This summer we dashed down to SeaWorld for a quick trip before our annual passes expired, and as always, it was great. We are big fans of SeaWorld, and although we love to see animals in the wild, there is also something special about seeing them at Sea World as well. Many people will never see a dolphin or a penguin in the wild, so their visit to a park like SeaWorld might be the only chance for them to see and / or interact with that type of animal. Hopefully this helps educate people and encourage their support of facilities that care for these animals.
Many of the animals were rescued from the wild, due to injury, although certainly not all of them. SeaWorld runs a great animal rescue program. Last summer we did a behind the scenes tour of the rescue facility, which was awesome.
One of our favorite activities at SeaWorld is to feed the dolphins. For a few dollars you get to interact with the dolphins, rub them under their “chin”, and feed them fish. It’s a lot of fun; both kids and adults love it! This year I went to the underwater viewing area with the kids before we fed the dolphins. We were all wearing neon shirts, and the dolphins seemed to pick up on the colors, as they were following us and tracking our movements.
Next we went up to the dolphin feeding area (best to get there first thing in the morning – the line gets long!). I bought a couple more trays (than people in our party) so we could feed them extra. Our daughter is now tall enough that she can do the petting and feeding herself. In the past, I would pet the dolphin on the chin, then she would drop the fish in its mouth. This year she could pet and feed – and she loved it! The dolphins kept coming back to us and still seemed to be watching us – we wondered if they were still attracted to the neon colors. Who knows! Maybe they just liked our fish!
We have seen dolphins in the wild many times, but it is illegal to feed them in the wild. So this is a great way to connect with a not-so-wild animal.
Right next to the dolphin feeding area is the stingray feeding area. You can purchase food and feed the rays. Our daughter tried this as well, but didn’t like the suction of the ray’s mouth on her hand. I had one suction my arm – quite funny!
We stopped by the dolphin nursery, and there was a 2 day old dolphin! It can be difficult to see into the nursery area, as there is no underwater viewing, to give the new mothers and babies their privacy. However, we did get several quick glimpse of the baby – super cute!
Another favorite stop is to see the turtles and manatees. One turtle seemed to love watching the people, and the rest could not have cared less. This one was the people-watcher!
I hope you get the chance to visit SeaWorld and interact with some really interesting animals!