We had a flying overnight visit to Orlando about a month ago. It was to meet up with Len's grand-daughter, her husband, the two grandchildren, and their friends, who were a family of four. The only time we could get together was a visit to Sea World.
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The park opened at 9.00 a.m., and so Len and I got to the parking area at 8.30 a.m. We were able to go straight through, and not pay the $14 for parking, as we are two year pass holders for Sea World, and Busch Gardens.
The rest of our party met us around 9.00 a.m., and we went to ticketing with them to get their discounts, and then headed straight for the Shark exhibit. Unbeknown to us, Len's grand-daughter went to the Sharks Underwater Grill, and booked tables for the ten of us, for 12.30 p.m. She had to be one of the first to book, which meant that we would get front row seats, right next to the windows, and the sharks.
We did a show, and checked out many of the mammals, before returning at 12.25 p.m. We waited for a few minutes, and then were taken into, what seems like, an underground restaurant.
There was a circular aquarium as we went in with silver fish swimming backwards. This was so neat.
We were seated at a table for 6, and a table for 4, right next to the glass where the sharks, swordfish, and large fish swam. The view was spectacular.
Once seated, a highchair was brought out for the baby. Our server came and took our drinks order. The little boy had orange juice, Len's grand-daughter soda, her husband a beer, and Len and I had iced water.
Our server came back with our drinks, and told us of two specials they were running that day.
Len decided on the Chicken Pasta Alfredo at $25. I chose the Sharks Trio, which I thought to be very appropriate at the time, and his grand-daughter split the Surf 'n Turf with her husband, at $37.50. The little boy had the Jumbo Grilled Hot dog, with fresh fruit, on the children's meal. We did ask for a side of vegetables for the baby, who is eleven months old, but the ones that they had were not suitable. This was a little disappointing.
Out came some lovely hot rolls with real butter. These were amazing, and probably the best I have eaten in a long time. They were warm, and the butter just melted into them.
Next we saw the Shrimp Cocktail being delivered to our friends table. These were huge shrimp. I also noticed that the lemonade they had, was blue.
While we were waiting for the entrees to arrive, we watched the sharks, swordfish, and shoals of large fish, swimming right next to us. We could also see someone in a cage, that had gone down into the water, with the sharks. I was glad that I was behind the thick glass.
There were more tables behind us, and then up higher were booths. When we left I checked and there was a good view of the underwater area, from where ever you were seated. What a good idea as people pay a lot of money to eat here, and the reason is, for the view.
Our meals arrived, and the children had some of the hotdog, and fruit. I was amazed at how much fruit the eleven month old ate.
Len had a good size plate of pasta, and I asked him how it was. It told me that it was fine, but ended up leaving some, which never happens. He always clears his plate at Italian, and the large chain restaurants.
My Sharks Trio was 3 circles of shark, that looked like crab cakes, 4 shrimp, and 9 tiny scallops. In the center was a type of coleslaw, that just didn't appeal to my palette. I ate all the seafood, and let Len, and his grand-daughter try the 'shark cakes'. Both said that they were an acquired taste. Once I got into the first one, I quite enjoyed them. The scallops were slightly overcooked, but tasted good. The shrimp were fine.
Len's grand-daughter and her husband quickly ate their steak and shrimp. I can't remember what it came with.
As we had small children with us, our meal was quite short. The weather was 10 degrees hotter than normal, and they were tired, and ready for an afternoon nap.
Our server presented both tables with the checks, and Len and I got out our two year passes, so that a 10% discount could be applied to both of them. As we had driven from north of Tampa to Orlando, got a hotel, and met up with Len's family, they insisted on picking up the check. It was their treat to say 'Thank you' to us for coming.
We did have to wait for the credit cards to be returned. We got up from the tables, and the server found us near the entrance. She brought out Andes mints for us.
It was really nice being able to watch the sharks, without being rushed on the conveyor belt.
This is a 'special event' for most people, and if you can manage it, do it at least once. On other visits you can go to the Seaport Pizza, or the Spice Mill, for a sandwich. Here you will be paying around $10 per person.
The Sharks Underwater Grill is located in Sea World, and the entrance to Sea World is on Central Florida Parkway. We drive on International Drive, and it is signposted from there. When you come out, you will be at the back of the park, and if you turn right, it will bring you back onto International Drive.
For more directions check out www.seaworld.com, and click on Orlando.
We are heading back to Orlando on Saturday for a week at one of our timeshares, and will go to Sea World two or three times.
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