SeaWorld Orlando

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SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando logo.svg
Location7007 SeaWorld Drive, Orlando, Florida, United States
Coordinates28°24′39″N 81°27′45″W / 28.41083°N 81.46250°W / 28.41083; -81.46250Coordinates: 28°24′39″N 81°27′45″W / 28.41083°N 81.46250°W / 28.41083; -81.46250
ThemeConservation and the Ocean
SloganSee it Here. Save it There.
OwnerSeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Operated bySeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
OpenedDecember 15, 1973; 47 years ago (1973-12-15)[1]
Previous namesSea World of Florida
Operating seasonYear-round
Visitors per yearIncrease 4.640 million (2019)
Area200 acres (81 ha)
Attractions
Total13
Roller coasters6
Water rides2
Shows5 with 6 seasonal
Websiteseaworld.com/orlando/
StatusOperating

SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park and marine zoological park, in Orlando, Florida. It is owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. When combined with its neighbor Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of the three parks and many hotels. In 2018, SeaWorld Orlando hosted an estimated 4.594 million guests, ranking it the 10th most visited amusement park in the United States.

History[edit]

SeaWorld Orlando opened on December 15, 1973 as the third of the chain and just 2 years after Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom. This made Central Florida a multi-park vacation destination. SeaWorld was sold in 1976 to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich then to Anheuser-Busch, owners of Busch Gardens, in 1989.[2]

Busch was more experienced with theme parks thus developed SeaWorld in a competitive and aggressive manner moving the park from a show based to a ride based park. The park joined in the Disneyland-started simulator ride wave in 1987 with Mission: Bermuda Triangle (later rethemed into Wild Arctic). The nation's first combination roller coaster and flume ride, Journey to Atlantis, was installed in 1997. In 2000, the Kraken, a Bolliger & Mabillard floorless roller coaster, was added to the park. The flying coaster, Manta, came to the park in 2009 and won Theme Park Insider Award as the best new attraction.[2]

SeaWorld Orlando contains two sister parks. Discovery Cove opened in 2000 followed by water park Aquatica in 2008. The 2008 purchase of Anheuser-Busch by Belgian brewer InBev led to the sale of Busch's parks to a private equity firm in 2009.[2]

On February 24, 2010, during a small show at "Dine with Shamu", one of the orca whales, Tilikum, pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and ultimately killed her.[3] An autopsy determined that Brancheau's death was attributed to blunt force trauma and drowning; injuries included her scalp being removed and her left arm being severed below the shoulder.[4] In August 2010, the United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited SeaWorld of Florida LLC for three safety violations, following the death of an animal trainer in February. The total penalty was $75,000 and SeaWorld was initially required to keep a barrier between its trainers and the whales during shows.[5][6]

Its TurtleTrek exhibit opened in 2012 included a 360-degree, 3D dome theater for a movie. In 2013, its Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin pavilion had the nation's first trackless dark ride system.[2]

On March 27, 2019, the park reopened the Sea of Fun area as "Sesame Street Land", themed after Sesame Street.[7]

On June 1, 2019, a new roller coaster (later revealed as Ice Breaker) was announced through a teaser video released by SeaWorld Orlando. Details remain unclear but it is described as taking riders "to predatory heights" and experiencing "plunging thrills", while hinting at an arctic theme for the roller coaster. It is expected to open in 2022.[8][9]

In mid-March 2020, in line with other SeaWorld parks, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the park had to temporarily shut down. The park reopened nearly three months later.

Park layout[edit]

Transport in SeaWorld Orlando
I-4
to Airport enlarge… and Universal Orlando enlarge…
Aquatica Orlando
International Drive#Public transportation
SeaWorld Orlando
International Drive#Public transportation
Discovery Cove
I-4
to Walt Disney World enlarge…

International Drive#Public transportation I-Ride Trolley bus service

In summer 2014, as a part of the company's 50th anniversary, SeaWorld Orlando was separated into different areas, called "seas".[10] Each with a unique themed element. Starting at the lower center and continuing clockwise they are:

  • Port of Entry: The main entrance of the park features a Florida-inspired theme with tropical landscaping and a large artificial freshwater marina with a Shamu-themed iconic lighthouse.[10]
  • Sea of Shallows: This area showcases most of the shallow water sea animal exhibits at the park as well as the Dolphin Theater. In addition, the Manta rollercoaster travels through this section and Turtle Trek, a dome theater show also reside here. Quickly, they closed the dome theater and will be turned into a new dugong exhibit in 2021. All of the Key West at SeaWorld area is inside of the Sea of Shallows. It is designed to mimic the appearance of the city of Key West, Florida with architecture and landscaping reminiscent of the area. Animal exhibits in this portion of the park include cownose rays, southern stingrays, green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, greater flamingos, West Indian manatees, American alligators and brown pelicans. The stingray and dolphin habitats offer opportunities for guests to feed the animals.[10]
  • Sea of Legends: Journey to Atlantis, a boat ride with roller-coaster elements, bases its story from the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. Also found here is Kraken, a floorless roller-coaster.[10]
  • Sea of Ice: Sea of Ice, originally named Antarctica, is themed around the Antarctic continent. Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin is the sole attraction in this area. The ride exits into the penguin exhibit area.[10]
  • Sea of Delight: Sea of Delight includes a sub-area named The Waterfront, which resembles a seaside Mediterranean village. The park's Sky Tower ride is also here, it was integrated into the theme of The Waterfront village when the area opened in 2003. The only land animal show at the park, Pets Ahoy, is located here inside of the Seaport Theater. Outside of the Waterfront is where the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium viewing area stands.[10]
  • Sea of Mystery: The Sea of Mystery houses the Shark Encounter exhibit and the Shark's Underwater Grill, as well as the Nautilus Theater, which is currently used for seasonal shows and events. It also includes the Sea Garden, a landscaped area with themed structures that are made from trash found on beaches. Mako, a Bolliger & Mabillard steel hypercoaster opened in the area on June 10, 2016,[10] The current shark exhibit and the surrounding area has been renovated to become Shark Wreck Reef.
  • Sea of Power: Sea of Power is host area of the SeaWorld's killer whale shows. The Shamu Stadium is located in the center with the Wild Arctic indoor pavilion nextdoor. Wild Arctic is a combined attraction which includes a motion simulator followed by an indoor animal exhibit hosting beluga whales, Pacific walrus, harbor seals and formerly polar bears. Shamu Stadium currently hosts "One Ocean" as its main show with "Shamu Celebration: Light up the Night" and "Shamu Christmas Miracles" showing seasonally.[10]
  • Sesame Street Land: Formerly Shamu's Happy Harbor and Sea of Fun, Sesame Street Land is a children's area located adjacent to Shamu Stadium and features family activities including Super Grover's Box Car Derby (a junior rollercoaster) and a water play area.[10] It is the only area within SeaWorld Orlando to be based on the educational television program, Sesame Street.

Attractions[edit]

SeaWorld Orlando has many live shows and attractions including rides and animal exhibits. Many of these attractions, such as Manta and Wild Arctic, combine the two, with both animal exhibits and a ride.

Rides and attractions[edit]

# Name Opened Description Location
1 Mako 2016 A hypercoaster named after the fastest species of shark in the oceans. Is currently the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the Orlando area. Sea of Mystery
2 Kraken 2000 A floorless roller coaster themed after the legend of the Kraken sea monster. Sea of Legends
3 Manta 2009 A flying roller coaster and aquarium exhibit featuring rays, sea dragons and other species. Sea of Shallows
4 Ice Breaker 2022 A quadruple launch family thrill roller coaster featuring the steepest drop of any roller coaster in Florida. Sea of Power
5 Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin 2013 A themed area headlined by a motion-based trackless dark ride featuring live penguin and alcid exhibits. Sea of Ice
6 Journey to Atlantis 1998 A water coaster with dark ride elements themed to the mythical Atlantis. Sea of Legends
7 Infinity Falls 2018 A river rapids ride that features a vertical elevator lift and the world's tallest river rapids drop. Sea of Mystery
8 Super Grover's Box Car Derby (Originally Shamu Express) 2019 (2006) [11] A Zierer family coaster themed to Super Grover from Sesame Street.

(A Zierer family coaster themed to a Shamu the killer whale train)

Sesame Street
9 Sky Tower 1973 400-foot tall rotating Gyro tower. Sea of Delight
10 Wild Arctic 1995 An indoor series of exhibits featuring beluga whales, walruses, and harbor seals that is designed to resemble a research station in the Arctic Ocean. Guests can take a motion-simulated helicopter journey to the exhibit, or may bypass the ride and watch the film without the motion and proceed directly to the animal exhibits. Sea of Power
11 Turtle Trek 2012 An outdoor/indoor exhibit featuring sea turtles, West Indian manatees, and American alligators. The highlight of the exhibit is a theater dome where a 3D computer-animated film details the average journey of a sea turtle. The theater is a 360° dome with 3D content completely surrounded the audience. On June 18, 2021, they say that the theatre dome with 3D glasses will be closed and will be turned into an underwater viewing dome and tunnel for the dugongs through the way to the outdoor exhibits. Sea of Shallows
12 Sea Carousel 2007[12] A carousel themed with caricatured marine mammals and fish. Sea of Mystery
13 Elmo's Choo Choo Train (Originally Seven Seas Railway) 2019 (2012) [13] A short train ride themed to Elmo from Sesame Street.[14]

(A short train ride themed to aquatic animals and sea creatures)

Sesame Street
14 Big Bird's Twirl 'N' Whirl (Originally Swishy Fishies) 2019 (2006) [11] A spinning ride themed to Big Bird from Sesame Street.[15]

(A spinning ride themed to a typhoon spinning around the sea)

Sesame Street
14 Abby's Flower Tower (Originally Jazzy Jellies)[16] 2019 (2006) A high tower ride themed to Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street.[17]

(A high tower ride themed to jellyfish)

Sesame Street
14 Cookie Drop! (Originally Flying Fiddler)[16] 2019 (2007)[16] A drop tower ride themed to Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.[18]

(A drop tower ride themed to a giant fiddler crab)

Sesame Street
14 Rubber Duckie Water Works 2019 A water play area themed to Ernie from Sesame Street.[19] Sesame Street
14 Slimey's Slider (Originally Ocean Commotion)[20] 2019 (2007)[11][16] A Rock n' tug ride themed to Slimey the Worm from Sesame Street.[21] Sesame Street
14 Rosita's Harmony Hills 2019 A play area themed to Rosita from Sesame Street. Sesame Street
15 Flamingo Paddle Boats 1978 Boats themed to a flamingo that can travel all around the park's central lake. Additional fee is required. Sea of Mystery

Live entertainment and animal presentations[edit]

# Name Opened Description Location
16 Shamu Stadium 1984 The 7,000,000 US gallons (26,000,000 l) home to the park's five killer whales opened in September 1984.[22] The park's current production is Orca Encounter since late 2019, which used to house the former show One Ocean, the summer seasonal Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night and winter seasonal Shamu Christmas Miracles night shows. An educational presentation called Ocean Discovery was also presented on select dates. In May 31st, 2021, Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night will be reused during June, July, and August at night and firework shows. Sea of Power
17 Dolphin Theater 1973 The 2,000,000 US gallons (7,600,000 l) original Shamu Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, which used to have an acrobatic show with dolphins, false killer whales, macaws, and a condor called by the name of Blue Horizons until 2017 when it was replaced by another show. And currently Dolphin Theater features dolphins, macaws (until 2020), a marabou stork (until 2017) and formerly an Andean condor in Dolphin Days, False killer whales were once part of the Theater until the eventual death of the park's two specimens.[23] Four rescued pilot whales were also housed here and seen occasionally during the preshow (about 15-20 mins before the show) or sometimes during the show itself until they were moved to Shamu Stadium on April 28, 2017 due to space, On September 16, 2019 the 3 pilot whales were transferred to SeaWorld San Diego.[24] Sea of Shallows
18 The Sea Lion and Otter Theater 1990 Hosts "Clyde and Seamore," a pair of California sea lions in the presentation Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High. Asian small-clawed otters, and a Walrus also partake in the show. This production is joined by the seasonal show Sea Lions Tonite. Sea of Delight
19 Bayside Stadium 1983 Formerly hosted water skiing shows on the park's central lagoon. Today, the stage is used for SeaWorld's numerous music concert series and other special events as well as the official viewing area for the summer seasonal Electric Ocean fireworks and dance party as well as the Winter Wonderland On Ice ice skating show during the winter. Sea of Power
20 The Nautilus Theatre 1995 This used to be home to an acrobatic show similar in style and presentation to the works of Cirque du Soleil called A'lure: The Call of The Ocean which closed in early 2015. This is was also used for a bubble show named Pop in 2017 and 2018 during the summer, and is still home to a show called "O Wondrous Night" during the winter. And it is often used for concerts and special events. On May 31st, 2021, it will turn into Valerie and George's Amazing Animal Friends! A show for animals, young and old people, and the combination of Kemono Friends, Seussical, The Lion King, and Numberblocks during spring and summer with an African leopard, 2 reticulated giraffes, plains zebras, ostriches, brown bears, 2 sulphur-crested cockatoos, a female scarlet macaw, a male blue-and-gold macaw, a male king vulture, a male peregrine falcon, a common chimpanzee, an emu, a western lowland gorilla, a greater roadrunner, a lion, and more animals including peacocks, flamingos, a male Indian elephant, and a female galah. Korrina's Halloween Show in the fall (with a lappet-faced vulture, Barbary lion, cheetah, shoebill, secretary bird, Siberian tiger, black panther, Arctic wolf, common raven, a male Ruppell's griffon vulture, and a female turkey vulture) and Valerie and George's Christmas Party in the winter will be followed and joined during Valerie and George's Amazing Animal Friends! with a polar bear and more animals including Santa's reindeer and a snowy owl. Sea of Mystery
21 Seaport Theatre 1998 Formerly featured animals that have been rescued from local animal shelters in Pets Ahoy which was cut in 2020 due to budget cuts affiliated with the loss of revenue due to COVID-19. This venue was also home to Abby's Treasure Hunt and many seasonal Sesame Street shows before Sesame Street land opened. Pets Ahoy will be reused in 2021 during the summer. Sea of Delight
22 Seafire Grill 2001 Is both a restaurant and a theatre in the style of a dinner theatre. This venue was home to the Makahiki Luau until its closure in 2010. 2021 says that spring and summer will have and will host American mustangs, zebras, and more animals. In the fall, it will host an African leopard, 2 spotted hyenas, 2 striped hyenas, an emu, a southern cassowary, a secretary bird, a turkey vulture, and a California condor. In the winter, it will have 2 polar bears, 4 leopard seals, an octet of African penguins and Bornean orangutans. Sea of Delight
23 Reflections 2006 A seasonal firework show on the park's central lagoon now Ignite since 2017 featuring fireworks, dancing fountains, and mist screens synchronized and inspired by the musical soundtracks of the park's shows and attractions. The show was formerly called Mistify. During the Holidays, there is a Holiday Reflections which closed in 2016 to make way for a new event called "Electric Ocean".
24 Wheel of Fortune Live! 2008 A taping of Wheel of Fortune that has shows taped in the park only for every year at the Bayside Stadium.

Attendance[edit]

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Worldwide rank
5,926,000[25] 5,800,000[26] 5,100,000[27] 5,202,000[27] 5,358,000[28] 5,090,000[28] 4,683,000[29] 4,777,000[30] 4,402,000[31] 3,962,000[32] 4,594,000[33] 4,640,000[34] 26

Aquatica Orlando[edit]

SeaWorld Orlando has a nearby sister park named Aquatica Orlando, which opened in 2008, part of the greater chain of Aquatica water parks.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Seaworld–Page Info". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  2. ^ a b c d Niles, Robert (August 1, 2013). "Theme park history: A short history of SeaWorld Orlando". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  3. ^ "Blackfish: when killer whales attack". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  4. ^ "Autopsy report" (PDF). Office of the Medical examiner, district nine, FL. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 17, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
  5. ^ Kuo, Vivian. "SeaWorld appeal of OSHA citations denied - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  6. ^ "SeaWorld won't appeal ruling pulling trainers from water at killer whale shows". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  7. ^ Kleiman, Joe (March 11, 2019). ""Sunny Days" ahead as Sesame Street opens at SeaWorld Orlando March 27". InPark Magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Russon, Gabrielle; Skoneki, Mark (June 1, 2019). "SeaWorld Orlando confirms new roller coaster is coming in 2020". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Bilbao, Richard (June 3, 2019). "SeaWorld Orlando reveals details about new 2020 attraction". Orlando Business Journal. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Entertainment, SeaWorld Parks &. "SeaWorld Park Map | SeaWorld Orlando". seaworldparks.com. Archived from the original on 2015-11-21. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  11. ^ a b c "Grand opening of Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "SeaWorld Florida". Screamscape. May 29, 2007. Archived from the original on May 29, 2007. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  13. ^ "Grand opening of Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando". orlandosentinal.com. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  14. ^ "Elmo's Choo Choo Train Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". seaworld.com. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  15. ^ "Big Bird's Twirl 'N' Whirl Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". seaworld.com. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  16. ^ a b c d https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aEvGcwdbdh4
  17. ^ "Abby's Flower Tower Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". seaworld.com. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  18. ^ "Cookie Monster's Cookie Drop Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". seaworld.com. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  19. ^ "Rubber Duckie Water Works Playground Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". seaworld.com. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  20. ^ "Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando". chicnavigator.com. 2019-03-23. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  21. ^ "Slimey's Slider Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". seaworld.com. Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  22. ^ "Sea World Whale Capture Plans Attacked". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. September 23, 1984.
  23. ^ Garcia, Jason (5 June 2012). "False killer whale Jozu dies at SeaWorld Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  24. ^ Kirley, James (16 September 2012). "Too soon to tell if surviving pilot whales can be released". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  25. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2008 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  26. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2009 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  27. ^ a b "TEA/AECOM 2011 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  28. ^ a b "TEA/AECOM 2013 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  29. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2014 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  30. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2015 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 18, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  31. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2016 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  32. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2017 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  33. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2018 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019. Alt URL
  34. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2019 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF).

External links[edit]