Hawaii is a dream destination for families. Getting there is not cheap and in this economy you really need to concentrate your spending money on activities that are going to be memorable and leave you saying.....WOW that was an awesome place we visited while we were in Hawaii! In years past, my family and I visited Sea Life Park Hawaii several times. This summer my husband and I decided to go back and take the tour again. Like I said before.....in these tough economic times.....you need to spend money on things that will make you say WOW......this time......I said.....Wow.....I can't believe we paid that much and were disappointed in the park.
First of all, my disappointment started with the parking. There is a $4 parking fee. (I had found a coupon in a book so that was free for me.) The parking lot was small and hard to navigate around, maybe they can update the area with the parking fees.
The fee to enter is $29 per adult and $19 for children 3 to 11 years old. For this fee you get to see several shows. If you want to participate in any of the interactive activities they offer, like swim with the dolphins or the stingrays, you will need to make reservations for those in advance. Most will allow entry into the park for free with purchase.
I remember walking into the park years ago and seeing this living reef aquarium filled with beautifully colored fish, sharks and stingrays. This trip made me sad to see the display of the exhibits. The large reef tank was full of algae. The fish were still there but only a few of the species. There were stingrays and they even performed what they call a "ballet" during their feeding time. It was beautiful to see them but it would have been better if the tank was cleaner. I did see one shark in the tank but it definately was not like years before.
I enjoyed the turtle exhibit. You could even feed them if you purchased a cup of lettuce and zucchini! These are green sea turtles and they are very protected in Hawaii. There was a turtle in the reef tank too but I bet not many people even saw it because of the condition of the tank.
The shows were what you would expect at a Sea Park, the dolphins, the seals, the penquins...........but one thing I thought was cool was when they walked the seals and the penquins around the dolphin tank between performances. You had to stay in your seats during the walk around but it was cool to see them up close!
I want to give positive marks to this park, but I know what it used to be in the past years. It was expensive for what they offered and the shows were standard. Sorry to say that if they don't improve the appearance and update the shows and exhibits..........they will continue to see a decline in visitors. I know I will not go back again until they do.