SeaWorld – Things to do for all the family
Spending a day at SeaWorld Orlando was the best decision. We didn’t expect it to be as good. It is a wonderful park for all the family. There is so much to see and do. From animal interactions, the best roller coasters of our whole trip (although I may have said the same about Busch Gardens), fantastic water rides, great food, fun and interactive experiences at Sesame Street and lets not forget the family friendly shows. As well as the opportunity to learn all about the animal conservation – great for those who want to understand more about the animal care. George came away armed with facts and couldn’t wait to share them with his School friends as part of his show and tell project.
You will have a fun packed day at SeaWorld. I would highly recommend arriving before the park opens so that you are ready to get in line for the best coasters you’ll find in Florida. And don’t forget to plan your day around the shows so that you get to experience all that SeaWorld has to offer. When we first thought about visiting SeaWorld I was very much of the opinion that this park was more about animals – I couldn’t have been more wrong. After researching the parks before our visit I very quickly realised that was not the case. Similar to Busch Gardens this park has so much to offer. It’s a park for all the family to enjoy.
The park has a lovely look and feel about it. With lots of seating areas to rest weary feet, some under shade which is perfect for those with younger children. It’s calm. And despite being busy it is well designed and laid out. We hardly noticed the crowds. Which made for a lovely change from other theme parks we visited. It felt traditional in it’s theming yet modern due to the introduction of new rides and areas such as Sesame Street. There’s the iconic Sky Tower as well as the Lighthouse at the entrance and a gorgeous boardwalk with a great view as you look back. See…
And so I thought I would share our review of with the angle of SeaWorld – Things to do for all the family
Rides and Roller coasters
The skyline at SeaWorld is incredible. If you are lucky enough to see if from a nearby hotel or from one of the shows you will be amazed. The roller coasters are some of the tallest in Florida. The fastest and so very different to others we have ridden. They are nothing like your traditional coaster. They are better. Faster, taller and most definitely have the wow factor.
As you enter the park you’ll find out what it’s like to spin, glide, skim and fly like a giant ray on Manta – its the only one of its kind in Florida. A brilliant ride. Mr H rode this one a few times as we had Quick Queue passes whereas I much preferred Mako. Wow was that an experience – I’ll never forget the weightless feeling as you dive deep down. It’s been 7 weeks since our trip to SeaWorld and even now I can still feel the motion of the ride.
And then there was Kraken Unleashed. A monster coaster like no other. There were twists and turns, 7 loops in total, floorless in design. This ride reminds me of one we love to ride at Alton Towers only so much bigger. Much bigger. Much faster. The rides at SeaWorld are incredible. George was devastated not to have been tall enough for these ride. He’s such a thrill seeker. Next time George Archie. Next time.
We love to book little extras for George. There are several experiences you can book, I would recommend you book them prior to your visit as they are limited in number. We went for the Sea Lions Up-Close Tour which was a wonderful 60 minute tour. Educational, fun and we had an opportunity to feed the animals also. When they say these animals are the comedians of the water, they were right. On the tour we learnt how most of the sea lions at SeaWorld are rescued, how they are rehabilitated and released or remain on site for their welfare.
Pacific Point Reserve is the area where you can pay to feed the Sea Lions – this is a great alternative for if you are not able to take the tour. We really enjoyed watching all the children throwing fish to this rather greedy and bossy fella. He quite literally squealed when he wanted more. We couldn’t stop laughing. This is also the area where you register for your close up tour. We loved the tour, George especially loved having the opportunity to have a photo with one sea lion.
Family Friendly Shows
As you arrive into the parks you can pick up maps and show times to help you plan and navigate your day. We managed to catch three shows during our visit. We booked and paid for Signature Show Seating for all. Having never been to SeaWorld I wasn’t aware of the splash zone but by the end of the One Ocean show I certainly was! Wow they got soaked. We loved the view point from our seating area and it also meant that we didn’t have to arrive so early to grab a seat as we were guaranteed a spot.
I was amazed by the level of conservation and the educational element to the shows. If you didn’t know, the SeaWorld Parks are overseen by numerous federal, state and local government agencies and accredited by the world’s leading zoological, animal welfare and veterinary care organisations including: American Humane; the Association of Zoos & Aquariums; Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums and received a 100% pass in accordance with the ABTA animal welfare guidelines for animals in tourism.
George was mesmerised by all the shows, I am so glad that he had this opportunity. Watching his face in awe of these incredible animals was a joy to watch. One for the memory book. His favourite show was the Sea Lion High: The New Class. It was quite literally a laugh out loud, belly laugh show, so funny and silly. Especially the introduction to the show where SeaWorld’s infamous mime entertains the audience. It was hilarious. George even managed to meet him at the end of the show.
We were lucky to visit just after this area was transformed to Sesame Street. The iconic street I grew up with. I think I loved this area just as much as George did. What an awesome and totally unexpected area of this park. So vibrant and engaging. Perfect for younger children. This area is interactive and fun. A little like the Magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter over in Universal Studios. You really do feel like you are in the TV show. So immersive. If you purchase an interactive Elmo wand you won’t be disappointed with the additional elements of fun you can have.
And let’s not forget the photo opportunities. There are definitely some Instagrammable areas of this park and of course you have the chance to meet popular characters such as Big Bird, Elmo and Cookie Monster. We paid the additional fee to meet Elmo and actually we didn’t need to as there was no queue when we arrived to the area in the later afternoon. I can’t guarantee this would be the same for you, we definitely wasted money here.
The water rides at SeaWorld will guarantee you one thing – that you will get wet. Very wet. Every inch of your body will be soaked, from head to toe. Be prepared. You will laugh a lot. We were sensible and timed riding the water rides for when we had chance to wander around afterwards to dry. Very sensible of Mr H.
The boys tell me that Journey to Atlantis is a mixture of a water ride and a roller coaster which they loved. Something a little different. When it came to Infinity Falls I hadn’t planned on riding after standing on the bridge at the viewing point. The wave as you slide down the ramp quite literally comes over your head, everyone is drenched. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and jump back but sadly I was still stood in the splash zone. And then I got talked into it by my 7 year old and on it I went. Oh my goodness what a fantastic ride. A great addition to the park.
And lastly, a few tips for you…
- Spend more time in the park. We didn’t manage to see the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin or Shark Encounter which we’re all a little disappointed about. Although, I guess that means a return trip right?
- Reserve a table at a restaurant called Sharks Underwater Grill and eat lunch – it sounds amazing. And definitely an experience George would have loved.
- Look at the schedule and plan in time to see the Sesame Street Party Parade – after watching it on a Tim Tracker You Tube video I think we would have loved it.
- Book all day dining as the food at SeaWorld was great, the bits we ate were and as you can spend all day in the park it would definitely be worth the price you pay. I think the only thing you would need to do is send one member of your party off to pick up breakfast as the park opens whilst you head over to Manta and Kraken before the queues escalate.
- *Top tip* Parking fees – the 3 for 2 Ticket and Discovery Cove Ultimate Package includes free parking at all parks and are only available to purchase in the UK
- And lastly consider buying a photokey – we had a photo pass at the Disney Parks and have so many memories captured from all the experiences. I fear we missed out by not having one for the SeaWorld parks.
I have written a series of posts about our four days exploring the SeaWorld Parks. If you are looking to visit Aquatica then you can read Five Reasons Why You Should Visit here. And if a day of luxury and relaxation is what you are looking for then read all about our experience of Discovery Cove. And lastly if you are after a park that has a mixture of animals and some of the best roller coasters then Busch Gardens is the park for you.