SeaWorld is all about the animals. And in spite of our love for Harry Potter, SeaWorld was our family’s favorite park. Every part of the park had something for the each family member to enjoy. From little pocket aquariums under the bigger rides to information signs and speakers to fill attraction wait times, each area had something to educate or entertain.
The biggest attraction is obviously the Shamu Show, and it doesn’t disappoint. While I visited the (now closed) Ohio park as a child, my kids had never seen a show like it before. They are now spewing random Orca facts every time the opportunity presents itself.
Family Tip #1: The shows are a great time to sit and take a break from the sun, have a snack, cold drink, or a Shamu ice cream bar. Orlando is HOT in the summer. Don’t overdo the heat.
In the summer, there is also a nighttime show set to rock music. Definitely worth seeing. In both cases, the “Splash Zone” has its name for a good reason. If you don’t want to spend your day smelling like Orca, I’d avoid it and laugh at all the wet people instead.
Family Tip #2: Spring for the souvenir cup if you’ll be at the park more than a day or two. Refills are $.99 for drinks and a couple bucks for an icee. They can also be refilled most places at Universal.
One of our favorite parts of SeaWorld was the amount of animal interaction available. There were feeding opportunities for the dolphins, rays, sea lions, and sharks, and touching pools for the dolphins and rays. The park staff made sure all the people were interacting with the animals correctly and both the humans and the animals were safe.
Family Tip #3: The first dolphin feeding of the day is a great one to experience. The animals are energetic and ready for their morning fish! If it’s in the budget ($7/tray), we highly recommend it.
The Clyde and Seymour show was another show favorite. It’s filled with funny one-liners and silly antics. The left side of the stands also has several large fans, which is great for cooling down during the show.
Family tip #4: If you’ve already seen a show, or have scheduled for later, visit a nearby ride or attraction while everyone else is packed into the stands. Your ride wait time is considerably shorter.
Of course, when we finished the Clyde and Seymour show, we couldn’t resist feeding the sea lions too. Getting the fish to the sea lions without them being snatched by an opportunistic bird became a kind of game. They are incredibly fun to watch also, if you’re not into flinging fish. This little guy above was filled with personality.
I loved this little game tucked behind Turtle Trek, where each player is a different type of sea turtle and has it’s own favorite food. They race the turtles, catching their food, and avoiding their predators, oil slicks, and nets until they get back to the beach to lay eggs.
And this flock of flamingos was out for a stroll behind the dolphin observation area (with some supervising humans). Not quite sure where they were going, but we enjoyed watching. There were also hidden benches with great view, educational employees that handed out animal cards if you asked them a question, squished penny machines, and a fantastic kids ride/water area. I wish I had space for photos of everything. Also a shout out for their gift shop, which carried the first personalized product I’ve ever seen with my name on it!
This nerdy mom loves it when we can have a great time and learn things too, and this park fit the bill perfectly. Now that we’re home, I hear kids playing “Shamu Show” from the other room. Of course sometimes their orcas are devouring their sea lions, but hey, that’s biology!
Thanks for stopping by for the second half of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”.