SeaWorld Orlando

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SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando logo.svg
SloganSee it Here. Save it There.
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
OwnerSeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
OpenedDecember 15, 1973; 46 years ago (1973-12-15)[1]
Previous namesSea World of Florida
Operating seasonYear-round
Visitors per annumIncrease 4.594 million (2018)
Area200 acres (81 ha)
Roller coasters5
Water rides2
Shows5 with 6 seasonal

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.


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 2020.[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 Universal Orlando
) enlarge…
Airport Sign.svg
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
Airport Sign.svg
Orlando International Airport
(access via FL 528)

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. 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.


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
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.
2 Kraken 2000 A floorless roller coaster themed after the legend of the Kraken sea monster.
3 Manta 2009 A flying roller coaster and aquarium exhibit featuring rays, sea dragons and other species.
4 Ice Breaker 2020 A quadruple launch family thrill roller coaster featuring the steepest drop of any roller coaster in Florida.
5 Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin 2013 A themed area headlined by a motion-based trackless dark ride featuring live penguin and alcid exhibits.
6 Journey to Atlantis 1998 A water coaster with dark ride elements themed to the mythical Atlantis.
7 Infinity Falls 2018 A river rapids ride that features a vertical elevator lift and the world's tallest river rapids drop.
8 Super Grover's Box Car Derby 2019[11] A Zierer family coaster.
9 Sky Tower 1973 400-foot tall rotating Gyro tower.
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.
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.
12 Sea Carousel 2007[12] A carousel themed with caricatured marine mammals and fish.
13 Elmo's Choo Choo Train 2019[13] A short train ride themed to Elmo from Sesame Street.[14]
14 Big Bird's Twirl 'N' Whirl 2019[11] A spinning ride themed to Big Bird from Sesame Street.[15]
15 Flamingo Paddle Boats 1978 Boats that can travel all around the park's central lake. Additional fee is required.

Live entertainment and animal presentations[edit]

# Name Opened Description
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.[16] The park's current production is One Ocean, which is joined by the seasonal Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night and Shamu Christmas Miracles night shows. An educational presentation called Ocean Discovery also shows on select dates. It was also home to Wheel of Fortune at SeaWorld back in late 2008.
17 Dolphin Theater 1973 The 2,000,000 US gallons (7,600,000 l) former 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 current Dolphin Theater features dolphins, macaws, a marabou stork 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.[17] Three 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.[18]
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.
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 seasonal "Electric Ocean" fireworks and dance party.
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 which closed in 2014. This is now used for a bubble show named "Pop" during the summer, and a show called "O Wondrous Night" during the winter. And it is used for concerts and special events.
21 Seaport Theatre 1998 Features animals that have been rescued from local animal shelters in Pets Ahoy. This venue is also home to Abby's Treasure Hunt and many seasonal "Sesame Street" shows.
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.
23 Reflections 2006 A seasonal firework show on the park's central lagoon 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 one year


2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Worldwide rank
5,926,000[19] 5,800,000[20] 5,100,000[21] 5,202,000[21] 5,358,000[22] 5,090,000[22] 4,683,000[23] 4,777,000[24] 4,402,000[25] 3,962,000[26] 4,594,000[27] 26


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]


  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). Autopsy report. 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. 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". Archived from the original on 2015-11-21. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  11. ^ a b "Grand opening of Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando". 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". Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  14. ^ "Elmo's Choo Choo Train Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  15. ^ "Big Bird's Twirl 'N' Whirl Attraction | Sesame Street at SeaWorld". Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  16. ^ "Sea World Whale Capture Plans Attacked". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. September 23, 1984.
  17. ^ Garcia, Jason (5 June 2012). "False killer whale Jozu dies at SeaWorld Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  18. ^ Kirley, James (16 September 2012). "Too soon to tell if surviving pilot whales can be released". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  19. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2008 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  20. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2009 Global Attractions Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 2, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "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.

External links[edit]