SeaWorld, located in Orlando, is known for its large aquariums, dolphin and whale shows, touch pools, and the variety of exciting rides and attractions. Even though customers are no longer permitted to feed the dolphins, you can reach into the interactive dolphin pool and pet these lovely, intelligent animals.
A closer encounter with dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, penguins, or sharks is available for those who wish to go even more hands-on with the animals. Some of the other special excursions available include a behind-the-scenes look at SeaWorld operations, as well as tours of the manatee rehabilitation center and dolphin nursery, which houses the park’s smallest dolphins.
In addition to its abundance of sea life, the park has numerous rides for visitors of all ages, including several water attractions that are especially welcome on a hot East Orlando Florida day. The park’s roller coasters include the Mako super coaster, the Manta Coaster, and the Kraken Virtual Reality Coaster, which are the most popular thrill rides. If you happen to be in the park on a Friday or Saturday night, you will be treated to a spectacular fireworks display. SeaWorld Orlando opened its doors on December 15, 1973, just two years after the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. It was the third park in the SeaWorld group to open. As a result, Central Florida became a popular vacation destination with multiple theme parks. After being purchased by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1976, SeaWorld sold to Anheuser-Busch, the company that owns Busch Gardens, in 1989.
Having more expertise with theme parks, Busch approached the development of SeaWorld competitively and aggressively, transitioning the park from a show-based attraction to a ride-based attraction. Mission: Bermuda Triangle, a simulator ride that opened in 1987, was the park’s first entry into the wave of simulator rides that began with Disneyland (later rethemited into Wild Arctic). Journey to Atlantis, the nation’s first hybrid roller coaster and flume ride, opened its doors in 1997 at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The Kraken, a floorless roller coaster built by Bolliger & Mabillard, was added to the park in the year 2000. Upon its introduction to the park in 2009, the flying coaster Manta received a Theme Park Insider Award for the best new attraction.