SeaWorld Orlando Guide for 2023 & 2024
By James | Last updated November 26, 2023
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SeaWorld Orlando Florida is one of three SeaWorld marine sea life theme parks in the US. The others are in San Diego, California and San Antonio, Texas. The SeaWorld park at Aurora, Ohio has been sold to Six Flags.
SeaWorld Orlando opened in 1973 just off International Drive. Combining a marine wildlife park with very entertaining shows and a few thrill rides. It can easily provide a full days fun and if you have a multi-day pass, it’s well worth a return visit.
Our top tip for saving on SeaWorld Orlando Tickets
For the best prices, you will want to compare a few sites. Tickets are available through SeaWorld’s authorized ticket reseller Orlando Vacation, our partner, the official SeaWorld Site and Undercover Tourist. If you just want a regular single day ticket, it’s definitely worth comparing the day prices with our partner. They are often a lot cheaper!
The extreme Manta roller coaster ride opened on May 22, 2009.
The park is spread over around 200 acres and is effectively split in two by a large lagoon. Most of the attractions are in one area by the main entrance. The Shamu Stadium® and Happy Harbor , Atlantis Bayside Stadium where the water ski shows are performed and Wild Arctic® on the other side of the lagoon.
The park never seems overcrowded. As you walk around, music is piped out of the lush vegetation alongside the pathways which adds to the relaxing atmosphere.
The Waterfront at SeaWorld Orlando
The Waterfront at SeaWorld is a 5 acre Mediterranean styled seaport area containing a mixture of shops and restaurants. Look out for the street performers, they put on a very fun show. In fact SeaWorld do very well at entertaining their guests. Special pre-show entertainment at most of the main shows keeps you amused while you sit and wait for the show to start.
Shamu Happy Harbor
The Shamu Happy Harbor near the Shamu Stadium is a just-for-kids giant adventure playground. You can allow them to let off steam if they begin to get bored with the rest of the park.
There are a number of marine animal themed exhibits including:
Penguin Encounter at SeaWorld Orlando
Here you are transported on a 120 ft moving walkway past an Antarctic landscape. The landscape containing around 200 penguins including king, gentoo, rockhopper and chinstrap. The temperature is kept just below freezing at 30 degrees and over 6000 lbs of snow falls every day.
Pacific Point Preserve
Recreates the rugged Pacific coastline where you can watch California sea lions and harbour seals and see them being fed.
Manatees, the Last Generation
The manatee (or sea cow) is native to the Florida waters. It has suffered as a result of damage to its environment and accidents with speed boats. SeaWorld Orlando is proud of its involvement with the rescuing and care for manatees.
SeaWorld Orlando boasts the world’s largest underwater acrylic tunnel which allows you to pass through a massive aquarium containing many large sharks including hammerheads. Other aquariums contain barracuda, venomous lion fish and moray eels.
Stingray Lagoon & Turtle Point
At the Stingray Lagoon you can feed and touch the stingrays as they glide around a shallow lagoon. Nearby you will find a pool containing large leatherback sea turtles.
The Clydesdale Hamlet was home to the world famous Budweiser Clydesdale shire horses but with the sell-off of the Anhauser-Busch theme parks, the horses were moved back to Budweiser themselves.
Pick up a combined map and entertainment guide when you first enter the park so you can plan out your day and fit meal breaks and rides etc. around the show times.
Big Surf Shores and Cutback Cove
These side-by-side wave pools (only ones in the world) can operate together or independently and hold an incredible 860,000 gallons of water. They can generate one huge wave or duelling waves.
Big Surf Shores has gently rolling surf and Cutback Cove can go from gentle to enormous waves with five foot swells.
The waves run three times an hour for about eight minutes each time and large timers tell you how much time is left.
Life vests are recommended, especially for poor swimmers.
If you are after an exciting white water river ride then you need look no further than the 1,500 foot Roa’s Rapids. Roa’s Rapids are three to four times faster than the average waterpark river with tides, whirlpools, geysers and waterfalls.
Guests under 51 inches tall (1.3m) are required to wear a life vest.
If you are after something a little more relaxing then float over to Loggerhead Lane.
Loggerhead Lane is a lazy river raft ride with the added bonus of an underwater view of the Commerson’s dolphins plus views of exotic birds and an underwater view into a large 10,000 gallon grotto teaming with tropical fish.
Guests under 42 inches tall (1.07m) are required to wear a life vest and everyone must ride in a tube.
Kata’s Kookaburra Cove
Small kids will love the 79,000 gallon Kata’s Kookaburra Cove with a kiddie’s body slide, rides, water spouts and buckets.
Rides have names like Slippity Dippity, Slider Rider, Racer Chaser and Zippity Zappity and specially designed rafts allow even the smallest child to have fun.
Guests should be no more than 48 inches tall (1.21m).
A second kids area is Walkabout Waters, a 60 foot tall rain fortress play area designed for older children.
It covers over 15,000 square feet making it one of the world’s largest interactive water playgrounds. Here you will find water cannons, slides, climbing nets and two large water buckets that empty every few minutes.
Height restrictions vary by slide.
SeaWorld Orlando Infinity Falls
In April 2017, SeaWorld Orlando announced a new family orientated water raft ride to be called Infinity Falls located in the Sea Garden area of the park. At the time, it was the tallest river rapid drop ride in the world and is built by Intamin.
Infinity Falls is themed on the lush jungle rainforests and rivers of South America.
Guests will be transported in large round blue/green eight person rafts up a vertical elevator to a height of 40 feet before dropping back down into twisting raging Class IV whitewater rapids. Rapids are graded on a scale of I to VI (1 to 6) with class IV being described as “intense, powerful but predictable”.
The ride ends with a 40 foot drop slide, which will be a world record drop for this type of ride and you can expect to get wet!
The ride time is around 4 minutes in total with 15 rafts in operation. Minimum rider height is 42 inches.
Infinity Falls acts as the cornerstone of a new highly themed South American area complete with a rainforest canopy. The backstory is that explorers discovered this remote location using drones and have set up a base camp so others can see and learn about the nearby jungle and river.
As well as the ride, the “land” features a village that guests can explore, interactive experiences about freshwater ecosystems and SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will provide up-close encounters with native South American wildlife.
SeaWorld Orlando Shows
SeaWorld has got a good balance between exhibits, thrill rides and entertainment in the form of various ‘not to be missed’ shows running throughout each day. Most shows feature a pre-show to while away the time before the actual show starts.
Do not be disappointed if the animals do not perform as intended, at the end of the day if a killer whale is not in the mood then there is not a lot anyone can do to persuade it otherwise. Sometimes shows are curtailed.
Rides – SeaWorld Orlando
I guess you could call the SeaWorld Sky Tower the oldest ride at SeaWorld Orlando Florida. Over the last few years, more emphasis has been put into the ride side of the park firstly with the Mission Bermuda Triangle (later revamped as Wild Arctic®) and then Journey to Atlantis® and Kraken®.
SeaWorld Manta, Ride the Flying Ray
SeaWorld’s Manta roller coaster opened in May 2009. There was an official grand opening day on Friday May 22 (Memorial weekend). Some guests were able to ride it ahead of this date with a soft opening in early May.
Following a teaser announcement during the official opening of Aquatica in April 2008, SeaWorld gave further details in late May 2008 of their new themed attraction and roller coaster planned for SeaWorld Orlando.
Called “Manta, Ride the Flying Ray”, the attraction is SeaWorld’s second roller coaster to complement Kraken and the part coaster/part water ride Journey to Atlantis.
The new Manta attraction is in two parts. A themed village environment housing a large number of tropical fish and rays and a state of the art roller coaster ride.
SeaWorld have coined the phrase “from seeing to being”. This is to emphasise how you can view the beauty of how rays swim in the water and then experience the same type of flight yourselves on the roller coaster.
If you don’t want to ride the roller coaster you will still be able to enjoy seeing the rays.
Manta Ray attraction
Set in a mythical village celebrating the legends of rays, the queue lines will be decorated with ray inspired art work.
A series of aquariums will then give the visitors amazing views of around 2,500 tropical fish and some 300 rays of various kinds including Shark rays, Spotted Eagle rays, Leopard rays, Cownose rays and Oscillate River rays as well as other unusual sea creatures like Sea Horses and Sea Dragons.
There is also an overhead viewing panel where you will be able to watch rays circling overhead.
All told there is some 184,000 gallons of water in ten aquariums and a lagoon.
Manta Ray ride
The Manta Ray ride is one of only a few flying roller coasters. The first to be built in Florida and will give the riders the sensation of swooping and gliding. After you get onboard, the seats rotate you into a prone face-down position unlike traditional coasters where you sit face-up throughout the ride. The cars are shaped like a Manta ray with a twelve foot wing span and hold 32 guests.
Manta reaches speeds of 56 mph with four inversions and spins including two in-line spins, a flat spin and a pretzel loop, a close call with a waterfall and a wing dip just inches above the water. In fact the water fall separates the queue line from the ride and you’ll be able to feel the train as it hurtles past.
The 3,359 feet of track includes a 113 foot drop and takes the riders only inches above the surface of a lagoon as it skims across the water.
The 140 foot high coaster has been built close to the park main entrance on a seven acre site. It is painted in shades of dark purple, ultramarine blue and cobalt.
Height requirements are 54 inches (137 cms).
The roller coaster has been built by the renowned Swiss coaster design company, Bolliger & Mabillard. They also built Kraken at SeaWorld, SheiKra, Kumba and Montu at Busch Gardens and Duelling Dragons and the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Journey to Atlantis
Journey to Atlantis opened in 1998 and is a ‘water coaster’. A cross between a flume type water boat ride and a roller coaster (to compete with Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain at Disney Magic Kingdom).
You start your journey in a Greek fishing village with news that the city of Atlantis has risen again and at the beginning the ride is peaceful enough. You are then chased by evil spirits and the boat is lifted up only to plunge back down again. In total there are a series of five lifts interspersed with two major 60 ft flume ride plunges.
The ride lasts about 6 minutes and there is a 42″ height requirement. You will get wet so make sure you keep that expensive camera dry !!
Mako Roller Coaster Seaworld
SeaWorld’s Mako roller coaster opened on June 10, 2016 after around one week of soft openings.
Mako forms the centrepiece of the “Shark Wreck Reef“ area of the park along with the Shark Encounter attraction and the table service restaurant, Sharks Underwater Grill. The area has been given shark and shipwreck reef theming offering both thrills, education and shopping. After reading this article, check out our Seaworld park guide and Seaworld ticket guide.
Mako Roller Coaster
Mako is inspired by one of natures fastest sharks and has been billed as Orlando’s tallest, longest and fastest coaster. With a height of 200 feet, length of 4,760 feet and a top speed of 73 mph. At 200 foot tall, technically it is described as a hypercoaster.
It provides plenty of tall hills, drops and weightless “air time”. Especially if you ride towards the back of the train. The initial 200 foot drop is truly breathtaking. There are lockers at the entrance for keeping wallets, sunglasses, loose change and cell phones safe.
Mako in depth look
There are seven cars in each train. Each car features four seats across with lap guards with built in hand holds. There are no shoulder restraints as there are no inversions. Each train seats 28 riders and there are three trains in total. The lead car in each train is inspired by the head of a mako shark.
Minimum ride height is 54 inches, maximum height 80 inches and there is a test seat outside of the ride. However, some “larger” people may struggle getting the lap guard to engage fully across their thighs/legs and unlike other coasters, there are no special larger seats.
The track takes the coaster past the front entrance of Shark Encounter. Most of the ride is over an area that was previously “backstage”. One neat touch in the shipwreck area is as a train gets close, music is played and LED lights flash like bubbles to simulate fish scattering as the mako approaches. This is best viewed during the evening.
SeaWorld has partnered with the artist and conservationist Guy Harvey who narrates in the shark videos. You see as you walk through the coaster queue. There is also a giant mural painted by Harvey at the exit and a percentage of the proceeds from his artwork goes towards his conservation charity.
On May 27, 2015, SeaWorld announced their new roller coaster was going to be called “Mako”. The opening was scheduled for Summer 2016.
Designed by the Swiss company, B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard), Mako is an out and back steel sit down coaster.
The preliminary concept artwork showed a very long coaster ride with a number of sweeping climbs and drops giving plenty of “air time”. The cars appeared to be seven rows of four-abreast seating and this was confirmed in February 2016 when SeaWorld revealed one of the coaster cars.
B&M also designed both of SeaWorld Orlando’s other main roller coasters. The flying coaster Manta which opened in 2009 and the floorless coaster “Kraken”.
SeaWorld also has two family coaster rides, the hybrid water/coaster “Journey to Atlantis” and Shamu Express.
As part of SeaWorld’s education programme, they engaged artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi to create a model shark, called “Finn” out of non-biodegradable plastics that are polluting and endangering our oceans. Other models including an octopus and a trigger fish have been exhibited at SeaWorld in the past as part of the “The Washed Ashore Project”.
Throughout the 2 acre Shark Wreck Reef area, you will also find display boards for kids. This is to to engage with highlighting the plight of sharks today.
The Kraken ride is a steel tracked roller coaster called Kraken®. Named after a mythical sea serpent) which is floorless which means the track is still underneath you but your feet are dangling in thin air as you sit on a pedestal seat. Kraken claims to be the tallest, fastest, longest and wildest roller coaster in Orlando.
There are coin operated lockers situated at outside Journey to Atlantis and Kraken. Here you can place loose or valuable items before going on the rides.
You will get wet on Journey to Atlantis !!
The ride was designed by Bolliger and Mabillard and opened in June 2000. There is 4170 ft of track and you climb to 150 ft above the park before starting the run. Part of the ride is over water before you descend below ground reaching speeds of 65 mph whilst the coaster loops, spirals, twists and dives around the course for a total of three below ground dives and seven inversions.
This is a full motion simulator helicopter ride where you ‘journey’ to Base Station Wild Arctic® in the arctic circle. Things do not go to plan. You soon experience perils along the way as you become caught up in a snowstorm. The ride is good but somehow it lacks the fun and style of Star Tours ride Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Base Station Wild Arctic is billed as a high-tech research station built around the hull of a 19th century exploration ship. After disembarking you can see polar bears, beluga whales and walruses amongst other exhibits. If you are not up to going on the ride or the queues are too long you can still visit Base Station Wild Arctic by just bypassing the ride.
SeaWorld Sky Tower
The Sky Tower is a dominant landmark both within the park and the surroundings as you drive towards SeaWorld. The 400 foot tower was built when the park first opened in 1973. It has recently been transformed as the centrepiece of the all-new Tower Island and is now surrounded by an ancient stone fortress and a bar overlooking the harbour at The Waterfront at SeaWorld.
It takes six minutes for the capsule that encircles the tower to slowly rotate all the way to the top and back down again. On a clear day you can see downtown Orlando and other area attractions from the top.
There is a small fee to ride the Sky Tower capsule.
SeaWorld Orlando Map
The SeaWorld Orlando Adventure Park is located at the southern end of International Drive just off Central Florida Parkway to the south of Orlando.
If you are travelling on Interstate 4, then take exit 71 onto Central Florida Parkway.
Discovery Cove is on the opposite side of the road, to the south of the main entrance with Aquatica to the east.
SeaWorld Orlando Adventure Park
7007 Sea World Drive
Tel: (407) 363 2200