Sea World Orlando: Park #2 on the Spring Break Roller Coaster Road Trip
Wow, hello. I’m back with more rollercoaster road trip recapping. You are so stoked, I can smell the stink of your stoke-ocity all the way from here.
The only other time I was ever at Sea World Orlando was in the early 80s. I remember approximately nothing about it, my brain being the ripe old age of 4, except for the fact that Richard Simmons made an appearance and I got on stage AND KISSED HIM. The only reason I remember this is because I was mocked mercilessly about it every now and then throughout the years by my family.
Sadly, there was no Richard Simmons to kiss this time around (though I could have my shot at Cookie Monster because the line was short but Henry and Chooch were being dumb about it).
Guys, did you know that parking at Sea World is like $30 or some other crazy outerspace denomination? Henry was all, “HAHA I WILL SHOW THEM” and ordered a Lyft to take us since it would only be $9 both ways. But then he forgot about the tip, so it ended up being wash in the end BUT it was nice being dropped off right at the entrance!
Side-note: you’re supposed tow ear your masks in Lyft vehicles. The first driver had his on which was awesome, but the second driver didn’t! Also, we were so giddy Monday morning waiting outside of the hotel for the Lyft. And by that, I mean, Chooch and I were acting like absolute crazy people while Henry kept hissing, “STOP IT.”
I know it was only our first full day in Florida, but I was feeding off the sunshine and theme park energy in a big way. I can’t believe I was originally opposed to this spring break back-up plan!
I already wrote about the two main negatives that we experienced at Sea World and there was only one other bummer of a thing that happened, pretty much as soon as we walked through the gate. Henry had realized that he left his dumb eyeglass strap thingie in the car, which was at the hotel, so he immediately set off to the nearest gift shop in order to procure one. Chooch and I wait for no one, not even The One Who Feeds Us (unless it’s Feeding Time), so we continued walking through the main courtyard area.
“Look! Sea World buddy!” Chooch called out, pointing to a squirrel frolicking in the landscaping along the path. We walked over to get a closer look, and it just so happened to be near a side path that was labeled “park employees only.” We weren’t even CLOSE to entering the path, still clearly on the main park-goer path, but an employee walking past at that moment still felt obliged to call out, “THAT’S FOR PARK EMPLOYEES ONLY.”
Um, OK thanks, we can read?
I started to explain that we weren’t going to step on the path (we still weren’t even close to it!??!) and that we were just trying to get a better look at the squirrel which you would think she would be understanding of considering she’s working at a park whose theming revolves around animals!?
She literally cut me off to call over her shoulder, once again, “THAT PATH IS FOR PARK EMPLOYEES ONLY.”
OK now I was pissed and offended, which is a deadly combo for me and makes me want to breathe fire. Normally Chooch would be like, “OK you’re overreacting” but he was like, “Wow, cool” and I launched into my indignant tirade of injustice. I HATE BEING SCOLDED and it was exactly what she had done. She was carrying a clipboard with her and appeared to be in some type of supervising or management position and if you ask me, someone needs to knock her down a peg, looking at you, killer whales.
So now I had a bad taste in my mouth (probably from the fire-breathing) and I was concerned that it was an omen for the rest of the day. But luckily, with the exception of the Australian Piss Party referenced in link above, the day only got better from here.
Right after the squirrel incident, we came upon the entrance to Manta, a B&M flying coaster. The entrance itself was like the opening to a cave, and only continued to get more and more cave-like as we moved deeper inside. It was so dark and then suddenly:
Is this best queue of any roller coaster, ever? Maybe! It was so cool! There were several other aquarium windows as we walked through and since hardly anyone was every in line with us, we were able to walk right up to the windows and have it all to ourselves! Literally EVERY SINGLE TIME we rode Manta (at least 4 or 5 times!). This was such a fun surprise!
The other fun surprise? Manta was AWESOME. I generally do not like flying coasters that much. They can be extremely uncomfortable and unenjoyable but this one really took me by surprise! It actually ended up being Chooch’s favorite coaster in the park! (Not mine, though. I’ll give it the #2 slot.)
The only bad experience I had on this was maybe the third time we rode it – it was a complete walk-on in the back row, and most of the train was empty. The ride op at that time – TY, an older white man with a huge chip on his shoulder – walked around and SLAMMED down the restraints of each empty seat. Then he kicked (KICKED!!) in the leg restraints too flying coasters have additional restraints down there to make sure your legs and feet stay pinned back when the coaster is in flying position (i.e. when you’re face down and screaming your face off). I looked at Chooch like, “Wow he better not do that to us—OW! OMG!!” as Ty came over and practically smashed my clavicle with the restraint and then Annie Wilkes’d my feet.
So aggressive, I couldn’t believe it. I should have reported his ass! Along with the bitchy EMPLOYEES ONLY cunt.
This was also the coaster where I discovered that Sea World goers are super conscientious of filling all the seats, so people in line would turn around to see if there were any single riders available. I loved this. Nothing is more frustrating that when a pair of people board a 4 SEAT ROW and proceed to not move all the way to the end so that other people in line can’t easily get in to fill the seats.
Anyway, I really appreciated the couth and NOONCHI (Korean for personal awareness) of these riders which was almost negated by all the line-jumping going on (really only experienced this in line for that stupid Infinity Falls, but water rides always bring out the idiot GP). The only time the “fill the row” proaction was scowled upon was when we were waiting in line for the front row for Kraken.
There was a middle school-aged boy behind me and Chooch, and 2 pairs of people in front of us. The train that was boarding had one empty seat in the front. The boy noticed this and did the whole “Excuse me, pardon me” side-step song-and-dance until he was able to JUST BARELY slip through the gate before it closed and occupy the lone empty seat in the front row.
Did this affect any of us? No. Was this considered cutting NOPE. A park with super on-point ride ops will usually even have a ride attendant calling out for single riders, and some rides even have single-rider lines. THIS IS NOT A NEW THING. This is called FILLING THE FUCKING TRAIN AND MINIMIZING THE WAIT TIME FOR EVERYONE ELSE.
That being said, the wives in front of us got RULL bent out of shape about this. Acting appalled, suffering a personal affront, the whole deal. They were scoffing about the audacity, and grunting their displeasure, and then the one woman even went so far as to MOCK the kid’s appearance. I was pissed.
“He was in a big hurry to get to the front!” the one WIFE said so since she mocked that kid, Chooch and I proceeded to spend the rest of the day mocking HER. Dumb lady.
“HE WAS IN A BIG HURR—stfu!!!”
Kraken was super fun though, although a bit rough (I’m old).
Don’t get me started on this fucking ride. Apparently, it’s similar to Busch Garden Williamburg’s Escape from Pompeii but this one is Atlantis-themed and I wanted to do it but when we were in line for it, it broke down. We stayed in line for quite some time waiting because the recording urged us to but finally an employee got on the speaker and was like, “Yeah, this bitch is fucked, guys.” You know, in so many words.
We kept trying to come back to it but the line was SO LONG every single time. Meanwhile, we were practically walking on all of the coasters. The park wasn’t even crowded but it was a hot, sunny day and bitches always tryna ride the water rides on days like that, you know?
You have just looked at two pictures of Henry walking like he’s on a mission.
OK, now that we got Manta and Kraken under our belts, it was time to find our way to Mako, a B&M hyper, because Chooch had already decided that this would be his 200th coaster.
OK. Bro. We all loved Mako but I LOVED MAKO ENOUGH TO MARRY IT, OK? Is Mako my new favorite hyper? I think so. Yes. Mako is my new favorite hyper. Chooch and I rode this at least 6 times that day and it was a walk-on every time except for when we waited for the front row and that was only about a 5 minute because ops were A+++ on this one.
My favorite was toward the end of the day. I wanted to go and ride it one last time before we left. We sat in the back with a young couple and it was just good vibes all around (probably because we left Henry behind lololol). When we got back to the station, it was practically empty. As we were about to leave, the couple we sat with asked one of the ride ops if they could stay on if they moved to an empty row (there were people waiting for the back row). She nodded and I was like, “OMG CAN WE DO IT TOO??” and she nodded again! So Chooch and I jumped in an empty row and got in another ride. When we came back, all four of us turned and looked the Best Ride Op Ever and she NODDED AGAIN without us even asking! So we ended the night with three back to back to back rides on Mako.
IT WAS DREAMY.
And a better experience than one of our earlier rides when we sat with two older thoosies (that’s industry slang for coaster enthusiast, you guys, get on our level, god. I tell you guys too much sometimes!) and the one was pretty nauseating, like one of those guys who likes to expel random facts and comparisons loudly so everyone will be like, “OMG THAT GUY MUST RIDE A LOT OF COASTERS.” Like when he pulled his restraint down, he exclaimed, “Oh yeah, B&M clamshell!” (named for its shape, obvi) and I just rolled my eyes at Chooch.
We are not that annoying, you guys. (Lol, Janna is probably reading this and vehemently disagreeing while paging through a Cat Name book.)
The last coaster credit we needed was the brand spanking new Ice Breaker. The section of the park it’s in opens later than the rest of the park I guess, but the Sea World employee hanging around the entrance of Mako told us that this was the fastest way there so we hung around and enjoyed the scenery until the rope was dropped about 10 minutes later.
Aaaaand of course Ice Breaker wasn’t running yet, lol. We stood in line for a few minutes anyway but then made the unanimous decision to go do other things and come back because unlike Busch Gardens Williamsburg, it was our first time there so we wanted to see all the things!
LIKE THE MANATEES!
We did eventually go back later to ride Ice Breaker. It was the longest line we waited in for a coaster – a whole whopping 25 minutes. Henry had to pee first but we got in line without him, lol. Unlike other people, we did not invite him to cut the line in order to join us and he still ended up on the same train as us.
Chooch and I got the front row! The ride op was this super nice girl but she made me scrape my calf on the restraint (they were really awkward) and then I proceeded to have a bruise there for the rest of the week. Just add it to the rest! My right foot had the most purplest bruise of my life running alongside of it.
I feel like not many people would be ok with our versions of “vacations” lol.
Anyway! Ice Breaker was cool! A really interesting launch coaster but having just ridden Pantheon two days before this, Ice Breaker was a little underwhelming. Still good! But we rode so many incredible coasters on this trip that it did not end up in my Top 5.
Also, the ride op loved my Marcy tattoo so I forgave her instantly for maiming my calf.
This was before I ruined my shoes on Infinity Falls. :(
(I’m obsessed with these particular Vans though so I bought a new pair and am going to try and bleach the ruined ones and dye them neon orange, I dunno. And by that I mean that Henry is going to try. He’s the She’s Crafty one, not me.)
This is how far ahead of me Chooch typically walks, lol.
The penguin house was so much fun! We got to watch a bunch of them being weighed and it was so sweet and hilarious. This was also the first time I saw the WIVES WHO ARE AGAINST SINGLE RIDERS JUMPING AHEAD TO FILL EMPTY SPOTS.
A really nice British lady took this picture for us! When she handed me the phone back, she said, “I took three. I got all of your different positions!” I thought she was being sarcastic since I didn’t change at all while standing there, but then I looked at the pictures and sure enough, Henry the Stoop was doing something different with his arms in each one.
- The soft pretzels were SO GOOD.
- We each got a free meal with our ticket. Chooch and I were stuck with pizza but it was fine!
- There was some 20-something-ish girl there with her boyfriend wearing obscenely short shorts and Henry was PISSED about this?! He kept saying, “I’M SORRY BUT YOU SHOULDN’T WEAR SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH CHILDREN AROUND” and this was extremely hilarious to me because he was actually seething. Meanwhile, I was like, “Ugh I wish my ass looked that hot.”
- It was near the end of the day when Chooch and I rode Infinity Falls and we were 100% soaked. Henry was so nervous that we weren’t going to be dry enough by the time the Lyft came but we were, calm down Henry. God, first the short shorts, now this. Homeboy was STRESSIN’.
- My overall impression of Sea World was that it was super beautiful and (MOST!!!!) of the staff was awesome. Of course, I’m uncomfortable with the whole animal portion of it, but can only hope that the animals are treated well and ae given the best lives possible. I would go back over and over again just to ride Mako and I am devastated that I live so far away from it. But now I’m feenin’ for Diamondback, my other fave hyper which is within driving distance.
- We only fought once and it was toward the end of the day when I think I was suffering from sun stroke and had to go sit down and then Henry was being SO DRAMATIC because he went to get water and I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. God, track my phone, why don’t you.
- Chooch bought a Mako shirt (Manta was his fave but he didn’t like the Manta shirts) and now I wish I had bought one too, or a coffee cup. REGERTZ.
- I know I have a picture of Richard Simmons on stage at Sea World somewhere but it’s sadly not in the photo album I thought it was in and I just want to get this damn thing posted because I still have so much more to write about the trip and I’m getting panicked because this is how I live my life: creating imaginary deadlines that affect nothing and no one but myself for absolutely no reason oher than I must be fueled by stress, that must be it.
- We were supposed to go to Sea World San Antonio on one of the earlier iterations of our spring break trip but I have a feeling this one was superior.
- Chooch was able to snag all 5 coaster creds here!
- We did not spectate the killer whale show (or as Henry kept calling it: SHAMU). I dunno, that doesn’t sit well with me.
- I wish I had taken more pictures. Oh well, I’ll just have to go back when the new surf coaster is open!