. I will go back and eat at Voyagers Smokehouse on my next visit, their food is delicious.
Our next stop was a ride on the Sea Carousel before we headed to the Nautilus Theater for the Lazy Town show. We had VIP seats in the 4th row with a good view of the stage. the pre-show entertainment was the Chinese hula hoop group that performed last summer before the fireworks at Summer Nights. They are very talented and M was in awe of all the tricks they performed. M was excited when the Lazy Town show began because he has seem them on television. Unfortunately, audio issues popped up at every turn. A wireless mic didn’t work, the live volume versus the music volume when the performers were lip synching was a very noticeable contrast as was the quality between the two. No matter how many times the performers coaxed the kids to stand up and get moving M refused to get involved, which surprised me because he had literally been dancing to the music throughout the park all day. When the Lazy Town show was over I asked M if he enjoyed it and he said, “It was ok, can I go climb now?”
We headed back to Shamu’s Happy Harbor where M and Mr Ron climbed all the way to the top! poor Mr Ron came face-to-face with the fact that he isn’t as young as he used to be! He was totally spent by the time they emerged from the huge climbing structure. M and I headed over to ride the Jazzy Jellies before heading out of the park. It was about 4:30 and the sun was going down and the temperatures were dropping quickly (it was in the 40s).
All-in-all we had a good day. If you have preschoolers they can get in FREE with the FREE Preschool Pass which makes a day like this even more enjoyable. The rest of the family can get a SeaWorld Fun Card and pay for a day and play all year.
Disclosure: We received park admission, free parking and VIP seats for the Lazy Town concert so that we could give you this first-hand report. All opinions are 100% mine.