It has been nearly exactly 8 years since we last visited SeaWorld (our honeymoon actually!) and we were very pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the day. Staying at SeaWorld Resort was very convenient, with guests also receiving an added bonus of a Dolphin Discovery presentation at 9am. This was a great opportunity to find out more about these beautiful animals, including their habits, dietary requirements and family relationships. The show lasted for a half hour, after which we investigated the gift shop before awaiting the arrival of the monorail to take us back in when the park officially opened at 10am. While a short trip, it’s worth doing to see another perspective to the park, and something the kids will enjoy (though watch their feet when boarding. One little fella lost his shoe and to retrieve it meant shutting down the monorail and turning off the power. Not their best start to the day!).
First up is the Imagine Dolphin Show, an interactive experience where four lucky people (generally children) are called from the audience to ‘live’ the experience first-hand, touching and feeding the dolphins and getting their own souvenier photos. You won’t believe the height these creatures can get to when performing their jumps, and watching the trainers ride these animals and participate in the jumps themselves (see our pictures) is well worth seeing.
The Jet Stunt Extreme show was an absolute thrill and something not to be missed while you’re sitting down enjoying your lunch. The world champion team – including 20-year-old Lee Stone (widely recognised as one of the single greatest freestyle riders the world has seen, and Jon Cooke (former X Games Gold Medallist and the first Australian Flat Water Freestyle Champion) – complete acts you wouldn’t have ever thought possible, including going completedly underwater. These are definitely acts not to try at home!
Penguin Point contains SeaWorld’s fairy penguins, which look cute and cuddly but if you’ve seen the movie Old Dogs I’m sure they’re anything but! All individually named and clearly with their own personalities, it’s sad to hear that it’s not animals or mother nature that are the biggest threat to these creatures – but humans.
Polar Bear shores was a little bit disappointing, simply because it appeared this massive animal decided to sleep the day away! If you’re lucky enough to catch him when he’s awake, he would be a sight to behold!
The Fish Detective Show, whilst probably aimed more at children, is still thoroughly enjoyable, and if you’re a big kid like we are, you’ll still enjoy some of the lamer jokes and be amazed at what these creatures can be taught. Yes, if you’re caught in a lineup, they know exactly how to stand for a pat down!
The Vikings Revenge Flume is similar to those at DreamWorld and MovieWorld but definitely on the tamer side and you won’t get off looking like you’ve just been thrown in the drink.
Overall, while the park doesn’t have the thrills and adrenaline that some of the other parks do on the Gold Coast, it’s great for the family with younger kids, or a couple just wanting a more relaxing day out with a chance to see and experience some truly ‘one offs’. If you have time (and the funds), you can book in for a unique Dolphin, Shark or Penguin experience, getting seriously up close and personal.
Rating: 3/5. A good day out and definitely worth doing, but it won’t cater for everybody.