My kiddos have pretty much been raised at the park in Orlando. As it started out, when my daughter was three and the twins were five, it was one of the only places that I ever got out with the kids. The experiences that we have had there, and the things that we have learned together, are beyond value to our family. I struggle a lot with the unfounded criticism about the parks; they literally wound me emotionally, because our park makes up such a monumental portion of our family’s history. If you haven’t had a chance to visit one of the parks before, here are some reasons that it is an experience not to be missed.
1. The beauty. From the landscaping to the architecture to the truly stunning creatures, the beauty to be found in the parks is unsurpassed. Even if we are not engaged in a show or an exhibit, I simply love to walk the park and look around. I never fail to notice something new and beautiful.
2. The effort. SeaWorld is making a big effort to reduce the waste that they produce. They have even gone to the lengths of initiating waste reduction programs in their restaurants. I can always feel good about feeding my family there.
3. The attention. SeaWorld cares for the animals at their parks with unsurpassed attention and care, and their parks are some of the most successful zoos in the world in terms of the health and longevity of their animals. The weekly diet chart for the otters alone is so detailed and well balanced that it boggles my mind. Those otters eat better than my own kids.
4. The contribution. When we pay to visit the park, we know that we are contributing to the rescues of over thirty thousand marine animals. Especially as citizens of the state of Florida, we know that our local wildlife services do not have the resources that Sea World does, and we truly need their help to protect our wild animals.
5. The education. We do not come home from the park on any given visit, and we visit a lot, without having learned something new about marine life, our oceans, or conservation. There are animal experts accessibly stationed at every animal exhibit to answer questions about the animals who live there.
6. The inspiration. From what I have learned from lectures and demonstrations at the park, I have been inspired to change the habits of my own family in terms of how we interact with our wild surroundings as well as the choices that we make as consumers. We know that the changes that we have actively made make a difference to wild creatures all over the world.
7. The sheer joy. I sometimes tell my kids that I need to go and see a show so that I can get my crowd fix. I am truly brought to tears by being present to witness the joy that people experience when they get the opportunity to observe the amazing animals that so excitedly perform in the live shows.
8. The connection. Like with many zoos around the world, the opportunity to be up close and personal with the special animals that live at the parks helps to create that connection, especially in children, that inspires people to care about the wild animals that live all over our world. When people are inspired to care, they are inspired to make a difference, and we are in desperate need of more people who want to make a difference in this world.
9. The conservation. The amazing scientists and veterinarians that work at the parks are doing research and collecting data every day that is put towards better helping wild marine animals survive and thrive. Without these contributions to conservation, and the awareness that is raised by Sea World and other zoos, many species of animals around the world would be at greater risk of extinction.
10. The honest experience. No matter what anyone has ever told me or speculated about, I want to experience the truth for myself. Being aware of the health and happiness of the animals that I care about, first hand and up close is the only source of knowledge that I am willing to depend on. When I visit the parks I can rest assured that all of these animals are adored by their trainers and keepers, and treated with kindness and love. There is no better proof of anything than to see it with our very own eyes. I urge you to give the parks a visit, and experience the magic of a place that is truly dear to our hearts.