Friday, June 04, 2010

Dear Son's Make a Wish Trip-Day-4-Sea World!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010~Day 4
On day four of Dear Son's Make a Wish trip, we decided to head over to Sea World. I thought Dear Son might enjoy the shows. On our first day at Give Kids the World Village, they have an orientation. At the orientation, they give us all of the free passes and give us a preview of things we might want to see at each of the theme parks. They mentioned that the kids really loved the Sea Lion and Otter Show for it's silly humor and also that it had the prettiest flowers of all of the theme parks.

As I mentioned previously, I would plan our outing the night before so we'd be ready to leave in the morning. Along with the free passes to Sea World, we could use our Give Kids the World button for free parking. If you are planning a wish trip to Give Kids the World, the purple book they give you at orientation has great information about each of the theme parks as well as directions. While we had a GPS in the wheelchair van, the directions weren't accurate for Sea World. Luckily, I used the directions in the GKTW book and we got there on time. All of the theme parks are fairly close, so it's really not too bad to find your way around.

One of the first attractions we wanted to see was the Shamu Show called, "Believe." Actually, Shamu died in 1971 and prior to her death, she was the star of the Sea World Show in San Diego. Shamu was in part famous because she was only the fourth killer whale ever captured and after hea death, Sea World continued to use her name for their shows.

Walking over to the Shamu Show.

Still walking...

Near the entrance to the show...

The Shamu Show...

More pictures of the show...check out the size of the whales in the water.

Beautiful creatures...

Doing some tricks...

A big jump!

The Shamu Show while very pretty was so-so. We decided to head over to the Sea Lion and Otter Show. Along the way, we checked out the sea lions.

Love the topiary!

Dad and Dear Son...Dear Son looking a bit tired in the heat.

Looking around the theme park.

Checking out the flamingos...
Their color in the sun was just breathtaking. They were my favorite thing at Sea World.

Checking out the pelicans...

You can see the roller coaster in the background...

The Flying Manta, a manta-inspired flying roller coaster! one in our family decided to go on the Manta. Too scary for us wimps.

My best picture of the trip!

Make up has melted off by now from the heat. Maybe the Manta would have been a "cool" idea.

We headed on over to the sea lion and otter show otherwise known as, "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island." This show was probably the most fun thing we did on the trip. It's definitely something you'll want to see. I thought it was a lot more entertaining than Shamu, not that I wasn't glad we saw it but the kids just loved this and we did too.One of the pirates came out while people were entering the stadium. He helped pass time by mocking the people coming in. It was all in good humor and very entertaining.

The show was really fun. Very entertaining and fun to watch. It was amazing to see what the sea lions were able to do. I should also mention that everything at Sea World was accessible.

After the show, we headed over to lunch. We wanted to have lunch at Shark's Underwater Grill, where we could dine with sharks swimming just inches away from us however it was full. I forgot to make reservations for lunch when we came in. There was a four hour wait so we decided to head over to the Spice Mill for lunch.

While it had an outdoor area, we chose the air conditioning indoors. This allowed Dear Son to cool off a bit. I brought his lunch and fed him via his feeding tube inside.

The view of the waterfall.

By this time, Dear Son was getting pretty tired. On our way out, I saw this man drawing caricatures so I decided to get one of Dear Son as a souviner of our trip. Dad was trying to hold Dear Son's head up; he was so tired!

The final portrait...I purchased the matting but not the frame since I worried it would get broken on the plane. I have to get a frame yet. He did a pretty good job although I would have loved it if Dear Son were smiling!

I should mention that there were two other attractions at Sea World that we wanted to see. There is a second show in the evening called, "Shamu Rocks" which is a rock'n roll extravaganza. In addition, there is a show called, "Mistify" which is another evening show with fountains, flames and fireworks and a 60 foot mist screen. I called ahead thinking we could plan on going in the evening or late afternoon as opposed to the morning however the Mistify show wouldn't start until June so we ended up going to Sea World in the morning.
When we got back to our villa, they left Dear Son another gift. It was a picture frame that played five seconds of the ESPN theme song. He LOVED it. He kept looking at it which is his way of saying that he wanted me to play it. I must have played it a million times for him. When we got home, I put a picture of us in it and put it on his dresser. You can see it in the far right hand corner of the photo above.
All in all, a great day.


Becca said...

I love that they thought to pick gifts that actually suited Dear Son - the picture frame is a brilliant idea. I bet you could adapt it so he could activate it with his head or feet, too.

Do the big parks have adult changing facilities, like Changing Places here in the UK?

I am so, so glad that Dear Son and you both got to actually go on this trip - I was worried he'd be too poorly.

Dream Mom said...

Becca, I love the Changing Places idea/campaign! I wish we had that in the U.S.!

During our trip, we never had to use the washroom for Dear Son at the airport or at the theme parks so I don't know.

What I can tell you is that all of the theme parks were very accessible-there were plenty of ramps, alternate entrances with plenty of room and rides that were thought out for people with disabilities in mind. For example, many rides had places for wheelchairs on the rides. And they didn't have just one. With the ET ride, they had seating on one car with let's say ten rows for able bodied people. They had another car parallel to that with four rows and ample room for wheelchairs. In this case the cars ran independently of each other but at the same time. For other rides,the wheelchair accessible row was built in with the other ones. For some rides, they asked that we transfer from the wheelchair to the ride seat-in Soarin' for example. Dad transferred Dear Son and then the chaperones kept the wheelchair in the aisle for us, along with all of the other wheelchairs. They asked us to let them know if we wanted to ride twice or three times without getting off. They also made sure to bring the wheelchair to us after the ride was done and asked if we needed any help. It couldn't have been better. That is also the reason we chose a Disney trip, because it was so accessible.

I should also mention that at no time, did I ever feel that it was a disadvantage to be in a wheelchair for a ride. Actually, it was quite the opposite. The theme parks gave the admission tickets to Give Kids the World Village, in addition to these special passes that allowed kids with disabilities to go to the front of the line, so they didn't have to wait. We'd show our pass and then be escorted to the ride via the accessible entrance, past everyone in line. I think the most we ever waited was five minutes.

I'll write more on Day 7 when I recap the trip and talk more about accessibility as it related to the trip.

Canucker said...

Becca, when we took our son on his wish trip, we were able to use the first aid stations to let him stretch out, change his diaper and just to give him a break from the outside heat. We also were able to leave his feeding supplies and medications there, so they wouldn't spoil in the heat. The folks there were so welcoming and let us stay as long as we wanted to. :-)

Dream Mom, I am enjoying your recaps so much!!! Not quite as good as being there, but I can almost imagine the time DS had.


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