Sunday, October 31, 2004
After enduring two days of frightening experiences, I decided to end the Horror Vacation with a non-scary event. I decided to do SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular. The Spooktacular was a family-friendly Halloween event. I did the event last year and I had a fun time, so I decided to experience it again.
SeaWorld marketed the Halloween Spooktacular as an alternate to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. SeaWorld’s advertises for the events said, “Bigger, better, and best of all…all day long.” Kids and adults could come to the park dressed up in costume and could trick or treat. Park admission for SeaWorld was about $15 more than Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but with SeaWorld open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and the Magic Kingdom’s Halloween event lasting from 7:00 pm to midnight, SeaWorld offered a longer Halloween experience. SeaWorld’s event could be an alternate to the Magic Kingdom’s since the Magic Kingdom’s Halloween celebration was sold out on October 31.
After my long Howl-O-Scream night, I had slept in and didn’t arrive at SeaWorld until around 10:30 am. I had wanted to take the I-Drive trolley since there was a stop across the street from my hotel, but I couldn’t figure out when it would stop. The I-Drive trolley sign said that they run every 20 minutes, but who knows when it would arrive. Besides, I had free parking with my Platinum pass, so I decided to drive and park at SeaWorld instead.
When I entered the park, I grabbed a park map to check out the special Halloween Shows. There was Clyde and Seamore’s Ghostly Pirate Cruise, Creepy Creatures at Pets Ahoy, and Shamu’s spirited Spooktacular. There were special Halloween events in Shamu’s Happy Harbor. Like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, SeaWorld had several trick or treat stands where adults and kids could get candy. The park even had plastic bags to carry your loot!
I headed to the 11:00 am Shamu Adventure show. Whenever I see this show, I sit in the Splash Zone and I never get wet! I think I’ve seen the show enough to know where the dry spots are in the Splash Zone. My luck didn’t change this time as I didn’t get wet. Guests oohed and aahed over the killer whale’s jumps and tricks. One change to the show was during the “Who makes the better trainer – men or women?” segment. In the past, I noticed they had two men and two women in the show. This time, they only had one man and woman. I think it would have been more fun to see two men get soaked, but we’ll save that for another day.
After the Shamu Adventure show, I took a walk down Treasure Bridge, which was the bridge that connected the Shamu Stadium area to the Waterfront. The bridge was decorated with skeletons who were playing cards, fighting over candy, fixing themselves up with Super Glue, and the like. Several skeletons were in the water, holding onto pieces of wood, barrels, and treasure.
I decided to do the 12:15 pm Creepy Creatures at Pets Ahoy! I like to arrive at Pets Ahoy! 30 minutes before show time so I can get a seat. I’ve been to this show where it fills up 15 minutes before show time. I arrived early enough to claim a seat in the special Platinum Passholder section. These seats where in the center section a few rows from the stage. The show had the beginning and the end of the regular Pets Ahoy! show. This time, though, the stage was garnished with Halloween decorations and the trainers were dressed in Halloween costumes. There was a witch, cheerleader, Mummy, pirate, and others. In the middle of the show, Joel Slaven, the main trainer at Pets Ahoy, came out and showed animals that tend to get a bad rap at Halloween. He showed off spiders, scorpions, and rats. He said that people fear these creatures, but they are actually beneficial because they eat insects that are harmful to humans. He picked a young lady from the audience to hold a big snake! She even posted for a picture with the snake in her hands, a rat on her head, and a hissing cockroach on her vest!
I decided to see the 2:00 pm Clyde and Seamore’s Ghostly Pirate Cruise. I had some time before the show started, so I got some rides on Journey to Atlantis and Kraken. The wait for Journey to Atlantis was 45 minutes, but the single riders line was open. I got on the ride in a few minutes by using the single riders line. I took two rides on Kraken. The first ride was a 10-minute wait. I used my re-ride privileges from my Platinum pass to have another spin with no wait.
I went to the 2:00 pm Clyde and Seamore’s Ghostly Pirate Cruise early to get a good seat for the Pirate Mime. The Pirate Mime comes out 10 minutes before show time and makes fun of people entering Sea Lion and Otter Stadium. I took a seat in the Platinum Passholders section, which were in the center section about two rows from the stage. Behind this section was a huge tarp that covered up about ¾ of the seating space. I couldn’t tell what they were building, but I could smell the paint. I was beginning to get high off the paint fumes!
On cue, the Pirate Mime came out 10 minutes before show time and started making fun of guests. I think this is the funniest thing in SeaWorld! The stadium was full a few minutes before show time, so the Mime had to entertain the audience by balancing a cap on his head and dancing with a guest that he pulled from the audience.
Then the Clyde and Seamore show began. The script changed a bit. A ghost haunted the ship on their way to obtain treasure. The ghost turned out to be Slappy, who dressed up as a ghost to keep the treasure for himself. The rest of the crew foiled his Scooby-Doo-ish plan. Along the way, the crew dressed up in Halloween costumes. Captain Squid dressed up as a cowboy, Robin Plunder was a fireman, and Slappy was a ballet dancer. The sea lions and otters did their usual tricks. The show was pretty funny, but the trainer that played Robin Plunder seemed a little flat.
I was hungry, so I decided to eat at Shark’s Underwater Grill. The normal wait was 45 minutes, but they were able to squeeze me in without any wait. The food here is pretty good. For desert, leave space for the Loan Shark Brownie. It was the largest piece of brownies and ice cream I’ve ever seen! It was quite a bargain at $5.25. The total bill with an appetizer, entrée, and desert was around $35.
I decided to digest my lunch by walking through the exhibits. I walked through Shark Encounter and gazed at the sharks and other scary sea life. I hadn’t seen the Odyssea show in a long time, so I decided to rest my feet in that show. I arrived about 30 minutes before show time. The music played before the show almost put me to sleep. The music went, “Aaaaaahh, chea, chea, chea, chea” over and over again. I felt like I was in the Hall of Presidents! The show itself was a poor man’s Crique de Soeli. It was fun, but it seemed a little too long.
I walked through the Penguin Encounter and looked at an endangered species in Manatees: The Last Generation? It was beginning to get dark, so I decided to get two night rides on Kraken. I waited 10 minutes for the first ride and used my Platinum pass re-ride privileges for another round with little wait. Unlike some other roller coasters, Kraken didn’t feel different at night.
Because the Robin Plunder from my previous viewing of Clyde and Seamore’s Ghostly Pirate Cruise didn’t do a good job, I had to make up for it by watching the show again. I had debated on watching all the Clyde and Seamore shows that I could, but I wanted to see the park’s other Halloween events. I was so tempted, though!
I found a seat away from the tarp area because of the paint fumes. Before the show, the Pirate Mime took my camcorder and started videotaping everyone! The trainers in this viewing of Clyde and Seamore’s Ghostly Pirate Cruise did a better job. They did something I’ve never seen in the show. After Robin Plunder’s swordfight with the ghost Slappy (and Robin Plunder saying, “Hi-ya!” a lot during the fight), Captain Squid came out and said, “What’s going all the noise out here? It sounds like a Kung Fu Film Festival!” Two other trainers came out and one said, “Oh-ho-ho-ho…” and the other one whistled. Then they started kicking and slashing to the song “Kung Fu Fighting.” Even though I’ve seen the Clyde and Seamore show many times, I still get a laugh out of it.
I had about an hour before Shamu’s Spirited Spooktacular was to start. There was no line to Wild Arctic and I hadn’t been on the simulator in a long time, so I decided to go on a spin. The simulator was as wild as I remember. The polar bears in the exhibit area were asleep. The beluga whale and walrus were swimming around, though.
I headed to Shamu’s Spirited Spooktacular about 30 minutes before the 8:45 pm show time. The Splash Zone was filled up except for the seats near the front of the tank. I didn’t want to sit there because I would be wet for sure! I found a seat all the way up at the third to last row in Shamu Stadium. I dared the killer whales to get me wet! About 15 minutes before show time, the video on Shamu Vision was getting people pumped up for the show. Trainers handed out candy to audience members. The cameras panned the audience to see what Halloween costumes everyone was wearing. There was even a race between a dolphin, walrus, and killer whale. You had to shout out the name of the marine mammal you wanted to win.
The Shamu’s Spirited Spooktacular show had the amazing tricks that the killer whales could perform and none of the educational stuff from the day show. You didn’t see video of killer whales eating seals like the day show. All you saw were jumps, flips, and the leaps of the killer whales. The show ended as all other Shamu shows ended – one large killer whale got the Splash Zone wet! Each segment was introduced by an attractive woman with white hair who said something that was like a riddle. She spoke in English, but what she said was confusing. Every time she appeared, someone in the audience would invariably whistle. Hmmm…put her with the woman from Castle Vampyr and the nurses from the Fiends show and I could watch them all night long with my six-pack of beer and a neon yellow seat cushion! Even though I was near the back of Shamu Stadium, I could still see everything pretty well.
After the show, I headed to the parking lot and drove back to my hotel. The next morning, I drove home.
I love Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream, but I’m sure they would give young children nightmares for life. A good alternative for kids vacationing in Orlando is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular. They can compliment each other and can maximize your children’s fun. With these two events, parents can take their kids to Orlando for a “Kiddie Horror Vacation.” SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular has enough Halloween activities to keep kids and grown-ups occupied for a full day.
So ends my Horror Vacation for this year. What will next year bring? We will have to find out a few months before October to see what the Central Florida theme parks are planning for Halloween.
*** Edited 1/9/2005 4:52:24 PM UTC by Barry H***
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