A Seaworld Birthday

I love throwing parties, but I’m an “all-in” type of party-thrower.  If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it right, and you bet it’s gonna be themed.  I had a blast planning all three of my kids’ first birthday bashes.  Even though they will never remember, I had a great time planning them, and I think the neighbors enjoyed themselves too.  But, after three kids who have birthdays spread throughout the year, I just can’t do big parties every year.  So we decided to only do big stuff on big birthdays.  You know, the milestones.How we celebrated our five year old's birthday at @Seaworld #aquarium #seaworld #birthdayHow we celebrated our five year old's birthday at @Seaworld #aquarium #seaworld #birthdayExcept, we broke the rule immediately when Jayna’s birthday request was to get her ears pierced and get “anything American Girl” as a gift.  For her 7th birthday.  Not a milestone.  But we splurged anyway, and I whisked her to see my sister in Atlanta for the weekend; where we went to the zoo, had lunch at the American Girl Store and got her {and her doll’s} ears pierced.  A big birthday, as far as I was concerned.Seaworld has many indoor exhibits {including a shark tunnel!}, so it is a great activity for a cloudy day in OrlandoSo naturally, when Millie’s 5th birthday {a milestone!} rolled around in August, we felt like she needed something special as well.  Millie’s birthday always kind of sneaks up on me, as it’s usually the first week or so of school, so we are settling into new schedules and routines.  But this year, I had a wedding on my side!  My sister, Loo, had her wedding date set for Labor Day weekend in Florida, and we were already going to have to pull the kids from school for that.  So Dave and I decided to drop Jayna and Lincoln off at my parents’ house, and head to Orlando with Millie to celebrate her birthday at Seaworld.How we celebrated our five year old's birthday at @Seaworld #aquarium #seaworld #birthdayHow we celebrated our five year old's birthday at @Seaworld #aquarium #seaworld #birthdayMillie, being the typical middle child, never gets alone time with us.  She always has a sibling hanging around, and kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  So spending the entire day at Seaworld being the focus of attention from both parents was a perfect birthday celebration for her!How we celebrated our five year old's birthday at @Seaworld #aquarium #seaworld #birthdayAnd Seaworld was the perfect park to take her to.  Unlike Disney, there aren’t a ton of rides at Seaworld.  They have three big coasters there, which cater to the mopey teenager who is getting dragged along on the family vacation….I don’t think I even reached their height requirements!  And since Millie isn’t big on the rides anyway, she adored the shows and animals.Seaworld has many indoor exhibits, so is a great activity for a cloudy day in OrlandoThe animals and silly shows at Seaworld make it the perfect park to take a 2-5 year old who may be too small for rides at other Orlando theme parks.We added on the dining plan for the day, which ended up being a good value for us.  We were there from park opening til closing, so we got all three meals included, as well as as many snacks as we wanted.  And since it was a special day, I didn’t even flinch when Millie ordered Fanta and a bowl of cookies for her snack.  Rest assured, she also made some healthy choices, a bowl of watermelon and a cup of strawberries throughout the day too!We splurged on the Seaworld DIning plan and found that it was a great deal for our trip. Read more tips and about our experience at Seaworld.For $10, we also got the “Animal Dining Plan.”  This consisted of tickets to exchange for food to give to the sting rays, the sea lions and the sharks.  Our favorite was the rays….we are a little partial to them, I suppose.  Millie loved their silky feel as they glided by.  Throwing sardines to the sea lions, was a noisy affair, but they were fun to watch as they barked and argued over the fish flying at them…even though half of the fish were swooped up by birds who were watching our every move.  Millie loved petting the sharks, but feeding them was totally anti-climatic.  I think they were already well feed…they didn’t seem to care about our offering!For $10, Seaworld gives you food to feed sharks, stingrays and sea lions....great interactive activity for cheap!For $10, Seaworld gives you food to feed sharks, stingrays and sea lions....great interactive activity for cheap!And I know it is a controversial program, but we really enjoyed the Shamu show.  I was eager to take at least one kid to Seaworld while they are still there, since they are discontinuing the Orca program.  And being able to see them up close really heightened our appreciation of them.  They are so, so big…and beautiful!  It was really magical getting to see them swimming and jumping.Since the Shamu show and Orca program is being discontinued, it was our last chance to see these majestic creatures up close at Seaworld.Another stroke of luck was the weather.  Since we didn’t have any flexibility regarding the date we went to Seaworld {since we were on our way to a wedding!}, we ended up going on the day that Tropical Storm Hermine was hitting the lower Southeast.  As we stayed in touch with our rained-in neighbors back in South Carolina to check on the house and dog, we were enjoying a cloudy Thursday at Seaworld…in an almost empty park.  We didn’t have to wait for anything, and the rain held out all day!Seaworld has many indoor exhibits, so is a great activity for a cloudy day in OrlandoAnd since there were hardly any other people there, we had most indoor places just about to ourselves.  We especially liked the sea turtle and manatee aquarium…we not only got a guided tour, but also a private showing of the 4D movie from the perspective of a baby sea turtle.Seaworld has many indoor exhibits, so is a great activity for a cloudy day in OrlandoThe arctic exhibit and the penguin house were also great exhibits to spend time in, although visiting the freezing, open air penguin exhibit might not have been the best place to visit right after riding the one “Splash Mountain” type ride.  Millie was soaked, and therefore immediately freezing!  But she was super cute in the gift shop afterwards, picking out baby belugas and macaroni penguins to bring home to her siblings.Seaworld has many indoor exhibits, so is a great activity for a cloudy day in OrlandoI was initially kind of disappointed to find out that the park closed at 6pm, but it turns out that we had plenty of time to do everything we wanted to do, and not be completely exhausted.  We headed back to the hotel, and while Dave did some work stuff, Millie and I enjoyed the pool and the lobby.  Turns out we are completely entertained by free coffee, aquariums and Seaworld/Disney brochures.How we celebrated our five year old's birthday at @Seaworld #aquarium #seaworld #birthday

We had a fantastic 24 hours with our Middle Little to celebrate her 5th birthday at Seaworld!  Happy Birthday Millie!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature