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Friday, SeaWorld

Today was SeaWorld I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, obviously fish and Dolphins but there were also Whales, turtles and Sea lions.

The initial impression of SeaWorld is it isn’t nearly as clean as Disney and Universal, and it looks like it needs a bit of TLC.

There are a few aquariums in the park, the first one was very god, the second one we saw which appeared to be attached to a gift shop, smelled disgusting, and had a tank in a Glass floor, there was a separate tank with jelly fish  which I assume had a light that changed colour.

We went to see the Dolphin Show, which was alright but left a faint umm I’m not sure about this, It was weird, bearing in mind at the beginning of the week we had spent time in a small cove playing with Dolphins, that hadn’t bothered me, but this 8 or 9 Dolphins all going through tricks together left me with a feeling of distaste, it could of course just been that I hadn’t taken to SeaWorld at all, of the fact that the Discovery Cove Dolphins were in a more natural setting.

 we didn’t go to the Shamu show as there were only two showing available to us 14:00 and 18:00 and we didn’t want to hang around until 18:00. We did however see some whales swimming around in a group which was amazing.

The highlight of the day came just as we were leaving, we came across the nursery pool, which had a few young Dolphins who were ‘playing’ with the spectators, one of them though it good fun to swim up to the pool wall and pop its head up and making us jump.

 An experience that I’m glad we did but I don’t think we would go back

Wednesday, Harry Potter

Today we got to see do the Harry Potter stuff we should have done on Monday, we were up early though not as early as Simon would have liked, but as our early ticket actually got us in an hour early not an hour and a half, it worked out alright.    You had to start off at the Hogsmeade side first, Harry Potter is spread out over the two Universal Parks, you have Hogsmeade and Hogwarts in Universals Islands of Adventure (UIA) and Kings Cross station and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida (USF) We went into Hogwarts which is setup quite very well, they have finger print ID lockers free for the duration of the ride. Harry Potter and the forbidden Journey, Simon (who suffers from motion sickness), spent some time debating with himself about whether or not to go on this ride, unfortunately it turned out that hs shoulders were too big for the harness thingy and he wasn’t allowed on it any way. I did go on it and it was great fun, it is mostly done with video,  and shaking you about in the chair.    First you go into the castle and you have lots of things to look at, they have the moving paintings on the wall which talk, there is one of Dawn French as the picture that guards the entrance of the gryffindor common room. We get a talk from Dumbledore, also Harry, Ron and Hermione suggest that we don’t hang around for Professor Binns class. Then once we finished the tour, Simon went to wait for me and I joined the ‘singles’ row, because the ride is done in sets of four, if a family of 3 get on they like to have a 1 to make up the four, this is quite handy as it enables the single riders to get through quicker.         For some reason it is alway snowing in Hogsmeade.   We then caught the train from Hogsmeade station to Kings Cross    Well for some reason I don’t appear to have a clear picture of kings cross station but here are some more photos.

        The building at the far end is Kings cross the next (red) building is surprisingly Leicester Square tube station.

You get to Diagon Alley through the tube station, once in there you have Weasley’s Wheezes, Gringotts bank and Florean fortescues’s Ice-cream parlour, to name a few.

 We had ice-cream which was absolutely gorgeous, I had salted caramel blondie and chocolate chili, and Simon had salted caramel blondie and sticky toffee pudding (I think)

Also no trip to Diagon Alley would be complete without going to Ollivanders for wands.

In Universal you can get interactive wands, after you work out the instructions you find the little brass plates to stand on then wave your wand in the required configuration and the spell happens, you switch lights on, make it rain and put a suit of armour together, amongstt other things.

All in all we had a very enjoyable day

Tuesday, Discovery Cove

Tuesday was another early start, not as early as the aborted Harry Potter morning but still early enough, check in started at 7:15  we arrived about 7:45 had our photo taken and given our tickets. Our slot with the Dolphins was 9:30.

We went and got fitted for our vests, I borrowed a prescription Scuba mask, then we had breakfast.

Luckily our Dolphin swim was quite early, so after a quick safety review we went out in our groups to meet our Dolphins we saw Sindy, Finn and Lester. Sindy and Lester were both very old Dolphins at 50+ and Finn was a youngster at 2.

These Dolphin pictures were all taken later in the day


We got to stroke a dolphin as it swam in front of us, watched it to a few tricks, be photographed with it, then we were towed back to shore and had a dolphin kiss, the trainer gave us lots of information on dolphins and the time went quite quickly, I would highly recommend the experience.

After playing with the dolphins we went for a swim in the shallow pool and attempted to do some snorkling, we both decided that it wasn’t for us.

They had an aviary with loads of very tame birds that would come and sit on your arm if you fed them.




 After the aviary we saw otters

 then we saw the fish



During all the walking about we stopped to have lunch, which like breakfast was included in the price of the day.

The day was very tiring there was a lot to see, obviously the highlight was the Dolphin swim.

Saturday, Magic Kingdom

We decided to have a lazy morning before heading out to The Magic Kingdom in the afternoon.

The two rides we had Fast passes for were, Pirates of the Caribbean and Thunder Mountain rail road. 

Pirates of the Carribean, was another animatronics ride, before we got on the boat we were warned that we would get wet, we did get slightly damp but nothing as to what I expected.

The other ride was Big Thunder Mountain which was a roller coaster type ride, which was brilliant, we went up there first time to discover it was closed for some reason, the man on the rope line was very helpful, and said it shouldn’t be out for more than about 2 hours and our fast passes would work up until the park closed.

We went off to kill some time by having an ice cream, by the time  we had queued up for that and eaten it  the ride was open and we hiked all the way back up there.

It was Worth the wait and Simon enjoyed it as well.