5 BEST SeaWorld Orlando Rides You MUST DO!

Are you ready to take on the BEST SeaWorld Orlando rides for your visit?

Even this solo traveler has some firsts and recently, I completed another one!

At the urging of some friends, I was convinced to visit SeaWorld Orlando for the first time ever. I went in with little research, which I would never recommend you do.

The only reason I didn’t was that I was being guided by very knowledgeable and trusting annual passholder friends and I wanted my experience to be pure.

SeaWorld Orlando opened just two years after Magic Kingdom on December 15, 1973.

With the addition of Discovery Cove and Aquatica parks, it’s the third of the SeaWorld Chain and the message and theme is the same: Conservation and the Ocean.

Almost 50 years since its opening, the park brings in 4.6 million visitors every year.

SeaWorld Orlando Infinity Falls 4

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You’ll come to experience the thrilling attractions and get up close and personal with sea life that you normally would not be able to see. All the while learning about how you can contribute to protecting and expanding the longevity of the creatures.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako with Skytower

In this guide, and in no particular order, I will share which of SeaWorld Orlando’s 13 rides and attractions are the absolute must do’s when visiting.

I must note that due to the global crisis, SeaWorld’s policies and procedures at the time of writing this post have stated that certain attractions are closed until further notice.

The way SeaWorld is laid out is by “Seas.” Every Sea has its own unique element and are as follows :

  • Port of Entry
  • Sea of Shallows
  • The Sea of Legends
  • Sea of Ice
  • The Sea of Delight
  • Sea of Mystery
  • The Sea of Power
  • Sesame Street Land

Let’s dive into the attractions that simply can’t be missed at the park!

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1. Kraken

Making its theme park debut in 2000, Kraken is a floorless roller coaster with its theme being after the mythical creature of the deep. This SeaWorld Orlando ride was the park’s first attempt in boosting international attendance and appeal.

SeaWorld Orlando Kraken Rollercoaster going over the hill

The attraction is located in Sea of Legends. A good chunk of the ride is above water, including three subterranean dives.

Kraken’s ride station and areas are supposed to be the creature’s lair. The ride boasts 3 trains with 8 cars, holding 32 riders per run pushing through 1500 guests and hour. Making it one of the best SeaWorld Orlando rides!

How Fast is Kraken at SeaWorld?

The attraction boasts a height of 153 ft., length of 4,177 ft. and hits a top speed of 65 miles per hour (MPH).

Kraken Rollercoaster at SeaWorld Orlando

The entire experience lasts about 2 mins where guests reach 3.9 G forces, a drop of 144 ft., and seven inversions including two vertical loops, a dive loop, a zero G- roll, a cobra roll and a corkscrew.

Safe to say, don’t eat before getting on the Kraken.

It was a hit when it strolled onto the scene, at the time, it was the tallest and longest coaster in Florida, until Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom broke the record in 2006.

Rewards and Recognitions

Kraken won several Golden Ticket awards, being in the top 50 steel coasters.

The Kraken VR Experience

In 2016, Kraken went under refurbishment to give it a Virtual Reality experience, but guests were not a fan of it due to slow dispatches and long wait times that it caused.

SeaWorld Orlando Kraken Roller Coaster with Journey to Atlantis in the Background

The VR experience was shelved and the original was returned in 2018.

For my experience, the wait time was still a bit long but overall it was majorly thrilling, breathtaking and fun.

SeaWorld Orlando Kraken Roller Coaster Entrance

The best part of the experience was going over water a good chunk of the ride, the surprise of the subterranean dives and the 144-ft drop at the beginning of the journey.

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2. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

This attraction is located in Sea of Ice land and debuted in 2013 as the largest SeaWorld attraction of all the parks at the time.

SeaWorld Orlando Empire of the Penguin Attraction Entrance to the Exhibit

Empire of the Penguin is the first of its kind, boasting a prototype motion based, trackless dark ride system.

Each vehicle can hold up to 8 people and guests follow the journey of an adorably cute young penguin. To no one’s surprise, the attraction itself is absolutely cold and that’s because the attraction also houses the penguins guests can see.

Empire of Penguin SeaWorld Orlando
Photo Credit: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

The attraction is popular as a family attraction and thus wait times can be a bit hectic, so its best to head here first if you can.

Also note that the ride portion of the attraction is currently closed, so you can only experience the exhibit at this time.

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What to Expect on This SeaWorld Ride

Empire of the Penguin’s area takes up 4 acres and features a 50-ft entrance archway. When entering the ride, riders and non riders enter the pre-show room where you will see projections of the Antarctic landscape with 3D exhibits combined.

Guests are introduced to a penguin colony that is home to a young penguin named Puck in a video.

Penguins at Seaworld

Non-riders will see another video before going into the Penguin exhibit. Riders are taken to choose a “Mild” or “Wild” version of the ride.

Being that it was my first time, we went with Wild.

Guests follow Puck as he enters the sea and encounters a harrowing chase with a leopard seal.

Thankfully, Puck makes it safely and guests hears the ride’s theme song as they get to see the live penguin exhibit behind glass before guests enter the 32 degree penguin exhibit.

Don’t Forget to Check Out the Penguins

There are many species of penguin within the exhibit and the entire experience takes about 30 minutes to complete, not including the attraction.

Penguins at SeaWorld with child watching

About 245 penguins and their cold friends are here and guests can see them through a 20-ft glass when they go underwater into their pool. Its truly a unique and awe dropping experience overall.

3. Manta

Manta is located in Sea of Shallows and debuted at the park in 2009. The Manta roller coaster is similar to Batman attractions at Six Flags where guests are laid on their backs to get the experience of a Manta as they go through the ride.

SeaWorld Orlando Manta Entrance

How Fast is Manta at SeaWorld Orlando?

The Manta roller coaster is 140 ft. with a top drop of 113 ft. It hits 3.7 G forces and a top speed of 56 MPH.

SeaWorld Orlando Manta Rollercoaster flying over in the sky

At a full length of 3,359 ft., Manta takes about two and a half minutes to finish and features four inversions which are a pretzel loop, two inline twists and a corkscrew.

What Does it Feel Like on Manta Flying Coaster?

Manta is an attempt to simulate flying in the way that it looks as though Mana Rays fly through the water with ease. The good thing about the ride is that it has the ability to load two trains at once, thus lessening wait times and easing up capacity.

Manta SeaWorld
Photo Credit: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

The ride can also load 1,500 guests an hour. This SeaWorld Orlando ride is gorgeous with its dark blues and is another ride that features nearby water experiences, including passing by a waterfall.

Explore the Queue

What makes this attraction a special experience is its queue. The theme is a seaside village with manta ray inspirations.

SeaWorld Orlando Manta Stingray aquarium

It has several aquarium exhibits within the queue that holds 184,000 US gallons of water and houses over 3,000 animals, including 60 different species and 300 different manta ray types.

Non-riders can see parts of the aquarium as well through a second entrance. You can even extend the experience and feed stingrays in a nearby exhibit.

Rewards and Recognitions

Manta has also won several Golden Ticket Awards, being in the top 50 steel coasters. The Manta roller coaster is a great experience from start to finish and quite frankly beautiful, breathtaking and a great time!

Manta at #SeaWorld blue aqua marine roller coaster.
Manta at SeaWorld

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4. Mako

Rounding out our must do list is Mako, located in Sea of Mystery. Mako is a hypercoaster, which is a complete circuit coaster over 200 ft.

SeaWorld Mako and Kraken
Quiet view of SeaWorld’sMako and Kraken roller coasters.

This SeaWorld roller coaster is named after the Mako Shark and has been in the top 50 coasters for Golden Ticket Awards every year since it opened in 2016. Making it one of the BEST SeaWorld Orlando rides.

Mako is the only coaster on this list with no inversions, not counting Empire of the Penguin as it’s a trackless attraction.

How fast is Mako at SeaWorld Orlando?

Its length of 4,760-ft is impressive on top of its 73 MPH speed. It can hold 28 riders per experience and currently boasts as the longest, tallest and fastest coaster in Orlando currently.

According to SeaWorld, 1/3 of the ride goes over water and guests can experience airtime nine times.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako Roller Coaster Entrance

The lift itself is right next to Kraken’s dive loop and hugs a side of a lake and goes over part of the park’s lagoon.

As you go through the queue, you will notice wood. That is because you are under a wooden pier while you wait.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako Roller Coaster Mural with Shark

Eventually, you get to a point where you are in the viewpoint of the Mako, hunting its prey. Once at the station, you arrive at a shipwreck.

Mako is heralded as an excellent addition to SeaWorld and Orlando’s theme park coaster lineup by the Orlando Sentinel and USA Today.

Mako Roller Coaster Exterior at SeaWorld Orlando

Riding it personally gave me a feeling of riding an old fashioned coaster with a modern twist. It was the coaster we waited the longest for at 30-minutes and it was worth the wait entirely.

SeaWorld Orlando Mako Skytower with Renaissance Hotel in the background

If you’re willing to skip out on Empire Of The Penguin, this ride is the one you simply HAVE to do!

5. Ice Breaker

The Ice Breaker roller coaster is the newest addition to the SeaWorld Orlando Resort. 

SeaWorld Orlando Icebreaker entrance

Getting its name from the icy Arctic, Ice Breaker is SeaWorld’s first launch coaster and Florida’s steepest beyond vertical drop attraction at 93 feet tall with a 100 degree angle.

For such a family-friendly roller coaster, you can still expect the constant thrills and screams that will emerge from this SeaWorld Orlando ride. 

SeaWorld Orlando Lagoon overlooking Icebreaker

You’ll go backwards and forwards with four airtime launches and a near vertical top hat maneuver that will take you whizzing through Ice Breaker’s many twists and turns!

Ice Breaker Roller Coaster Stats:

  • Height restriction: 54 inches
  • Ice Breaker’s Height: 93 feet
  • Max speed: 52 miles per hour
  • Inversions: 0
  • Manufacturer: Premier Rides

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Final Thoughts on the Best SeaWorld Orlando Rides

SeaWorld Orlando is a park that simply cannot be slept on. While it may seem a bit sleepy and quiet, its an awesome park to get your thrills and enjoy a relaxing, enjoyable and unique experience.

SeaWorld Orlando Lighthouse Entrance

I enjoyed every single ride I tried, so now is the perfect time to see what SeaWorld has to offer you as a solo traveler!

Best rides at SeaWorld Orlando
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Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

About the Author

Victoria Wade Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster

Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.

She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.

She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.

(Original Article Date: April 26, 2021/Updated by Editor on March 7, 2022)

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