After I said hello to every one at Cecropia, I had some time to kill, so I went and road my bike around. I went to the grocery store, and on a search for free tickets.
Getting free tickets in Orlando is harder than it sounds. I tried several different approaches, but none of them had any success.
First I tried going directly to Sea World. I went to the ticket counter and asked for a manager. They sent me to guest relations. There it looked hopeful for a second, the first person I talked to was really excited about what I had done, but when he went to talk to his manager to see if there was anything he could do, he came back with nothing.
Then I went to a few of those ticket booths you find in almost every plaza around here. They did have some ways to get free tickets if you sat through lectures on condominiums, but I wasn’t old enough to be eligible for any of those. The lady here was really nice and tried to think of other ways I might be able get in and suggested talking to Human Resources at Sea World.
So back to Sea World I went. Human Resources was divided into two sections, Benefits, and Hiring. I went to Benefits first, and they sent me to Hiring. Over there, the girl at the counter didn’t know what to do, so she went to talk to her manager and came back with a phone number of the person in charge of community relations and donations. I called the number and was sent to voice mail boxes which said that all donation requests must be sent in in writing and can take four to six weeks for a response. I’m going to try and call again today and see if I can bring my written request in in-person, but I’m not very hopeful about this avenue.
When I had been at guest relations earlier, I saw people passing in vouchers they had got from their hotels, so that was my next approach. I went to several of the fanciest hotels I could find and tried to see if I could get a free voucher. I offered to work half or full day in exchange for one if necessary, but most of the time I was talking to an outside contractor hired as a Concierge (spelling on that word has me completely lost), so there was nothing they could really do.
My last try was asking a few employees I saw going in and out of the super market as I was snacking on some of the food I had bought. One of them said that he would have given me one of his passes, but that he had already given them all out, but that I could try asking other employees when they were leaving work. He said there was a bus stop right by the employee exit by human resources, and that I would probably have good luck there, but I felt a little too awkward doing that so I passed on that option.
I also tried to get into Discovery Cove for free with little success, but it was still neat to learn about this place. Its a resort of three beaches and a coral reef that you can snorkel in. They provide everything, including lunch and a seven day pass to both Sea World and Bush Gardens, but costs $159 for a basic ticket. This is way to steep for me right now, but actually isn’t that bad considering you get into the other two parks for free multiple days. You can also get the standard ticket, which costs $259, which gets you 30 minutes of one on one swim time with a dolphin.
Out of luck, but having killed enough time I went back to Cecropia. I was happy though because I did go grocery shopping and I got an extra free cookie at the bakery, so its not like I didn’t get anything for all my efforts.
I talked to a bunch of the guys there (Rust, Steve, and Dominic) about my trip. Me and Rusty went back and forth relating this trip to a hiking trip down the John Mayer Trail (on the west coast?) he had done when he was my age which was cool because we could both relate to that feeling of being encouraged through other people’s kind actions, which they do to live vicariously through you.