Must-Do Rides, Shows, and Exhibits at SeaWorld!
SeaWorld Orlando has seen quite a few changes in the past several years. The shows have changed, dining options have been updated, and there are even MORE roller coasters! This theme park isn’t just a place to visit the penguins. (Although, those penguins are totally worth a visit!) It’s a place where you can experience thrills and get up-close and personal with sea life. And, it’s a place that people of all ages can enjoy. This is true whether you love thrills, entertainment, or all of the above!
Let’s take a look at ALL the best things to do at SeaWorld this year and how to prioritize your trip!
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Best Rides and Attractions at SeaWorld
SeaWorld is known for its animal encounters and thrill rides. There are four roller coasters at the theme park and a few water rides. It’s the perfect stop for thrill-seekers and animal lovers!
This coaster is a crowd-favorite and a must-do! It has NO upside-down moments or inverses but it still offers A LOT of thrills. (It’s my personal favorite ride at SeaWorld!) This is a great coaster for someone who likes to experience some g-forces without hanging upside down. The best part is being pulled to the top of the peak and plummeting down the steep hill.
On Manta, guests start the coaster in a horizontal position. (It’s supposed to simulate the feeling of swimming like a stingray!) You will face the ground while you climb uphill. This adds a HUGE amount of thrill and anxiety to the experience. You will then make your first upside-down turn while horizontal. This is a ride that is DEFINITELY for those who love thrills!
Ice Breaker is brand new to SeaWorld and another roller coaster with inverses. It’s a little smaller than the others but it starts with a launch. Meaning, you go from 0 to high-speeds in a quick amount of time. This ride features a few launches including one that goes backward down a steep hill!
Kraken is a roller coaster that allows you to warm up before heading to Manta. You will go upside down but it’s a lot slower. You also don’t start the ride horizontally so it’s more of a “normal” experience. The coaster is fun but it could be skipped if you’re running out of time. The other rides offer more unique experiences.
This tube ride is fairly new to SeaWorld and is perfect for a hot Florida day! Guests board a raft that will pull you down the fast rapids. You’ll experience some big dips then be lifted to the top of a steep drop. The drop is boasted as being the tallest in Florida. There isn’t too much to this ride but the drop can be fun and refreshing!
Sesame Street is an entire land at SeaWorld. The rides are meant for small children and the interactive elements are for young ones too. However, this land is SO cool. It’s an immersive environment that brings the beloved Sesame Street to life. I totally advise exploring this land a bit just to see all the details and maybe even visit the characters!
Journey to Atlantis
This is a flume ride where guests board a boat and are taken through a story. It’s similar to Splash Mountain and other log rides. The boat will take you through dark scenes about the lost city of Atlantis before you plummet down a steep hill. You’ll get a little wet so be prepared! Given the choice between the two water rides, I would go with Infinity Falls. Although, if you’re traveling with young children this is a good alternative to roller coasters!
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
The penguin encounter is half a ride and half an exhibit. You can choose to enjoy the ride with story elements or head straight to the penguins. On the ride, you’ll board a trackless vehicle that shuffles you through icy caves and show elements. You’ll disembark your vehicle at the real penguin exhibit where you can visit the animals and take pictures. Either way, you have to wait in line and watch the pre-show before making your choice. The line for the penguin exhibit can get a little long because of the show’s features.
Best Shows and Exhibits at SeaWorld
The orca show should be at the top of your priority list! The orcas are magnificent and do some truly awe-inspiring behaviors. It’s a show that combines education with the spectacle of orcas synchronizing together. But beware! Don’t sit in the “Splash Zone” unless you REALLY want to get wet. You will get absolutely soaking wet when you sit in this area. They have the orcas purposely fling buckets of water on the audience! It’s a fun time to watch as a spectator though. 😉
Sea Lion High
The show featuring sea lions and otters is the runner-up to the orca show. It’s a little cuter and has a storyline with characters. It’s much more fun for kids because there’s some entertainment and humor thrown into the show. You’ll see seals and otters perform some slides, jumps, and fun antics. In the end, you’ll be treated to an enormous walrus who steals the show! Make sure you arrive at the orca and sea lion shows about 30 minutes before either show starts. The seats can fill up quickly on busy days.
Dolphin Encounter/Dolphin Show
Usually, there is a dolphin show in addition to the other two animal shows. The theater is under renovation right now and it will hopefully reopen soon. (The time of this writing is spring 2021.) As an alternative, be sure to visit the Dolphin Encounter! The handlers educate the audience about the dolphins and they do adorable behaviors. It’s a fun way to see the dolphins play!
Turtle Trek/Manatee Rehabilitation
This is a small exhibit but I advise touring the Turtle Trek! You’ll start by visiting the manatees that are being rehabilitated. The handlers are nursing the animals back to health at SeaWorld before releasing them back into the wild. You will then get to see some BIG sea turtles hanging out among the reefs and other fish. This is one of my favorite little corners of SeaWorld and a great pit-stop!
The shark tanks are often overlooked but it is a really cool attraction! The sharks and other fish are located inside a large dome-shaped exhibit. You’ll walk through the archway where you are surrounded by marine life. It’s incredibly serene and you get an up-close look at the sharks. You can also choose to dine at Sharks Underwater Grill where you get a good view of the tanks while you eat!
These are all the rides, and animal exhibits you should try to conquer while at SeaWorld! It takes a little coordination but you can accomplish most of these things in one day. Remember to arrive early so you can knock out as many cool attractions as you can! It’s also a good idea to visit during the week so you can avoid weekend crowds. That way, you can experience ALL the cool things SeaWorld has to offer!
Have any questions about SeaWorld? Drop them in the comments below! I’m an Orlando local and will gladly answer your questions.
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