A few weeks ago we were able to take a few days and visit sunny Florida! It was so nice to be in the sun and enjoy some of the fun that Orlando had to offer! Of course, if you are in Orlando you need to make sure to stop by SeaWorld! It truly is an amazing place and such a wonder for young kids.
Graham loves all things animal related so I knew he would have a blast at SeaWorld. Besides, he had just gotten through informing us of the fact that he had never seen a Killer Whale in real life just a few short weeks before. So, when we pulled up to SeaWorld his eyes were as big as saucers when he saw that sign.
Here’s what you need to know when visiting SeaWorld with young kids:
Shows, shows and more shows.
If you have very young children (Davis is 19 months) then you need to be aware that the majority of the attractions are shows. These shows will not allow you to take your stroller in. If you have a very non-active toddler who loves to sit for long amounts of time then you are golden (I also would like your number so that I can have tips). But, if you have the “typical toddler” you need to be prepared to sit near the edge and make a speedy exit if your little one becomes loud (or throws your iPhone at strangers… not speaking from experience or anything).
If you have a child 3 and up they are going to LOVE these shows! Yes, some of the shows were created specifically with kids in mind, but all of the shows are great at holding their attention.
Elmo and Abby’s Treasure Hunt– If your child loves Sesame Street then this is a must see. My recommendation is to get there early in order to get a good seat. If you sit on the aisle seat you might just get to shake a character’s hand! Davis enjoyed his brief meeting with Cookie Monster. There are no live animals in this show, but you will see Elmo, Abby, Cookie, Grover and Rosita and participate along the way.
One Ocean– This is THE show of SeaWorld. If you see nothing else you have to see One Ocean. This is where you see all of the Killer Whales in action and watch the trainers interact. There is a corresponding video that is beautifully done. Beware of the “splash zone” written on the backs of the seats. You WILL get wet if you sit in these. If you prefer to stay dry then head for higher ground. If you have young children then you are better off watching this show early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the heat. You will find shade in the higher seating as well. Another great tip is to attend this show during lunch time when the crowd is lower.
Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island– This was definitely Graham’s favorite show! It could be because otters made an appearance (one of his favorite animals). If you want an up close and personal experience you can either sit in the front (come very early) or on the left hand side (when you are looking at the seats). If you sit near where the stage juts out you will get an up close surprise! This show is very entertaining and kept our 5 year old intrigued the entire time. Think comedy routine with animals.
These are my top three picks for shows to see if you have young children. More than three shows may be hard to fit in and keep everyone’s attention in my opinion.
You are bound to get hungry at some point and of course, you are going to pay park prices. A quick tip is to purchase the Chicken Tenders from Mango Joe’s and split them. There are more than enough for two adults. Buy two and split another between your two kids. There are also plenty of snacks along the way in case there are some meltdowns! We also packed our own snacks and water and stored them under the stroller.
Get the Wiggles Out!
Yes, SeaWorld is primarily shows, but they also have a fun area for kids to get the wiggles out! Make sure to take a trip over to Shamu’s Happy Harbor in order to let your kids run and play. If you have very young kids they will enjoy playing in the sand pits. There are two to choose from depending upon the age of your child. This is a welcomed site to kids who have been in a stroller for hours. Also, for kids who are a little taller, there are several fun rides.
Make a stop by Pacific Point Preserve in order to see and feed the Sea Lions. This is a great place for kids to move around and interact with the animals. They also have a staff member who periodically will get on a microphone and tell you more about the animals.
But, my favorite part was the Baby Care Center that featured a location to nurse your baby in air conditioning and privacy, changing tables, microwaves to heat up food or water for bottles, kids sized potties and rocking chairs on a covered front porch. I was so surprised that this place was not packed!
Overall, we had a wonderful experience and look forward to heading back once Davis is a little bit older. I think that the perfect age for kids at SeaWorld is three and up. Please feel free to email me with questions or leave your comments below if you have any other tips for visitors.