Last Sunday I had the opportunity to attend Sea World's Halloween Spooktacular Media Day. My nephew, Michael, is two and a half and I thought he would love to go to Sea World and take part in their Halloween festivities. We arrived at Sea World shortly after 10:30, and we waited approximately 15 minutes to get in once I received my Media lanyard.
Being that this was Michael's first time to Sea World (and his Mom, Justine's, first time too) we had to get a picture with Shamu...or try to anyway! Michael was a little intimidated by the big, walking whale.
I knew that I wanted them to have a great time, so we went to the reservations desk to make lunch reservations at Sharks Underwater Grill & Bar. We had no problem making a reservation for three people at 1:00.
Now we could get down to the business of having some fun. The Spooktacular area didn't open until noon so we decided to let Michael see some of the animals. We made our way to the Wild Arctic where we saw a polar bear lazing about and a very playful walrus.
Next up was Shamu's Happy Harbor, and along the path were bubble machines which Michael really enjoyed.
While in Shamu's Happy Harbor, I joined Michael on Jazzy Jellies and his mom accompanied him on the train ride and Ocean Commotion. We all went on the Sea Carousel, and Justine and Michael rode on sea creatures while I stood next to Michael since he was under 38".
It was almost 1:00 so we decided we should head towards the restaurant. We arrived about ten minutes early and were told they were seating at the exact reservation time. Right outside the restaurant you can buy shrimp to feed the sharks and stingrays that are swimming there. We bought a container of shrimp and let Michael toss them in.
We still had a few minutes so we went across from the restaurant to take pictures. As you can tell Michael was a little disturbed by me being inside the big shark!
After our photo experience it was time to eat. The prices are a little bit higher at Sharks Underwater Grill, but it is a theme park so you are going to pay more no matter where you go. For people who aren't interested in eating typical park fare, Sharks is a great option.
In addition to their regular menu they also have daily specials. Justine and I chose to share a meal so that we would have room for dessert. We were given rolls and butter while we waited for our food, and the rolls were warm and soft, just the way I like them. For lunch we had a delicious bruschetta appetizer, creamy lobster bisque and grilled chicken and pumpkin risotto. The meal was wonderful. We really enjoyed it and had absolutely no room for dessert! Michael ordered a hot dog and fries from the kid's menu and we discovered he liked lobster bisque when he started dipping his fries in it. Sharks also has a full liquor bar inside the restaurant and it was full when we were leaving. Here are a couple pictures that I took during our lunch with the sharks. We had a great table!
Once we were done eating it was off to the Underwater Fantasea Path. As soon as we got to the entrance of the path we saw a face painting booth. I asked Michael if he wanted to have his face painted and he said yes then selected the puppy dog. We were shocked he sat still long enough for her to get it done. She said it wouldn't take long and she was telling the truth, about five minutes.
We were given a Treasure Map to show us the various Halloween events along the path as well as a bag for Michael to trick-or-treat with. 15 trick-or-treat stations were located along the path and they had a pretty good variety of candy for the kids. While Michael did not dress in costume, it was encouraged and a large portion of the kids there did have costumes on.
There were several characters on the path posing for pictures. I thought it would be cute to take a picture of Michael with his dog face and the dogfish, but Michael wasn't as enthused with the idea.
Along the path there were several octopus statues. Michael thought he needed to give them all a hug, it was really cute.
There were several carnival type games in the Halloween Spooktacular area, the prices were pretty typical for those types of games. We contributed $10 and left with....what else, a stuffed octopus! The Pick-A-Pop below seemed pretty popular and there was always a crowd of people trying to win a stuffed candy corn.
Our next stop was to decorate an apple and a rice krispie treat. They were $5 each, which I thought was very reasonable. Thanks to our media pass, we were able to enjoy one of them for free.
You had your choice of caramel or chocolate to top the apple and rice krispie treat. Michael chose caramel and I chose chocolate.
Once you select your main topping then you move over to the topping bar to select all of your other toppings. The toppings included candy corn, reese's pieces, sprinkles, marshmallows, licorice pieces and gummy creatures.
The finished products were quite tasty. I really liked that they had to-go containers for those of us who could not finish our creations.
Turtle Trek was next on our list, and I couldn't wait to see what Michael thought of the 3D experience. When we got there, there was a 20 minute wait. Using our media pass we were able to go directly to the head of the line.
Sea World's Turtle Trek has two holding areas inside. In the first area you wait and look in their tanks (in the a/c), and there is a guide available if you have any questions. In the second area you are given a brief history of the turtles at Sea World and a synopsis of a sea turtle's life.
As you enter the 360 dome theater to watch Nyah's journey through life as a sea turtle, you pick up 3D glasses. You are watching the events unfold as if you are the turtle. Shortly after hatching, a crab comes to try to make a meal out of the baby sea turtles. Apparently a big 3D crab can be pretty scary to little ones, because Michael shrieked and took off his glasses. Once he calmed down he put the glasses back on, only to discover that now there were sea gulls swooping in for dinner. After the second shriek, Justine took Michael out of the theater. I really enjoyed the experience, and I would definitely recommend it to adults and older children. I suggest little ones skip this attraction, unless you know for sure they won't be frightened. Once outside, we let Michael look at the sea turtles and manatees.
While we were deciding what to do next, Michael made our decision for us by falling asleep. He woke up briefly while he was being put in the truck and wanted the Treasure Map, and then he quickly fell back to sleep with it open in his lap.
I would definitely recommend Sea World's Halloween Spooktacular to others. On top of the great Sea World experience, you also have the Halloween themed activities for the kids to enjoy. We had a wonderful day and will definitely go back next year when my daughter can partake in some of the festivities!
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular is included in a single day's park admission. You can still catch this fun event this weekend (October 19-21) and next (October 26-28).
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received complimentary admission to Sea World for two adults in order to check out the Halloween Spooktacular and share the experience with our readers. No other compensation was received.
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