I haven’t been to SeaWorld in so many years. I think I was maybe 7 when I went in 1988ish. I knew what (I thought) SeaWorld was about. I remembered the whales pretty much. That was my whole envision. Whales, they do “tricks”, we get splashed, done. I had no idea that there were rides, roller-coasters, games, and that it was so so SO big.
Having the chance to visit as a part of #TheMoms, was a wonderful experience to share with my youngest daughter. Coming back home, I have a ton of info that I want to share. From the age group of the rides, the history I’ve seen change, the prices, the heat, just everything. I hope these 5 things help you on your next road trip/travel to the great Sunshine State.
**Save money by buying the souvenir cup, it’s a reusable plastic cup with a lid, in different designs, with a bendy straw. I know it’s a big price to start ($13!) but the refills are free all day and only 99 cents every day after. That includes Icees too (yay!). Let the kids share one and save your dollars for more fun. Drinks are pricey since this is a tourist destination, spread that dollar however you can.
**Wear good shoes! I searched and searched for “what to wear to SeaWorld” and found various answers. Let me put this to rest once and for all… wear good walking shoes (no flip flops- which is what I wore), a hat and light airy clothes. You will have never experienced heat like Florida heat. I swear, the sun is 40 times larger and hotter directly inside SeaWorld. Don’t worry if your clothes don’t match, are designer, or whatever. Just put on stuff to protect you and keep you comfortable. Also Sunscreen!
**Bring a backpack. Fill it with baby wipes, deodorant, a reusable water bottle (if you don’t want to buy the souvenir cup), & a poncho. I would say a sling bag but I had one and it killed my neck. I know the backpack will make you sweat but maybe switch off with another adult or teen. If you’re pushing a stroller, any bag will do since you can put it underneath. You will need the baby wipes for random spills and for wiping away sweat. Don’t laugh about the extra deodorant because believe me you will need it! If you’re worried about getting too wet, maybe bring an extra shirt as well. (Side note- if you have little ones and plan to go to the kids section, they will need water shoes and a bathing suit since there is a child’s water park)
**Things have changed. If you’ve visited SeaWorld when you were little (80-90s era) then what you may remember, is long gone. After the uprising and backlash of Blackfish, SeaWorld followed through and changed drastically. No more breeding of the whales, and their shows aren’t like what we would remember. You can still see the dolphins but they aren’t doing too many tricks. Now you can feed them and watch them play. The Killer Whales are the same. You can get splashed by them and watch them jump, but no humans are in the tanks or touching them. Believe me, I totally understand the reasoning and I get how this is a huge step in the right direction for conservation and preserving our marine life. I just wanted to at least explain that the shows are different now for those who are telling your kids about what they will see, that you remember, because it’s not. What this generation will see, will also be changing again. These are the last 29 killer whales, when they are gone, that is it. SeaWorld is doing a 180 and is about conservation, even working with The Humane Society. They may not agree 100% on everything but they have come together to say, ‘we both care about marine life, let’s figure out how to work together’. I would encourage explaining to kids about saving the animals and proper care/love, so that they have a better understanding and appreciation for even being able to touch or see these wild beauties when you arrive.
**Be prepared to spend money. Not only is this a tourist spot but Florida is a higher cost of living. What you are used to for a hot dog and a gallon of gas, is not going to be the same there. It’s 1.99 a gallon here in NC yet, some places in Orlando are at 5.99! Not trying to scare you away at all, just be smart with your money. When purchasing your tickets, pay the extra for the unlimited dining. It is worth it! My simple veggie burger with watermelon, with my daughter’s chicken tenders and fries was nearly $40. Also, don’t get caught up in the “fun” purchases. You don’t need the fan that sprays water at you for $17. Where else will you use it? Skip it. But do check out the beach towels, the ride photos (PhotoKey) or the souvenir shirts. It may be a once in decade type of vacation and you will want that lasting memory. Another item to splurge on is the Quick Queue! If you plan on riding everything you can in the 1 or 2 days you are there, get it!. You will be able to get in the front of the line of so many rides & adventures. (The Turtle one was my favorite!) (Ps- Ages 3 and under are free)
Whatever you do, and when ever you go, I hope you enjoy your time, and have a ton of family fun. I will add that my personal thought is that SeaWorld is more geared toward 10+ aged. I took my 9 year old, however she is terrified of anything that goes too high or too fast so we only rode the carousel, and the Turtle Adventure (which may be sensitive to those with Autism). We did enjoy petting the stingrays, looking through the gift shops, and seeing the Shamu show.
If you are looking for a more relaxing vacation though, check out SeaWorld’s sister venue, Discovery Cove. Here are some photos from both parks:
Sponsored I recieved sponsored travel, accommodations and entrance into SeaWorld in exchange for my honest feedback.