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BOTCON SAN DIEGO
(griffin's 2013 BotCon adventure)


- THURSDAY TOUR - SEAWORLD -

8.15am-5pm Tour (Seaworld) - Atlas Foyer

It was about about 8.30 by the time we left the convention centre (in the charter bus), and our volunteer "guide" handed out the Seaworld tickets.
Ten minutes later we were at Seaworld, and reminded to be back at the bus by a certain time, as they wouldn't be waiting for anyone. (I didn't take much notice of the return time, as I wouldn't be around for it)

Simon from TFW was on this tour, and it was good to catch up.  Especially since I wasn't expecting him here this year, as he mentioned last year that he might not be at the next couple.

Fortunately for me, I wasn't pairing up with anyone while in Seaworld, so I could quickly recon the entire park and take photos, before I had to leave by 1pm.  Without someone else slowing me down, I managed to cover the entire park, had lunch and even went on one of the rides.

Satellite image

Map you pick up at the entrance.

I basically went clockwise from the entrance.... avoiding rides or shows until later if I had the time for it.
(I'm not a fan of roaming animals being "caged" in small enclosures just to do tricks for humans, so I didn't have much interest in the shows - I was however very interetsed in the info on hand to learn more about various sea creatures)

The entrance.

Inside, on the wall hiding the new construction project, was a history of the Park, starting with its opening in 1964.

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The Killer Shark pool.  Four giant mammals caged in a small pool, for the amusement of humans.

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Similarly, the dolphin pool.

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This whale obviously crashed from the sky.

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A cafe done up to look like a shipwrecked boat.

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A Rapids ride on the left, and a show stadium at the end.

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The Rapids ride, which I went on.  I had to put my backpack into a locker near the ride, which was a single use locker for $1.  Once you re-open it, it wouldn't release the key.

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Near the end of the ride you approach a heavy waterfall, only to have the water stop in the middle just as you pass through.  Depending on where you are sitting, you still got wet.

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A starfish touch pool.

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Slippery little suckers.

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A fish aquarium.

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Including pirahnas...

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And I think these were tiger sharks.

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The Manta Ray touch pool.

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Very slimy.

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One trying to jump out of the pool.... not really.

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The Manta Ray rollercoaster. (I didn't have time to go on it)

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The otter pool.

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One cooling itself off in the bucket of ice.

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The sea lions.

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You could buy fish to feed them with.

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The Skytower Ride.  It slowly goes up and then back down, in a spiral fashion so that you get to see the whole park. (I didn't get time to go on this one either.... actually, I didn't get time to go on any other ride after the Rapids one).

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Flamingos.  These must be native here, as the San Diego zoo had hundreds of them as well. (they are a bit out of place in a Sea themed Park)

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The Madagascar show. (not sure what was in it though)

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The freshwater aquarium.

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This is an odd creature, that I forgot the name of.  Something with a snoutnose and a leathery shell.

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A couple of turtles going at it, very slowly.

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Poison Arrow frogs.

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Carnivorous plants (pitcher plants with the big red openings at the top of the tubes, and some small venus fly traps with near the bottom right of the photo)

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A dolphin show.  I had a look, took a couple photos and left.

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At least the dolphins were trained to wet the human spectators.

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The Turtles and Sharks next.

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At the Shark enclosure...

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Small sharks.

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Mid-size sharks.

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Baby sharks (recently hatched)

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And through the tunnel on the travelator...

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...big sharks.

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One was having a sleep on the bottom.

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The approximate size of a shark from dinosaur times, that was estimated to be about 14 meters long.

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In the Turtle house, giant sea turtles.

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One in the corner playing hide and seek.

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And swimming off to find the others.

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The giftshop with plush shark toys... because every little kid wants a man-eater as a bedtime cuddle toy.

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And all-you-can-eat turtles...

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The penguin enclosure.  Outside...

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...and inside.

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These ones were arctic penguins, so the glass was all frosty, and the room was really cold to reduce the condensation on the glass.

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The Arctic enclosure, with polar animals.

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White porpoise I think.

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Polar bear.

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A walrus I think.

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The Atlantis ride.  Looks like there was an aquarium of some sort in there as well, but I didn't notice it on the day.

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Seaworld mascots doing a performance and meeting the kiddies.

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The entrance, with flags of different countries.

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A collection of land animals.  A Llama and miniture horse.

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A beaver, which has a flat tail like a platypus.

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She's got a huge beaver... and people were allowed to pet it too.

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Another touch pool, this time with starfish and shellfish.

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A couple of porcupines. (I never knew they had such long spines)

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An armadillo (they can roll up into a ball when attacked).

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A monitor lizard sleeping under the heat lamp

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Coloured parrots, which were apparently used in one of the dolphin shows.

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The kids playground - Sesame Street themed.

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Just on midday I was finished exploring the park, and had a look at the Calypso Bay Smokehouse, as it was selling BBQ platters.  They cook the meat in that separate hut on the right.

I wasn't planning to eat anything at the Park, but this looked so tasty, I just had to try it.  I had been smelling the BBQ smell for most of the day.
Three meats in a rich smoky BBQ sauce... for a little over $18, wasn't cheap.

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It was now 12.30, and I decided to head back to the Hotel, so that I had plenty of time for the IDW tour.
I left the park and found a taxi rank out the front, and got in one... telling the driver where I wanted to go.


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***All pictures in this convention report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, all I ask is for you to please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
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To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au