SeaWorld's Spooktacular is really cute. They have dance parties, craft areas, and a special Sesame Street show that is perfect for younger kids. But the important thing is the trick or treating. They provide you with bags and a map, and you collect great candy. The path is decorated for Halloween, and there are bubbles everywhere. You all know I enjoy anything that involves candy, and I will never be too old to enjoy bubbles.
In between the candy stops, they have picture spots with mermaids, fish, and other cute characters. We especially liked these sea witches.
They were perfectly in character. As as soon as they saw Katarina in her cat ears (it was way too hot to wear a full costume, but Katarina couldn't pass up a chance to dress up even just a little bit), they called her a catfish. Get it? Catfish? They told us they have a catfish who likes to climb land trees. I was a little suspicious of that story, but I'm not going to argue with a sea witch.
The other big hit was the cookie decorating station. It is an extra charge to purchase the cookie and decorating set, but it was nice to sit in the shade and relax while the kids were hard at work on their cookies. I didn't mind helping Katarina eat her cookie or the extra Reese's Pieces and Candy Corn, either.
We couldn't go to SeaWorld and not see at least one show. There are several to choose from (SeaWorld is much larger than I expected, and it would definitely take more than one day to explore, see each show, and ride everything). We picked the Shamu show, because, obviously that is necessary.
The orcas were impressive, and it was kind of magical. Taking pictures was a challenge, because you never knew where they were going to jump out of the water. I eventually gave up on pictures and just enjoyed the show.
We also visited the Antarctica ride and exhibit. At the end of the ride, you get to see penguins.
So many penguins. They swim right up by the wall, and jump out of the water, and really are quite close to you. It was awesome. It was also very cold.
Unlike the SeaWorld employees who are in there all day, we did not have heavy jackets. But that didn't stop us from spending a long time with the penguins. I seriously did not want to leave. My love for penguins kept me warm. Well, maybe not warm exactly, but it distracted me from the cold.
We made it to one of the big aquariums and visited the sea lions before the park closed. I want to go back with Thomas (he was working while we were having fun), and see everything we missed - especially the big roller coasters that I couldn't go on with Katarina. She likes rides, but I am the only one in my family who truly appreciates roller coasters that go upside down, so we stuck with the tame rides on this trip. Katarina actually wanted to ride some of them by herself. She gave me that look (that, dare I say it, almost teenage look) and said, "I'm old enough to ride without you, mom." It was a little heartbreaking. Partly because she is old enough, and partly because I've never seen a ride I didn't want to ride.
In related SeaWorld stories: I talked to my mom on the phone this week, and she told me about visiting SeaWorld when she was a kid. There was an area set up where divers went into a huge tank and collected oysters with pearls in them. She bought one, and had it put into a ring. It sounded like such an awesome idea, I thought they must not do it anymore, because I had never heard anyone else mention it. But I looked it up, and it is still at thing. It is called Oyster's Secret, and it works exactly like my mom remembered it. You watch the divers as they collect the oysters (it looks like they do cool tricks, too, and they dive without air tanks), and you can have the pearl put into a piece of jewelry. I can't believe more people aren't talking about this.
The next time I visit, it is definitely something I want to check out. I would like to maybe get a pearl for my mom. She told me it was such a special experience for her. She loved the ring, and wore it for years, but it got lost in a move when I was little. If you have been to SeaWorld and done this, I would love to hear about your experience.
*This post is not sponsored in any way. I just had a really fun day, and wanted to share it with you. Plus, penguins. It is impossible to not write about penguins.