Tag Archives: SeaWorld

11 Little-Known Orlando Theme Park Experiences

To celebrate the unparalleled collection of unique experiences that can be found in Orlando, Theme Park Capital of the World®, the destination experts at Visit Orlando have compiled a list of some of the most unusual – and sometimes unknown – activities for visitors at its most popular theme parks. The tourism association is also kicking off a Uniquely Orlando Sweepstakes now through March 11 for consumers to win and create their own unique Orlando vacation at VisitOrlando.com/Trip.

Just a few of the lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path activities at the world-famous theme parks are below, with many more found on the tourism association’s website, VisitOrlando.com.

TOP 11 UNIQUE THEME PARK EXPERIENCES

  1. Get a Haircut at Disney
    Visit Magic Kingdom’s Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, USA for a once-in-a-lifetime trim or even a whole new look. Welcoming all ages, the shop also offers a special First Haircut experience for little ones, complete with commemorative Mickey Ears and a certificate.
  2. Grab a Cold One with the Simpsons
    Grab a glass of Homer Simpson’s favorite beverage, with three varieties of Duff Beer available only at Universal Studios. Despite the running joke on the show that all three are the same beer, the real-life versions include Duff (a lager), Duff Lite (a light beer), and Duff Dry (a stout).
  3. Become Your Very Own AVATAR
    Create a personalized AVATAR as the ultimate souvenir at Disney’s Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Animal Kingdom. Guests can have their faces mapped and printed onto a Na’vi action figure, complete with blue skin and traditional garb, just like the aliens in the film.
  4. Pet (and Feed!) Sting Rays
    While the popular marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions may be more well-known, one of the most unusual animal encounters is feeding and touching the stingrays at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests of all ages – even tiny tots – can dip their hands directly into the pool, feel the velvety texture of the rays, and delight as the gentle creatures suck fish from their hands at lightning fast speed. (Don’t worry, the stingray barbs are trimmed, just like human fingernails.)
  5. Perform “Real” Magic
    Spell it out with the wave of a wand at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Objects suddenly move, water spouts and secrets reveal themselves throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade when visitors use one of the Interactive Wands available at Ollivander’s Wand Shop.
  6. Meet The Pets That Went from Shelters to Stars
    Many people don’t know that SeaWorld also provides a home and second chance at life for dogs and cats rescued from animal shelters. Considered by many to be untrainable due to their high energy, these adopted animals now steal the stage – and fans’ hearts – as stars in the parks’ Pets Ahoy, a funny, fast-paced animal training show that also imparts a meaningful message to support local animal shelters. The cast of talented rescued animals includes dogs, cats and even ducks, and guests can personally meet some of these amazing “animal ambassadors” along with their trainers after the show.
  7. Dine with Princesses in Epcot, Too
    Join Disney princesses for Storybook Dining at the Norway pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. While many visitors flock to Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle for princess dining, this lesser-known option includes a meal with several of the most-loved princesses in another, equally beautiful medieval castle.
  8. Send A Letter from Hogsmeade
    Send a real letter from Hogsmeade’s Owl Post at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Special postage, a Hogsmeade postmark and even unique wizardly stationary makes for a one-of-a-kind love letter, pen pal or postcard.
  9. Make Friends with Rescued Manatees
    Step behind-the-scenes and catch a glimpse of SeaWorld Orlando’s working manatee rescue and rehabilitation facility to learn more about the plight of these vulnerable animals that have been rescued from illness or injury in the wild. Guests can get a closer look at some of the water’s most gentle creatures – including calves, “teens” and adult manatees – all of which have been rescued and are undergoing treatment with the goal of successfully returning them back to the wild.
  10. Play I-Spy with Mickey
    Embark on a scavenger hunt for hidden mickeys, a famous “secret” of the Disney Parks. Everything from rides to décor and even walking paths at Disney properties feature subtle Mickey shapes, some easier to spot than others. While books have been published to help guests find them all, half the fun is in the discovery.
  11. Snap a Dinosaur Selfie
    A nearly-nine-foot-tall velociraptor awaits guests at Universal’s Raptor Encounter at Island of Adventure, perfect for a daring photo-op. With a reputation as the most “clever” dinosaur in Jurassic Park, these cold-blooded hunters are quite excited to meet outsiders, but don’t worry, they can’t escape their electrified paddock – probably.

SWEEPSTAKES

Enter to win the chance to experience some of these uniquely Orlando activities and more at VisitOrlando.com/Trip by March 11, 2018. Contestants of this sweepstakes simply share their family’s favorite Orlando memory to be automatically entered to win a dream vacation to Orlando, with the winner receiving:

  • Roundtrip air transportation to Orlando
  • Four (4) night hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
  • Eight (8) one-day/one-park tickets of your choice for Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort or SeaWorld Orlando
  • Five (5) day rental car from Alamo Rent-a-Car

The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States and, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area’s leading industry. Visit Orlando is responsible for branding, selling and marketing the Orlando destination worldwide, and serves as the official visitor information source.


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Ray Rush Coming to Aquatica Orlando in 2018

A brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in spring 2018. Ray Rush promises to be a fully-loaded water adventure which will combine three unique slide elements, never before seen at Aquatica, into one action-packed attraction the entire family can enjoy together.

Rendering of Ray Rush, a brand-new family raft slide is splashing into Aquatica Orlando, SeaWorld’s Waterpark in spring 2018.

At nearly 60 feet tall, Ray Rush is where family and friends can take on three exciting thrills as they slide, splash and soar like never before. First, riders will be launched at 33 feet per second with water jets designed to propel rafts into the first of several enclosed tube sections. Next, riders will swirl into a colossal translucent sphere which spins the raft around the slide walls before entering another enclosed tube section. Finally, riders will drop into an open-air halfpipe that resembles the shape of a manta ray. Rafts will soar back and forth on the wings of the manta before entering the final enclosed tube section that ends with a splash.

“Ray Rush will offer a ride experience you won’t be able to get anywhere else in Florida. Aquatica will be the first waterpark in the state to combine these three unique elements into one attraction,” said Cathy Valeriano, Aquatica Orlando vice president. “Ray Rush is the perfect addition to our attraction portfolio, complementing what is already one of the most family-friendly waterslide lineups in Orlando.”

Ray Rush will have a height requirement of 42″ to appeal to families with children and will accommodate up to four riders per raft. The new slide will be located on the north side of the park next to Walkabout Waters.

In order to make way for the new attraction, HooRoo Run will close permanently on October 31, 2017. To accommodate construction, Walhalla Wave will temporarily close on this date and re-open in spring 2018 alongside Ray Rush. For a limited-time, Aquatica Pass Members will receive a one-time Quick Queue to ride both HooRoo Run and Walhalla Wave on select days in October before construction begins in November.

The best way to experience Aquatica is with an Aquatica Orlando Annual Pass. For a limited-time, Florida residents can purchase an Aquatica Orlando Annual Pass for only $10 per month with EZpay. Aquatica Pass Members enjoy unlimited admission and free parking as well as discounts and the opportunity to be among the first to ride Ray Rush when it opens in spring 2018. For more information, visit AquaticaOrlando.com.


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Orlando’s Good Eats and Holiday Treats: 2017’s Must-See Events for Fall and Winter

This fall and winter, there is more to see and do in Orlando than any other time of year. With numerous food and wine feasts, unparalleled Halloween thrills and merry holiday theme park events, the excitement in Orlando is warming up even as the weather cools down. For a full schedule of fall happenings, year-round events, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com.

Orlando’s Food & Wine Feasts
The destination’s growing reputation for superb dining meets a seasonal surge of events for a food-lover’s dream vacation in the fall. From a month-long affordable fine dining program to theme park and resort smorgasbords, there are flavors for all palates through November.

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SeaWorld Orlando Is Ready To Unleash Your Summer

Just in time for summer vacation, one of the fiercest underwater legends has come to life in an entirely new way. SeaWorld Orlando’s original roller coaster offers an adventure for thrill-seeking guests unlike any other when Kraken Unleashed opens to the public June 16.

Kraken Unleashed is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality roller coaster in the United States, with fully integrated headsets. The completely immersive experience takes riders on an exploratory journey under the sea. As they sail along the powerful coaster track, complete with deep dives, steep turns and seven complete inversions, a fully integrated story unfolds. The result is a fantastical voyage past gigantic sea monsters, and an unexpected, unforgettable encounter with the legendary Kraken sea monster.


Book Now! Find Your Perfect Room Near SeaWorld Orlando.


“After providing thousands of imaginative and thrilling experiences on SeaWorld’s first roller coaster, Kraken, we wanted to give our guests something new,” shared Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Experience and Design, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. By creating a custom digital overlay and using technology to tell the story, we developed an entirely new virtual reality coaster. Our guests can now travel through the depths of the ocean with the mighty Kraken herself. The result is a seamless and completely unique expedition on a well-loved roller coaster.”

All three of Kraken’s 32 passenger trains have been equipped with the virtual reality experience. Guests choose their journey when they board the coaster; braving the virtual reality experience or riding the traditional way. The custom designed headsets are fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into each coaster seat. Each seat has also been individually programmed to provide an individual guest experience that cannot be matched.

The grand opening of Kraken Unleashed marks the beginning of an exciting summer at SeaWorld Orlando. Park guests will find something new around every corner, with the investment of new experiences to compliment the park’s extraordinary animal encounters.

“Summer at SeaWorld has never been better,” said Jim Dean, Park President, SeaWorld Orlando. “The debut of Kraken Unleashed means there is a new thrill leader in town. In addition to Orlando’s tallest and fastest coaster, Mako, and the destination’s only flying coaster, Manta, we now have this new technology for a virtual reality experience that takes SeaWorld to a whole new level of excitement.”

Kraken Unleashed is just the start, with more reasons than ever to visit SeaWorld. Electric Ocean, the park’s all-new evening extravaganza kicks off this Saturday, June 17. Guests are transported to an exotic world of light and sound complete with fantastical dancers, glowing sea creatures and high energy DJ entertainment. The entire event crescendos into a nightly display of fireworks and lasers that will leave everyone breathless. From the new bubble spectacular show, “Pop,” to the return of fan favorites “Shamu’s Celebration: Light up the Night” and “Sea Lions Tonite,” guests can play all day and plan to stay through the night.


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World’s Tallest River Rapids Drop Coming to Seaworld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando announced its latest world-class attraction, Infinity Falls, to debut summer 2018.

Thrilling rapids will roar through the brand new rainforest river experience, while adventure-seeking guests plunge down the world’s tallest river rapid drop.

“We are constantly looking at new ways to amaze our guests – Infinity Falls will do that, and more,” said Jim Dean, President of SeaWorld Orlando Parks. “From the excitement of the thrilling rapids, to the unique vertical lift element, it will be an adventure that appeals to the entire family. Infinity Falls continues our commitment to investing in our park, and developing new ways to entertain and inspire our guests with meaningful, fun-filled vacations.”

To bring Infinity Falls to life, designers were inspired by the rainforests of South America and the flowing rivers found within. Each raft will twist and turn through a lush jungle environment as guests experience the feel of exhilarating Class IV rapids. A unique vertical elevator will lift each raft for a dramatic launch into the river, 40 feet below.

“Water makes up more than 70% of our planet,” said Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Design Experience. “We developed Infinity Falls to tell new stories that showcase the beauty and sheer power of water and the amazing wildlife that lives in it. The result is a new river rapids adventure for our guests to explore, and actively help freshwater ecosystems in a way that only SeaWorld can bring to life.”

The addition of Infinity Falls is the perfect addition to SeaWorld’s ever-growing ride portfolio. From the roller coaster thrills of Mako, Manta and Kraken to the water flume fun of Journey to Atlantis, Infinity Falls will soon join the park’s famed attractions as a must-do experience in Orlando.

Infinity Falls will be the centerpiece of a newly themed surrounding area, fully immersing guests in a rainforest canopy. After riding the rapids on Infinity Falls, the entire family can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences that combine play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems. SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will also provide up-close encounters with animals native to South America.

Infinity Falls will open at SeaWorld Orlando in summer 2018.


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Seaworld Orlando Unveils Major New Attractions for 2017

SeaWorld has just announced an extensive list of first of it’s kind new rides, shows and events for it’s Orlando park  for 2017.

The announcement includes a virtual reality upgrade for it’s Kraken roller coaster, Dolphin Nursery, and numerous major entertainment options. Here are a few of the details:

Kraken Virtual Reality Roller Coaster: Seaworld will be retrofitting their Kraken roller coaster with headsets to give riders the sensation of traveling through the sea amid mythical and prehistoric creatures. Guests will embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken. A custom digital overlay with uniquely designed headsets, fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into the coaster train, delivers a new one-of-a-kind adventure. The addition of VR to this fan-favorite brings a new level of excitement and interest in Kraken, for both new and returning guests. This thrill ride will be the only VR coaster experience in Florida.

Electric Ocean: A brand new, end-of-day spectacle event. As the sun goes down, the lights and energy go up, offering guests a different kind of fun after dark. The ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, music and pathway entertainment, immersing guests in a glowing sea of wonder.

Dolphin Nursery: SeaWorld Orlando’s Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive in 2017, giving guests the opportunity to see mother and baby dolphins up close like never before. Large-scale acrylic windows will be created offering better guest viewing, including multiple levels to provide children a face-to-face perspective with baby dolphins. New slide out areas and a lifting floor will allow for easier access to mom and baby for the veterinary and animal care teams.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends: Rudolph & Friends will return for the 2017 season, with additional Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-themed experiences for families to enjoy the Christmas spirit even more.

2017 Events: Seven Seas Food Festival, a popular music and food event at SeaWorld in San Diego and San Antonio, is now coming to Orlando in 2017. SeaWorld Orlando’s popular music and food events will expand to a total of 14 weekends and roll-up under the Seven Seas brand.


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New Year Brings New Values at Four Florida Parks

Visitors and Florida residents can now choose from a variety of new admission products for the Busch Gardens and SeaWorld family of parks that provide more value and flexibility.

For tourists visiting Florida, the NEW “Choose Your Adventure” ticket option simplifies vacation planning so guests can enjoy multiple visits to four of the Sunshine State’s most popular theme parks. The program allows guests to customize their ideal itinerary AND receive substantial savings for each additional park or visit — the more they visit, the more they save.

Guests can create their own favorite theme park adventure across the following four parks: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, SeaWorld Orlando, Adventure Island Tampa Bay and Aquatica Orlando.

For example, when tickets are purchased in advance, online, special prices are as low as:

  • One visit to any park – $79
  • Two visits to any of the parks – $99
  • Three visits to any of the parks – $109
  • For the ultimate adventure deal — the new Length-of-Stay ticket provides 14 consecutive days of unlimited adventure to all four of the popular Florida theme parks, along with free parking at each, for one low price of $139.

FLORDA RESIDENTS

There also are new values for Florida residents who are looking to visit all year long, with incentives for purchasing early in the year.

  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island “BOGO Fun Card”: Now through February 29, guests who buy a Fun Card to Busch Gardens also will receive a FREE Fun Card to Adventure Island.
  • SeaWorld Orlando “Preschool Card”: For a limited time, SeaWorld Orlando will offer kids ages five and younger a FREE Preschool Card valid for unlimited admission through December 31, 2016. Cards must be registered online and redeemed in the park by May 27, 2016.
  • Annual Pass: The best value at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is the Annual Pass with unlimited admission all year, free parking, no blockoutdates and special benefits. NEW this year for Pass Members are enhanced Instant Rewards – a 12-month calendar of exclusive offerings each month such as discounts, ticket offers and free gifts. With a new reward each month, there is incentive to purchase early and enjoy the full year of offers. With EZ Pay, Annual Passes start at just $14 per month for one park, and $18 per month for both parks.

To learn more about the new ticket offers visit BuschGardensTampa.com or SeaWorldOrlando.com and join the conversation with @BuschGardens, @SeaWorld onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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SeaWorld Announces Mako Hypercoaster Coming in 2016

SeaWorld Entertainment, a leading theme park and entertainment company, has announced big thrills for vacationers in 2016 at SeaWorld Orlando.

Surfacing at SeaWorld Orlando will be Mako, a 200-foot-tall hypercoaster that will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track – nearly a mile long — and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless. Named for one of the ocean’s fastest known sharks, Mako will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster.

“On Mako, guests will experience what it’s like to be this apex predator, surging through the water at top speed and chasing prey throughout a massive reef,” said Brian Morrow, Senior Director of Development and Design for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “It will be a wild mix of fear, thrills and fun.”

The new coaster also will become one of the world’s few true hypercoasters, a group of roller coasters known for high speeds and steep drops and hills that create a feeling of weightlessness or “air time.”

SeaWorld’s new hypercoaster will be the centerpiece of the newly themed surrounding realm focused on sharks. The 2-acre plaza will be redesigned with new pathway theming and educational experiences, and feature Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, and themed shops.


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SeaWorld Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Killer Whale Environment And More

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. announced that it plans to build new, first-of-its-kind killer whale environments and that it will fund new programs to protect ocean health and killer whales in the wild. The new projects will build on SeaWorld’s legacy of providing state-of-the-art, innovative, homes for its animals, and will offer park guests unique and inspiring killer whale encounters for generations to come. As part of its vision for the future, the company also pledged $10 million in matching funds for killer whale research and is embarking on a multi-million dollar partnership focused on ocean health, the leading concern for all killer whales and marine mammals.

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Seaworld- Orlando, FL

SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park, and marine-life based zoological park, in Orlando, Florida. When combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms Seaworld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of the three parks and many neighboring hotels and eateries.

Unlike most other theme parks, SeaWorld Orlando is not fully divided into dedicated themed “lands” or sections. There are instead individually themed attractions and select themed areas of the park including the following:

Main Entrance

The main entrance of the park features a Florida-inspired theme with lush tropical landscaping and a large artificial freshwater marina with a Shamu-themed iconic lighthouse. The theme of the main entrance area integrates into the nearby Key West at SeaWorld area with similar architecture and landscaping. The Manta attraction and aquarium exhibit is also near the main entrance area.

Key West at SeaWorld

Key West at SeaWorld is designed to mimic the appearance of the city of Key West, Florida with architecture and landscaping reminiscent of the area. Animal exhibits in this portion of the park include cownose rays, southern stingrays, green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, greater flamingos, West Indian manatees, American alligators and brown pelicans. The stingray and dolphin habitats offer opportunities for guests to feed the animals.

Shamu’s Happy Harbor

Shamu’s Happy Harbor is a children’s area hosted by Shamu, the park’s killer whale mascot. The area is located adjacent to Shamu Stadium and features family activities including Shamu Express (a junior rollercoaster), a net climbing structure, and a water play area.

The Waterfront at SeaWorld

The Waterfront is the newest themed area of the park, the area resembles a seaside Mediterranean village and contains shops, restaurants, and a pearl dive exhibit, as well as the park’s iconic Sky Tower ride which was integrated into the theme of The Waterfront village when the new area opened in 2003.

Wild Arctic

The Wild Arctic indoor pavilion serves as a combined attraction which includes a motion simulator or film followed by an indoor animal exhibit hosting Polar bears, Beluga whales, and Pacific walrus. The area is themed after an exploration base camp located in the cold elements of the arctic with features including ice walls and a sunken ship trapped in ice that leads to an underwater viewing area of the animal exhibits.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article SeaWorld Orlando, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0