While walking through the parking lot I was amused to see this sign, apparently put there for people who didn't realize driving into concrete & metal objects could damage their car:
We started with the dolphin show.
It used to be interesting. The dolphins would do tricks while trainers would teach some facts about them. Of course, there were the usual corny jokes and trainer-in-disguise accidentally falling in the water, but you'd still learn something. When I was a kid I found it cool, and would go home and want to read more about dolphins.
A lot has changed since 2009...
I wasn't counting on anything quite like the "Blue Horizons" show they now have. I don't know who came up with this unintentional comedy skit. They tried to cross a dolphin show with Cirque-de-Soleil and a sappy Disney skit, and somehow ended up with the worst of all 3.
The show allegedly tells the story of a Princess named Marina, who wakes up one morning and wants to swim with dolphins. After she makes her appearance, her royal gowns are ripped off by a metal cable (I swear to God!) leaving her magically wearing a neon pink wetsuit.
I can only imagine the looks of horror that these highly trained aquatic mammal handlers must have felt when shown the script. I suspect even the dolphins were embarrassed.
But I digress.
Next, in a flurry of water and theatrical smoke, the male lead shows up. He begins lip-syncing a number about life in the oceans, and when he hits the line "dive into the water" he dives into the water (get it?) then, while he's still underwater, his singing part continues on the speakers. Even a little kid a few rows up noticed this and said "Mommy, how can he sing when he's underwater?".
To make the show even more absurd, a lady in a bird costume comes flying out on overhead wires. Her name was Aurora, which, as a Sleeping Beauty fan, I find horrifying.
For this she got a degree in marine biology.
She swings randomly over the water and the crowd, while we all hope the cable doesn't snap. Because nobody wants "killed by a falling lady in a bird costume at Sea World" in their obituary.
During this the dolphins do a few tricks, but you're so horrified by the theatrical train wreck occurring before you that you barely notice. At one point the bird lady swoops down into the water and lifts the male lead into the air, giving everyone an excellent look at his package.
Hey ladies! Can you see my lunch bag in the last row?
Next, 2 guys in black wetsuits wearing weird spiky yellow helmets came out to do a trapeze act.
I have NO IDEA what this guy, or his outfit, has to do with dolphins.
Somewhere in this visual cacophony they released birds, although seagulls were frequently passing by anyway. The dolphins did the occasional leap, and were likely laughing at the idiot primates watching this spectacle.
“I’d give this show 2 opposable thumbs down- if I had any.”
The performance ended with giant yellow ribbons unfurling over the stage and guys with giant flags waving at the audience. When it was all over I could only think of the immortal line from This is Spinal Tap, "there's such a fine line between clever and stupid."
Since they left them out of the show, guess where you'll find the dolphin facts? At the freakin' gift shop! Around displays of overpriced shot glasses, pendants, and baseball caps they have little signs saying things like "the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins used in our show can swim 23 MPH and dive to 1200 feet!". And, inevitably, they sell dolls based on the show's characters.
Save your money, Marie. They'll be at Big Lots before Hanukkah.
I was put in charge of getting lunch. This is never as easy as it sounds. You have to find a table by out-competing other families for one, leave a kid there to scare others away (we use Frank for that) try to get orders from everyone, and then wait in line.
No matter how dressed up the food places are at an amusement park, they're still just a glorified McD's, manned by teenagers trying to deal with frantic idiots on vacation who are trying to grasp why a PBJ with chips is $8.
So I finally get down to being the next person at line, and find (as usual) that I picked the wrong line. The lady in front of me suddenly began reading orders of varying complexity off her iPhone, "I need one cheeseburger with cheese and mayo, but no lettuce. Another with cheese and ketchup, but no pickles. One without cheese or lettuce, but extra tomatoes. A chicken sandwich with ranch and pickles, but no tomato" and about 8 other orders. She kept turning around while talking, I assume to make sure none of us in line were about to lunge with a spork.
I sympathized with the unfortunate teenager on the other side of the window. Maybe she's on his blog tonight, too.
Sea World has a rollercoater called "Journey to Atlantis". Why people think a 2 minute ride needs a theme (beyond emesis-inducing loops & dives) is beyond me. I just want a good ride, but they felt a story about being on it to save Atlantis and help people to remember their relationship with the sea was absolutely necessary.
The ride has one interesting feature- an elevator (rather than an incline) to take you to the top of the 2nd drop-off. And, of course, it was about halfway up the elevator, in the shaft, that the ride stopped with us on it.
So here we are, trapped in a roller-coaster car in a dimly lit elevator, watching fake ocean scenes go by on the walls, and overhead the speaker is blaring at full volume "YOU NOW FACE THE FINAL CHALLENGE! THE FATE OF THE KINGDOM OF ATLANTIS FOREVER WILL BE DECIDED BY YOUR ACTIONS IN THE NEXT FEW MOMENTS!" over and over and over again. I wished I'd kept my spork, so I could slit my wrists.
Marie announced she had to pee. Craig asked me how his hair looked. I was hoping to see Atlantis go down in flames, and was pretty damn happy when we began moving again. As soon as we got off they told us the ride would be shutting down for a while.
For all the silliness, we had a good time today. Isn't that what summer vacations are for?
And that's the way it is.