On arrival at the entrance we exchanged our Virgin vouchers for our 5 Park Flex Tickets and had our fingers scanned for ID. Places on the WA Tour and DWS were confirmed and we literally ran to Kraken. On our last trip in 2003 DS was too small to ride so he was sooooo excited about his first time on Kraken although a little nervous. There was hardly any wait so we managed to ride twice within 10 minutes! Jack loved it and would have ridden all day but we had to get to Wild Arctic for our tour at 10.30am On the way over we saw the flamingos on their daily walk and popped in to see the Penguins in their ‘encounter’. We met Kristi our tour guide by the polar bear statue dead on time and our tour began. We saw behind the scenes of the WA exhibit and the massive filtration tanks used to keep the water clean. We saw some orphan seals, the food preparation area, polar bear enclosure, Beluga whales. We stroked and had our photos taken with a penguin called Bubba and exited the tour all too quickly. It was a great way to spend an hour and well worth the few $ it had cost. We decided to have a relax and a drink so I sat and wrote some notes while the kids went on Shamu Express (ok I went on too) and went on the net climb playground. Then it was back over to Journey to Atlantis and another 2 goes on Kraken. The view from the top of the climb is fantastic and you can really see how Aquatica is coming on. I only wish I didn’t have to hold on with both hands so I could take a photo from the top!!! We had a wander round the park and did the penguins again cos I love ‘em and then headed for the Dolphin Cove. Now last time we were here we went straight up to poolside to see the dolphins while the ex got fish to feed them with. This time we had to queue for ½ an hour to pay $3 for 4 fish to feed their dolphins with before we were allowed near the pool. The area was al roped off and we only had a limited time before we were moved on. God help you if you didn’t have fish as you weren’t allowed anywhere near the water. Anyway mission accomplished with a couple of good photos and I nearly spilt the beans and told the kids not to worry as we were going to DC in a few days but I remembered just in time that they didn’t know and changed the subject to manatees!!!! We spent ages with the sting rays and the manatees before making it just in time for the Blue Horizons show. When we were here in 2001 and it was still the old dolphin show DS was lucky enough to be picked to take part. We don’t think much of the new show and miss the audience participation. Time was fast approaching for us to DWS so we made our way over to the Shamu stadium. We were given our backstage passes and shown to our seats. We were lucky to have booked early enough to get front row centre seats right by the pool. We all love this and will definitely do it again next time. The food was fab and seeing Shamu so close was truly awesome!!! The kids were in awe of trainer Megan who answered all their questions but we soon had to make our way into the stadium for the show. I really think after paying for DWS there should be a reserved seating section for Believe but maybe that’s just me asking for too much! We hadn’t seen Believe before and thought it was fantastic. I had a few of my emotional moments especially when they paid tribute to the military and the kids stood up for their round of applause for families of service personal from the UK. The kids had their photo taken with a trainer at the end of the show and bought themselves one of the whale tale necklaces on the way out. Absolutely exhausted we made our way out to the trolley bus and we were soon back in the room dropping off out stuff. I know we bought something but I can’t remember what although I vaguely recall stuffing a cuddly whale, dolphin and 2 polar bears in the case before we came home! I had a text from Hayley (hayleyandeeyore) to see how we were getting on then we decided to hit the shops of I-Drive. We did every souvenir shop in the vicinity then I spotted Hayley and her boyfriend Els on a crossing and ran down to say hello. She was a little shocked by my enthusiastic introduction as we’d never actually met but we spent an hour or so shopping with them before heading back to the Rodeway and bed shattered by 11.30pm.