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SeaWorld Wins Kiddies' Hearts...


Evelyn Hannon

SeaWorld is both fun and educational...
After the fun of four days in Disney World, it was hard for us to leave sunny Florida immediately. Instead my family weaned itself with one last bit of play at SeaWorld and a short, luxurious stay at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld. It was the perfect ending to a perfect holiday. SeaWorld provides great entertainment and learning opportunities for the whole family. In fact, there is so much to see and do that we had a hard time choosing which shows and rides we would concentrate on first. After much discussion we went to see the star of the park, Shamu the killer whale. You can imagine the impression that made on the little ones. Then we all laughed ourselves silly at the hilarious sea lion and otter show. Finally, simply by meandering through the park we found penguins to observe and new born dolphins to coo about. We talked about the huge polar bears and sharks with very big teeth. A clown made fun of one of the dads in our family. The kids howled.

By two o'clock when the hot Florida sun was high in the sky, we left the park, crossed the road and made our way by foot back to the hotel to recharge our batteries. First on the agenda was a short nap in air-conditioned comfort followed by some rest and relaxation around the beautifully landscaped pool. All stress was eliminated as everything was so perfectly close to everything else. There was no need for a car, we eliminated all parking problems and were able to get the kids into bed as soon as they needed it.

The Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld...
Imagine an enormous, sunny, 10-story atrium lobby with indoor waterfall, tropical plants, koi pond and aviary filled with brightly coloured birds. That's what greets visitors as they step through the doors of the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld. That visual pleasure was just a beginning for my family. I really liked the attitude at this multi-award winning hotel. Everybody worked hard at catering to the sophisticated needs of adult guests yet they never compromised the services offered to the smaller, younger set. My grandkiddies loved the small plush dolphins they were given at check-in and felt very grown-up drinking the cold, sparkling cider provided by the staff. We, grownups, were impressed with the size of the guest rooms (at 500 square feet some of the largest in Central Florida) while the children were terribly excited with the bathroom televisions in our two-bedroom suite. Our budgets didn't have to take a beating in the hotel's kid-friendly dining room and on one occasion a meal was simply replaced without question when my grandson didn't enjoy his original selection. The children splashed to their hearts' content in a wading pool, we luxuriated around an Olympic-sized swimming pool wishing we didn't have to leave the following day.

Atlantis, a AAA four-diamond restaurant...
The last evening of our holiday, my daughter and three-year old granddaughter, Lotus were invited by management to sample specialties at Atlantis, the resort's signature AAA four-diamond restaurant. When I checked with the maitre' d whether it was appropriate to bring such a young guest to dine, he assured me that he could have fish sticks and chips brought in for her from the hotel's informal restaurant next door. And, he kept his promise in a most charming way. Lotus's meal arrived under a silver dome exactly the same way as our meals did.

Atlantis is a most elegant, formal dining room that specializes in fresh Florida seafood... and boy, do they do it well. Expect to find lovely treats like Crab Summer Roll in Rice Paper, Szechwan Pepper Crusted Tuna and heavenly Basil and Boursin Mashed Potatoes. Each dish we chose was prepared to perfection and served beautifully without the least hint of pretension. To Lotus's credit she behaved beautifully and when the chef visited our table she told him that 'she liked the ice cream the best.' We lingered until almost nine o'clock, enjoying the pleasant atmosphere, fine wine, decadent desserts and a selection of scotch served from a trolley that featured some of the world's smoothest single malts. It was unanimous that our family would return to the Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld in a minute. From the oldest to the very youngest, we thoroughly enjoyed the accommodations, the food, the facilities and the fabulous, friendly service.

Florida links to help you plan...

Disney World Resort
Choosing the right park ticket for you
Florida's official travel guide
Find out about hidden Mickeys
Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld
SeaWorld Orlando
Hertz Rental Car - or call: 1.800.263.0600 (Canada) 1.800.654.3131 (USA)
Orlando weather
Journeywoman's photo album

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