No one knows water or marine life better than SeaWorld®, and it’s one of the best ways for hydrophiles and Florida vacationers to get their thrills and chills when visiting Orlando. When planning your Orlando family-vacation itinerary with Preferred Guest Resorts, be sure to add in a day or two for some of the most amazing, once-in-a-lifetime type of adventures at SeaWorld® Orlando, which also includes the main SeaWorld theme park; the Aquatica water park; and the interactive, all-inclusive dolphin swim experience at the Discovery Cove resort oasis. SeaWorld’s sister theme park, Busch Gardens, is also about an hour and a half west of Orlando in Tampa and worth the day trip.
SeaWorld is a huge hit with kids and adult animal lovers and jam packed with coasters, rides, attractions, spectacular shows, animal and conservation exhibits, behind-the-scenes tours, interactive and educational experiences, and much more. Many Orlando travelers have praised its entertainment value and gentler impact on budget-minded wallets. You’ll also be close to all the action. Rest assured when you book your trip to Orlando with Preferred Guest Resorts, your hotel, resort or timeshare vacation rental will be in close range to the park and numerous Orlando attractions. Also ask about booking accommodations that offer free breakfast, so you can quickly eat and get to the park early. Getting into the park shouldn’t be a hassle, so check online and ask your Preferred Guest Resorts representative about your most efficient, time and money-saving options through the front gates.Here are a few more insider traveler tips to help enhance your exciting family vacation day at SeaWorld Orlando.
BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE: If traving on a promotional vacation package with Preferred Guest Resorts, you may be eligible to receive two free admission tickts. (Ask any PGR represnetative for more details. ) If you are reciving different theme park tickets, a rental car, or other promotional perks, a great way to avoid long lines at the SeaWorld entry gate is to buy your tickets in advance. Check online for special rates, discounts and park packages available for Orlando family vacationers during your travel time. When you book your travel, be sure to ask your Preferred Guest Resorts representative about purchasing advance tickets, and check to see if your Preferred Guest Resorts hotel, resort or vacation timeshare rental has advance purchase ticket options available. Combination packages that include all SeaWorld Orlando parks and Bush Gardens in Tampa as well as unlimited return visits or “no expiration” options plus parking added to at least one pass could save you money during your trip and especially during future visits. An annual pass includes discounts on food, merchandise and parking and some can pay for themselves in as little as two visits. If you are a Florida resident, look for “Buy a Day, Come All Year for Free” type special that offers exponential savings. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: If you plan on visiting Discovery Cove, purchase your Dolphin Swim Day Resort Package first because it typically includes unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica during your vacation –a super money saver for budget travelers as it makes the heftier Discovery Cove price a lot easier to digest. You can even add unlimited Busch Gardens admission for a few extra bucks. Ask your Preferred Guest Resort representative for details when booking your Orlando trip and itinerary.
GET THERE EARLY T BEAT THE CROWDS: Go early to get a good parking spot. Snap a picture of your car parking spot to remind you where your vehicle is or write it down. You can also get a head start on your desired rides before the park gets too crowded. Check the SeaWorld website the day before your visit for next day’s show times so you can plan your day. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: Be sure to get to Shamu Stadium early, too, as the place and main draw tends to fill up in minutes.
CREATE A FAMILY PLAN: As soon as you arrive, find a public safety spot to go to if anyone gets lost from the group. Have your kids wear bright colors so they’ll stand out if they happen to get lost and you are looking for them. Snap pictures of them on your phone right before you leave so if they do get lost you have a recent picture and in the clothes they are wearing. Advise kids to go only to a security officer or a cast member with a name tag if they get lost. Consider prepaid cell phones for the kids that are set up to call you if they get lost, too. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: If your kids are too young for phones or tend to wander off, use a sharpie to write your name and phone number on the bottom inside of their shirt or on their wrist for a security guard or cast member to call.
MAKE DINING RESERVATIONS EARLY:Make sure to stop and book your dining at reservation-only restaurants you really want to experience. They start taking reservation at 10 am the day off, and some you can schedule prior to your arrival.
Ask your Preferred Guest Resorts representative about reservations for specialty restaurants when booking your itinerary.
GET YOUR RIDES IN FIRST: Locals and prior Orlando travelers recommend working the park backwards to beat out crowds, given a majority of people tend to stop at the first attraction they come upon. They also suggest riding all the rides you want to ride before hitting the shows, or during the last hour that the park is open, especially Kraken and Journey to Atlantis, when lines tend to be much shorter. Lines for those rides also tend to be longest right after the Blue Horizons show ends. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: Use the park’s free package check services to store items you buy in the park and keep your hands free while you ride.
MAKE TIME FOR FEEDING: Animal lovers will enjoy the designated feeding times throughout the day to hand feed and possibly touch Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins , stingrays and sea lions. Get the day’s feeding schedule upon arrival, and make sure to get there early for a good spot up front, especially at the dolphin feeding pool. You’ll be fighting crowds of people just as interested in and excited about the activity, and a little courtesy goes a long way. Have one adult and child designated to go buy the fish, while the others save the space. Since the amount of fish is controlled per feeding time, get in line early to ensure you get some fish before they run out and your whole family gets to experience the thrill of a lifetime. The sheer thrill of quickly touching a dolphin for the first time is an unforgettable experience, so imagine swimming with one. Ask your Preferred Guest Representative about the dolphin swim and trainer-for-a-day programs at its limited-entry, tropical-resort-style oasis , Discovery Cove, where you can also snorkel lagoons teeming with colorful fish, giant stingray and shipwreck to explore.
CHOOSE YOUR SEATS CAREFULLY: There’s wet, and then there’s Shamu wet. Soak Zones are clearly marked at the Shamu One Ocean show and they’re typically favored by the kids who love to get splashed. Consider wearing swim trunks or bathing suits under your clothes and bringing an extra set of clothing. Some of the water rides can cause quite a soaking; you will literally get drenched in the front seat of Journey to Atlantis. Part of the fun at SeaWorld Orlando is getting wet, but buying cheap ponchos at a drugstore can help protect your clothing, electronics and valuables in those wetter than wet circumstances.
GO BEHIND THE SCENES: SeaWorld’s behind-the-scenes experience connects you to the world we share like never before.The tours are not listed on the park map, so they’re easy to miss out on. Ask your Preferred Guest Resorts representative about booking the Behind-the-Scenes experiences before your trip to Orlando. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: You can also book reservations online, or stop by the tour desk just inside the SeaWorld front gate as soon as you arrive to reserve a tour time.
CHECK FOOD & BEVERAGE POLICIES: There are numerous restaurants and concession stands located conveniently throughout the park. But according to the SeaWorld website, large hard or soft coolers, glass containers, food, drinks and picnic lunches may not be taken into the park. Guests with special diets, baby formula or baby food may bring their items into the park. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: Ask your Preferred Guest Resort’s representative about any updates to policies and possible exceptions for water bottles, which can save you a lot of money if you bring your own and refill them at water fountains. Freeze them the night before, and you’ll have ice-cold water for a while as it melts. Bring individual packets of juice or tea-mixers like Crystal Light that you can mix with a glass of ice water many restaurants will give you free of charge.
RESERVE SPECIAL DINING EXPERIENCES: SeaWorld offers park visitors several dining options from casual and castaway fare to gourmet, upscale dining. When approaching concession-style eateries, review the menu and have your selections in mind before you get to the counter, which helps keep lines moving more quickly and cast members grateful. At Sharks Underwater Grill, you can nosh on world-class cuisine sitting next to a window of mesmerizing sharks. The popular restaurant starts taking reservations at 10:00 am that day. Dining with Shamu is a behind-the-scenes experience available only at SeaWorld Orlando. Sit poolside. Watch majestic whales interact and learn about the little things we can all do to help save valuable ocean resources and habitats, while you all enjoy a scrumptious menu of seasonal and sustainable items. EXTRA INSIDER TIP: Ask your Preferred Guest Resorts representative about required reservations. You can make them after 10 am the day of your visit, but you have a better chance of ensuring the special encounters if you reserve them beforehand. If dining at some of the standard eateries, plan on having lunch during the popular show times, and you’ll beat the heavier crowds.
ESCAPE THE HEAT: Florida is well-known for its year-round sunshine—sunny days that can bring some brutally hot and humid temperatures in the summer. Be sure to lather up with sunscreen so as not to burn, and wear comfortable clothes that dry easily, whether seat or the occasional drenching by Shamu or water rides. You can get an old-fashioned cool-down with a good soaking from a Shamu splash or a H2O-based ride. But SeaWorld also has many “cool places” to simmer down and reduce those increased body temperatures on hot summer days. EXTRA INSDIER TIP: There are many ways and places to escape the summer heat, like visiting the polar bear exhibit and the Wild Arctic simulator ride, checking out the Penguin Encounter®, playing some games in the arcade, enjoying one of many shows in the Nautilus Theater or checking out Turtle Trek, SeaWorld’s newest attraction and a 3-D domed theater experience.
RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES WHILE KIDS PLAY: When your body and feet need a break or you just want some down time while the kids still have energy to burn, turn them loose at Shamu’s Happy Harbor, which is full of youthful adventurers and fun, family rides. They can climb a four-story nets link with a series of winding tunnels and slippery slides. Don’t worry; they’re big enough for parents to enjoy, too. Spin away on a teacup-style ride, enjoy the starter thrills of a kiddie coaster, hop up and down on a fiddler crab ride, rock side to side and back and forth on a 19-inch tug boat, and much more.
CHECK PARK SMOKING POLICIES: Check the guide for the park’s smoking policies, then locate and use the smoking sections.
SeaWorld brings out the kid in everyone and is well worth a day or more while you’re in Orlando. You don’t even need to worry about your family pet given SeaWorld offers exceptional kennel services so your dog doesn’t need to stay stashed alone in the room all day. Be sure to mention your desire to bring your pet when booking your travel to Orlando, so your Preferred Guest Resorts representative can advise you of your options and try to get a resort, hotel or vacation timeshare rental that accommodates bringing your best buddy along as well. Having your Preferred Guest Resorts representative book accommodations that are within close proximity to all your options and work your SeaWorld Orlando adventures into your itinerary will help ensure that you and your family have your BEST VACATION EVER!