Days Out | Seaworld, Orlando [Gifted Review]

Our on recent visit to Walt Disney World we decided to head out of the parks and visit two other attractions, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. We have visited Universal before but we had never been to SeaWorld so we were really looking forward to it. SeaWorld tends to get quite bad press although I never actually take notice of such things in the media unless I experience it myself, so I was eager to explore the park myself and make my own decisions.

Arriving at SeaWorld was easy from Walt Disney World, we ordered an Uber which took us straight to the main gate and cost around $11. We headed straight through security and then were greeted by a very friendly dolphin who was more than happy to pose for a photo with little J.

I had already downloaded the SeaWorld app so had an idea of what we would get up to there and also little J was quite excited to visit the new Sesame Street Land.

Just from glancing at the app you will know that SeaWorld isn't just about animals and shows it's so much more than that. It's a theme park too with actually some of the best thrill rides we have ever been on but I will talk more about them later.

We started to make our way around the park and we soon came to the StringRay area. We have visited many aquariums in the past and seen StringRay up close but we actually got the chance to feed them which was an amazing experience.

The StingRay food is available to buy for $6 and I will warn you that you will be given little frozen fishes. They are dead of course but their eyes are still there and it did make me feel a little queasy. The idea is you hold the fish in-between your fingers upright and place your hand on the bottom of the tank. The Stingray will then swim over your hand collecting the fish on the way. I actually didn't give this a go myself but the boys loved it and it did look fun.

Next we wandered to the dolphins however there was something going on down by the pool, maybe a 'swim with' experience so it was very busy and a huge queue was forming. We did get to see them swimming around and doing little tricks but it would have been nicer to get closer to them but unfortunately that wasn't an option for us on this trip as it's quite costly.

On our way to see the Manatees little J found a little creature wandering around, a lizard.

It was nice to see the Manatee's in rehabilitation. Some of them were huge and I had no idea that they eat cabbages, how strange. The Manatee Rehabilitation gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the  five acre Rescue Center used for rehabilitating wildlife that have been ill, injured or orphaned – including manatees, sea turtles, birds and other marine animals. While a guided tour of the entire facility has been available for years, the park has now opened up one portion of the area for complimentary viewing to all park guests. This gives you the chance to see firsthand some of the top problems Manatee populations are facing and simple actions we can all take to help, through interactive displays and rescue footage straight from the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team.

While John and big J headed to queue for the Manta ride, little J and I stumbled upon some pretty birds.

Our first family ride was Antartica - Empire Of The Penguin. The ride is a motion based simulator ride that takes you on the journey of a little penguin. When we were near the front of the queue we were offered wild or mild spinning. We opted for mild however we did see 'wild' once inside and it didn't look too bad. Once we had finished the ride we were surrounded by penguins and it was so cold. Some of the penguins were motionless so we thought they were not real at first however we soon realised they were. It was lovely to see them swimming around in the waters.

Like I said earlier SeaWorld is much more than animals it is also a theme park which if I am honest appeals to us as a family more that seeing animals and shows.

Kraken, Manta and Mako are three of the best thrill rides we have actually ever been on. We love rollercoasters and if I am honest I didn't think the rollercoasters at SeaWorld would be any good but I was so wrong. Each ride had no waiting time at all, we just walked on them which is crazy as if these rides were in Disney, Universal or UK theme parks the wait would be over an hour, possibly two. I'm not sure why they had no queues as they are amazing, I am guessing people head to SeaWorld with their families to see the animals and not for rides.

Both big J and I loved Mako. It's so strange to have a thrill ride that does not secure you in over your shoulders, there is just a bar by your stomach. It reaches up to 73mph and goes up to 200ft high. It's actually Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest rollercoaster and we loved it.

Manta was John's favourite and is very similar to Air, at Alton Towers however it has a loop and seemed a lot faster.

Kraken was also lots of fun and we all enjoyed it.

As well as the rides, attractions and animals there were two attractions that were not included in your ticket price. You can pay $6 per person to go on a Pink Flamingo Boat Ride or $5 per person to go on The Iconic Sky Tower. To be honest I wasn't happy that if you want to go on these two attractions you have to pay. We actually didn't realise and we had already said we were going to on on the Iconic Sky Tower so it cost us $20.

We did all enjoy soaring 400ft feet into the air and the views of Orlando were amazing.

There were rides for little J too in Sesame Street Land. New to SeaWorld this year, Sesame Street has lots of fun rides and attractions for little ones and little J really enjoyed the time we spent there. It was a really hot day and there was very little shade in this area but there were no queues for the rides so we managed to do everything quite quickly before it was time to head home.

We all really enjoyed our day at SeaWorld and it was nice to visit a different theme park that wasn't Disney for a day. I think if we had visited some of the shows and talks our day would have been longer however due to the heat we did call it a day just around 4pm but we did manage to go on all the rides, and the thrill rides twice each.

The best value ticket for visiting SeaWorld Parks in Florida is the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package, which includes a one-day reservation at Discovery Cove (with 30-minute dolphin swim experience and all meals and snacks included) plus 14-days unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica Orlando, with free parking included at all parks. Prices start from £192 per person.

For more information, visit www.seaworldparks.co.uk

Would we visit again? Absolutely. There is so much to see and do and like I said earlier we are a family that loves rides and the three thrill rides here are amazing, so they alone will bring us to SeaWorld on our next visit to Orlando.

Michelle

We were invited to SeaWorld in return for a full honest review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

18 comments

  1. I’ve never been too sure what to think of SeaWorld - as you say, it does get a lot of bad press. But I’m glad to read in your review that there is a SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team. The rides look very exhilarating!

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  2. I absolutely loved SeaWorld when I visited many, many moons ago. It looks to have changed somewhat but looks like you had a great time! Sim x

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  3. It looks like so much fun. I bet you guys had the most amazing time. There is so much to see and do there. You guys are brave to go one the rollercoasters!!! :-)

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  4. Oh wow this looks amazing! I have always wanted to go to sea world. I've heard great things about it. The Sesame Street addition is so cute!

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  5. This looks super. I’ve never been to Orlando and would love to go. I didn’t know Seaworld had rollercoasters - I assumed that it would jus thane animals and shows to watch.

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  6. Wow this looks amazing. Definitely on my list as a place to go.

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  7. I had no idea they had rides, those look epic. I think getting up close to creatures like rays, dolphins and manatees is an amazing experience, something I would love to do one day.

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  8. This looks such a lovely place to visit. I am not sure I could face the frozen fish with eyes (not great around fish that is dead that looks like fish!) or even brave enough to feed it to the awaiting hungry mouths!!

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  9. We went on a particularly rainy day so didn't see as much as we would have liked. We did enjoy what we did see though.

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  10. This looks like an amazing place to visit! I never knew Sea World had a theme park. And also never knew they had Emperor Penguins, I would love to see them.

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  11. I haven't been to Orlando but I've heard there are loads of big attractions to visit. I'd enjoy seeing the aquatic life at Seaworld.x

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  12. Oh that looks awesome. I love places like this and it’s on our family bucket list so hopefully we’ll get there one day x

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  13. How lovely that you got feed the stingrays and the new same street ride area looks like a lot of fun for little j to explore and have the chance to go on the rides.

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  14. I’d love to go to Orlando - I’ve never been! Had no idea Seaworld had rollercoasters - imagined it was shows and animals. How lovely!

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  15. It's good you decided to make up your own mind. Sounds like you had a good day, despite the unexpected extra costs. I had no idea either that manatees eat cabbage!

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  16. Oh, wow! Seaworld Orlando looks like a fab place to visit with the kids. My two love anything like this so we'll definitely be visiting when we FINALLY get to Orlando :)

    Louise x

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  17. I must admit, I thought Sea World as just sea animals and did not think of it as a theme park too. Looks like it has more to offer families.

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  18. Wow this looks like an amazing day out, I had no idea they had rides too

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)