SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, Orlando, Florida
Both of these great theme parks are part of the Anheuser Busch family, and as such they offer the type of quality experience that brings people back time and time again. They're also a showcase for many Anheuser Busch products and free liquid samples are on offer to the over 21's!
For years small children have been chanting “Shamu, Shamu, Shamu” at the very mention of SeaWorld® Adventure Park. Well, the killer whales are still there, along with polar bears, birds of all shapes and sizes and some amazingly friendly dolphins. For those seeking a little more active stimulation the park has spent the last few years adding some truly incredible thrill rides.
SeaWorld® Adventure Park sister park is Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, an easy 60 minute drive from Orlando. Animals and adrenaline are in abundance as thrill ride enthusiasts from all over the world loop the loop and defy gravity high over the African plains!
With it's new name and new look, SeaWorld® Adventure Park is a great idea for the first full day of your holiday - stadium style shows means there's tons to see without having to line up in the searing heat!
SeaWorld Adventure Park
With a wide variety of activities, SeaWorld® Adventure Park is a great idea for the first full day of your holiday - stadium style shows means there's tons to see without having to line up in the searing heat! Make sure you pick up a show schedule and take 10 minutes to plan your day proceeding clockwise (or counter clockwise for you lefties) around the park - running from one side to the other will get old fast!
Shamu and friends are spectacular as always. Get there early to enjoy the pre-show fun on the giant video screen and for boring parents to secure a seat outside the splash zone! Shamu Adventure is featured during the day and Shamu Rocks America lights up the night. Both are excellent.
Key West at SeaWorld is home to Stingray Lagoon and Dolphin Cove - both are very hands-on so look out for posted feeding times. (You buy their fish to feed their dolphins and nobody seems to mind!) The underwater dolphin viewing area is excellent and features underwater microphones that allow you to hear the dolphins' clicks as they talk to each other.
Pacific Point Preserve is where dozens of California Sea Lions (and half the local bird population) ride the waves in search of a fishy handout. Again feeding times are posted. Manatees: The Last Generation? is a good place to introduce children to SeaWorld's animal rescue program. The environmental message is quite clear.
Smaller kids definitely need a stop at Shamu's Happy Harbor where they can spout off in the water area and play safely amidst waves of colored balls, trampolines and climbing nets.
The Key West Dolphin Fest is another popular stadium show where you're introduced to Dolphins, and False Killer Whales (useful information if you're a salmon!). This one fills up fast so get there well before show time. The most popular sit-down presentation is The Sea Lion & Otter Show starring the very amusing antics of Messrs. Clyde and Seamore. Get there 20 minutes early and watch the SeaWorld mime hook up with hapless tourists with hilarious results. Don't laugh too hard you could be next! By contrast, Wild Arctic involves a thrilling and consequently rather bumpy helicopter 'flight' to the base station where you can venture above and beneath the ice to meet walruses, seals, beluga whales and everyone's favorite, the polar bears.
Living up to the title of 'adventure park' SeaWorld also offers two outstanding thrill rides. Journey To Atlantis, a cross between a log flume and rollercoaster, has two of the steepest, wettest drops you'll find anywhere. The mighty Kraken, meanwhile, is being hailed by 'coaster heads' as the best ride of it's kind in town.