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Sea World/Aquatica 3rd Rate

Sea World Orlando: Poorly organized, horrible customer service, etc.

From John Tillman
Posted June 28, 2010 at 9:22 PM
My family and I attended Sea World 6/21/10. The booths to the parking lot were a mess. Getting in to the park was slow. Like Universal they require loose items to be stored in lockers except Universal doesn't charge everytime to use the locker. I really hate when I go on vacation and spend thousands of dollars and get nickeled and dimed to death. Most employees I talked to seemed more interested in their lunch break. I'm not difficult to please at all but when compared to Disney's outstanding customer service and Universal's always eager to talk about their park it is clear the Blackstone Group is running this park into the ground.

Basically the park has 3 major rides and the rest are observations for the most part. It was nice to see Shamu (I Believe) but like the other shows it was very campy/corny like Six Flags. I would not have paid $640 for my family to go to Sea World alone but there was a deal for FL/GA residents that included Aquatica (Sea World's waterpark).

Huge mistake on this waterpark. I called as well as another family member hours to 20 minutes before we arrived at the waterpark to make sure it was not full. The Sea World rep said it never fills up and the park was half empty. We arrived to the park with a parking attendant saying to come back at 4PM and the place closes promptly at 8PM. Obviously I had to explain this to 4 young anxious then immediately upset children while trying to find something to do for several hours.

I called Aquatica customer service and spoke to Pedro who said he does not have an employee ID. The lack of an employee ID shows a serious lack of accountability which showed in the conversation with Pedro who tried to convince me that I shouldn't be upset which was insulting.

So no refund, compensation for hours lost in the park, and hours wasted trying to find something else to do was topped off by the "don't know, don't care" insult. No need to cut off the nose to spite the face so we went back to the park at 4 trying to put on a smile and make the best of it. All of the parking booths were backed up and moved at a snails pace. The parking attendants were pointless as they seemed to just direct cars down lanes that were already full which then chaos ensued as impatient people started driving all over the lots out of turn fighting for a spot.

I could go on and on about the careless nature of the "water team" lifeguards who kind of sort of watched the end of the slide then gave a whatever kind of nod to go even though clearly it didn't match the green/red light system that was supposed to take place.

We headed to the chaotic play area which has multiple exits and a nightmare for parents who actually care where there children are. Aquatica then had to shut this area down when some disgusting person let their child play in it without a diaper and of course deficated in the water. I'm from Georgia and I remember the Ecoli outbreak from White Water Park in which dozens of children were hospitalized due to this very thing.

I am in no way affiliated with other theme parks and have never before written a review on anything but was very disappointed what an investment group has turned a child hood memory of mine into.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Jason Jackson
Posted June 29, 2010 at 6:23 AM
Wow...I have always had nothing but wonderful experiences at SeaWorld and Aquatica.

From steve lee
Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:09 AM
Same here. I'm sure there's some genuine concerns here, but when the O.P. assigns the quality of Sea World's shows with that of Six Flags, I start to get a "haters gotta hate" vibe.

There's a show or two at Sea World that I don't like, but "Blue Horizons," "Clyde and Seamore," and to a lesser extent "Pets Ahoy" are some of the best shows in the business...

But like I said, it sounds like there were some real issues here. But complaints about parks being crowded over the summer or having to put your gear in a locker aren't exactly exclusive to Sea World.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:49 AM
Yeah, you lost me at comparing the shows to Six Flags too.

I have had nothing but great experiences at Seaworld Orlando

From luis gonzalez
Posted June 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM
sea world is a little boring to me, but i have always found the service to be on par with universal and disney, i loved aquatica too. I think this person got to the park at like quarter to 12 in the summer time and is crazy for thinking it wouldnt be full. All theme parks charge for all day locker use, so i dont think thats unexpected. This sounds like an inexperienced theme park traveler.

WORD!!!!!!!!

From Manny Barron
Posted June 30, 2010 at 5:44 PM
I was at Sea World this past 21st of June too! My family and I had such a great time there.

From Helena Polansky
Posted July 1, 2010 at 8:55 AM
I absolutly love SeaWorld and Aquatica!! I always have great experiences there. All the workers are so nice and caring. I've never had problems there...

From Rob P
Posted July 2, 2010 at 12:37 AM
I love Seaworld too and have never had a bad day there or in San Diego either.
But if John has had a bad experience then it's good that he has this forum to get it off his chest. I suppose that if there were a few other TPI members who visited that day and had similar experiences then their posts might support what John has written.
I confess that I haven't visited since 2006 which is before the current owners took over. So I read episodes like this one with interest. I do think, though, that all over the World the standard of customer service has dropped. It speaks highly of places like Disney and Universal that they have maintained a high standard in this area.
But I am never surprised when I read tales of staff displaying ambivalence toward customers. It is, unfortunately, a sign of the times I'm afraid.
What John wants is what we all want. Clearer information, polite service and proper customer care.

From Jenny Rees
Posted July 2, 2010 at 3:33 AM
I visited Seaworld Orlando in November and am pleased to say I did not experience any poor levels of customer service. This was not long after the new owners came in and staff were polite and attentive and there was no problem at the parking lots, although we did arrive very early. If I did experience these sort of problems, I would write to the company to make them aware of the situation as they may have no idea that some staff are allowing standards to slip throughout the park. They may also offer you some form of compensation for you hours wasted and your disappointing day. I would hope that Pedro is one of few that does not care about the visitors and most staff are keen to ensure you and your family have a fantastic time....wanting you to return and spend more of your hard earned dollars. I have never been to aquatica but the play area with multiple exits does sound like a problem for parents trying to keep a close eye on their little darlings. It is difficult enough at the best of times without them creating a maze for them to escape in. I hope you get some sort of response from seaworld, whether it through this forum of in reply to the letter that you must send. Let me know how you get on.

From tilikum shamu
Posted July 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM
I hate to say it, but I do partially agree with the posters thoughts. I've been a season passholder for a long time, and although I haven't gotten back as often this year as I did when we lived in Orlando, I've definitely seen a drop in customer service from the time when AB owned the parks. No doubt, they are betteroff than if InBev had hung on to them, but they do need to get a handle on their service employees and do a little better with the paying public.

From John T
Posted July 5, 2010 at 5:52 PM
I appreciate all the responses and as I said previously I have never been so compelled to post a trip report before until now. I always arrive close to the opening of all parks and plan ahead. The other parks do not charge for lockers as I mentioned as long as you retrieve your items upon exiting the ride.

I didn't mean to insult what is possibly some peoples favorite park. I suppose when compared to Disney and Universal it was quite obvious which two days I was at SeaWorld and Aquatica.

Customer service starts with the parking attendant, the person inside on a break who makes a point of chatting about their park, or the person sweeping the park. Some get this and others do not.

I will be attending Six Flags Over GA in a few weeks and I know what to expect and of course the tickets are only $25 for a reason.

As for Disney and Universal I have attended many times and appreciate the extra effort put forth to their guests.

From Rob P
Posted July 6, 2010 at 2:23 AM
I often wonder if any of our comments on TPI ever filter through to the bods running the Parks and if they do take notice and act upon them.
If they do then it'll be interesting to see if Seaworld improves it's staff training viz a viz customer service.
Being a natural born sceptic I won't hold my breath.

From David L.
Posted July 6, 2010 at 6:24 AM
Where did you find $25 tickets to SFOG? the cheapest you can get are $35 online. Anyways, SFOG is a great park. Some of the workers are rude but some are really nice. The food isn't that great at all. The rides are some of the best a iron ride park has to offer. Goliath is even ranked in the top ten coasters on the side of the site. Monster Mansion is a great dark ride. Thunder River is also a great ride with great rapids and themeing. Don't expect disney but do expect a higher end sixflags park.

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