Last Updated on January 3, 2018 by Bryan Fiveash
My family was hosted for our visit. All opinions and experiences are my own.
It’s hard to believe, but even though I was born and raised near Orlando, Florida, I never visited SeaWorld. I always wanted to go, but we never seemed to have the opportunity to. Now that I have four kids of my own, experiencing SeaWorld has been a favorite topic of discussion.
A few months ago, my kids were delighted to find out that we would be visiting this vast water wonderland during our vacation to Florida!
Like most theme parks, it’s virtually impossible to experience all that SeaWorld has to offer in one day. There were several stops that our kids wanted to experience the most, and they were thrilled to have been able to do so.
Our Top SeaWorld Wildlife Experiences
First off… we loved the Stingray Lagoon! This may be considered a low-key attraction by some, but any opportunity to interact with wildlife is thrilling to our kids. This lagoon is full of majestic stingrays that you can pet! Their graceful manner is truly awe-inspiring and wonderful to behold.
Speaking of interaction, the Dolphin Encounter was something I’ll never forget. For an additional charge, you can spend a few minutes up close to a friendly dolphin! Under the supervision of a trainer, the kids and I were able to watch as a dolphin performed some tricks, and it eventually sat close enough for us to pet it! Being able to do that, along with watching the Dolphin Days show, gave me a whole new appreciation for these highly intelligent creatures.
Some of our other fun wildlife experiences include the manatee rehabilitation area, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin (Habitat), and Pets Ahoy.
From Wildlife To Wild Rides!
SeaWorld Orlando showcases some of the best thrill rides in Florida, and my oldest son and I had time to ride a few of them. Journey To Atlantis is an oldie but goodie in my book. It’s not too terribly wild, but there’s a few nice drops and opportunities to get soaked, which was more than welcome in the hot Florida weather.
The wildest ride of the day for us was provided by the fearsome Kraken Unleashed. I still can’t believe I allowed my 9-year-old son to talk me into riding that with him! The ride itself was awesome, though I’ll think twice about using the new optional virtual reality experience. The headset shifted on my head during the initial jerks of the ride, causing me to have a distorted view of the movie. Needless-to-say, it took most of the day for my dizziness to subside. My boy, though, was ready to go again!
A Leader In Conservation
In addition to fun rides and animal experiences, SeaWorld is a leader in animal care, rehabilitation, and conservation. They’ve also ended its killer whale breeding program in place of an all-new orca experience called Orca Encounter, which takes place in more natural looking habitats, and with a focus on the whales’ natural behaviors.
SeaWorld invests tens of millions of dollars in conservation efforts, and I applaud this leadership and their willingness to improve current shows and encounters.
We experienced just a small portion of what SeaWorld Orlando has to offer, but it was a day full of exciting memories! We’ll definitely be back; maybe we’ll see some of the friends we made in the animal kingdom!
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Essential SeaWorld Links: