Tag Archives: Shamu

Best Hotel for Sea World Orlando

Renaissance Orlando Resort
Renaissance Orlando Resort

The Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World couldn’t be more convenient. The hotel sits just across the street from Sea World’s parking lot.  No need to drive, a nice feature.

The atrium lobby becomes a kid’s fantasy: a waterfall and goldfish pond; oversize high definition flat screens feature undersea footage of Neptune’s garden; a huge open area, an indoor field of sorts, great for hide and seek or tossing a football. And glass-sided elevators allow spying on the way up or down.

Children find a complimentary Shamu bath toy in their room. (Amazing how these 99 cent items become cherished belongings.) Mimi’s favorite thing–the sheets.  They were smooth as fine cashmere, perhaps 600 thread-count, enveloping with the feel of luxury.  Lots of pillows, too. Oh yes, a Starbuck’s in the lobby with free WiFi to keep Poppa Jay happy.

Tradewind’s Restaurant sets out an extravagant breakfast buffet, enough to feed a whole team of  NFL lineman, but is pricey.  Then again, it kept us so full, we skipped lunch.

Sure, Orlando offers many less expensive lodging options, some even serve free breakfast.  The Renaissance , however, flaunts location, location, location.  And that’s a worthwhile perk at the end of a long day in the park- no hassling with busy Orlando traffic.

When I was a younger parent, I would have stayed farther away, some place that was merely safe and clean.  Being a grandparent is better. Either way, kids usually love any hotel. What’s important–holding the child’s hand, watching them smile and enjoying the day.

If you get lucky, very lucky, that little person will look in your direction and say, “Mimi, I love you.”

Who is Shamu?

@ Shamu's
Ta-Dah--This is Shamu

Three guesses .  Name the iconic symbol of killer whales; the spokesman of the Orca’s; the star of  Sea World ?

Shamu and Diver square-1r
Shamu and Trainer perform at Sea World

Of course, it’s Shamu, the slaphappy black and white mammal with the stupendous tail.  He shamelessly sprays and splashes his way into your soul, showering smooches on his trainer, then snorts a soggy smile. He spins, spirals and submerges, holding the crowd spellbound, only to surface with a startling slick stunt. He soars, he slides, and he shimmers and shines.

Don’t forget; he’s also a sleek, slippery scavenger, stealth of the ocean and a superb swimmer.  Yet, a sappy old salt who can summon spontaneous shouts from the crowd and smack a sopping somersault.

Sea World Trainers and Shamu

Sensational Shamu, put him in the spotlight and he steals the show.

Exploring the Theme Park- Sea World Orlando

Clyde & Seamore's Pirate Ship
Sea World Set for Pirate Island

I last visited Sea World in 2001 and am pleased to report that much has improved (although I didn't think it bad at the time.) As I walked along I found well-signed walkways, cleanliness up to Disney standards, meticulously-manicured gardens and a fresh overall look to the shops and restaurants.

The main improvement appeared in the quality of the shows. They were much more theatrical, featuring flamboyant costuming and vibrant lighting; performances resembling spectacular Cirque de Soleil acts. The Blue Horizon extravaganza is a combination of the "O" show from Las Vegas, exotic birds, and Sea World trained animals. This performance alone was worth the price of admission.

A Sea World clown performs

Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island is the longest running show, as I remember seeing it in 1983. The actors make fun of themselves, while seals and otters steal the show. The grandkids thought it was hilarious.

A’Lure, The Call of the Ocean is an undersea fantasy staged with acrobats, high-definition film on a screen about the size of an IMAX, and neon costuming. No live animals here, but again, similar to a show you might individually pay to see.

Elmo Show-1
Elmo and Abby's Treasure Hunt

Since Anheuser-Busch manages the park and is connected with Sesame Place, we saw an adorable skit called Elmo and Abby's Treasure Hunt. My 4-year-old granddaughter was totally in awe. Her Mom claimed it was like the Elmo Live show they had seen in Philadelphia.

The Shamu show, Sea World's claim to fame, highlights not just one, but five killer whales. More on this in another blog.

Shark Encounter r
Shark Encounter

You'll also find Shark Encounter- a 700,000 gallon aquarium containing a walk-through acrylic tunnel for viewing. Gulp.

Penguin Encounter is an up-close look at the arctic animals above and below the water. OK—we mimicked their behavior.

The Polar Express (available from Thanksgiving to New Year's) is excellent, and runs as the Wild Arctic ride the remainder of the year. You exit through an underground cavern and see polar bears, a walrus and beluga whales.

The park additionally offers theme-park rides: Atlantis, a wild water plunge and the huge scary, Kracken– a roller coaster which has no floor, so feet dangle. A kiddie ride and a play area, much like Sesame Place in Pennsylvania, are also popular.

Manatee Rescue is an interesting walk through exhibit and my grandson got soaked touching the stingrays at Pacific Point Preserve. We did not ride the pink flamingo-shaped paddle boats or ride the Sky Tower.


For more information: www.seaworld.com