(Sea)Lions & Gators & Dolphins….Oh, My! A Halloween PTR/TR with a “wild” theme - Oct/Nov '18

pattyw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
So you and Joe have seen Blue Man Group?? And liked it?
Yes- we saw it locally when they were touring. We had front row-"splash zone" seats and received rain ponchos! We didn't get "splashed" thankfully!! It was a fun, unique show. It's not one I would repeat , but we all enjoyed it!:thumbsup2
 

I-4Bound

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
I have to admit, I have not gotten a lot of glowing reviews about the Blue Man Group show from others on the disboards in the past day or two. Most people seem to like it okay but didn't love it. I have decided to keep my expectations low just in case. The fact that the tickets were so cheap helps me to do this! I think my kids will enjoy it a lot.
 
  • JaxDad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2014
    Yes- we saw it locally when they were touring. We had front row-"splash zone" seats and received rain ponchos! We didn't get "splashed" thankfully!! It was a fun, unique show. It's not one I would repeat , but we all enjoyed it!:thumbsup2
    I agree with this. Gina, I took the kids to the show a few years ago. I remember it was very good. I do think there was a bit of a less good part somewhere in the middle when it dragged some, but overall still very good. It's definitely a great time at the end, like a rock concert! The music in the show is performed very well. You can hang around after the show and take pictures with the BMG guys and also meet and take pictures with the other musicians.

    One caution: Don't be late!
     

    vrajewski10513

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2013
    I wonder if parking for breakfast would be less difficult than before dinner time? :scratchin
    That i can’t help with, as we never drive lol but i don’t remember the main parking lot being particularly busy while we waited for the internal bus to take us to the back of the resort.
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    Yes- we saw it locally when they were touring. We had front row-"splash zone" seats and received rain ponchos! We didn't get "splashed" thankfully!! It was a fun, unique show. It's not one I would repeat , but we all enjoyed it!:thumbsup2
    I'm okay with fun and unique! Steve and I will try anything almost anything once :p.

    I have to admit, I have not gotten a lot of glowing reviews about the Blue Man Group show from others on the disboards in the past day or two. Most people seem to like it okay but didn't love it. I have decided to keep my expectations low just in case. The fact that the tickets were so cheap helps me to do this! I think my kids will enjoy it a lot.
    I've read the same mixed bag of reviews but we're still excited to give it a go nonetheless :thumbsup2. There's a ton of things we've thoroughly enjoyed on our Orlando trips (the Scareactor meal at HHN, SeaWorld, and the staying offsite, just to name three!! :rolleyes:) that some of the more outspoken Dis posters all have very poor reviews of. So I try not to put much stock in their opinions and wait to make my own assessment :). And like you, the ticket price was SO low, if its a bust......we won't feel at all guilty for the splurge.

    I agree with this. Gina, I took the kids to the show a few years ago. I remember it was very good. I do think there was a bit of a less good part somewhere in the middle when it dragged some, but overall still very good. It's definitely a great time at the end, like a rock concert! The music in the show is performed very well. You can hang around after the show and take pictures with the BMG guys and also meet and take pictures with the other musicians.

    One caution: Don't be late!
    Ha ha! I'm NEVER late!! :p We'll likely be one of the first in line when they open the doors. Being painfully prompt is part of our charm ;).

    But now I'm curious as to what happens to those who don't arrive on time!!!

    That i can’t help with, as we never drive lol but i don’t remember the main parking lot being particularly busy while we waited for the internal bus to take us to the back of the resort.
    Definitely thinking we need to slot in breakfast at Trail's End for our October trip! ::yes::
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    Wednesday, October 31st: DISCOVERY COVE



    While we try not to take the commando approach on our vacation days, every once in a while there's a day that warrants setting the alarm and getting an early start. Today was one such morning: it was our much anticipated, booked-at-the-last-minute Discovery Cove day....and we were out the villa door and on our way to the park not long after the sun began rising in the sky.



    Arriving early at Discovery Cove has its benefits, especially if you are doing the dolphin swim. Swim times are assigned by your check-in time, so the earlier you make it to the Welcome Center the earlier in the day you will get to enjoy your session in the dolphin pool. Having an early swim time is preferable for a few different reasons: it's the thing most guests are usually the most excited for, so it's the activity most people want to do first. It's also nice to get your swim out of the way early in the day in case afternoon thunderstorms happen to roll in (always a risk in Florida), as storms will temporarily delay any activities in the water. And completing your swim early means you're schedule-free (and not watching the time) for the rest of the day, which takes the relaxation factor to a whole new level.

    Plus, it's such an amazing park, you want to squeeze every minute of fun out of the day as humanly possible. Even arriving at opening and staying until close, you'll be wishing you had more time.

    We wheeled into the parking lot just before 7:45 am.....right within our target time frame. There were already many families at the Welcome Center, but they had lots of staff on hand and the line moved super fast. Since we were repeat guests (this was our 7th?, I think, visit to DC) they spared us all the lengthy details and explanations and had our photo lanyards prepared for us in very short order. We were making our way down the lamp and torch-lit pathway within just a few minutes.





    Even at that early hour, it was easy to see that it was shaping up to be yet another gorgeous weather day. The morning air was comfortably warm, humidity was non-existent, and there was barely a whisper of a breeze. The complete definition of the word "serene".



    The aquatic areas don't open until 9 am, so the waters were perfectly still as we paused to admire the lush landscape. When I envision paradise in my mind, this is what I see :cloud9:. The beauty of this park never, ever grows old.



    We were both in high spirits :p. During most of the planning stage for this trip, Discovery Cove was just not in the budget....but a special (and very unexpected) offer for SeaWorld Parks pass members on select dates during the month of October made it not only financially workable but also too good to pass up. Pass members were able to book the day resort package with the dolphin swim for $99 per person.....which is even less, I'm told, than the SeaWorld employee price. How could we NOT go? :confused3 We had to do a little adjusting to our itinerary, but it was well worth that little bit of effort. Our Discovery Cove day quickly became one of the most anticipated days of our whole trip.



    Our dolphin swim time was scheduled for 9:25 am (meeting our group at the Seahorse Cabana) so we had plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before changing into our wet suits. We made our way to the Laguna Grill to check out what was on the morning menu.



    The doors were open, the fire was burning, and the scents of bacon and other breakfast delights wafted gently on the morning air. If we weren't hungry before that point, we quickly found our appetites right then and there.



    We actually noticed a few changes....good ones!.....to the breakfast offerings since our last visit. The small changes to some of the dishes were all the right changes that needed to be made, and as a result, we enjoyed our morning meal much more than we had on our previous visit(s) :thumbsup2.





    The selection was excellent (something for everyone.....even the pickiest eaters), all the hot food was served piping hot (one of my pet peeves....luke-warm entrees) and the serving staff were cheerful and friendly.



    We carried our trays to one of the plentiful outdoor tables, set down our beach bag, and enjoyed our breakfast in the beautiful open-air setting. Pure heaven.



    We ended up sitting next to a lovely family from Ohio who enjoyed teasing us about our Michigan loyalty (we were decked out in our Wolverines wear, while they were sporting their red and white Buckeyes hats and t's :blush:) and we enjoyed some spirited sports conversation with them while we ate. It was actually quite ironic that we ended up meeting up with this family at breakfast: the team members who checked us in that morning actually commented on our attire, joking that the family from Ohio who they just welcomed to the park wouldn't be happy to see that they were also letting in Wolverines fans :laughing:. It's A Small Park After All :rotfl2:.

    More to come......

     
  • goofballs

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2013
    I have been enjoying your entire trip report and really looking forward to every detail of your DC day.
    It has been on my wish list for literally years and we will be making it happen this spring. Can’t wait to really plan!
     

    Callie

    Always Dreaming of Disney Magic
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2005
    That breakfast food looks good at Discovery Cove! One day I'll make it there to check it out.
     

    pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    But now I'm curious as to what happens to those who don't arrive on time!!!
    :laughing: I know there was a late family at our show! Well, BMG "noticed" they were late!

    Yay for Discovery Cove!! We so enjoyed our day there in October- thanks to that $99 deal you told us about! Thanks again!!!:goodvibes
     
  • Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    I have been enjoying your entire trip report and really looking forward to every detail of your DC day.
    It has been on my wish list for literally years and we will be making it happen this spring. Can’t wait to really plan!
    Thank you @goofballs :goodvibes. I appreciate the kind compliment!

    I am so happy that you will get to have the DC experience this year.....you are in for a real treat! There's no experience like it in Orlando!! What day will you be visiting?

    I loved the breakfast food at DC
    We've had mixed experiences with breakfast at DC since our first visit in 2012. It's always been "fine", but sometimes ONLY "fine". This time we definitely saw some positive changes. No complaints from us at all! :thumbsup2

    That breakfast food looks good at Discovery Cove! One day I'll make it there to check it out.
    You and your momma would LOVE a day at DC. I think you'd both also enjoy SeaWorld and Aquatica. One of these days you'll have to take a hiatus from Disney (even though that would be super hard!!) and give the Other Side of Orlando a try. Swimming with the dolphins is something everyone should do at least once! ::yes::

    :laughing: I know there was a late family at our show! Well, BMG "noticed" they were late!

    Yay for Discovery Cove!! We so enjoyed our day there in October- thanks to that $99 deal you told us about! Thanks again!!!:goodvibes
    People who don't arrive on time generally drive me a little bonkers :rolleyes1 (it just so rude to those who make the effort to be in their seats in time for the start of the show) but now I'm almost hoping there's a straggler or two :laughing:. I suppose the odds are in my favor!!

    I am so happy that you and a few other Disers had the chance to take advantage of the $99 October deal as well :cool1:. Offers like those are too good not to share with others!
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    I am so happy that you and a few other Disers had the chance to take advantage of the $99 October deal as well :cool1:. Offers like those are too good not to share with others!
    The $99 DC deal was fantastic! I hope there are more of those in 2019
     

    Penguinempress

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 11, 2015
    Sounds like such a fun night and a great way to get a taste of Disney without actually having park tickets.

    Since you've been to Discovery Cove so many times, have you noticed a lot of changes? I've only been once, back in 2016, and loved it but I've seen a lot of complaints on-line in more recent years (mostly relating to cutbacks on food quality/choices, removal of the free souvenir photo etc) Do you think the criticism is valid? I try to take everything I read on here with a grain of salt, as I've done things other people have complained about and loved them.
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    I actually wondered if they made sure that there was a latecomer!
    :scratchin

    Why wouldn't they just call it a macaron which is what it is? And if you have time get some here when you're in Toronto https://www.ladureecanada.ca/ They are the yummiest you'll ever have. If they didn't have one in Vancouver I'd want to fly back to Paris just to have another.
    Funny you mention that. Steve's a big fan of the Cooking Channel, so when we were first perusing the dessert buffet, he gestured toward the plate of "meringue cookies" and said, Aren't they macarons?

    While we likely won't make it to the bakery you recommended while we're visiting Toronto in March (the bakery is in North York while we will be downtown, so it's a bit of a hike) we will definitely keep it in mind for future visits. I'm all for new desserts to try!!

    The $99 DC deal was fantastic! I hope there are more of those in 2019
    Fingers crossed for you!!!

    Sounds like such a fun night and a great way to get a taste of Disney without actually having park tickets.

    Since you've been to Discovery Cove so many times, have you noticed a lot of changes? I've only been once, back in 2016, and loved it but I've seen a lot of complaints on-line in more recent years (mostly relating to cutbacks on food quality/choices, removal of the free souvenir photo etc) Do you think the criticism is valid? I try to take everything I read on here with a grain of salt, as I've done things other people have complained about and loved them.
    Honestly, I think that people are just wired to complain in general. For whatever reason, society seems to like to hand out criticism far more liberally than they do compliments.

    We really enjoyed the food on our last visit: we definitely don't find that the quality or selection has declined (in fact, in some ways, we've found it to get somewhat better). I am saddened by the discontinuance of the souvenir photo (it was a nice touch, especially when it was the one chance to grab a nice picture before you got sopping wet) and by the removal of photographers throughout the park (on our first visits starting back in 2012, you would find them in the aviary, the Wind Away River, and even in the Freshwater Oasis).....but that's really the only area that I can really say has suffered. The park is consistently immaculate, the staff are friendly and helpful, the food is good, and the overall experience is just as wonderful as ever.
     

    pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    We really enjoyed the food on our last visit: we definitely don't find that the quality or selection has declined (in fact, in some ways, we've found it to get somewhat better). I am saddened by the discontinuance of the souvenir photo (it was a nice touch, especially when it was the one chance to grab a nice picture before you got sopping wet) and by the removal of photographers throughout the park (on our first visits starting back in 2012, you would find them in the aviary, the Wind Away River, and even in the Freshwater Oasis).....but that's really the only area that I can really say has suffered. The park is consistently immaculate, the staff are friendly and helpful, the food is good, and the overall experience is just as wonderful as ever.
    Yes- I agree! The food is very good! many choices, and very tasty!!:thumbsup2 We also miss the photographers! It was so nice to be able to have candid shots taken in the various areas of the park! I'm definitely purchasing one of the cell phone waterproof cases so I can carry my phone with me and take more pictures!!
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    Wednesday, October 31st: Discovery Cove, continued



    Once we had finished up breakfast, we gathered our beach bags and headed deeper into the park to pick up our wet suits. If we are not doing the dolphin swim on our DC visit, we generally opt for the vests instead as they are easier to get in and out of when you need to use the loo :rolleyes:. For dolphin swim days, though, we both like the way they keep everything held in nice and firmly :blush: and we think they photograph a little better. They also help keep us warmer in the cool dolphin pool water......so for today, it would be wet suits (the "shortie" version) instead of vests :thumbsup2.





    We sunscreened, donned our water shoes (a DC must, in our opinions....not only can the pavement get pretty warm on very hot days, the bottom of the Wind Away River...one of our favorite places to spend the day...has a very rough bottom in places, and we've suffered some painful skin damage on previous visits when we opted not to protect our feet), and stowed all of our belongings in a locker. We were officially ready to take on the day! :sunny:



    We strolled around a little bit, taking in some of the peaceful sites of the park at that early hour, just appreciating the sheer beauty of lush surroundings. The water areas would open in just a few minutes, and soon they would be filled with excited guests. Anyone who had selected today for their DC day had hit the weather jackpot right along with us: it was delightfully warm (but not "hot"), low humidity, and just the softest of breezes. Had we been able to custom order the perfect weather for Discovery Cove, it would have been the exact weather we lucked into on that exact day.



    Knowing that we had paperwork to complete before we would partake in our dolphin interaction, we strolled over to the Seahorse Cabana to meet up with our group.



    As people checked in, we were each given waivers to sign and return to the host at our cabana. We were all seated by the group we were assigned to....A, B, C or D.....and after a short introduction and video, we headed down to the beach in each of our small groups to meet the dolphin who we would be swimming with today.



    The beautiful miss Dixie turned out to be the dolphin assigned to our little pod, and she was simply GORGEOUS :goodvibes. We had done the dolphin swim on several other occasions before, so the experience wasn't new.....but its the kind of awesomeness that never, ever grows old. It is humbling, mesmerizing, and exciting all at the same time.



    The time that you spend with the dolphin in the water lasts about 30 minutes in total. During the session, the animal care staff are awesome about sharing some cool little facts about your particular dolphin (including fun little insights into their unique personality) as well as basic physiological information about dolphins in general. But let's be honest.....its that one-on-one time that makes for some of the best memories of the trip. How often can one say they get a kiss from one of the most magical creatures on earth?





    All guests have the option of doing a shallow-water or deep-water swim with their dolphin, but Steve and I were the only ones of our small group who opted for the deep water. Dixie really got to show off her powerful swimming skills when it was Steve's turn for his swim, as she effortlessly pulled them both through the water as if that big guy weighed nothing more than a few ounces. Miss Dixie is one mighty lady!





    As always, DC photographers were in the water and capturing each moment of the experience for all participants involved. At the end of the session, guests were given the opportunity for both individual and group photos with Dixie before we wrapped up our time with her and returned to shore.







    All too soon, Dixie waved goodbye to us with her massive tail and swam away into the sunshine. Our group was ushered up to the photo cabana to view the pictures taken during our session, and provided with information on the packages and prices available to us. While we have plenty of photos from our previous dolphin swims, we opted to purchase one of the larger packages since the pictures turned out fairly nicely and our admission cost was so low.....knowing we only paid $99 each for the day made the photo splurge feel a little less crazy. And honestly.....the memories were worth it. Priceless! :goodvibes

    Once we had wrapped up our photo order and made the selection for the prints that came with the package, we had the rest of the day still shining brightly ahead of us with no other commitments to work around. It was off to enjoy all the other fun aspects of this beautiful park!



    More DC to come :surfweb:.
     

    goofballs

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2013
    You mention that you stowed your belongings. Are the rest of your photos from your photo package? Or what do you use to take your own photos during your day?
     

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