12 September 2011

Stay clear of propellor

Almost everyone who has ever seen a diver clamber into the Lockout Chamber of The Living Seas (or The Seas with Nemo and Friends if you’re a stickler) and then swim out into the tanks with true creatures of the deep has wanted to take that journey on their own. The idea of making friends with the fishes is, to many of us, almost as foreign as venturing off to some unknown planet. However, did you know that there is a spot on property where you can get into the water and up close and personal with sea creatures for no additional cost?At Typhoon Lagoon, near the capsized ship, is Shark Reef. This adventure offers two options, an underwater viewing platform similar to The Sea or the ability to grab some snorkeling gear and get into the water with the fish and other sea life. Approved snorkels and masks must be used, so to save on having to check every person’s personal gear masks and snorkels are provided for free from Hammerhead Fred’s Dive Shop, just to the side of reef’s entrance. After a few minutes of instruction, guests are set free to swim across the icy cold pool, though you will have to swim straight across without much time to lag and soak it all in.

What types of creatures will you see once you begin swimming? Well, it wouldn’t be identified as Shark Reef if it didn’t have some sharks in it! That’s right, you get to swim with real sharks, Leopard Sharks to be exact. Other sea creatures that call Shark Reef home include French Grunts, Yellowtail Damselfish, Southern Stingrays, Sargassum Triggerfish, Puddingwife, Blue Tang, and Queen Angelfish, among others.

Of course this is a brief experience, but it is also a journey you can repeat throughout your time at Typhoon Lagoon. It is a unique activity that is rare to find in any water or theme park, but it is just a taste of what could be experienced in the ocean. For me, Shark Reef gives you an idea of whether or not you’d like to take a longer trip through big blue. Although, a disposable camera and free gear can grant you some terrific photographs deep in the heart of Walt Disney World.

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