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My family and I recently had the wonderful experience and opportunity to visit some family over the summer in Florida. While we were there, we visited Orlando and went to SeaWorld Orlando. It was an incredible time with my husband, son, and grandchildren. There was so much to do there for every member of the family, and since we have a group with various ages, it was ideal for us.
One thing to keep in mind when you visit SeaWorld Orlando is parking. When you first arrive at the park you will have to pay for parking. Parking is about $16 for regular or you can get preferred for about $20. I highly recommend the preferred because it is closer to the park, and you can walk instead of waiting for the shuttle to pick you up and drop you off when you are done with the park. Since we have little children, we opted for preferred parking, so they didn’t have to walk as much.
The price for tickets depends on how you schedule your trip and what you want to do while you are at the park. If you purchase your tickets online ahead of time and you go during the week. You only have to pay $70 for a weekday ticket. However, any day tickets are $87. You can also purchase the all day dining pass for $35 for adults and $20 per child. If you are looking to spend the whole day at the park, I believe this is the best idea. You can eat and drink at specified locations all day without having to pay for specific items. It saves you more money if you use it enough, and it helps you to stay hydrated. We went during peak summer time so it was sweltering and we had to make sure not to get dehydrated so we were always taking breaks and drinking water and lemonade Two more options to get are the preferred show seating for $14 and the Quick Queue for $19. These are great if you plan on going to see the shows or riding the rides and roller coasters that might be busy depending on the time of year you go and visit SeaWorld.
The first thing we did when we got to SeaWorld was visit the dolphin nursery. I love dolphins. They are one of my favorite animals. We managed to get there in time to learn about the dolphins and see them with a few of the caretakers. The dolphins were very playful and very amusing for the kids to see swimming around with each other. After that, we went and visited the Dolphin Cove®.
We make sure to visit this every time. I love having the opportunity to touch the dolphins, so my son and I paid to participate. The cost is about $16 for 5 minutes of interaction, but I love it and will continue to pay every time we visit. It was a good experience; the dolphin was funny because she wasn’t listening to the trainer, though. It was pretty amusing and a great memory for my son and Me.
The next area we visited was the Stingray Lagoon®. My grandchildren loved this area. They fed the stingrays and manta rays and got to touch even them as they swam by. It was a very cool experience, and it was something they talked about for the whole vacation. We also saw a vast array of different animals during our visit, which we all enjoyed.
My son loves riding all of the roller coasters and rides that SeaWorld has to offer, so we had to make sure and visit them all at least once while we were there.It seems like it is best to visit them early in the day, since there are fewer people. Especially if you don’t purchase the Quick Queue pass. Here is the list of rides SeaWorld has to offer;
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®
Journey to Atlantis®
As you can see, they have quite a few. Each one is different from the rest. They have some for thrill seekers like my son, and then they have some for little ones like my grandchildren.
Throughout the day, we were taking breaks and stopping at the restaurants that offered the all-day dining meal plan. The food was reasonably good, and there are always healthy options such as fruit and bottled water. Since we have a larger family the, all day dining was worth the price for us. You can choose an entire meal or just a snack. There were several times we just stopped in to get drinks and fruit.
My son loves sharks. So the next area we went to was the Shark Encounter®. My grandson also loved this area. It was a great area to see and learn some very cool things. It was very busy however so we couldn’t get a lot of good pictures. After we had finished the area, we decided to feed the sharks. It was an excellent experience. You throw the food into the tank below, and you see the sharks and fish eat the food. How many people do you know, can say they fed sharks?
Finally to finish out the day we went to the Shamu’s Happy Harbor®. It was a great way to finish out the day. It had some carnival games, a few rides for little ones, a water area for kids, and even a big play jungle gym area. It is a child’s paradise. My grandchildren loved this area. It was a blast. Plus it was friendly to adults and made it easy for the adults to play with their little ones. That can be hard at some places when the play areas are so small, and you can’t fit or you can’t go because of height limits.
Sadly we weren’t able to make it to any of the shows while we were there, but the next time we go we will be going to them for sure. They have four different stadiums that display shows;
Sea Lion & Otter Stadium
We saw some shows the previous visit, and they were amazing.
Overall the experience was an incredible thing to do with the family. I highly recommend taking this trip with your family when you are visiting Orlando. They make sure to cater to all age groups and all preferences. I appreciate the friendly and helpful service we also received throughout the whole process. The workers at the park helped and were very friendly. Additionally, this year is the 50th anniversary of the SeaWorld parks. It is a yearlong celebration that is featured at the parks. If you would like to learn more about SeaWorld and the vast array of activities and offerings, visit the website.