Are You Ever too Old for SeaWorld?

SeaWorld used to be a calm, risk-free place – a place for animals and shows with one lone roller coaster to break things up a bit. Now, it’s the opposite.

For Christmas we gave our local grandsons (10 and 12 years old) a day at SeaWorld with us. We love to give an event when possible. It’s so easy to wrap! We had the date prearranged with our son and his wife to make sure our calendars didn’t collide. The fun began on the way there.

You should know that our 12-year-old, Manning, is more of the quiet type of kid. He always has a book with him and will dive into it on car rides or any other time of waiting. Winston, on the other hand, likes to keep the conversation going. He begins as soon as we’re in the car.

The trip from our house to SeaWorld involves going I-4 through the downtown area of Orlando. Winston talked the entire way, commenting on the construction, how close the Amway Center is to the road now and so many other things that I tend to blank out. The constant chatter is always amusing, but sometimes you need a break. So, when we passed The Holy Land Experience (a Christian-based theme park), I mentioned that we don’t talk from when we see The Holy Land until we pass it. It’s holy. No talking. (Don’t judge me. It was worth a try.)

From the back seat I could hear him whispering, “Holy land. Holy land.” I think that’s the best he could do.

This did prompt an entire new subject for questions, such as:

“I wonder what the movie of the Bible would be rated?”

“Do angels bleed?”

I was waiting for Bob to field a few of these, but I think his brain was glazed over at this point.

We let the boys decide what to do first, and they chose Manta, the roller coaster that you ride face down the entire way. I explained (again) that I don’t do roller coasters because I tend toward vertigo, and Bob and the boys got in line. Honestly, this was the first time I was thankful for my tendency toward vertigo. When I saw those cars fly by with everyone looking straight down – well, no thank you!

Bob and Winston came off of the ride slightly wobbly. Manning seemed unaffected. He was quieter than usual though. It took me two roller coasters to figure out he was nervous. But that kid is a trooper and kept on keeping on and even liked it.

Now we needed a show to give a break from the rides. (Not me, of course, I can sit in the shade reading for hours.)

So, after watching Clyde and Seamore the sea lions go to High School, I explained once again why I don’t do roller coasters; and Bob and the boys released the Kraken. Bob and Winston were only slightly wobbly this time and again Manning was fine.

During lunch, Winston asked if I would ride the last roller coaster, Mako. He is used to me playing games with him and was resistant to my refusal to have fun on the roller coasters. I think that was the breaking point for Manning, who is happy accepting things as they are but didn’t fully pay attention to why I wouldn’t ride. He responded to his brother in a low voice, “Quit asking her, Winston. She’s old. That’s why she doesn’t ride.”

When we got to Mako, Winston didn’t ask me if I was going to ride. It was a little sad. It is of little use to explain to your grandchild that your age is not the reason for anything. I don’t think they believe you, even though their grandfather went on every ride. The inconsistency is lost on them.

No one became dizzy while feeding the seals and sea lions.

This is not the first time that one of my grandsons has put me in my place. My four-year-old grandson recently commented on how my neck is smooth when I look up and it’s all foldy when I look straight at him. This is another good reason to keep looking up!

One last note, we had a wonderful time with the boys, but when we got home after dropping them off, I have never seen Bob so tired. I hope he enjoyed the three coasters and water flume ride and cherishes the memories of them in his heart, because I’m not sure he’ll do them again! He might be getting old, too.

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