Of course, SeaWorld is dotted with strategically located gift and souvenir shops ready to help you lessen the heavy load in your wallet. The merchandise in the various shops, not to mention the shops themselves, change with such regularity that SeaWorld has given up on listing them on the park map. So rather than attempt a shop-by-shop or section-by-section description, I will touch on the overall shopping scene here and call out a few shops that I feel are deserving of special note.
Most of the wares on display are of the standard tourist variety but some items deserve special mention. Many of SeaWorld’s shops offer some very attractive figurines and small sculptures. They range from quite small objects suitable for a bric-a-brac shelf to fairly large pieces (with fairly large price tags) that are surely displayed with pride by those who buy them. Prices range from under $20 to well over $2,000. If you’re in the market for a special gift or are a collector yourself, you will want to give these items more than a cursory look. Among the shops to seek out for these art objects are Shamu’s Emporium in the main entrance plaza and Under the Sun and Artisan’s Hall in the Waterfront.
Another, more affordable souvenir is a Shamu-themed beach towel (which can come in handy after sitting in the splash zone at Shamu Stadium!) or one of the many plush dolls for kids, many of which are irresistible. The animals you will encounter depend on which attraction you’ve just exited, each of which seems to have its own gift shop. My personal favorites are the polar bears and baby seals in the Arctic Shop at the exit to Wild Arctic.
The shops in the Waterfront section, that flow one into another, offer some very nice clothing items. Most of it is for women, but men might score a good quality Hawaiian-style shirt. Also in these shops is a constantly changing variety of decorative items for the home that might make good gifts for you or someone you love.
A shop that will draw the curious as well as shoppers is The Oyster’s Secret. Here you can watch through underwater windows as divers plunge downwards in search of pearl-bearing oysters. And if you decide to buy one and want it placed in a custom setting, you will be accommodated. There is also a good selection of pearl jewelry. Some of it quite expensive, but the small, irregular shaped fresh water pearls worked into intricate necklaces are both attractive and affordable.
Most of the shops offer a free package pick-up service that lets you collect your purchases near the front entrance on your way out, so you needn’t worry about lugging things about for half the day. Inveterate shoppers can soothe their conscience with the thought that a percentage of the money they drop at SeaWorld goes towards helping rescue and care for stranded sea mammals.
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