19 BEST SeaWorld Orlando Tips to Save Time and Money

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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SeaWorld Orlando Lagoon

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 below.

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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.

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!

SeaWorld tours are a great way to see another side of the park. White birds perched on rocks.

4. Know the Best Time to Go to SeaWorld

Go during the weekdays if you want to make the most of your time at the park. This SeaWorld Orlando tip is especially important for anyone who is not a fan of huge crowds.

SeaWorld Mako and Kraken purple and sea blue roller coasters. Making it one of the best SeaWorld Orlando tips.
Quiet view of SeaWorld’sMako and Kraken roller coasters.

To prevent frustration, I suggest avoiding holidays, the weekends, and the summer. This is the time that both locals and tourists flood the park.

Check out the Undercover Tourist crowd calendar to find the best days to go.

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.

SeaWorld App
SeaWorld App

Having the park app will allow you to view the map and get familiar with the layout of SeaWorld Orlando.

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 SeaWorld Orlando Map

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.

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7. Save time and money and buy discounted SeaWorld tickets online

Undercover Tourist offers great deals on SeaWorld tickets. You can also purchase your tickets directly from SeaWorld’s website prior to your visit.

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 bring 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.

Empire of the Penguin SeaWorld Orlando. Snowy white cap atop a large rock. Making it one of the best SeaWorld Orlando tips.
Empire of the Penguin SeaWorld Orlando

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 $37 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:

  • Voyager’s Smokehouse
  • Expedition Café
  • Seaport Pizza
  • Captain Pete’s Island Treats
  • The Spice Mill
  • Seafire Grill
  • Mango Joe’s

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 Tips with Garden

 SeaWorld Orlando Itinerary

  • 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 new 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
  • 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
  • Do the Paddle Boats to finish your day off.

This itinerary is perfect for your solo trip to SeaWorld.

11. Purchase Quick Que

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 Unleashed – Minimum 54″
  • Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®
  • Infinity Falls®
  • Journey to Atlantis® – Minimum 42″ (42″ – 48″ with a supervising companion)

Prices start at $15 per person and can go up depending on the crowd level.

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!

Cocktails at the Underwater Shark Grill in SeaWorld. Red martini with lime.
SeaWorld’s hidden gem

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.

SeaWorld Orlando Tips and Tricks with close up of tortoise.

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.

SeaWorld Orlando Shamu Stadium One Ocean Show. Making it one of the best SeaWorld Orlando tips.

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, Wild Arctic walk-through, and the Shark Encounter.

17. Conquer the Water Rides

SeaWorld has one water attraction with another one opening later this year.

SeaWorld Orlando Journey to Atlantis. Hybrid flume roller coaster with large drop and splash at the end. Making it one of the best SeaWorld Orlando tips.
SeaWorld Orlando Journey to Atlantis

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.

Infinity Falls NEW

SeaWorld’s all-new river ride 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, and mints.

What to pack for SeaWorld Orlando?

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:

  • weapons
  • glass bottles
  • cans
  • any other type of sharp object
  • straws
  • 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:

Acceptable items:

  • 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

Please Note: Reservations are required for all guests visiting SeaWorld Orlando.

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.

Orlando resort near Disney, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal 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

One of the top family resorts in Orlando, Encore is packed with fun things to do. It has a huge water park with a lagoon pool, water slides and a kids’ splash zone.

Encore at Reunion Resort Orlando Vacation Home
Encore at Reunion Resort Orlando Vacation Home | Private Pool

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.

Read how to choose the best Orlando vacation home here!

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.

19 reasons you'll love CLC Regal Oaks

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!

Read my full experience at CLC Regal Oaks here!

Final Thoughts on Your SeaWorld Orlando Tips

Overall, SeaWorld is a spectacular theme park to visit on your next Orlando vacation. I hope my favorite SeaWorld Orlando tips help you out on your next solo or family trip!

Seaworld Orlando Tips. Large blue Manta roller coasters with passengers facing down.
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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:

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

NikkyJ

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 July 6, 2021)

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