Saturday, June 22, 2013

Adventure Con 2013: My 1st blogger conference at Sea World

As a humble blogger, I never thought I would attend a blogger conference, but when a fellow blogger friend was chosen to attend Adventure Con 2013, a conference for blogger in Texas hosted by Sea World San Antonio, and asked me to accompanies her,  I knew I could not say no.  This is one of those opportunities a blogger cannot pass up.

I was nervous about attending.  I mean I was way out of my league.  These people were the top bloggers in Texas and I was just a little blog with a humble following?   Would they stop me at the door after they saw my blog, would they respect me as a blogger?

We arrived at the Marriott hotel Friday evening, and checked into the official hotel of Sea World,  followed by a meet and greet with fellow bloggers.  The bloggers were so friendly and shared a wealth of information about their blogs.  There we met with some of the Sea World team members and even took our photo with Shamu ( I did not want the penguin to get jealous so I took a photo kissing them too).

On Saturday we met at Sea World in the Seaside landing for the conference. We had speakers on many different topics.  I have to admit a few topics were over my head.  I had to wait and ask my 14 year old the meaning of some of the terminology.  Don't get me wrong the topics were amazing and I have a wealth of information to share with you (as soon as I figure out what they are talking about).  On Father's Day SeaWorld team members toasted the fathers with root beer, what a great way to honor dads.

Most of the bloggers brought their families.  I decided to leave my family at home,  As a mom of a special needs child I was worried about her in an amusement park in the Texas heat.  Not to mention how others would respond to all her needs.  I know the park is ADA compliant, but are the employees truly accepting of people with special needs?  I felt like this would be a great chance for me to check it out for myself.  When I was at Sea World, I asked many questions.  I asked people will all kind of assistant devices their opinion of the park.  I asked moms of special needs kids, and I asked the employees at different events in the park too.  I even made friends with some special needs adults and asked them their opinion of the park (see photo below).  To learn more about their answers check out my blog post: Sea World Texas with a special needs child.

During our  conference we had a few hours during session and after the the sessions where we could go and check out SeaWorld.  I have to say if you have not been to SeaWord in a few years, then you are in for some big surprises.  The have kept the best parts of  SeaWorld the same while adding some new additions and adventures.

The first show my friends and I had to see was Shamu.  I don't care how many time I see Killer whales, I never seem to get tired of watching them perform!  They are beautiful majestic creatures.  Their performance is a dance of motion in the water.

Next we headed to Auzl.  If you can only see one show a SeaWorld this is one you will not want to miss.  It was breathtaking.  There were Beluga whales, dolphins, synchronize swimmers and comedy relief.    I suggest you sit above the water line of this show or you will miss the excitement.  You will also want to arrive at least 20 minuets before the show starts to get a good seat, this show tends to fill up fast!

A new show, Pets Ahoy, just opened this month.  It was adorable, seeing all the pets showing off their skills.  I was impressed when I found out the pets are from local animal shelters.  A few times during the show the pets lost their focus and had to be redirected, but I think it added to the show.  One of the dogs walked to a corner and started sniffing, the animal trainer had to walk over to him and he said, " nothing is there that was not there yesterday."  The crowd roared with laughed.

I also went on a few rides.  One mistake I made was to go on Rio Loco with my cargo shorts, socks and shoes.  Don't get me wrong the ride was so much fun.  I however was drenched from head to toe.  I had my swim shorts and flip flops with me, I just did not realize how wet I could get.  You will also want to bring quarters because they have lockers at the rides where you can put your things while you are riding the rides (I wish I would have used the lockers) .

As you are walking around the park keep your eye open for SeaWorld Animal Ambassadors.  They walk the park at different time with animals from the park.  My friends and I were able to meet two animals, a Lemur, Alena and an Armadillo, Wilson (see photo below).  

 We also had some time to explore Sea World's new water park Aquatica, but that is another post.

You can also download the SeaWorld app to your smart photo to get the most out of you adventure.  It has a wealth of information.

As you can see from the Photos we had a great time a Sea World San Antonio.   There was so much to do and see.  If you are looking  for a place to take your kids that is not just another amusement park, but is also an educational experience, head over to Sea World San Antonio and book your trip.  The memories you make will be priceless.