Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Trip to SeaWorld
Please join us in welcoming Stephany Wiestling to The Window Seat. She is an avid traveler and runs the website BestKidFriendlyTravel.com where she shares family vacation tips from her own travels and from other parents who’ve been there.
My son is a huge animal lover, and he especially loves marine animals. No matter where we go, his favorite attractions are aquariums. Of course it’s a no-brainer that SeaWorld is hands-down his favorite theme park. (You can witness his enthusiasm in his SeaWorld video review .)
Even though the parks are small and easy to navigate, allow at least a day and a half to take it all in. Make dining experience reservations as early as possible. Often if you wait until you arrive at the park, they are sold out. However, there are many tasty, healthy and affordable dining options throughout the park that don’t take reservations.
The first thing you’ll need when you get through the gates is a park map. Flip it over to check the show times on the back to chart out your day. Choose which Shamu show you will see and plan the rest of your day around that.
Some insider tips:
- Be sure to pack a poncho or buy one at the gift shop for each of you. Many of the attractions have splash zones and you’ll want to be prepared.
- Keep your phone in a sealed zip-top bag at all times. You’ll still be able to use it without opening the bag and you won’t risk it getting soaked. (Yes, this even works with an iPhone.)
- Disposable waterproof cameras are very handy.
- Hang around under the Manta ride (Orlando) to catch falling hats, wallets and loose change. (Keep this in mind when you ride it.)
- Bring a light sweatshirt for the Penguin Encounter and Wild Arctic. It feels really cold in there. On hot days, this is a blessing at first, but after a few minutes it’s just cold.
- If you sit in the front row on the Journey to Atlantis ride, you will get soaked. To the bone.
- Orlando has the better rides for adults and older kids (Kraken and Manta) in our opinion.
- Beat the crowds by going in early spring or early fall (Sept-Nov or Jan-Apr) or during the week during the school year.
- For young kids, the pet show is a must.
Some of our favorite attractions are the Shark Encounter and feeding the sea lions. The Shark Encounter allows you to walk through a tunnel while sharks swim above and all around you. The sea lions are hilarious when they beg for fish. Some will even perform little tricks for you. Watch out for the greedy birds, though. Some will try to steal the fish right out of your cup!
There are so many ways to see marine animals up close and personal at SeaWorld. The stingray pool allows you to view and touch stingrays. Dolphin encounters are always a hit. On one particular visit in Orlando last year the dolphins were especially playful and wrestled right up against the wall where we were standing. Needless to say, we got drenched.
SeaWorld is great for families of all ages because it is super stroller-friendly, and because of its compact design. Kids can see lots of animals without much time walking to the next exhibit. Not only are the animals right up front and easy to see, many animals perform amazing acrobatic shows that delight visitors of all ages.
Images were provided by Stephany Wiestling.
From time to time, the Window Seat publishes articles and blog posts written by guest authors to give you a fresh perspective on the world of travel.