One of the attractions I was most looking forward to on our trip to Hawaii was Sea Life Park.
Anyone recall the movie “50 First Dates” with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler? This is the park Sandler supposedly works at in the film. And I say supposedly, because most of the scenes I remember from the film I did not see at Sea Life Park (as a big fan, I’ve watched the movie at least 20 times). I should have done a Wikipedia search before I left. Apparently the park featured prominently in the film is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in Vallejo, California.
Regardless, a park set on the coast of a Hawaiian island is good enough in itself.
Hannah was free, the adults were all $29.99 for admission. People have complained about this entrance fee on travel websites. With the Honolulu Zoo costing $14 and the Waikiki Aquarium $9 , I can understand why they are upset with the steep jump, but as a family with a baby it was well worth the price.
My Mom made a list of all the scheduled shows to ensure we would catch all of them. Hannah LOVED the shows (and I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed them too). She learned to clap shortly before we left for Hawaii and the sea lions and dolphins amused her to no end (and got gasps of glee AND lots of claps). Sea Life Park is also the home to the only know Wolphin – her parents are a whale and a dolphin (she’s on the left in the photo to the right).
The park itself is quite small – I’d say you could circle the main path housing exhibits in 2 minutes easily if you didn’t stop to watch. With a baby who likes to be carried, I didn’t mind the park was so small, just as families with toddlers who like to walk by themselves wouldn’t mind either.
We also fed the sea turtles for $4 – the cost included broccoli, celery and a cute “I fed the sea turtles” cup. Hannah also got to touch the shell of a baby sea turtle who was 3.5 months old.
Sea Life Park also offers activities such as swimming with the dolphins, feeding the sea lions, “swimming” with the sharks, etc. Most of the older families we saw the day we went had also signed up for one of these activities.
You can tell these animals are well taken care of. There seemed to be as many staff members attending to the animals as there were visitors in the park. There were a few too many sea turtles for my liking in their exhibit, but the other animals seemed quite happy in their homes. I wish there were more underwater viewing tanks – just the sharks and a few of the dolphins had these.
It’s about a 50 minute bus ride on TheBus (O’ahu’s public transportation system) from Waikiki which charges $2.50 each way for adults – which is nothing considering the amazing views you get riding to the park (a lot of the journey is along the coast).
If I ever get back to O’ahu (and I hope I will), I would definitely return to Sea Life Park.