Photo Courtesy of SeaWorld OrlandoManta Roller Coasterphoto1.jpgManta Underwater ViewingDolphin Underwater ViewingPenguin Tour at AntarcticaTurtle TrekClyde & Seamore Sea Lion HighPacific Point Preserve Sea Lions

Families will love:

  • Rocking roller coasters
  • Shamu's Happy Harbor for little ones
  • Amazing shows and hands-on animal interactions

From rocking roller coasters to calm kiddy rides and spectacular killer shark shows to comical displays of animal antics, SeaWorld Orlando delivers a diverse line-up of first-rate entertainment, with options to please every member of the family.

Opened in 1973, the marine-themed theme park is perhaps best known for its mission of conservation and education -- and to be sure, your ... more
From rocking roller coasters to calm kiddy rides and spectacular killer shark shows to comical displays of animal antics, SeaWorld Orlando delivers a diverse line-up of first-rate entertainment, with options to please every member of the family.

Opened in 1973, the marine-themed theme park is perhaps best known for its mission of conservation and education -- and to be sure, your kids are bound to soak up plenty of animal facts without even realizing that they're exercising their brain cells. Throughout the 200-acre property, your entire crew will enjoy inspiring exhibits, exciting shows and memorable opportunities to interact with marine creatures, from stroking a stingray to feeding a dolphin. All the while, you'll take in the beautiful grounds and expansive layout. While not as heavily themed as some other Orlando theme parks, the atmosphere at SeaWorld Orlando is more relaxed and serene, and even during peak seasons, it's also considerably less crowded.

But don't make the mistake of labeling SeaWorld Orlando as simply a "good for a day trip" theme park. Along with its sister parks, Discovery Cove -- an interactive oasis where families can relax and swim with marine life and Aquatica -- SeaWorld's water park, SeaWorld Orlando is a locale that's worthy as a stand-alone family destination.

For adrenaline junkies, there are plenty of thrills to be found, including three roller coasters, two of which -- Kraken and Manta -- are among the nation's most famous. For a less intense adventure with plenty of splash factor, consider Journey to Atlantis -- a hybrid ride which promises waves of excitement with combined elements of speed, sharp turns and water.

Over in Shamu's Happy Harbor, a four-acre kid haven, children too small to ride the major players can get a taste of the thrill when they ride Shamu Express, a favorite first coaster. The scaled-down kid-pleaser shares space with yet even tamer rides with sweet names like "Swishy Fishies" and "Jazzie Jellies." After making the rounds on the rides, kids can cool off and play at "Water Works" -- a splash ground and "Net Climb" -- four stories of cargo nets, slides and winding tunnels. Nearby, for parents with little ones, there's a beautifully designed Baby Care Center, with thoughtful touches like private nursing rooms, pint-sized potties and rocking chairs.

In 2011, SeaWorld Orlando introduced an official "partnership program," with seven area hotel and resort properties offering exclusive SeaWorld Orlando parks privileges. In addition to complimentary Quick Queue Unlimited passes, which allow for all-day front-of-the-line ride access, benefits of staying at an onsite property include free theme park transportation, dining discounts, and early entry privileges on specific days during peak seasons. Now, families can count on reduced waits along with an easy-access mid-day break, making the park even more attractive as a relaxing multi-day destination. SeaWorld Orlando even offers an All-Day Dining Pass, which can go a long way toward preserving the family peace as well stretching your travel budget.

Learn more about SeaWorld theme parks by reading SeaWorld San Diego or SeaWorld San Antonio.

Be sure to check out our exclusive Orlando Vacation Guide for Families, offering plenty of useful information about Universal Studios, SeaWorld, the area's most thrilling water parks and more!

Written by Jackie Perrin less

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