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SeaWorld, Orlando

Orlando, FL
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SeaWorld, Orlando, Orlando FL

Description

At Seaworld, you can become mesmerized just looking at the aquariums, let alone enjoying the thrilling rollercoaster rides! The park is beautiful and large, with plenty of open space and landscaping. The highlight for me was seeing the animals: the seals, sea dragons, and manta rays. The only imagination ride is Antartica (and it had "technical difficulties" after a 50 minute wait in line on our most recent visit).
The animal exhibits are really top notch. At Pacific Point Preserve, the seals are surrounded by California-style rocks in a beautiful lagoon. They make the best noises! Visitors can buy fish to feed them, and it's fun to interact with them as they call out for food. The huge seal is wonderful, as are the tiny babies. It really inspires you to see animals up so close and in such a nice habitat. At the Stingray Lagoon, rays glide over your head. It's so great to see a whole swarm of them swim over you and enjoy their cute faces! This exhibit is gorgeous, and also features a tank with sea dragons that look like seaweed. They are amazing. At Dolphin Cove, the scenery is tropical, like the resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii! It's wonderful to stand at the top of the cove amongst the palm tree clusters and look down at the clear water and black rocks. You can feed the dolphins at certain times. This is a very nice enclosure, though the dolphins seem crowded as they experience near-collisions as they swim around at full speed. You can see these dolphins underwater across from the Turtle Trek entrance. It's amazing how close they are to you and they look like they have smiles on their faces! At Shark Encounter, sharks of all shapes and sizes swim above you in a curved clear tunnel and there are informative plaques about sharks. It's nice to see the manatees in the incredibly lush area that looks like a natural spring, and sometimes you see babies! You can see baby dolphins at the dolphin nursery.
Some of the shows are exciting and some are sad. Dolphin Days, the dolphin show, feels sad because dolphins are sensitive to sound, and the speakers are turned extremely loud. The "humans" perform some acts at the end, including acrobatics and some amazing diving, which makes you kind of happy that it's not just the dolphins that have to perform! The costumes and backdrops are gorgeous. I do kind of wonder if this is very sad though to have the dolphins caught in this kind of life, unable to choose to go free. Also, are they forced to perform because they would starve otherwise?- I would prefer to see this show with just the acrobats and without dolphins. One Ocean, the whale show, isn't nice because the music is very irritating, and you feel sad to see such large animals in captivity- it feels almost unreal that this could be allowed when you see how huge the animals are. If you visit Seaworld, skip the One Ocean and Dolphin Days shows. Lower attendance at these shows will tell the theme park how people feel about killer whales and intelligent animals like dolphins in captivity. A killer whale at the Miami Seaquarium, Hugo, committed suicide by repeatedly bashing his head against the tank wall. Killer whales in captivity die in their teens (Hugo's mate's free mother is 85 years old, in comparison), like Sumar, the killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego that recently died at 12 years old. 
Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High, a comedy show with seals, wasn't very interesting as the humor was dull and the actors didn't perform any amazing sword-fighting or anything. The seal and walrus did little spins at the end, and that was the only thrilling part. Pets Ahoy is a show with dogs, cars, and a pig. Come to the shows early because they don't let you in once the show begins.
Antartica is a magical imaginative ride. If your child loves imagination rides, a la Disney, they will love this one! It is a huge shame that ANTARTICA DOESN'T OPEN UNTIL NOON! There is not much else for young kids to do at the park! Why not have the ride running from opening time??? When you ride, you can choose the mild or the wild car, but the wild one is very smooth and doesn't have jerky motions so you can choose it. Here, you learn about Puck, a baby penguin and travel around Antartica with him. There are beautiful colored lights on the fake snow and ice, and Northern Lights while you wait in line. Beware, it's super cold in the line! You can see penguins in exhibits in the other section of the building.
AVOID Wild Arctic unless you like extreme jerky motions- this hurt my whole body. You can choose to walk through it rather than go in the simulator, to spare your body. This ride also makes you dizzy. It is HORRIBLE! Also, the exhibits at the end are so depressing. How can people who love animals bear to see animals in enclosures like these? There is a gigantic walrus in an enclosure so small he can't even swim around. There are beautiful belugas in a tiny depressing air-conditioned enclosure. They will never experience fresh air. And there is a panda bear that looks so depressed in a small air-conditioned enclosure. He will never feel the wind. 
The three rollercoasters are the best of all the theme parks' coasters (must be 54" to ride): Manta is a real thrill, taking you so close to objects that it feels like you're going to hit them (it was experiencing "technical difficulties" on our most recent visit), and Kraken, also large and winding, is a jerky ride with extremely high heights. It is kind of too much for some people, with seven jerky turns in a row. Mako is an absolutely incredible rollercoaster. Once is really enough on this ride- it feels like you'll fall out of the tiny bar holding  you in! Go on these early in the day in spring and summer, before the afternoon thunderstorms close them down.
Journey to Atlantis (must be 42" to ride) is a themed ride through a scary underwater world with a vertical drop and huge splash (you will get wet) at the end. My six-year-old could not get enough of this ride! Unfortunately, they have removed the story from this ride, making it not so imaginative anymore. I guess the animatronics broke and they didn't repair them. Go into the gift shop at the end and check out the aquarium under the clear floor!
Turtletrek is a pleasant 3-D dome movie, where you see from the eyes of a newborn turtle- very cute! You stand up for this one. Beforehand, while waiting in line, you can see lovely tropical tanks with fish and turtles. And you can see manatees underwater. 
There is a kid's section called Shamu's Happy Harbor with a rollercoaster called Shamu Express (must be 38" to ride) that is fun. The Jazzy Jellies ride takes you up in the air like an airplane (yuck, the spinner handles stink). And there are several other small rides such as an ocean-themed carousel, a water play area, a net climb, tea cup ride called Swishie Fishies, and a tilting tug boat called Ocean Commotion. 
The food isn't delicious, but bearable. Mango Joe's has burgers and salads. Lakeside Panini has fast sandwiches and salads. Expedition Cafe has Asian and Italian noodles, plus kid's pasta.
Wear your sneakers FOR SURE- there is a ton of walking required. Bring or rent a stroller there, for little kids. If you can, come on a weekday and not in summer, so you don't have to wait in line as much. November is a GREAT time to come- lines are short and there are dazzling Christmas decorations and flowers everywhere.
If Seaworld Orlando were to take the money they spend on whale and dolphin food and veterinary care and instead spend it on these things, it would be an incredible world-class park: open their Antartica ride when the park opens rather than at noon, have one or two more imagination rides for the young kids, maintain their rides so that none have broken animatronics or technical difficulties, have an acrobatic show, and have street musicians playing and sea animal character greeters placed throughout the park.

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Photo Gallery

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Lighthouse and seals at entrance.
Lighthouse and seals at entrance.
Antartica icebergs.
Antartica icebergs.
Icicles in Antartica.
Icicles in Antartica.
Looking up at the sky in the Antartica area.
Looking up at the sky in the Antartica area.
Colorful lights on ice are magical in the Antartica ride.
Colorful lights on ice are magical in the Antartica ride.
The splash at the end of the Journey to Atlantis ride.
The splash at the end of the Journey to Atlantis ride.
People walking into Antartica land.
People walking into Antartica land.
Baby alligators.
Baby alligators.
Two manatees.
Two manatees.
A manatee floats along in its pool.
A manatee floats along in its pool.
Turtle swimming by.
Turtle swimming by.
A couple watches the dolphins from below the water.
A couple watches the dolphins from below the water.
Manatee from below the water- you see it as you wait in line at Turtle Trek.
Manatee from below the water- you see it as you wait in line at Turtle Trek.
Turtle zooming by- as you wait in line at Turtle Trek.
Turtle zooming by- as you wait in line at Turtle Trek.
Gorgeous fish and coral in tanks at the queue for Turtle Trek..
Gorgeous fish and coral in tanks at the queue for Turtle Trek..
Visitors enjoy the tropical tank before they enter Turtle Trek.
Visitors enjoy the tropical tank before they enter Turtle Trek.
The Manta ride is a ton of fun!
The Manta ride is a ton of fun!
Zooming down on the Manta ride.
Zooming down on the Manta ride.
The Key West area has pastel-colored architecture.
The Key West area has pastel-colored architecture.
Touching rays in the Key West area.
Touching rays in the Key West area.
Tropical lagoon at Dolphin Cove- reminded me of the Big Island of Hawaii!
Tropical lagoon at Dolphin Cove- reminded me of the Big Island of Hawaii!
Egret walking on an umbrella.
Egret walking on an umbrella.
It's wonderful to stand in the shade above Dolphin Cove and take in the scene.
It's wonderful to stand in the shade above Dolphin Cove and take in the scene.
The mesmerizing colors of Dolphin Cove- are you sure I'm not in Hawaii?
The mesmerizing colors of Dolphin Cove- are you sure I'm not in Hawaii?
I love the look of Dolphin Cove!
I love the look of Dolphin Cove!
Dolphins playing in the waves at Dolphin Cove.
Dolphins playing in the waves at Dolphin Cove.
Shaded walkway.
Shaded walkway.
It looks like the California Coast at Pacific Point Preserve.
It looks like the California Coast at Pacific Point Preserve.
A seal swims gracefully by.
A seal swims gracefully by.
A crowd checks out the seals.
A crowd checks out the seals.
You can feed the seals.
You can feed the seals.
Seals swimming along on their backs.
Seals swimming along on their backs.
Seals and egrets at Pacific Point Preserve.
Seals and egrets at Pacific Point Preserve.
Walking around at Antartica land.
Walking around at Antartica land.
The tall icy cliffs at Antartica.
The tall icy cliffs at Antartica.
Antartica wall.
Antartica wall.
Flamingo paddle-boats.
Flamingo paddle-boats.
Walrus in Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High show.
Walrus in Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High show.
Patch of caladiums.
Patch of caladiums.
The amazingly cute sting ray faces!
The amazingly cute sting ray faces!
A seal says hello.
A seal says hello.
Christmas at Seaworld.
Christmas at Seaworld.
Floating flower pots.
Floating flower pots.
Kids enjoy the splash pad on a warm November day.
Kids enjoy the splash pad on a warm November day.
Penguins in the Antartica indoor area.
Penguins in the Antartica indoor area.
You can watch penguins underwater in the Antartica indoor area.
You can watch penguins underwater in the Antartica indoor area.
Seahorse topiary.
Seahorse topiary.
Aquarium under the floor in the gift shop near Journey to Atlantis.
Aquarium under the floor in the gift shop near Journey to Atlantis.

Directions

SeaWorld is located at 7007 SeaWorld Dr, Orlando FL 32821, call (888) 800-5447. Park is open 9am-10pm daily during summer and peak times, 10-6 at other times. Cost is $79, when tickets are purchased in advance online.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.

Last Updated Mon, 04 Dec 2017 05:00:53 GMT