We went to Marineland yesterday. Gail and I had each been there as children, but not for 25 years or so. We had a pretty good time, but I could not believe the admission charge — it cost us $115 just to get in, and Nicholas was free! The boys liked the dolphin / sea lion / walrus show, and even got to pet and feed the beluga whales – that was very cool. There’s also a deer farm, where they have hundreds of deer just wandering around (no fences). They’re very tame, and very hungry. You can buy small ice cream cones with deer food, and the deer are happy to lick it out of your hands. They’re kind of on the aggressive side, though, so the food was sometimes licked out of the air as we poured it into the kids hands.
There are a bunch of rides there too, but we didn’t go on any of them – no time. They had a deal on where you can upgrade your admission charge to a season’s pass for an extra $5 (which we did), so if we go back sometime this year, it won’t cost us any more (except for lunch, deer food, fish food, etc.), so we’ll do some rides then. We’re going to Six Flags Darien Lake this weekend, and we have season passes for Canada’s Wonderland as well, so we have lots of opportunities to do rides.
A couple of complaints – the park is just too damn big, and not signed very well. There are a couple of places where there’s a sign saying “Rides and Attractions”, with an arrow, but then you have to walk for 10 minutes just to see another sign. When we finished lunch, we had about 20-25 minutes to kill before the next dolphin show, but that wasn’t enough time to get anywhere and back (with a 5- and 3-year old), so we just wandered around the games arcade. Also, there is ONE restaurant that serves anything more than just popcorn, which means that everyone is in the same place around lunch time. We luckily got there a few minutes before the previous dolphin show let out (the restaurant is right next to that theatre), so the lines were pretty short for us, but 10 minutes later, they were huge. There is another restaurant, but it’s almost right next to the first one, and it was also closed. Kerri, who’s been there a number of times, tells me that the other restaurant is always closed, or at least every time she’s gone.
Anyway, aside from those issues, and the fact that the decor at the park hasn’t been updated in 25 years, it was a pretty good day.