Friday, February 15, 2019

SeaWorld Orlando

I had the joy of visiting SeaWorld, Orlando, for the first time since I was a child and I'm so glad I was able to share the experience with my family.

If you're looking for a theme park experience without paying a lot of money or spending a lot of time, SeaWorld is a great option! We were able to experience a lot in just one day and the price was very reasonable. Plus, educational opportunities abound!

For starters, SeaWorld offers printable curriculum that's available to everyone! Click the link and scroll down. Three options are available to suit the age/grade of your child. Answer keys are included, thank goodness. These would be great to print off beforehand to work on en route to SeaWorld! 

As with any theme park, I highly recommend doing a bit of research ahead of time to get the lay of the land and have some idea of everything available to you. We didn't pay for anything extra, but there are a couple of upgrades you can purchase such as dolphin encounters, that would make for really neat experiences.

Some of our favorite areas:

Antarctica was a highlight for us. My youngest loves penguins and he really enjoyed seeing the penguins and all of the attention to detail in this section. I would skip the penguin ride itself, though. It was silly and smelly and you don't have to ride it in order to see the penguins. Oh, and make sure you're nice and dry before hitting this area of the park because it's COLD in there!

The killer whale show, One Ocean, was also really well done. You'll be in awe of these amazing creatures and impressed with their intelligence and gracefulness.

Sea Lion High was a cheesy show, but we still enjoyed it. Be sure to arrive early to watch the mime. He stole the show!

What you need to know:

Preferred parking was only $5 more and it eliminated our need to take the tram or hike to the park entrance. If you have a stroller, you get to park even closer! Very family-friendly.

Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of a show, in order to get seats. If you want a particular location - the splash zone for instance - plan to arrive 30 minutes early.

The splash zone is very hit and miss, but I'd advise you to take it seriously. People who did get splashed were SOAKING.

We felt the park could easily be experienced in 1 day. Consider getting the 2-day pass if you also want to visit Busch Gardens.

Don't skip the shows! We saw three of them and loved every one. They were really, really well done.

Seriously consider booking a tour. There's still plenty to see and learn without a tour, but I think there's plenty of time to include a tour and it would make the experience even that more memorable.

Additional Resources

Penguin unit study.

Dolphin facts.

A whole list of shark documentaries.

Killer whale fact sheet.

Look at your local library for the books below, but if you decide to purchase, please use my links. As a part of the Amazon Affiliate program, purchases through my links help to support my blog!

This ocean-themed curriculum is awesome. I used it with my youngest a few years ago. You purchase the textbook and then the journaling notebook that's the right age for your student. The textbook and easily be reused or resold. This curriculum also works very well for homeschool co-ops!

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