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Mom Plans ‘Special Day’ With Her Son After She Couldn’t Afford His School’s SeaWorld Trip But People Are Questioning The Expense

YourTango 1/25/2023 Isaac Serna-Diez
Mom's © Photo: TikTok Mom's

Going on school trips was always one of the highlights of grade school, making it equally as disappointing whenever you weren’t able to make it for one.

The kids would talk about it for weeks after and you would feel like you really missed out on key experiences that would shape the rest of your childhood.

One mother on TikTok documented what she chose to do so her son wouldn't feel let down when he missed his class trip.

The mom planned a fun day with her son when she couldn't afford his class trip to SeaWorld.

“This is my baby Noah. He was supposed to go to SeaWorld with his class today, but unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it,” read the text written by Amber Oakes, Noah’s mom. “So I kept him home and wanted to try to make today special…”

Oakes decided that she would do her own version of the popular trend where she holds up two cards with fun activities on them and lets the other person pick.

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The first activity would have them dressing up, and the next would have them going to a steakhouse with her husband — Noah’s father — for lunch.

After enjoying their steakhouse lunch, they broke Noah’s brother out of school and went to the movies to go see the new “Puss In Boots: The Last Wish” movie.

The next card that Noah picked was that they would sneak snacks in, likely to avoid paying the upcharge prices that movie theaters offer.

But, Oakes ended up buying them soda and popcorn anyway.

By this point, a mental note of how much money they’ve been spending seems to have popped into everyone’s mind, as they’ve now gone to a steakhouse and movie theater with three people both times.

“We may not be incredibly wealthy,” Oakes writes in the video, “But we are extremely rich in the one thing money can’t buy. Love.”

The final choice was at the end of the day, where Noah selected “Order Takeout.”

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Some people were shocked by the amount of money Noah’s mom spent, and compared it to SeaWorld.

“For the price you paid for that day for everyone, he probably could’ve [gone] to Seaworld. It’s $70/ticket,” one person commented.

Another person wrote, “I’m confused. SeaWorld day passes for Orlando are $99-123 depending on sales. This day cost more than a ticket did.”

A third seemed to genuinely ask, “I’m curious how the cost of the field trip compared to the cost of your fun day? Was it that expensive? If so, that’s crazy!”

Understandably, some people were confused.

If you grew up like me, then upcoming trips didn’t have to be paid for until maybe a couple of weeks in advance.

However, it seems like a lot of schools actually ask for the money and permission slips at the beginning of the year, meaning that Oakes would’ve had to cough up over $100 in addition to all of the other school trips, school supplies, and clothes she would have bought Noah for the new year.

“That's correct,” Oakes wrote in reply to another comment that confirmed the same thing. “It had to be paid for at the beginning of the school year. After clothes and supplies, we just didn't have it.”

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Fortunately, SeaWorld saw Oakes’ TikTok and decided to award her family with a special day of their own.

After seeing her viral TikTok video, which received over 9.1 million views, a representative with SeaWorld Orlando sent Oakes an email, saying how “moved” they were by the “beautiful lengths” she went to turn a bad situation around.

“We want to help you make more amazing memories with your family, and help you to surprise your son with a trip and visit to SeaWorld Orlando to experience the park together as a family,” the email read.

They made sure to add that Oakes should keep the fact that they reached out a secret from their son, so they could plan “this fun surprise” and make it an experience that he would never forget.

Despite all of the controversy that surrounds SeaWorld, many people pointed out how kind and generous it was of them to do something for Noah.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

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