This was by far the best part of my trip–it was also payday from work, so that helped. I had spent all of my money on my vacation, so when I had run out of data for the internet–it was a source of huge frustration on top of everything else, and I wasn’t exactly interested in most of the food I had brought. I’m only a so-so cook, and survive off of takeout far more than I’d prefer, but then I hate cooking. But anyway…
The reason this visit was so amazing is because I did the Dolphin Encounter–which I was only able to do, because I had gotten paid. Now, there are three experiences with the dolphins you can have–dolphin point, which is free. Generally, you don’t really get to interact with the dolphins–you just get to watch. The Dolphin Interaction, which is where you put on a wetsuit and go into the water with the dolphins. And then there is the Dolphin Encounter where you are poolside, but you still get to interact. I highly recommend it, and if you have an annual pass (which is about the cost of two visits, and you can pay it in installments), the encounter is just under $50 (as compared to the interaction, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of about $250). I spent fifteen minutes following the instructions of a trainer which had us sign for the dolphin, Bugs, to do tricks. I, along with the other members of my group, got to interact with her, touch her, and even pose for a few pictures with her, two of which I purchased to bring home with me. I loved this experience so much, that I think I am going to save up to be able to do the Dolphin interaction next year.
Beyond the Dolphin Interaction, Sea World in San Diego has some rides, including a roller coaster, two water rides, a simulation, and two other rides that I didn’t end up going on. The roller coaster was awesome, as were the water rides–it was just too cold to really enjoy the water rides fully. I wasn’t very impressed with the simulator in all honesty. It was nice, but that is the only ride that I had to wait in line for, and compared to the others, it really wasn’t worth it.
I also saw two shows–the Sea Lion and Otter Christmas Show, and the Shamu Christmas show. Both were nice, but far from being the highlights of my trip.
I am considering going back for Christmas, because this was such a great way to spend Thanksgiving and to end my birthday vacation, but we’ll have to see what my finances look like before I can make that decision.