IAAPA 2011 day 1

After surviving an overbooked Spirit Air flight, I arrived into 67' and sunny weather. After checking into the condo on Palm Parkway, which is damn nice, I toured Fun Spot with the owners and saw the expansion plans, and had a great lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. The first 4 employees that saw me gave me a 'greeting'. very impressive.

Then to Sea World. Saw the Pets Ahoy show, probably the first time since maybe 1998 at Sea World Ohio. Pretty good, with the dancing pig and all. Then after seeing a 30 min wait sign, entered the line for Manta. It was 50 minutes, and the crew was lethargic, not asking for single riders, etc. And why were seats that were 'broken' not tagged? Whats the deal with the operator in a wool cap, with sunglasses on backwards around his neck? The ride itself was great. 8/10. I am sure the ops mamager (see..lazy) never saw that Vet's Day was today, an failed to staff accordingly, or have the second side ready to load and unload.

Then to Spice Mill Cafe to grab a sandwich. Again, they were shutting down one whole serving line, while the other side sported a decent wait. Does anyone in this park 'manage' for crowds, or do they staff totally on the pre-made budgets? How about we run Sea World for guests. Anyway, I bypassed the burger line and grabbed an incredible club sandwich w/ potato salad and pudding for $12 with the season pass discount. 8/10.

Back to Penguin Encounter. Still beautiful. I loved Ohio's, and this one is bigger. Some Emperor Penguins were molting, if anyojne cares. 9/10. Fed some fish to the seal lions at Pacific Point, then on to Kracken. The sign says 10 min. It was only 5 min. Very efficient, with the staff loading all the seats, not waiting for any VIP riders. And kudos to the op who saw the open handicap gate and stopped the train before it left the station. This crew worked, 9.5/10.

The new Shamu Show is very good. Its developing like the Dolphin show, and used 6 whales. I recored the whole show via Flipvideo. And a great salute to Vets at the start. Old friend Tilikum got half the stadium wet, including me. Go Tilly. 9/10. Overall...8/10. Finished with dinner at Millers Ale House in I-drive with the porterhouse. Red meat is your friend.

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