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thoughs on Sea world vs Disney


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  • Trip Report thoughs on Sea world vs Disney

    A friend and I just got back from an all day trip to Sea World that exceeded our expectations in so many ways, it kind of hurt. I really think this park is firing on all cylinders for the holidays. I would rate the holiday decorates as on par to what you'd find in any of the WDW parks. A lot of garlands, trees, and reefs. At night though, they had some really nicely decorated areas, if not slightly low key. But thats skipping ahead.

    My friend was just going to buy a one day pass, I have had a long standing annual pass. Turns out, you can already buy your 2010 fun card right now. So he did, and now has a 13 month long pass at no additional cost, all for the price of one day! Really amazing. Ok. So based on Kevin Yee's review, I purchase the Meal Deal. Not sure if it was a mistake but they gave me 30% off as annual pass holder apprieciation??? I forgot to confirm if that was an error, and if not, how long is this in effect but regardless to say.... at $30 for all day is a great deal but $21 just cannot be beat. We had lunch and took in Blue Horizons. Then walk around as one side of the water front area they had a sax qaurtet playing seasonal horns while on the other side, they had three piece rock like band hammer out some holiday tunes with a modern twist.

    We also purchased the front of the line pass so we walked onto the Polar Express Experience. This Holiday layover to the normally drab Wild Artic attraction is just so much more fun and entertaining. Kudos!!!

    We skipped the Holiday Sea Lion show in favor of getting good seats for Shamu : Miracles. This has to be the best of the Shamu Shows. My friend turned to me half way through it and commented to me that we were definately coming back next sunday. LOL. This year they have added a out door holiday Ice Skateing show called Winter Wonderland on Ice. I would not rank it has spectacular, but I will go with really good. 16 performers skate away to music, some a bit better then others, but none were bad and the big show numbers were nice. No one fell, and some of he stunts did get a gasp from the crowd. The stage is VERY pleasent to look at and Sea World even used one of its fountain sets for a back drop. Who knew those dancing fountain sets were portable??? It snows several times during the show to great effect. And heres an unexpected bonus.... the front of the line pass grants you exclusive, front center sections seats. No rushing, in fact we didn't even know this so while looking for seats I notice this one front center section almost completely empty. I took a shot in the dark that PERHAPS they would let us in, and they happily did. The view of the ice show, followed immediately buy their surprisenly good (for Sea World anyway) holiday fireworks makes this pass 100% worth it. Its only $15.00!!!! And the fireworks were actually good! something I have never found Sea World to be very impressive at but though a little short, i think it was only 5 minutes, definately not much longer then that, but it was paced very well, and lots of rapid fire fireworks going off.

    We also enjoyed the live Sax player that came out while waiting for Shamu : Miracles to start. Ever wonder what happend to Four for a Dollar? Well at least during the holidays, you can find them at Sea World. They perform a 20 minute holiday set as "Return to Zero" (the group's real name outside of a Disney theme park) before the Ice Show.

    All these live groups, the P.E. layover, Sea Lion Holiday show (which we missed but will go back for), Shamu Christmas : Miracles, Winter Wonderland on Ice, and Holiday Fireworks.... and wow. We had a blast. While leaving I could not help but to think about how passionate TDLFAN is about MVMCP. He really has a point that all of this was just part of the regular park hours. No special ticket.

    My friend left with the impression that Sea World has outdone Disney for Christmas. I was conflicted at first. Dream Lights, Osborne Lights, Candle Light, and I will even include that Jingle in the Jungle Parade.... are all big productions. But there all at seperate parks. And there I realized that each Disney park, in reality, has ONE big holiday attraction, and in DAK's case "Big" is really not the right word. More a minor layover to a parade. Add some garland, sound of jingle bells leading the normal tunes, and change a few lyrics and but really is it VERY much the same parade. It more of just a seaonal touch then a Big change. But the point being is Sea World has Five major Holiday attractions (I forgot to mention the Seaseme Street Holiday show which I also did not see), and several seasonal touches added aka the live musician and all in one park, with regular addmission.

    Ok. so throw me in into TDLFAN's camp on this one. That is a MUCH better way to manage that. Sea World has definately uped the ante with the Holidays. Only draw back is they cut stuff during week days, at least until December 18 when appearantly everything will go daily. But still, it was just awesome and drove home the point that doing it right means doing it as part of the regular operating day.

    MK needs to bring out the holiday Castle show and Once a Upon a Christmas time parade now, not later after the last party has been had. If you want to give them a reason to go the party, have exclusive things during the party. How hard could it be to have Holiday Wishes Nightly for everyone, and at the same time, have a seperate Holday fireworks show that really is exclusive to the MVMCP events? Oh well, one can dream.

  • #2
    Re: thoughs on Sea world vs Disney

    Sea World and Busch gardens are the best kept secrets and the most improved parks in the Orlando/Tampa area. They are definitely worth a trip, and I think its sad that some people fall for the pricing trap at WDW and are victims of the dreaded "hostage" situation the WDW multi-day passport create. i too most definitely recommend a visit to Orlando's Sea World. They are not "disney" but most definitely a high quality, educational and fun park to go. As i recall, i raved about the Polar express overlay inthe wild artic exhibit last year as it exceeded my expectations.

    One more thing... I did not know I had a 'camp"?


    • #3
      Re: thoughs on Sea world vs Disney

      Count me in among the SeaWorld fans. Back when I lived in Orlando, we visited SeaWorld more often than we did WDW - and we had an annual pass to both!! And it's only gotten better since then. Some of the theming, especially around the Mediterranean and Key West areas, is at- or near-Disney quality. The park definitely is definitely one of the gems of Orlando, even if it doesn't stand in the limelight of WDW.


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