Ready take a trip over to Florida’s marine-inspired park and need a few SeaWorld Orlando tips to get you started?
SeaWorld is a great Orlando theme park that is not only excellent for a family vacation, but perfect for a solo trip!
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What to expect at SeaWorld Orlando?
Located just off Interstate 4 and the Beachline Express, you’ll be welcomed by the easy going vibe of this aquatic park. SeaWorld will invite you in with its Caribbean, Polynesian, and even Arctic themes felt throughout the park.
Upon entering the theme park, you’ll be treated with colorful flamingos and even baby dolphins with their mothers.
This sets the tone for an amazing day ahead of you!
If you’re thinking about doing a theme park day at SeaWorld, then you’ll want to follow my best tips and tricks below.
1. Get there early
Try to arrive 30-minutes prior to park opening. It’s the best way to maximize your day, especially if you’re trying to do it all in one day.
This year, everyone’s trying to get all the travel in that they haven’t been able to do in the past few years, so starting early is the only way to be able to see AND do all of the things you want at SeaWorld Orlando.
2. Dress appropriately
If you’re not native to the state, then you may not know that Florida’s weather is mostly hot and humid except for the beautiful months of December, January, February, and March.
3. Find quiet, shaded spots
The lush greenery area by the Dolphin Encounter or the area near Turtle Trek are two serene sitting places you’ll want to take a quick break at during your day. This is one of my favorite SeaWorld Orlando tips!
4. Know the Best Time to Go to SeaWorld
To prevent frustration, I suggest avoiding holidays, the weekends, and the summer. This is the time that both locals and tourists flood the park.
5. Download Park App
Map out the day prior to your visit by downloading the SeaWorld app. This is a great way to make a note of your must do’s and is also a wonderful way to help you see and experience as much as you can if you’re only there for a short visit.
Having the park app will allow you to view the map and get familiar with the layout of SeaWorld Orlando.
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This SeaWorld Orlando tip is very important, because it will help guide you on:
- Where to find ride wait times
- What the current show times are
- Park hours
- Dining venue hours and offerings
SeaWorld Orlando Hours
SeaWorld park hours are usually from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. However, during the peak summer days the park may be open until 10:00 p.m.
Be Sure to Review the 2022 SeaWorld Orlando Map
6. Pass on Preferred Parking
Try to get to SeaWorld early and park in the regular parking section. The parking situation at SeaWorld isn’t terrible.
Wherever you end up parking, the walk to the front gate shouldn’t be bad at all.
7. Save time and money and buy discounted SeaWorld tickets online
Also think about becoming a SeaWorld Pass Member. Pass Members at SeaWorld Orlando enjoy some really cool benefits like:
- Unlimited admission to SeaWorld for 12 months with no block out dates during the initial 12-month commitment and any renewal period
- Free general parking
- Exclusive monthly rewards like bringing a friend for FREE
8. Know What’s Included with Your Park Ticket
Before you head out to the park, you should know what’s included with your park ticket.
Your SeaWorld Orlando ticket will include all rides, shows and exhibits, except for the Paddle Boats and the Arcade games.
All this means is that you don’t have to buy a ticket to attend any particular attraction; they’re all part of your admission.
How Much is a SeaWorld Orlando Ticket?
*All SeaWorld ticket, dining, tour, and merchandise pricing subject to change.
Save up to 42% on SeaWorld Orlando Resort Tickets!
9. Purchase the All-Day Dining Deal
For one low price, you can get a band that allows you to eat at participating restaurants all day. The All-Day Dining Deal includes 1 entrée, 1 side or dessert, and 1 fountain drink, tea or water for each visit.
Basically, an all-you-can-eat day at the park.
These are the current restaurants included in SeaWorld’s All-Day Dining Deal:
- Voyager’s Smokehouse
- Expedition Café
- Altitude Burgers
- Captain Pete’s Island Treats
- Waterway Grill
- Seafire Grill
- Lakeside Grill
- Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen
10. Have a Plan to conquer your day at SeaWorld
You’ll want to plan. Trust me!
This is my go-to SeaWorld itinerary when I want to do a full, out-of-this world solo theme park day! I also recommend this plan for any first-timers hitting up the park.
SeaWorld Orlando Itinerary (Touring Plan for One Day)
- Start Early (probably not as early as Universal and Disney) and get to the park when the gates open.
- Grab a park guide and map out your day.
- Ride Manta. *Must Do*
- Pet the stingrays in Key West.
- Play with dolphins in Dolphin Cove.
- Experience Turtle Trek.
- Hop aboard Journey to Atlantis.
- Face the Kraken. *Must Do*
- Explore Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. *Must Do*
- Conquer Mako. *Must Do*
- Have lunch at Shark Underwater Grill.
- Explore Pacific Point Preserve.
- Ride Infinity Falls
- Discover Sesame Street Land
- Conquer the NEW Ice Breaker roller coaster
- Have a snack at Altitude Burgers watch riders of the Ice Breaker coaster ride by you while you’re eating
- Use this time to do any tours, shows that you’re interested in, such as the One Ocean animal show.
- Experience the 400 foot Sky Tower (nominal fee for non-Pass Members)
- Do the Paddle Boats to finish your day off.
This itinerary is perfect for your solo trip to SeaWorld.
11. Purchase Quick Queue
On a busy day, mostly in the summer, SeaWorld wait times can get long mainly due to the few thrilling rides to choose from when compared to the other theme parks in Orlando.
I recommend purchasing the Quick Queue Unlimited.
This add-on feature includes:
Reserved one time seats at the following shows and unlimited front-of-the-line access to the most popular rides listed below:
- Mako™ – Minimum 54″
- Manta® – Minimum 54″
- Kraken – Minimum 54″
- Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin® (exhibit only)
- Infinity Falls®
- Journey to Atlantis® – Minimum 42″ (42″ – 48″ with a supervising companion)
Prices start at $14.99 per person and can go up depending on the crowd level.
Also note that the basic Quick Queue pass doesn’t include the brand-new Ice Breaker roller coaster. You’ll have to upgrade to the Reserved Seating + Quick Queue® Unlimited + 1-Time Ice Breaker Pass to skip the line for Ice Breaker.
Hipster Power Tip: Use the Quick Queue calendar on SeaWorld’s Website to determine just how busy the park is expected to be. The prices are usually higher on days that SeaWorld expects a larger crowd. This is one my top SeaWorld Orlando tips for you!
12. Do a VIP Tour
Upgrade your day and do one of SeaWorld’s behind-the-scenes theme park tours. It allows you to get up close and personal with all the unique aquatic life in the park.
SeaWorld Orlando has some of the most intriguing tours in Orlando. I have quite a few that I like and want to do on my SeaWorld bucket list.
Top SeaWorld Orlando VIP tours
- Sharks Up-Close Tour: You will be able to touch a small shark and learn fact from fiction about the diversity of sharks.
- Penguin Up-Close Tour: A 45-minute walking tour about what it takes to care for penguins.
- Dolphin Up-Close Tour: A 60-minute tour where you will have the chance to interact with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
- Behind-the-Scenes Tour: A 75-minute tour on how rescued manatees and sea turtles are cared for.
- Private VIP Tour: The Private VIP Tour provides your group with its own SeaWorld tour guide for up to 7 hours. It includes insider tips from an expert guide, front-of-line access and reserved seating to rides and shows.
13. Eat at Underwater Grill
Ever thought about dining with sharks? This is one of my top SeaWorld Orlando tips for adults!
You can do it here and still walk out the restaurant in one piece. The Underwater Grill serves delicious seafood, but I’m a bigger fan of sitting at the bar and enjoying the peacefulness of watching the sharks glide while I sip on my adult beverage.
14. Discover the Marine Life
Explore SeaWorld and learn about the many different animals in this park. There’s a wide variety of sea life all within the gates.
Many of the animals are tough to see in your lifetime, so I love how SeaWorld makes sure they educate you on each animal residing in the park.
They also have a strong commitment to conservation by providing financial and scientific support to organizations focused on animal rescue and rehabilitation, conservation education, habitat protection, and species research.
SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has donated more than $14 million, supporting animal conservation projects on all seven continents across the globe, including coral reef restoration, preventing coastal erosion, habitat protection and simply keeping our oceans clean.
15. Arrive Early to the Shows
SeaWorld Orlando has some of the best theme park shows you’ll see in the city. They also have their show schedule down to a science.
The shows starting from the front of the gate are usually scheduled shortly after each other from the front to back of the park. I recommend starting with a show towards the latter part of the part to avoid the crowd.
Each show is a mix of animal training, high-energy performance, and education. You’ll want to get there early to secure your perfect spot!
16. Take Breaks and Explore
SeaWorld Orlando has so many nooks and crannies with opportunities to chat with team members. You’ll love just exploring what they have to offer and I guarantee you will leave there with some kind of new information you learned.
Hipster Power Tip: Take an AC break in places such as Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins exhibit, Wild Arctic walk-through, Manta Aquarium and the Shark Encounter.
17. Conquer the SeaWorld Water Rides
SeaWorld has two water attractions for you to enjoy on your visit.
Journey to Atlantis
This exciting flume roller coaster hybrid allows you to travel through dark, watery passageways inside the sunken city before being thrown down a thrilling plunge into the waters below.
SeaWorld’s Infinity Falls will have you rushing through the rapids as you climb aboard your raft for a journey of discovery down a lost jungle river.
According to SeaWorld, you will plunge down the tallest drop of its kind into churning whitewater ending your adventure at Harmony Village.
Hipster Power Tip: Be prepared by bringing a change of clothes (maybe just a shirt), so that you’re not walking around in wet clothes.
18. Know What to Bring to SeaWorld Orlando
Do you know what’s in my SeaWorld bag?
Knowing what to pack is one of the top SeaWorld Orlando tips I can give you. If it’s a short day, then I will have my iPhone, lip gloss, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, a couple of masks, and mints.
What to pack for SeaWorld Orlando?
- Disposable Rain Ponchos or rain jackets
- Download ThemeParkHipster App
- Water-proof zipped bags
- Reusable water bottle
- Simple first aid supplies
- Change of clothes (optional)
- Small snacks
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand lotion (mini hotel size is good)
- Pocket pack facial tissues
- Download Park Map
- Hat for sunny days
- Portable Phone Charger
- Personal Hygiene Products
- Water mist sprayer
- Theme Park Guide Books
Are back packs allowed in SeaWorld?
You can definitely bring your own backpack inside of SeaWorld.
Per SeaWorld, all bags, backpacks, and packages are subject to inspection prior to entering the park.
What items are not allowed in SeaWorld?
The following items are not permitted to be brought into SeaWorld:
- glass bottles
- any other type of sharp object
- large hard or soft coolers
- any hazardous items or materials
Can you bring food to SeaWorld?
You can bring food inside SeaWorld Orlando if it meets the follow requirements:
- Bottled water
- Small snacks that do not require heating
- Any food required for medical purposes and medically indicated nutritional supplements
- Food required for special dietary needs
- Baby food/baby formula
19. Know Where to Stay Near SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica Orlando
When planning your SeaWorld Orlando trip, you’ll need a resort that’s close to all the theme park action in Orlando.
Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld
The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld® is the perfect location if you want a resort right next to SeaWorld Orlando.
It has top notch, oversized guest rooms. Which is the only way to have a true Hipster vacation.
Encore Resort at Reunion
It also offers 3 restaurants, sports courts, a fitness center and a villa delivery service for its restaurant food.
Also, unlike many other resorts in Orlando, Encore runs a free shuttle service to and from the theme parks.
You can rent a luxury 5-bedroom vacation home with its own pool and game room from around $329 per night.
Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
This resort is a staple for anyone traveling to Orlando. You know what you’re going to get with a Doubletree experience.
Plus, this one is located in the heart of all the Orlando theme park fun.
Hilton Grand Vacations at SeaWorld
The Hilton Grand Vacations at SeaWorld is one of my favorite resorts to explore in Orlando and is close to SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove.
CLC Regal Oaks
The CLC Regal Oaks is a beautiful resort a short distance away from Walt Disney World and SeaWorld Orlando.
Each vacation townhouse has its own Jacuzzi tucked away in a spaciously, serene patio.
A great way to end a day at SeaWorld!
There’s a clubhouse, a resort-style pool area, and a walking trail. CLC Regal Oaks does offer lots of activities similar to Disney Resort hotels, such as cake decorating, water aerobics, hidden quests, and more!
Final Thoughts on Your SeaWorld Orlando Tips
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.
If you enjoyed these SeaWorld Orlando tips, then you’ll love:
- 17 Busch Gardens Must Do’s You Have to Experience
- Complete Busch Gardens Guide
- 4 BEST SeaWorld Orlando Rides You MUST DO!
- Beginner Tips for Doing SeaWorld Solo
- AQUATICA RIDES Smackdown! (Your Complete Guide)
- Complete SeaWorld Orlando Tips & Guide
- Where to Buy Discounted Theme Park Tickets
- How to Celebrate Christmas at SeaWorld
- Halloween at SeaWorld: Tips for Spooktacular!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
Are you planning an Orlando vacation soon? Read the Orlando Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!
(Original Article Date: June 18, 2019/Updated March 2, 2022)