Help! Tours and upgrades at Seaworld

zlah31

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Hello! We will be traveling to orlando in a few weeks. I'll be with my husband and 3 kids(6, 4, and 1). We will likely do two days to enjoy the shows ect. My question is about what extras are worth it keeping in mind kids ages! We have an aquarium nearby where we did the behind scenes tour and they loved that seems similar to sea worlds with penguin and sharks.
What I'm debating between....
Dolphin tour - is the shorter one ok to do as far as dolphin interaction? If we do the shorter one I may also add the ambassador tour. Is it interactive with animals at all?

Also debating sharks underwater grill? Or dine with shamu(with only 1 cheaper tour instead of 2). Is this entertaining for kids or mostly talking? Would the Shamu main show be enough?

This will be our first trip here. My 6 year old will love any and all fact tours but my 4 year old will need more interaction maybe. If it was just me I would do all the tours!

Is there a tour I'm missing that's a must do? Should we just enjoy the parks and shows as are. They won't know what they are missing since budget is a factor. Trying to get the most value to decide do one big thing or a few smaller.

Thanks in advance!
 

skylock

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 2, 2010
First visit, I would just do the reg park and shows. Make sure you do turtle trek, check out the manatees, do the sting ray pool, you can pet or feed them. Check out the dolphin nursery. Be sure to do pets ahoy.

They have several nice aquarium areas, some are in the ride lines, but you would not have to actually do the rides.

As soon as you get into the park, over to the left, go to that counter and pick up a map. It will have all the show times listed. You can also ask them any questions you have. Be sure to ask any hands on things they will have the day you visit.

They usually have a sand castle display. Huge.

Save the tours for your next visit to spice it up. I think just the parks the first time will be plenty.

I don't think the kids play area will be open, but you can go by and see.

For the wild arctic ride, ask for the tame seats. After the ride, they have some good animal viewing areas. The polar bear used to live there and I would watch him for hours, but unfortunately he died, but I am sure they will have something there.

Oh yeah, the penguin ride has a mild and a wild side, the wild side spins a lot and may be a little faster, but when you get off, you will be right at the birds. I mean like real close. You can't touch them, but you get a really good look at them.
 

zlah31

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Thank you for the advice! I think you are right. We can spend a whole day at our local aquarium so I'm sure we will have plenty to entertain us!
 
  • skylock

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2010
    One thing I forgot to mention about the penguins, it is really cold in that area. We usually take a light sweater for gma so she can stand around and watch the birds for a while.

    There are lots of nooks and crannies in the park with different things around every corner.

    We have a really good aquarium close by and sea world blows it away.
     

    chiamarie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2010
    As far as the dolphins question goes. (And yes, there is no longer "dolphin feedings" but you do get to feed dolphins during the encounter and up-close tour). Your post says you're coming "in a few weeks" which could mean 3 or 4. Or could mean 7 or 8. Some things may change between now and then.

    Currently (through December-ish) the Dolphin Encounter takes place at dolphin nursery. You get out into a group of about 6 people and a trainer and at least one dolphin. It's a five minute training session where you're garunteed a chance to feed a dolphin, touch a dolphin, and get a photo with the group (or people you know) with a dolphin by the SeaWorld photographers. No personal items are allowed near the pool for animal safety (so no cameras or phones).

    Dolphin Up Close Tour currently takes place behind the scenes near the animal rescue area. The tour maxes out at 18 people per tour. The group can be split up into as many as three groups, it's up to the trainers discretion. It is a 20-25 minute tour. You're garunteed a photo of just you and the dolphin, a group photo (with the people you know), feed a dolphin, and touch a dolphin. So in regards to the difference, it's getting a solo photo with a dolphin, and a longer training session. (And right now a chance to see some working back areas).

    There are a ton of tours to choose from, penguins to sealions, sharks, belugas or walrus (my personal favorite). So if some things you can see the your local aquarium go for something you wouldn't get to see up close there! (For example, there are less than 20 walrus that live in human care in North America so getting a chance to see FOUR up close is something pretty dang special).

    Any other animal related questions and I'm happy to help!
     

    zlah31

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2015
    As far as the dolphins question goes. (And yes, there is no longer "dolphin feedings" but you do get to feed dolphins during the encounter and up-close tour). Your post says you're coming "in a few weeks" which could mean 3 or 4. Or could mean 7 or 8. Some things may change between now and then.

    Currently (through December-ish) the Dolphin Encounter takes place at dolphin nursery. You get out into a group of about 6 people and a trainer and at least one dolphin. It's a five minute training session where you're garunteed a chance to feed a dolphin, touch a dolphin, and get a photo with the group (or people you know) with a dolphin by the SeaWorld photographers. No personal items are allowed near the pool for animal safety (so no cameras or phones).

    Dolphin Up Close Tour currently takes place behind the scenes near the animal rescue area. The tour maxes out at 18 people per tour. The group can be split up into as many as three groups, it's up to the trainers discretion. It is a 20-25 minute tour. You're garunteed a photo of just you and the dolphin, a group photo (with the people you know), feed a dolphin, and touch a dolphin. So in regards to the difference, it's getting a solo photo with a dolphin, and a longer training session. (And right now a chance to see some working back areas).

    There are a ton of tours to choose from, penguins to sealions, sharks, belugas or walrus (my personal favorite). So if some things you can see the your local aquarium go for something you wouldn't get to see up close there! (For example, there are less than 20 walrus that live in human care in North America so getting a chance to see FOUR up close is something pretty dang special).

    Any other animal related questions and I'm happy to help!


    Wow! That is so neat about the walrus. I checked into it but unfortunately looks like you have to be 6. I'll also have a 4 year old who will want to do a tour.
    Do you know what animals or animal types are seen on the new animal ambassador tour?
     

    chiamarie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2010
    I know they do bring out quite a few different animals. But I'm not sure how interactive it is, it might just be more of getting to see them up close, not sure if you get to touch or feed them or what the photo policy is. (That part of the park is a whole different world than where I spend my time....with dolphins).
    Wow! That is so neat about the walrus. I checked into it but unfortunately looks like you have to be 6. I'll also have a 4 year old who will want to do a tour.
    Do you know what animals or animal types are seen on the new animal ambassador tour?
     
  • Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    There are a ton of tours to choose from, penguins to sealions, sharks, belugas or walrus (my personal favorite). So if some things you can see the your local aquarium go for something you wouldn't get to see up close there! (For example, there are less than 20 walrus that live in human care in North America so getting a chance to see FOUR up close is something pretty dang special).

    Any other animal related questions and I'm happy to help!
    Would you happen to know if you sometimes get to meet either of the babies during the walrus tour?

    That tour is being offered at 30% off during November to pass members, and we expect to be at the park on November 1st......we hadn't planned on doing that tour specifically, but if meeting Ginger or Aku is a strong possibility, I'm thinking we would just HAVE to add that to our itinerary!!

    We did the Wild Arctic Tour a few years ago (when it was offered), but it included a beluga, a pair of harbor seals, and just one walrus (the handsome Garfield).
     

    chiamarie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2010
    Would you happen to know if you sometimes get to meet either of the babies during the walrus tour?

    That tour is being offered at 30% off during November to pass members, and we expect to be at the park on November 1st......we hadn't planned on doing that tour specifically, but if meeting Ginger or Aku is a strong possibility, I'm thinking we would just HAVE to add that to our itinerary!!

    We did the Wild Arctic Tour a few years ago (when it was offered), but it included a beluga, a pair of harbor seals, and just one walrus (the handsome Garfield).
    I believe Garfield is "retired" from the tours nowadays. And I don't think the kiddos are trained for it just yet, so I think Kaboodle pulls the weight for that tour right now!
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    Tours I would recommend would definitely be the killer whales up-close tour (even though it's a bit pricy), the dolphin tours, the sea lion up-close tour is fun, and the animal ambassador tour is awesome (especially as no tour is the same, due to all of the different animals)


    Would you happen to know if you sometimes get to meet either of the babies during the walrus tour?

    That tour is being offered at 30% off during November to pass members, and we expect to be at the park on November 1st......we hadn't planned on doing that tour specifically, but if meeting Ginger or Aku is a strong possibility, I'm thinking we would just HAVE to add that to our itinerary!!

    We did the Wild Arctic Tour a few years ago (when it was offered), but it included a beluga, a pair of harbor seals, and just one walrus (the handsome Garfield).
    When I did the walrus tour recently, we interacted with Garfield (as well as getting the pictures with him), and also got to see the babies. They were so cute! However, we were told it isn't guaranteed
     

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