It had been long since I’ve learnt from various sources that the famous Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida that opened near the end of the second operating season of SeaWorld of Ohio, has been a phenomenal success from visitors all around the globe. Various reviewers have attributed the grand success to Disney that Orlando today has emerged as a tourist hotspot for a massive number of people that would make their way to central Florida for vacations. And there we were, to explore the marvels of central Florida and make the best of our winter vacations in January!
The first day in Florida was really an eventful one at the SeaWorld in Orlando, “the theme park mecca of the world”! To cut it short, we had a beautiful view of the Orlando airport, of the city in our way, the amazing palm treeline in each and every strip-and finally reached the spectacular sea world in the mid-day. What followed was a bunch of sweet little surprises and unforgettable encounters with a host of sea animals throughout the day!! And as we explored them all, little did we wonder how the SeaWorld has thrived as a remarkable vacation destination since its opening day in 1973!
Why did we choose the Sea World of Orlando as the first destination of our trip?
Well, as the world's premiere marine adventure park with 200 acres of world-class shows, thrilling rides and unforgettable animal encounters, what else can beat the SeaWorld in the unmistakable appeal it holds for adventure lovers like me and my husband! For the records, more than 80 million visitors have explored the mysteries of the sea in the SeaWorld, along with up-close animal interactions and exhilarating thrills, and no wonder, we couldn’t wait to be part of that crowd! Above all, there were those new state-of-the-art rides such as “Kraken" and “Journey To Atlantis" we heard of which twist, turn, and drench guests with unprecedented thrills that we longed to explore. At the same time, amazing animal encounters with sea animals including killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, stingrays and more were too good to resist!
The shows and rides of Sea World, Orlando:
After that wholesome trip to the SeaWorld, we keep telling our friends over here that whether you choose to meet Shamu, the world's most famous killer whale, or immerse yourself in the grandeur of the underwater circus called Odyssea, you are sure to have a show you'll enjoy inside the amazing SeaWorld.
The Wale and Dolphins’ show, “Blue Horizon”: What we really enjoyed was the Whale and Dolphin show: “Blue Horizons”! The set-up was a bit weird, but then it really kicked off well, with all the acrobats and diving, with the beautiful addition of birds to the show. Accompanied by a musical score, trainers performed alongside their aquatic counterparts, with the highlights of the show being the dolphin tricks including the usual fair of midair summersaults. Some of the underwater spirals seemed fairly impressive as well, requiring concentration on both the part of trainer and animal. I really don’t know much about the reviews, but to us, that was a good blend of performance from both the animals and the humans. All in all, a captivating and visually stunning show.
Compared to that, the enticing Shamu show didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it. The Shamu show being the most popular show at SeaWorld, running 20 minutes and showing as many as six times a day had caught my fancies long before, as I chanced upon the website of SeaWorld, Orlando before planning for a trip here in January. The highlight of the performance was supposed to be the spectacular natural behaviors of orcas and the unique relationships that SeaWorld trainers have with these animals. We expected the show to be a one-of-its-kind, enlivening a spirit of wonder. It started off as a captivating, dramatic show, presented in a completely enhanced Shamu Theater, featuring new music, video and animal behaviors. However, the time was too short and as soon as we were prepared to transport our hearts to the edge of sheer wonder, the show was over.
However, what the Shamu show lacked was compensated by the amazing sea lion show, where “Clyde and Seymour take Pirate Island”. In this sensational show, an animal trainer dolled up like Mister Smee and his sea lion buddy pranced around the pirate-themed set. The setting was amazing, with the animals being the key point of the show. The show was funny and highly entertaining, taking animal intelligence to the next level!
About the Penguin encounter:
Next, we headed towards the fascinating Penguin encounter, renowned locally as the “SeaWorld’s slice of the Antarctic! Well, what a wonderful journey it was through a 120 foot long moving walkway, feeling as if we landed up in a frozen wonderland! And there they were, the darling Rock-hoppers, Gentoo and King, delighting us with their sweet little gestures! Moreover, it was such fun to see the wonderful activities of three species of flying birds as they jumped, slid and dived both above and below the water!
Well, the story of our enchanting journey to the SeaWorld of Orlando would be incomplete if I don’t mention anything about the host of spectacular rides like Challenge Kraken-that transport you to a domain of sheer excitement and ecstasy. Mind it, this one (Challenge Kraken) happens to be Orlando's only floorless coaster where you would get to experience a fascinating journey to the Atlantis through a part water ride and part roller coaster ride!
After experiencing all the spectacular animal shows, fantastic rides and numerous animal attractions, we found there’s a lot more to explore in the mighty sea kingdom, including the Oyster Secret pearl diving lagoon and shop (where you have underwater treasures custom-made into beautiful pieces of jewelry right there), Shamu's Happy Harbor, an unbelievably fun, “just-for-kids” paradise filled with giant pink flamingos and palm trees. And while coming out of the enchanting kingdom of sea animals, we also had the chance to have an exciting glimpse of the nightlife at Sea World, the celebrations of sight, sound, flavor and festivity at the Waterfront! Yes, that is the festivity that defines the most vibrant cities by the sea.
At the end of the day, when we were reached our hotel in Orlando, almost gasping for breath after a great exploration of the spectacular SeaWorld, I was really longing so badly to tell all my friends and near ones about a fascinating experience of being in a paradise for a day! If you have a family and above all, kids, looking for a great vacation, this is the place where you can touch and feed the dolphins, count the teeth on a shark and feed seals and sea lions! And if you are already an adventure lover looking for numerous animal attractions, where you can take your family below the surface, above the waves and beyond your expectations, what can be more enchanting than the SeaWorld?
Lopa Bhattacharya (Banerjee) is a content writer/developer, now based in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, working for various overseas corporate website projects, CD-Rom presentations, brochures, flyers and other communication materials. Has worked on numerous SEO copywriting projects on varied themes ranging from travel, hotel industry, photography, web design and software development to US-based clubs and network communities. Was previously an editorial associate for the news, culture and entertainment portal based on the life and times of Kolkata, India.