[Review] Our First Visit To SeaWorld Orlando

family vacation seaworld orlando 2013

As we planned our first trip to Disney World, I knew that I wanted the opportunity to visit SeaWorld Orlando as well. I wanted to take in as much as possible because I had no idea when we would be able to make it back.  I was able to secure two media passes to visit the park and used my Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2-Park Pass to get 50% off two tickets from my children.

Our Visit

Upon walking in, everything was decorated for Christmas, giving a beautiful festive holiday feel. It was so beautiful to see Christmas trees up with a backdrop of palm trees. The park gave me a feel of a zoo and theme park rolled into one with the animals, aquariums and the rides. It was the best of both worlds! I hated that my children were missing instructional time, but I made sure to make our entire trip as educational as possible. SeaWorld Orlando made that a breeze with animal facts posted at the attractions. It was great for my children to have fun but learn at the same time.


I wasn’t much in a mood for roller coasters which is rare for me, but with the landscaping of the park and wonderful shows, I didn’t need the rides to enjoy myself. My husband and son had a wonderful time riding Manta and Kraken. My son would not stop raving about how awesome Manta was. He said there is nothing like it and you have to experience it for yourself. Kraken, although enjoyable, they described as kind of mild and underwhelming, which I guess after Manta, it would be. Next, we rode Journey To Atlantis together as a family and I LOVED it. It was so much fun, and nothing like I expected it to be. The ride theming itself is impressive and beautiful when you see the ride from afar. We wanted to ride it again, but with it being a little chilly (to me) I didn’t want to get wet again.

Antarctica: Empire of The Penguin was wonderful! Although the ride itself is a little short, it is very enjoyable and the end is awesome. Seeing the penguins in their habitat and being able to visit their world (it’s freezing!) was an amazing experience. Although I couldn’t stay long once the we got off the ride ( I don’t tolerate cold well), my husband stayed and took some great pics.

We made our way to Shamu’s Happy Harbor, the kid-friendly section of the park. (It is very similar to Sesame Street Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens Williamsburg ride-wise.) We first tried Net Climb, which was hilarious. It was fun to run behind the kids and play with them but it also reminded us that we aren’t as young as we think. We were winded and even got stuck at one point- but we had a ball! We also rode Shamu Express, Jazzy Jellies (a little too fast & high for me!) , Sea Carousel and The Flying Fiddler. It was nice to relax and have fun with my “babies” who aren’t exactly babies anymore. It made me appreciate the age that they are now and realize how fast they grow. 🙁

In between the rides, we had the chance to enjoy Blue Horizons and Miracles. I was absolutely mesmerized by both shows. They were wonderful. At the end of night we enjoyed the the Holiday Reflections Fireworks and Fountain Finale. It was fantastic! One of the best firework displays I have ever seen.

Overall Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to SeaWorld. It was cool how many things reminded me of my “home park” of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which gave it a familiarity. I loved the shows, the rides, the landscaping and theming/ design of the park. The park was clean, prices were reasonable and there was something for all of us to enjoy.

You can view photos and video of our trip to SeaWorld Orlando via our Instagram and YouTube pages.