Our friend gave us annual passes which gave us access to SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens. We got to know the parks really well. We found you can get through pretty much everything at SeaWorld in one day – these were our top picks:
SeaWorld is not only filled with aquatic animals like dolphins, sharks and fish but also a growing number of rides.
Manta is a rollercoaster style ride which is located pretty close to the entrance so it’s a good one to ride first. Unlike a regular rollercoaster though, you hang below the rail. As the ride starts the seat moves up so your back is parallel to the rail and your legs and arms are hanging below you. The idea is that you experience this ride like a Manta Ray.
It’s a fun but pretty intense ride in my opinion. You see the ground zooming below you and you’ll fly over water. The most difficult thing with this ride is your body is pushing against the harness the whole time. I found myself hoping that something didn’t go wrong with the harness and I always tried to make sure it was super tight. If you don’t like extreme rides than you might want to give this one a miss.
Mako is a little closer to a regular rollercoaster than Manta. It is designed after the Mako shark, the fastest swimming shark. If you look up when the roller coaster starts, you’ll even see a silhouette of sharks swimming overhead. Like it’s name sake, this coaster is known for its high speeds and deep dives. The harness on this ride is a pole and a foam handle that pulls down into your lap.
As the coaster dives you get this sense of weightlessness as your body pushes up against the harness. My first few rides I had to hold on pretty tight. This became our favourite ride at SeaWorld. You can see much of the park as you twist and turn your way around the coaster.
Slightly older than the other rides, this coaster is still a lot of fun. It is a floor-less rollercoaster which means your feet dangle below you as your ride around. We love to ride both the Kraken and Mako in the evening as you get an awesome view of SeaWorld at night.
Empire of the Penguin
For a more slow paced ride, Empire of the Penguin will give you an inside look into the life of a Penguin. You’ll ride in a large, automated, circular vehicle which will take you through different stations. You’ll end at the Penguin exhibit which is super cold so make sure you rug up for this ride.
Journey to Atlantis
The Journey to Atlantis is a log ride a bit like Splash Mountain at Disney but based on the Atlantis theme. You’ll ride the log through a series of rooms and go through several drops before the major drop before the end. If you don’t want to get wet you might want to wear a poncho for this one.
There are some new rides at SeaWorld that I want to ride the next time I visit.
Infinity Falls is another water ride where you’re on a circular boat with a bunch of other people. From what I’ve seen of this ride you’re also likely to get pretty wet!
This will be a new rollercoaster which will feature a beyond vertical drop and will be themed in the Antarctic section.
We find that if you get to the park early, you can get through most of the rides pretty quickly, leaving the rest of the day for you to catch the shows and see the animals.
SeaWorld is known for its shows. There are three main ones but they do change in focus throughout the course of the year.
SeaWorld’s Dolphin Days
Dolphin Days is the Dolphin show where you will get to meet some of SeaWorld’s dolphins, learn about these amazing creatures and see them perform some pretty incredible tricks.
In my opinion the SeaWorld dolphin show is similar to the dolphin show at Georgia Aquarium but maybe a little better.
It is amazing to see how the trainers interact with the dolphins, jumping in the water with them and performing stunts together.
One Ocean (Now: Orca Encounter)
Touted as the main event at SeaWorld, Orca Encounter features SeaWorld’s Killer Whales performing incredible stunts. The trainers no longer get in the water with the whales but it is incredible to see these giant creatures up close. Though SeaWorld’s Orca has been at the centre of controversy, the park has pledged to increase enclosure size and expand whale research.
Sea Lion High
Sea Lion High is one of the more cheaply shows at SeaWorld and that’s because seals like to be mischievous (as do their trainers). Their antics will have you laughing as you witness the humour of the sea lions and otter.
Other than the shows, there are also plenty of ways you can see the animals, like at the Dolphin Nursery or at the look and touch tanks. There is so much to see outside of the rides and shows.
All the walking around is going to make you hungry but the good news is that there are tons of places to eat at SeaWorld. We usually got the dining plan wrist band. This wrist band allows you to get a meal every hour at select restaurants, as well as discounts on snacks and free bottled water. It is a great way to save money.
Sharks Underwater Grill
One restaurant that isn’t covered by the dining plan, but is well worth a visit is the Sharks Underwater Grill. You’ll dine accompanied by an aquarium full of fish and sharks. It is amazing just to sit there and watch the sharks swim around while you eat. Be glad that there is a thick wall of glass that prevents you from becoming the main course.
On the way out of the park at the end of the night, I always like to swing past the ice cream shop where they’ll give you a cone with some very generous helpings of ice cream. It is a great way to finish an action packed day.
The Seasons of SeaWorld
During the Summer months usually around June-August, SeaWorld celebrates Electric Ocean. This features later nights at the park, different shows, incredible light displays and fireworks. There is also a DJ for the kids.
In October the park celebrates Halloween in a more kid friendly way then sister park Busch Gardens. They have a trail in the park where they give away candy, which I’m always a big fan of.
During the Holidays, the park lights up for Christmas. The park is adorned with decorations. A section of SeaWorld is cordoned off for kids to meet Santa Claus. The lake in the center of the park is filled with Christmas trees and they have an incredible light display at the end of the day.
What is your favourite thing to see or do at SeaWorld, Orlando?