Get Ready to Ride the Ray and Feel the Rush on Manta, Make Some Noise!

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October 6th 2013
Published: October 12th 2013
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Danny Writes:

We woke up to a scorching hot day in San Diego, California. This was by far the most typically holiday part of the holiday, since we were staying in a coastal resort hotel. The plan today was to check out SeaWorld. I wasn't really sure what to make of this initially because of the whole SeaWorld controversy, but it’s hard to make a judgement on something you've never witnessed yourself, so off we set. I don’t want to make this blog a couple of paragraphs about my take on SeaWorld so I’ll try to avoid that.

The walk to SeaWorld reaffirmed what we’d already discovered about the USA in Vegas and Flagstaff; they have no pavements. We tried to walk down the ‘side walk’ but found ourselves stranded when they just suddenly stopped. We even crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing to find the pavement just ceased to exist on the other side. Great. I guess they really do just drive everywhere over here, no matter how small the journey. We ended up getting there by using as much footpath as possible, walking through a boat jetty car park, crossing a grass verge, and asking a security guard for directions. He probably thought we were nuts for using our legs for a 30 minute walk.

I wasn't particularly fond of the treatment of the sea life at the park. An example being the tank of starfish that was surrounded by 8 year old children prodding at them and picking them up, sometimes out of the water. Now I’m no marine biologist unlike my friend Steve (shout out) and I'm sure he’ll be able to inform me correctly here, but surely it can’t be enjoyable for them. I'm also not entirely sure a little sign saying “please don’t suffocate our starfish” is adequate when there are brainless kids wandering about. How about not letting people prod and poke at them at all? Anywho...

We went on to enjoy the various rides at the park. Another observation of American culture was made here while queuing up for the Manta roller coaster. Back in the UK, your experience of the ride operator at a theme park is that of a bored looking student with their hands in their pockets counting down the hours till they can clock off and go home, much like my other friend Mike (shout out). Over in the US, the ride operator acts like some sort of DJ or master of ceremonies, hyping up the crowd who are about to set off on their wild roller coaster experience. Naturally, I found this particularly hilarious and had to mock it... by joining in. Now just imagine for a second how many times per day the ride operator has to do this. Every single time the roller coaster sets off, MC Hates-his-job has to read the exact same script, to which the passengers go nuts to every time. “Alright everybody keep your heads back and hold on tight, get ready to ride the ray and feel the rush on Manta, make some noise!” Unsurprisingly, by 2pm in the afternoon he seemed to have lost his enthusiasm, but that didn’t stop the ever excitable crowds from lapping it up. “Whooo!” “Yeah!” “Come on!” I had to join in with my own contribution of “America! **** yeah! Get some!”

We also rode the ‘Atlantis’ ride, which was a sort of roller coaster that passes through water and splashes you. By the end of the day we’d taken to trying to strike ridiculous poses for the cameras that take your picture during the exciting parts of the rides, which you can then purchase at the end for a small fortune. If you don’t mind remortgaging your house, this may be of interest for you. One of the locals had noticed me doing this on the display screens at the end of the ride and high-fived me. I can only assume he also uses Maestro debit.

Later on that night we went to Phil’s BBQ restaurant which appeared on an episode of Man v. Food. There’s only one way to describe this place, and that’s rib city. This place was mega value for money and mega tasting food. Tina didn't seem too fussed however and thought me and Rob were nuts for ordering huge plates of food.

I guess a long day of witnessing animal cruelty can work you up an appetite.

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