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2023 - November - Florida - Day 6

After publishing yesterday’s blog, I realised that I had forgotten to mention one other thing from Disney Springs so I thought I should start by doing so as it amused Karen & I very much. There has been a new stage erected outside the cinema entrance near to the Orange Car Park. As we were walking past there was a Latin Pop Band playing. For some reason the very talented leader was at the back of the stage whilst the band were front and centre. We decided that she must be shy or suffer from stage fright. They were very good and we stood to listen to a few songs.

There were lots of people dancing at the front with what looked like Zumba routines. What really caught our eye though was one of the many Disney Cleaners who are everywhere keeping the place spick and span at all times. She had abandoned all pretence of working and was giving it her all dancing around the water feature. She was totally lost in the music. She reminded us of Peggy from Hi-Di-Hi who so wanted to be moved to the entertainment staff. It was lovely to see.

Back to today. We were all up and sorted ready to leave at 9am for our first visit to Sea World. The tickets were part of the package we had bought which included Discovery Cove and Aquatica.

As I got to bag search everyone stopped for the national anthem and not for the first time, I thought how rousing it was. Karen & Neil had got through before it started. The young girl going through my rucksack then objected to the snacks we had brought with us and said we were not allowed them – I begged to differ. I argued that the last time we were here it was allowed (and it was when I checked). She was adamant even when I fibbed and said that Karen was diabetic and needed hourly healthy snacks to maintain her blood sugar levels. The response I got was that she could just go back to the car each time.

Rather than cause a scene I just walked back to the car and left the snacks in there. I caught up with Karen & Neil. Ironically Neil had snacks in his bag that they had missed. We vowed not to spend any money on food whilst we were here in protest.

The park was very quiet. The newest ride is called Pipeline which is a stand-up coaster so it seems like you are on a surfboard. I fancied trying it but let Neil try it first for his opinion on whether it would do damage to either my knee or back. He walked straight on with no queue. He loved it but decided to do other rides before doing it again.

We walked slowly round the park enjoying the glorious weather. It was fabulous. Neil managed to get on all the roller coasters. We walked into the Arctic expedition that used to have a simulator ride before getting to it. Sadly, that has long been defunct and not replaced.

At one point Karen needed a coffee despite our snack embargo. It cost $6 and she moaned about that fact for the rest of the day.

The only queue for anything we had was to see the penguins in the Antarctica expedition, another one which used to have a defunct ride before it. It had only opened in 2013 at a cost of $40 million and had already closed. It was prone to frequent breakdowns and was frankly not very good. They have started construction on a rollercoaster replacement instead.

The penguins were very entertaining even if I suspected some of them may have been animatronic as they didn’t move much apart from an odd twitch.

Karen & Neil then rode Journey to Atlantis, a water flume ride that turns into a roller coaster. I decided with my knee strapping on that I had no desire to get it wet and so waited for them. Again, it was a straight walk on for them. They both got soaked despite the poncho Karen was wearing.

From here we walked through a construction site to see the Sea Lions and hear a talk by one of their ‘trainers’. It was just about OK.

What still fascinates me is that despite the cost of admission to Sea World (a stand-alone one-day ticket would be about £110) they then charge you to buy fish to feed their mammals you have paid to see at a cost of $2 per fish. There plenty of takers for that as well despite some wild birds stealing the fish before the sea lions got them. The sea lions have taught themselves to get close to visitors and bark and wave at you to get you to throw the fish to them. Many humans might as well have Mugs written on their faces as they succumbed to that. Actually, having that on many people faces would save me much effort in trying to interact with some of them.

Then we walked to a talk about manatees, most of which I missed as I had to find a bench to try and stop a bout of sciatica that was starting to impact me.

Neil wanted to do a couple of rides the other side of the park and suggested that we should watch the dolphin show and meet him afterwards. I know all the arguments about keeping healthy dolphins in captivity and all that but these ones in the show did to me (an obvious expert on dolphin behaviour) seemed to be very happy to show off by jumping and twisting in the air. In fact, we both thought a few times they were jumping so high and long that they were in danger of leaping out of the pool and injuring themselves.

After meeting up again with Neil we left the park and went back to the villa where we finally ate the snacks we had be forbidden to take into the park.

After a couple of hours, we headed back out to go to Sickies restaurant. It is a themed car garage style Burger type place on the 192 with 50 different burgers and 50 different beers amongst other things on offer. None of us went for the Glazed Donut with a Burger inside.

What we did order though was actually very good as was the service and we all said we would like to go back there. I had a burger with fries which is the unhealthiest thing I have eaten this trip. However, I still think I was under 2000 calories for the day and occasionally I need to have the odd cheat day.

On the way back to the villa we visited Target to pick up a few things and then had some drinks in the villa – beer for Neil, wine for Karen and a zero calorie Kiwi Strawberry drink for me. We watched a bit of ‘Hannity’ and then Shark Tank.

I had an online chat with Apple Support before retiring about my ‘Friday’ iPhone – so called as I think it was made on a Friday as the factory was leaving off. Each month since I got the phone in July, it has had to have factory reset. It was now playing up again with both the Health and Fitness apps not working. I am now convinced more than ever that it is a hardware fault and I arranged for a support specialist to call me early the next day. After that we all closed down the house for the night.

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