What To Do at SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando is the world-famous theme park and marine zoological park located near Orlando, Florida. SeaWorld Orlando, when combined with Discovery Cove and Aquatica forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex that consists of the three parks and several hotels. SeaWorld Orlando is considered one of the top 4 attractions in Orlando and ranked in 2018 as the 10th most visited theme park in the U.S., hosting an estimated 4.594 million guests. The focus of the park is live animals, with live shows and behind the scenes tours and thrilling rides. Check out this guide of what to do at SeaWorld before you go, to get the most out of your visit.
The Lay of the Land
SeaWorld Orlando has two sister parks - Discovery Code and Aquatica. To fully experience SeaWorld you should know it is divided into different areas, called “seas,” with each area having a fun and unique theme. The areas or “seas” of SeaWorld Orlando are:
- Port of Entry - This is the main entrance of the theme park that features a Florida-inspired theme of tropical landscaping and an artificial freshwater marina with a Shamu-themed lighthouse.
- Sea of Shallows - This area showcases an exhibit of shallow-water sea animals and the Dolphin Theater.
- Sea of Legends - Here you will find the Journey to Atlantis, an amazing boat ride with the elements of a roller-coaster, and the very popular Kraken, a floorless roller coaster.
- Sea of Ice - Originally named Antarctica, the section features Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin which exits into the penguin exhibit area.
- Sea of Delight - This is the location of The Waterfront, a re-creation of a Mediterranean village, and the Sky Tower ride.
- Sea of Mystery - Home to the Shark Encounter exhibit, Sharks Underwater Grill, the Nautilus Theater, and the Sea Garden.
- Sea of Power - This area houses the SeaWorld’s killer whale shows, Shamu Stadium, and the Wild Arctic indoor pavilion.
- Sesame Street Land - This very popular area is a children’s area located next to Shamu Stadium that features family activities such as Super Grover’s Box Car Derby and a water play area.
SeaWorld’s Top Rides and Roller Coasters
SeaWorld Orlando is more than sea animal exhibits, sea lions, and shark or penguin encounter. It is world-famous for its roller coasters and other top rides. Don’t worry about being bored at SeaWorld. You just need to decide what to do first. SeaWorld rates their rides in terms of “Ride Thrill,” “Ride Type,” and “Animals Seen” to assist parents and visitors in managing their experience. The top rides that attract so many park visitors include:
- Manta - You’ll spin and glide like a giant ray on this high thrill roller coaster. Get ready to encounter many species of ray while flying high on a manta ray-shaped train that reaches top speeds of 56 miles per hour.
- Journey to Atlantis - This ride will thrill water ride enthusiasts. The flume ride takes riders through dark, watery passageways through a sunken city and then be flung down a thrilling plunge into the waters below.
- Kraken - This is one of the most popular high thrill rides in the park. This floorless roller coaster takes riders through a total of seven thrilling inversions.
- Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin - A themed area that transports riders into the chilly world of Antarctica and the South Pole and let’s them view it through the eyes of a Penguin named Puck. Riders can choose the “wild” or “mild” version.
- Sky Tower - This kid friendly, indoor ride is the tallest observation tower in Florida, containing a double-decker rotating pod that gives riders a sea bird's view of Orlando.
- Mako - Named after the Mako shark, this high thrill roller coaster is Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest.
- Infinity Falls - Ride the rapids on this river raft ride that holds the record for the tallest drop on a river raft ride. Be prepared to get soaked!
- Wild Arctic - This flight simulator takes riders on a thrilling jet-copter through amazing icy landscapes of the north. Riders will see an animal exhibit that features beluga whales, harbor seals, and walruses.
- Sea Carousel - A classic marine-themed carousel ride at Shamu’s Happy Harbor provides a great family friendly experience.
- Flamingo Paddle Boats - Take a leisurely paddle boat tour of SeaWorld Orlando’s largest lake. Some splashes, but family friendly.
- Ice Breaker - To be launched in the Spring of 2020, this exciting coaster will be SeaWorld Orlando’s first multi-directional launch vertical drop coaster.
Shows and Entertainment
While there are plenty of roller coasters and other exciting rides, SeaWorld Orlando also boasts many family friendly shows and fine entertainment, making a one-day stay in the theme park just too short to sample everything! Reserved seating is available for most shows and many offer optional tours.
Here are some of the top shows and entertainment at SeaWorld Orlando:
- Dolphin Days - Featuring the ocean’s playful ambassador, the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, this is a festive celebration of SeaWorld Orlando’s natural world.
- One Ocean - Take an exhilarating journey into the world of the killer whales.
- Sea Lion High: The New Class - Visitors will have the chance to observe first-hand the amazing behaviors of sea lions and interact with Clyde and Seamore.
- Sesame Street Party Parade - This is the coolest party on wheels as friends celebrate the award-winning parade.
- Pets Ahoy - This side-splitting show complete with surprises and twists is a family favorite
- Ocean Discovery - A fun educational show featuring Orcas, the killer whales.
There are also plenty of seasonal celebrations occurring throughout the year. Here are a few.
- Craft Beer Festival - Held between September 7 to October 27, 2019 hundreds of craft beers from breweries in Florida plus some domestic and international craft favorites can be enjoyed by the park visitors.
- Praise Wave - Christian Fellowship with live concerts held from November 2 to November 16, 2019.
- SeaWorld Christmas Celebration - Held from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31, SeaWorld Orlando celebrates the holiday season with shopping, delicious food, and stunning shows.
- New Year’s Eve - A spectacular musical celebration with a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
When you visit SeaWorld Orlando, you will not only see but also experience and interact with the many animals on display. You will be able to observe how the animals live and even interact with some of them.
You can explore the habitat of the penguins and see five of their species when you visit the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.
Visitors can watch bottlenose dolphins as they play their tricks above and below the water surface when you visit the Dolphin Cove.
At the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium, visitors can observe the fascinating world of marine animals or visit the manatee rehabilitation area.
Other areas to visit include the Manta Aquarium, Pacific Point Reserve, Pelican Preserve, Stingray Lagoon, or observe the world of the sharks at the Shark Encounter.
Discovery Cove is a sister park of SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando. Park guests can interact with many marine animals such as the bottlenose dolphins. It has coral reefs that can be enjoyed by guests as they swim with many tropical fishes and also has an aviary of more than 250 tropical birds, which includes species of exotic birds.
Aquatic Park Orlando is one of the water parks operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. It features animal encounters and famous rides, a serene river for water-themed entertainment, and sandy beaches.
Where to Eat
At SeaWorld Orlando, guests can grab something to eat at any time of the day. There are many SeaWorld restaurants that offer their tasty specialties and a nice break from the park activities. You may want to consider the All-Day Dining Deal which allows you to eat once per hour!
- Dine with Shamu - This is the headline meal event at SeaWorld Orlando, served between noon to 2 pm and from 4:30 to 6:30 pm next to the orca pools. Prices range from $24 for kids to $34 for adults. Reservation is required.
- Expedition Café - Offering counter-service that serves food from different cultures.
- The Terrace Garden Buffet - Enjoy this all-you-can-eat buffet serving pasta, pizza, salad, and dessert.
- The Seafire Inn - Try the fish and chips, Caesar salads, pasta bowls, and Mediterranean veggie wraps.
- Spice Mill Café - The specialty of this café includes steakburgers, grilled chicken salad, and low-fat vegetarian chili.
- Voyagers Smokehouse - Located at the front of the Seaport Theater’s entrance, this restaurant offers baby back ribs, barbecue chicken, and spare ribs.
- Sharks Underwater Grill - Located at the underwater viewing area, this restaurant has a bar that is also an aquarium, with chairs shaped like shark’s teeth.
Other places to eat include Cypress Bakery, Seaport Market, Seaport Pizza, Smugglers Feasts both, Captain Pete’s Island Hot Dogs and Mango Joe’s Café.
The price of tickets at SeaWorld Orlando varies by the time of the year and by the type of tickets you are going to purchase. You can save money if you buy more than one ticket.
- Single-Park ticket - One visit to SeaWorld Orlando using a single-day admission ticket starts at $84.99 per ticket.
- Two Park ticket - You save more money by buying two park tickets that can be used for any two parks for $52.50 per park choosing from SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island. You can add All-Day Dining for a little as $25 per day.
- Three Park Ticket - You can enjoy the three parks for only $40 per park choosing three from SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island.
- Four Parks Unlimited Visits + Free Parking - Enjoy all the four Florida parks for only $47.50 per park and get unlimited visits for 14 consecutive days including free parking at any of SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island.
SeaWorld Orlando is one of the world’s most attractive theme parks that people can enjoy any time of the year, regardless of the season. While it does not attract the same mega-sized crowds as Walt Disney World, SeaWorld welcomes a multitude of people who want to experience the park’s marine life-themed rides and attractions. Depending on the time of day and season of the year when you visit, there can be very long lines.
Visitors can minimize wait time by planning vacations and visiting the parks at less busy times. Try to avoid the high-traffic periods such as the holiday season and school vacations.
Your wait will not wait as long if you beat the crowd by going to the park when it first opens in the morning and head to the attractions that normally have the longest lines such as the popular roller coasters, Manta, Kraken. Consider the purchase of a Quick Queue Pass to allow you to step to the head of the line if you are there on peak times or days.
The park is usually busiest midday. You can take a break during this time by going back to your hotel or enjoying your favorite restaurant until the crowd thins out. Return in the late afternoon or early evening and you’ll find shorter lines. Just be sure to have your ticket, parking ticket, and your hand stamped for reentry. At SeaWorld Orlando, visitors will have plenty to do and have lots of thrills. Clearly, the question is what to do at SeaWorld first!
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