My youngest daughter has really gotten bit by the theme park bug. It has become almost a weekly tradition now where we get up Sunday morning and she immediately says “Animal Park”. This is her signal that she wants to visit a park and who am I to deprive her of that but this time I thought I would actually try to let her see some animals. It has been probably over 10 years since the last time I visited SeaWorld so I thought it was about time to go back.
Now the park has been receiving some bad press lately, and it seemed to show in the crowd level. It was pretty light on the day we visited, and they also had some great deals on tickets.
As soon as you enter the park you way by the one of the main gift shops that I believe is call Shamu’s Emporium. It’s and indoor and outdoor shop which a lot of merchandise. This store was a nice welcome to the park with six penny machines right off the bat.
Usually I go over what designs are on each penny, but to be honest a lot of these designs are of the animals. Not duplicate designs, but I figured you may get tired of me saying Manatee or Turtle too many times. Plus to be honest sometimes I’m just not sure exactly what creature is on the coin. The pictures will give you a good look at the designs available at each machine.
This second machine was literally just a few steps to the left of the first one, and also had a nice change machine built in should you not heed my advice and always come prepared for penny pressing.
At the corner of the building is the next machine and you can also see the fourth machine right beside it.
As you keep walking past the store to the far side you will come across the last two machines found here.
I remember years ago when I was here there were a few electric penny presses, but on this trip I can confirm they are all gone and you will need to bring some elbow grease. If you are planning on pressing all the coins in one day your arm is going to be soar. It actually took me a couple visits to get all of these.
The second machine here is right beside the other.
I had been in the park for probably less than 15 minutes and only walked about 100 feed but already I had 24 pennies pressed and my elbow was starting to throb. But I wasn’t complaining as my day was just beginning.
Just past Shamu’s emporium the path splits and you can go either left or right. But as you can see in the picture above straight ahead was the SeaWorld Rescue store and a penny machine right outside.
After pressing this next set of pennies I opted to head towards the right path. This took me past some small snack stands, the dolphin nursery, a quick service tex-mex restaurant and more souvenir stores.
Somehow I ended up on a boardwalk style path that extended out over a big area of water. During the holiday season they had Christmas trees out in the water as part of a light show and some were still up during our visit. At the far side we found the famous Shamu Stadium and the inside looked very familiar. Some of it had been updated but I remember that large tail fin shaped screen. Sadly no shows were going on while we were there but it was nice to see the stadium again.
We said goodbye for now to Shamu’s stadium and walked over to a place called the Wild Arctic. This is kind of a ride, but not really. There is a motion simulator that you can take which makes it seem like you are making the trek up to the Arctic via helicopter I believe. But since I had my youngest daughter with me we opted to skip the ride and just walk to the Arctic. It’s all inside a building as you can see from the above picture. The A/C is blasting inside to make it a little colder but not uncomfortable. This is where you can see the beluga whales and polar bears.
Once you exit the Wild Arctic and make your way outside you will find the next penny machine just off the path next to a bench so you can take a quick break.
We headed back over towards the stadium and walked around to Shamu’s Happy Harbor which is like a kids play area and water park. They do have some small rides and carnival style games, but to my surprise no penny machines were here. Eventually we walked up to the parks newest roller coaster (for now) called Mako.
If you zoom in on the picture above you can see the penny machine off in the distance.
This first visit to the park I found this machine but the coin slider was jammed and I couldn’t use it. We made it back a few weeks later and I was able to press the coins, but they did roll a little short. With the sounds of roller coaster riders screaming over our heads we headed on our way.
I think this is a good place to stop for now. Trust me there were a lot more penny machines to find. As I mentioned it did take me a few trips back to get all of these pennies and check out the rest of the park. Be sure to check back so we can find the rest of the machine. Happy collecting.