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You OdySea Arizona’s new aquarium

Brian Bottari, Staff Writer

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Need a nice relaxing day with the family? Then the OdySea Aquarium is just for you. Just off the 101 at the Viade Venture in Scottsdale, which means that if you are in the Tempe area, it is a long commute of 18.6 miles.

“The OdySea Aquarium has two million gallons of water and 200 tons of salt that are home to 10,000 sea animals that live in OdySea’s 200,000-square feet of space,” said Fox 10 News, Liz  Kotalik on the Fox 10 website.

Your journey begins with a ticket booth; although the prices are high, it pays off in the end. General admission for a student is $29.95, but there are combo tickets with the Butterfly Wonderland that is found right next to OdySea Aquarium.

Next, you walk through double doors where generous employees greet you, and take your photo behind a green-screen, where they generate a background accompanied with sharks, penguins and more.

Once you take photos, you are guided to the ticket checker, with an informational desk to the left of it and the restrooms next to it. After your tickets are scanned and checked, you make your way to an escalator, where the aquarium begins.

“It cost more than $100 million,” AZ Central, Parker Leavitt said on the AZ Central website. “It will be among the largest in the nation, surpassing major aquariums in Houston, Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans.”

Once you reach the top of the escalator, the aquarium starts off with the “Rivers Of The World Interactive Map,” which talks about where the rivers are located and features pictures. There is great information for kids and teenagers to learn about the underwater world. Each segment of the aquarium section has its own name which is incredibly important for guiding around places and also learning more about what fish are out there and where they are located.

After walking “under the sea,” there is a huge fish tank full of stingrays and other spectacular species. This fish tank is for an extra activity called SeaTREK. The SeaTREK is where you put on a SeaTREK body suit and helmet and enjoy the underwater masterpiece. The SeaTREK Helmet Diving takes approximately one hour and for a group of eight people it costs $99.95. Right next to the SeaTREK tank is the cafeteria and another touching tank.

The cafeteria overlooks the center of the aquarium. Since the OdySea is just opening, other attractions are still being built, so it’s not all completely finished. Some food shops and gift shops are still going to be added. In other news, the cafeteria’s food is very expensive, and when I say expensive, I mean $4 for some french fries. But, the quality of the food is unreal. It ranges from basic salads, to big meaty burgers, and then your standard kids meal.

Once you have finished your delicious meal, the next major stop is the Great Barrier Reef, which goes down stairs, where you enter this enormous water tank and walk about as if you are on the ocean floor. Once you finish exploring the fish, you have the option of the Deep Ocean 3D Theatre, which talks about the benefits of sea-life and the aquarium. The movie is approximately 15 minutes long and also has some amazing facts about fascinating underwater life. Finally, you pass through more amazing and exotic fish, which is also the exit, leading you directly to the gift shop, where you can buy clothes, mugs, toys, and more.

Again, the prices are a little more high-end, so is this aquarium worth the drive and money? It’s both yes and no. If you want just a casual, cheap date to an aquarium, then go to the Sea Life Aquarium at Arizona Mills. However, if you are a fish fanatic and just love marine life and its culture and development, then OdySea Aquarium is just the place to be.

 

 

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You OdySea Arizona’s new aquarium