In case you missed the first parts of this trip report:
Nathan really wanted to ride the big roller coaster, the Steel Eel. We decided to split up, and Brian took Nathan to ride on the Steel Eel while I took the younger kids to the SeaWorld Express Christmas Train.
The SeaWorld Express:
Before boarding the train, each child received a ticket (that looked like the ticket in the Polar Express movie) and the tickets were punched once we were inside the train. The train took us around some Christmas decorations near the lake. I think this was Alyssa's favorite part of our whole day! She was so excited to be on the choo-choo train!
Our timing worked out perfectly that we were off the train about the same time Brian and Nathan got done with the Steel Eeel. I think the roller coaster was higher and faster than they both expected!
Next we visited the penguins at the Penguin Encounter:
Then we kept traveling around the lake and came upon the Rio Loco ride. Nathan insisted on going, so I went with him. Luckily, we didn't get too wet (although Nathan was disappointed we didn't get too wet!)
It was 4:15 p.m. at this point and we had to decide if we were going to make it to the 4:30 Shamu show. There was only one other Shamu show at 8:15 p.m., and we weren't sure our younger kids would make it that late. So we decided to book it over to Shamu stadium. We got some of the last seats but still had a great view of the show. The kids were once again really impressed with all the tricks, but Brian and I noticed how different the show was from shows in the past. (Trainers are no longer allowed in the water due to past tragedies). It was still neat to watch, though.
After the Shamu show, we had about 30 minutes to kill before the Sesame Street show. So the kids played some more in the Bay of Play and we met a few more characters.
At 5:30 we went to "A Sesame Street Christmas Show." Alyssa was mesmerized and excited to see Elmo on stage!
It was now 6 p.m. and we decided to head back to the Shamu section to get some dinner. The park was really emptying out.
We had dinner at Shamu's Smoke House. As you can see from the picture, there was hardly anyone else in the whole restaurant. The food was pretty good. We had brisket and bbq chicken. A nice change from the typical theme park fast food.
The kids' meals came in a Shamu container:
We decided to let the kids have one more round in the Bay of Play (I think this was our 4th time there that day?) before we left the park. As we walked from the restaurant back to the play area, the walkways were completely deserted. It felt like we had the whole park to ourselves!
We ran into Abby Cadabby:
After 7 p.m., it seemed like the park started to fill up again. It must have been season passholders coming after work. At 7:35 p.m., we watched a different Sesame Street show called "Elmo's Christmas Wish". Alyssa loved it!
At this point, it was 8 p.m. and Brian and I were worn out. We decided to head back to the hotel.
We took one last walk through the candy cane forest and had one last look at the lights:
Up next: Final thoughts on the trip and ways we saved money.