I was provided complimentary tickets to Sea World in exchange for posting our experience. All thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own and our own adventures.
We absolutely loved our recent trip to Orlando, Florida. Seriously – we did not want to come home. There was so much to see and do in our short week that the only way to see it all is to go back, right!? I’m still trying to convince hubby that’s the case!
One of our first days in Orlando was spent visiting 1 of the 3 big theme parks in the city, the one with an aquatic theme – SeaWorld Orlando!
I barely remember visiting SeaWorld as a little girl. I was maybe around 4 or 5 and I hardly have any recollection except for seeing pictures and hearing stories about our trip from my parents. So, our visit was almost like a first time for all 4 of us!
I can’t even begin to explain how spectacular our visit truly was. It was absolutely amazing to see so many animals, so many animals that you would normally never ever get a glimpse of in real life, so close to us. The girls were truly in awe for our entire visit.
One thing that I didn’t quite realize before our trip to SeaWorld was just how many rides they had – for both youngsters and thrill seekers. The Sky Tower caught my attention immediately and I really, really regret that we ran out of time before we could ride it! I can’t imagine the views you could see from the top!
When I began telling the girls about our upcoming Orlando trip, probably one of the things Sophia looked most forward to was SeaWorld. I told her how she would get to see Orca Whales up close and how amazing and large they are – she was so, so excited. So the entire day she continued with the “I wanna go see Shamu.” She enjoyed all the animals and sights, but her heart was setting on seeing the orcas.
But before we could make the rounds to Shamu, we went through quite a few animal discovery centers, including the Dolphin Cove. It was amazing to see the dolphins interacting with their trainers. There were a couple of viewing areas, both above and below the water, and even a feeding area where you could purchase fish to interact with the dolphins yourself!
There were quite a few areas where you could feed different animals – Sting Rays, Sea Lions, and more around the park.
We saw animals that I told Sophia she might not ever get the chance to see again – Flamingos, Manatees, and so many more. It was such an incredible experience to share with my girls. They were in constant wonder and amazement.
And each time that we’ve talked about SeaWorld, or any Zoo or Aquarium for that matter, Sophia always talks about seals and sea lions. She said she had always wanted to see one and we did on this trip!
Remember those rides I told you about? There were quite a few of them and Kraken looked to be about the biggest one! This roller coaster looked like a ton of fun, but Rob and I decided to spend the day doing the things the girls could enjoy. I’m totally taming the Kraken when we go back, though!
Another super fun area that we explored was Antartica which houses the Empire of the Penguin. We wanted to ride this one so badly, but the girls just weren’t tall enough so we skipped out on it too – but the pictures on the SeaWorld Orlando website make it look like a must-see when they’re a bit taller!
As we rounded our circular tour of the park, we came upon the Shark Encounter. We’ve done a similar shark tunnel experience before, but the girls were super hesitant of the dark tunnels leading to the underwater viewing tunnel. A little reassurance and they were ok and really liked it once they got down there.
As we approached the Shamu Stadium, we were super bummed to see it was closed for seasonal maintenance – which meant no Shamu show. That was one thing Sophia was so looking forward to – getting splashed by Shamu and “seeing him jump up high!” Since the stadium is closed, SeaWorld has created Shamu Up Close so you can still have the chance to see the Orca Whales swimming around.
We stood and watched them for a bit, then began to leave the arena when the tour guide told us that a training session was getting ready to begin. We hurried back around and got in just in time to see the trainers show off some of the orca whales and what they were learning – like shaking their heads and jumps.
You could see the pride in the trainers when the whales performed, you could see them praise and love on the orca whales to show their enthusiasm. It was AMAZING. There are just no other words to describe seeing these huge creatures moving so elegantly in front of you. It makes me appreciate them so much and never want to do harm to them or any other ocean animals – it inspires so much love for the children and adults seeing them in the park.
Before we left, we caught the last Blue Horizons show of the day. It was a lovely theatrical performance full of divers, actors, acrobats, dolphins, and so much more! It was truly amazing too and breathtaking!
It’s no wonder that over 400 million guests have experienced SeaWorld in the 50 years since it’s doors have opened. Seeing these majestic creatures up close brings so much amazement, wonder, and love for creatures that we normally would never, ever have the opportunity to see.
Have you had the opportunity to visit Sea World? What was your favorite or would be if you had the opportunity?