Sea Life Park is a short drive from our house, but today marked only our second visit.  There’s no season pass and it’s not as cheap as the Waikiki Aquarium, but not as expensive as, say, Sea World (and is maybe only an eighth of the size). If you live here, you can get a locals rate.

Nonetheless, the kids enjoy it, even as Mom and Dad cringe at the hemorrhaging greenbacks. Besides, there’s no Disneyland here to waste our money at. Think of all the money we’re actually, er, saving!

The enclosures seem small, especially compared to the vast Pacific, which is RIGHT THERE.

I wondered if the dolphin and wolphin (the whale-dolphin hybrid born here) jump up and look across the road to the real ocean and plot how to hop across.

There’s the ocean, just beyond the park.

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The wholphin looks more or less like a dolphin, except it can jump higher and is a little bit bigger and darker. They’re a cross of a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale.

wholphin by courtney bolton, flickr

This is a false killer whale, in case you’re interested.  They don’t have any at the park as far as I could tell.

We stopped for lunch and saw a dolphin show and did the play area twice and still got through everything in less than two hours.

At 11:35, you can feed the sea turtles. For $2, purchase a cup of greens, celery, and broccoli and toss them in.  You must return the paper cup when done.

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You can also pay to get in the water with the dolphins for a kiss and a pet. They have many people get in at once to do it. Another option is the dolphin swim, for another $75 on top of the dolphin fee; and the manta ray (or is it sting ray?) interactive experience, which is something I would never want to do, even if the stingers are removed. I am just not into the sting rays.

The sting ray area is pictured below.

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Did our kids like it? Kaiya did, most of all. The others were ready to go and were hot and tired by the end. Somehow, most of the breeze gets shunted away right there by walls and concrete and the mountain on one side. Plan to get a Slurpee on the way home.