Underwater Explorations at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida
My son is a salt water fish fanatic, spurned on by his watching those Living Color Florida fish tank-builders: Fish Tank Kings…. and our spring trip to the Florida Aquarium. And then we went to SeaWorld, the Orlando attraction that built it’s 50 years around, you guessed it: FISH! And they have this aquarium thing down pat!
It is fascinating to learn how many critters actually live under the sea, and the folks at SeaWorld managed to tuck them into all the nooks and crannies of their park, like the simply named “aquarium” squeezed into a niche beneath the Manta Rollercoaster. Most guests overlooked the mist- shrouded door that held dark caverns filled with various creatively shaped aquariums brimming with sea horses, sea dragons, octopus, sharks and, of course, manta rays!
Then beneath the bowels of the Atlantis ride (yes, you DO get wet!), another alcove of eels, jellyfish and more in an Atlantean Temple. We walked right by it the first time when exiting the ride, then saw that “Aquarium” sign again and went through the main entrance (next to the flume drop).
We nearly walked past the dolphin underwater viewing entrance, hidden deep in a cave with floor to ceiling glass walls, and only found the Manatee Rescue and Sea Turtle Rescue Center areas by sheer accident. And if we hadn’t made a wrong turn, we may have never stumbled across the Sea Lions!
SeaWorld offers so much to do and see, mesmerizing us with their rollercoasters and the whole Antarctica Experience (Ride to See the Penguins), which incidentally, was too crowded, as everyone else was mesmerized as well! And Shamu. You can never forget the sight of a Killer Whale jump up from the water. How is that even possible?
You can spend a whole day just checking out the cool underwater wild life at SeaWorld without even touching on the rides and shows. There is so much they have to offer. And from incredibly thick shark tanks to killer whale tanks, they have made aquarium building an art form! So go, enjoy this really cool aquatic zoo, but remember, someone out there has to clean all of those tanks! (Be glad it isn’t you!)
Check out my Instagram page for more SeaWorld Photos!
Things To Know Before You Go:
- Check the map on line before you go. Decide what looks cool for your family.
- Parking is $17 or $20 preferred parking (closer to the gate).
- You can purchase a Quick Queue pass to by-pass any long lines. Fees start at $19 per person.
- If you by-passed the Quick Queue pass, be prepared to go onto your second favorite choice if it is a busy day. We ditched the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin experience after too long a wait and went to the Wild Arctic one instead. Beluga Whales are cool and so is the Wild Arctic. (More incredible aquarium building on a massive scale!) A simulator helicopter ride and then chance to check out the Arctic base camp with whales, Harbor Seals and walrus!
- There are a LOT of shows. Check out show times of what you want to see and plan accordingly.
- Food can be hit or miss in theme parks. Antarctica had an array of Chinese, American & Italian in one eatery (Expedition Café- fast food), but the barbeque in the Spice Market smelled heavenly (Voyagers Smokehouse BBQ)! They even have a restaurant with views of the shark tanks! (Sharks Underwater Grill & Bar). Make reservations when you arrive if you are choosing a table-served establishment.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fresh water! Sure there is water all around, but somehow we were hotter than ever. Atlantis was a good thrill ride to get wet on, Shamu Show has a splash zone area gauteenned to get you soaked, but for little kids, the best bet is the little Splash play area at Shamu’s Happy Harbor- home to little kids rides and 4 stories of climbing nets!