Located near the intersection of the I-4 and the Bee Line Expressway, SeaWorld Orlando is a fun combination of amusement park, aquarium and beer garden. SeaWorld is excellent family entertainment, and though a little pricey - more than a Disney park - some of that money does go to very good cause. The SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team is one of the best in the country. And if you're the sort of person who likes leaping dolphins, sliding sea lions and crashing whales, you're going to have an incredible time
Some rides include:
A darn good roller coaster, but not the best in Orlando. Named after a legendary sea monster, the ride gives you an idea of what it might feel like to ride on top of the writhing beast. There's a little mist and some silly Kraken eggs at the end of the ride, but the theme is played up enough.
- Journey to Atlantis
A roller coaster cum flume ride that has special effects aplenty, but the reason why everyone's screaming is the 60ft vertical drop. Will you get wet? No, you'll get soaked - enough to make Shamu feel a little work-related pressure. Since this ride doesn't go upside down, you might think it's better for children, but young ones’ (especially girls who adore Ariel) could get freaked by the creepy evil mermaids.
- Wild Arctic
An IMAX movie where viewers are traveling to Base Station Wild Arctic in an incredible high-powered helicopter as a bad storm front moves in. The nature-loving pilot brings you very close to some polar bears before setting on thin ice. Of course, after hearing an awful rumbling sound, you fall through the ice, and it's touch and go for a while, but. . .
This ride is interesting in that you can experience it as an IMAX movie or as a Star Tours-like ride. The ride is far from scary, but if you have doubts, get in the Walk line, as opposed to the Fly line. Afterwards you walk through a cave and get to glimpse some polar bears and other Arctic life.
It is c-c-cold in this area. Even if it's a hot day, you will get chilly within minutes.
Seating at SeaWorld shows is on ridged metal benches that are low to the ground. You might have to sit on a jacket to keep that flowing to your feet.
- Shamu Adventure
Killer whales are the stars, and this is where you watch them do their thing. TV animal expert Jack Hanna hosts the show on a large high-resolution video screen. The first 15 rows - sometimes more - of Shamu Stadium are the ‘Splash Zone', and both whales and trainers enjoy soaking the crowd with icy seawater. If you go you can't miss the show.
At closing time, the daily grand finale, Shamu Rocks America, combines splashes in the water and splashes in the sky, with both Shamu and fireworks to bring the day to a close. Get there early to ensure a good seat.
- Key West Dolphin Fest
Atlantic bottle-nose dolphins and their trainers work together so beautifully in this show - you can really get a sense of the deep relationship between animals and the humans. Bet you didn't think a dolphin could get you soaked, either! Rarely seen false killer whales, which look like skinny dark-gray killer whales, are also featured.
- Pets Ahoy!
Featuring the talents of cats, birds, rats, pot-bellied pigs and others, this show will delight the little ones. Many of the showpets went from cages to the grand stage (they were rescued from local animal shelters).
- Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island
Also a must-see, this is a truly delightful show starring sea lion, otter and walrus ‘comedians’. It's great for kids, who find it hilarious - and the humans in it are funny too. In fact, they may be the only ones who can perform a schlocky script with panache. Take the tots to Shamu's Happy Harbor after, to work off some of that excitement.
Kinda like Cirque du Soleil on a much pared down level, this unusual 30-minute circus performance combines acrobats, elaborate costumes and a heap of special effects to recreate what it's like to move under the sea. The gravity-defying stunts will have you holding your breath.
After Shamu says goodnight to guests, the sky lights up with a fireworks display over the lagoon. Make sure you're on the right side of the bridge when they start - it closes the traffic during the show.
Author : Kenneth Ng
Email : email@example.com
SeaWorld Orlando (407-800-3600 / 800-327-2424; 7007 SeaWorld Orlando Dr; adult/child $60/48; time vary according to season)
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