The secrets of Sea World in the off-season

Sea World

Teenager on entrance booth: That’s $160 please.

Matt: Oh, sorry, I think you’ve misunderstood, I didn’t want to pay for the busload of Japanese tourists who are standing over there in the car park next to the bus. It’s just me and Rebecca here.

Teenager: Yes, it’s eighty dollars each.

Matt: Really? We’re only really coming to do the ‘swim with the dolphins’ thing I bought Bec for her birthday. I’ve already paid for that. Is it really a hundred and sixty dollars on top of that, just to get in?

Teenager: Yes.

Matt: I didn’t realise a dolphin was included in that price. I really don’t have room in my car for a dolphin. I’d have to put the back seats down and last time I did that I had to put a ladder in and it got a bit of rust on the leather. I don’t really want dolphin on the leather. Imagine what my left-leaning friends would say if they knew I had dolphin stains on the leather.

Teenager: The price doesn’t include a dolphin. You get a photo of the experience though. That’s included.

Bec: OK. It’s raining though. Are all the rides open?

Teenager: *cough*

Bec: What do you mean “*cough*”?

Teenager: Well, some of the park is currently being improved for the future enjoyment of guests.

Matt: Define “some of the park”.

Teenager: It’s only some of the park.

Matt: Is the corkscrew open?

Teenager: What’s the corkscrew?

Matt: The roller coaster.

Teenager: Oh, it’s called the something else now.

Me: Is the something else open?

Teenager: Not in the rain, no.

Bec: OK. What about the water ski stunt show? Will that be on?

Teenager: No. During the winter months it’s usually a bit quiet, and management like to keep costs down, so we sack the water ski stunt team and put a sign on the ramp where they do some of the stunts saying that the particular section of the park involved in the stunt show is being improved for your future enjoyment.

Matt: Is the pirate ship operating? I don’t even like rides really, but I need to make Rebecca here think I’m at least a little bit manly, so if the roller coaster is out of action I’m going to need to pull something else.

Teenager: No, we shut that down a few years ago after someone died when they were upside down and a mobile phone fell out of their pocket and into their mouth. They choked.

Bec: OK. What about that Bermuda Triangle thing, the boat ride thing with the flames. Is that open?

Teenager: No, that is being improved for your future enjoyment.

Bec: I see. Are the polar bears still here?

Teenager: We have four polar bears.

Bec: And how many are here, on display.

Teenager: We don’t like to refer to them as being ‘on display’.

Bec: How do you refer to them?

Teenager: We refer to them as being here for the present enjoyment of guests, as proudly brought to you by Coca Cola.

Bec: How many are here for the present enjoyment of the guests?

Teenager: One. It sleeps in a cave at the back of the exhibit for most of the day.

Matt: Are the water slides open?

Teenager: The water slides are closed for winter.

Bec: Are there any rides open?

Teenager: There’s a merry go round.

Matt: Is it an extreme merry go round?

Teenager: It’s a normal one. There may be some vomit on it.

Bec: Is that it? Is that all the rides?

Teenager: The jet ski wussy roller coaster thing may operate if it stops raining.

Matt: What’s that?

Teenager: It’s like a wussy roller coaster on the ground.

Bec: Is it safe? We don’t want a mobile phone choking us to death.

Teenager: You aren’t allowed to take mobile phones on the ride.

Bec: What am I supposed to do with my mobile phone?

Teenager: You can hire a locker. Lockers are available next to each ride.

Bec: How much are the lockers?

Teenager: Eight dollars.

Bec: For the day?

Teenager: For an hour.

Bec: How much do you get paid?

Teenager: Less than that.

Bec: I thought so.

Teenager: Would you like to purchase a VIP yearly ticket to Sea World for only $119?

Matt: What does that get us?

Teenager: You get VIP entry to Sea World and a cup.

Matt: What is VIP entry?

Teenager: Instead of queuing with everyone else you go in the VIP entry.

Bec: Where is that?

Teenager: Here

Matt: No thank you.

Teenager: OK

Bec: Oh bugger, I’ve forgotten my towel. I’ll have to go back and get it.

Teenager: You’ll have to back out through the gift shop exit.

Matt: Actually, that works out, I forgot to bring sun screen. On the off chance that the sun comes out, am I able to buy sun screen from the gift shop?

Teenager: No. The sun screen section of the gift shop is being improved for your future enjoyment.

Matt: I see. What exactly does the gift shop sell then?

Teenager: Cups, and ‘My Family’ stickers.

Matt: OK. Is there any part of Sea World that is not currently being improved for my future enjoyment?

Teenager: *thinks*

Bec: Is there a seal show?

Teenager: Yes. There is a seal show.

Bec: What time is that on?

Teenager: When is your dolphin swim experience thing?

Bec: 2.30pm

Teenager: The seal show starts at 2.30pm.

Bec: Right.

Teenager: Oh, do you like penguins?

Bec: I guess so.

Teenager: The penguin experience is open.

Bec: What’s the penguin experience?

Teenager: It’s some penguins in a swimming pool with some badly painted pictures of icebergs in the background and a bunch of penguin facts stuck to a wall. It’s very interactive.

Bec: What’s interactive about it?

Teenager: You get to see some penguins interacting with each other in a swimming pool.

Bec: Is that your way of saying they may have a fight, or have sex, or something interesting?

Teenager: No, they mostly sit in a corner and ignore everyone.

Bec: Is that what you’d like to be doing right now?

Teenager: Yes.

Matt: OK, can I pay by credit card?

Teenager: Yes, but there’s a $5.95 fee.

Matt: Oh, OK, well, I’ll pay by EFTPOS then.

Teenager: OK, that’ll be $160, plus a $4.95 EFTPOS fee.

Matt: Is there anything in this theme park that doesn’t come with a hidden fee?

Teenager: Yes. There’s a picture of some whales over in the back of the park near the smoking area. That is free to look at.

Matt: OK, how do I get there?

Teenager: You take the monorail, return tickets are $10.

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