Hi Thrill Seekers,
You may have seen my extremely excited blog post last week about my upcoming FAM trip hosted by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. I am sad to say I am now back in the UK after an amazing 5 days in Orlando. I had the opportunity to visit all 4 of their brilliant parks; SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens and Aquatica! We packed so much in during the trip that I have had to split it into 5 posts.
We stayed at The Renaissance Hotel which is directly opposite SeaWorld which is where we spent our first day. I was fortunate enough to have a room with a balcony overlooking the park! First we headed to Antarctica, SeaWorld’s newest attraction. The attention to detail in this area of the park is stunning. The Antarctic: Empire of the Penguins ride is aimed at families and tells the story of Puck, a young Gentoo penguin who gets lost in a snowstorm. You have the option of a wild or mild ride. After the ride you have the opportunity to get up close with some real Gentoo penguins, as well as Adelies, Kings and Rockhoppers. Be aware it will get a bit chilly as you’ll be entering their habitat.
Next we caught the Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island show. This comedy tells the tale of 2 sealions and a mischievous ferret. If you’re going to watch this show I suggest getting there early so you don’t miss the hilarious mime artist who warms up the crowd by mimicking the guests as they arrive.
After lunch we headed to the Shamu Stadium to watch One Ocean. Killer whales, dancing fountains, vivid colours, global music and the trainer’s stories show you that we are all part of One World in this beautiful show. Be aware if you choose to sit in the ‘soak zone’ you will get very wet.
It was then time to hit some roller coasters. First we braved the Kraken, the only floorless coaster in Orlando. This is an extremely fast coaster with 7 inversions. It’s constant loops and drops ensure a thrilling ride. I strongly advise keeping your eyes open when you reach the top of the 149-foot-tall chain lift hill as you will see a stunning view of the park before hurtling towards the floor. There wasn’t much time to get used to being on hard ground again as we went straight to Manta. This was my favourite ride at SeaWorld. Once locked in, your seat is tilted forwards so that you are facing the floor. You are then taken up a 140-foot-tall chain lift hill before plummeting back down into the first loop. Here you’ll experience up to 3.7 Gs before flying around 3 more inversions and swooping just above water.
After the excitement of SeaWorld’s coasters we visited Dolphin Cove to feed some dolphins. This gives you the opportunity to get up close and touch these amazing creatures before feeding them some fish. We then fed stingrays which was not quite as pleasant as stingrays mouths are on the bottom side of their body. This meant holding a prawn at the bottom of the tank whilst a stingray swam over your hand to eat it which is an extremely odd sensation! Before dinner we were given a quick tour of SeaWorld’s behind-the-scenes rehabilitation area. Here they are caring for rescued animals such as manatees and turtles who have been hurt in the wild, in order to release them back into their natural habitat.
We had dinner at SeaWorld’s Sharks Underwater Grill. This restaurant offers fine dining next to a massive shark aquarium which takes up the entire back wall of the restaurant. The food was fabulous and we managed to land a table right next to the aquarium which was mesmerising to watch.
After dinner we were just in time to catch the Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountain Finale. The firework display, coupled with the festive music is spectacular. If you are visiting during the Christmas period I strongly recommend ensuring that you plan this display into your schedule. The staff will be able to point out the best place to watch the show. This also gave us the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful Christmas lights decorating the park.
That wraps up an extremely busy day at SeaWorld. Look out for my next blog post on our day at Discovery Cove!