It’s 2011, and that means it’s time to plan for your vacation this year. SeaWorld is a great low-key vacation spot midway between Disney World and Universal on I-4. As a local, it’s one of my favorite parks to visit for some “chill time.” It’s especially good if you’re an animal lover, and even better if your main love is for marine mammals. It doesn’t tend to get as crowded as the other parks, but it still takes some planning, especially if you are visiting at peak times. Here are my top five tips:
1) Take advantage of the night activities if you visit during the summer or at Christmas. SeaWorld tends to close early, but the hours get extended for summer and the period between Thanksgiving and New Years. They add special shows, too, which are different than the daytime versions, and Christmas also brings additional entertainment like an ice show and the Sea of Trees musical light display. Enjoy those extra hours in the park, which gives you time to do more even if you’re there at a crowded time.
2) Study the show times and park map as soon as you arrive. SeaWorld is all about timing if you want to be sure to see all the shows. It’s a large park, with quite a bit of distance between some of the theaters. You need to create a viable plan, based on show times and theater locations, and follow it closely to ensure that you see everything, especially if you’re only visiting for one day during the peak season.
3) Budget funds for extra experiences. Sure, it’s fun to look at the sea lions and dolphins, but isn’t it even better to feed them? If you have animal-loving kids, they’ll no doubt clamor to throw fish to the animals so work that into your budget. You can save a little money with SeaWorld’s package deal for multiple feedings, so ask about that at the park.
4) Buy all-day dining if your kids are constant eaters/soda drinkers. This is a great way to set up an exact meal budget. SeaWorld lets you pay an upfront fee and then nosh all day at no extra cost. There are quite a few restaurants participating in the meal deal. and the food is pretty tasty for theme park fare.
5) Prepare if you plan to get wet. SeaWorld has many opportunities to get soaked. from its Atlantis water ride to sitting in the soak zone at the orca shows. Some people love to get wet, especially in the summer, but others don’t like to slosh around for half the day. Dress the family in water-friendly shoes and bring a change of clothes if you to get splashed by Shamu and friends.
SeaWorld has some great tours if you don’t like making plans yourself or want an extra experience. Click here to read about the Marine Mammal Keeper experience. Click here to read about the up-close penguin tour, and click here to read about meeting the sea lions. Click here to read more of my articles, and click here to follow me on Twitter.