Heading to Orlando in 2023?
Published: January 25, 2023
By: Carol Muse Evans
If you are headed to Orlando in 2023, a day at SeaWorld – maybe even two – might be something to consider if you haven’t been in a while. It’s not just animal shows any more – it’s a full-fledged theme park for all ages.
This combination of interaction with nature and sea animals, shows and thrilled rides, along with a renewed commitment to conservation, may make SeaWorld a great option for your family.
We visited in late June 2022, and it was clear why SeaWorld Orlando won No. 1 Best Theme Park two years in a row from USA Today in their “Readers’ Choice Awards.” They like to say they are the “coaster capital of Orlando,” with more than six thrilling roller coasters, from coasters like Kraken and Manta, Mako, or Ice Breaker.
Be sure to check out Pipeline, the first-of-its-kind surf coaster, where you feel as though you are really riding the waves, launching this spring. There’s also the exciting Infinity Falls, where roller coaster meets water ride, and your water ride, Journey to Atlantis, with its “big splash ending.”
For the younger crowd, take a walk through Sesame Street Land, including interactive play, more than eight small children’s rides down its own Sesame Street, meet and greets with characters, shows and even the Sesame Street Party Parade.
There are other great rides and attractions like the iconic Sky Tower, there since the summer of 1974, and the Flamingo Paddle Boats. Some attractions include rides and a chance to see animals up close, like Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, where you ride through an exhibit and end up face to face with real penguins. Walk through Dolphin Cove and see these fascinating creatures up close, through the glass. Book a tour to go behind-the-scenes to see how trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered or feathered friends.
Special Events at SeaWorld Orlando in early 2023:
- Mardi Gras – Feb. 16-26
- Seven Seas Food Festival – Feb. 3 – May 7
- Cinco de Mayo – April 27-May 7
Visit the dolphin nursery, Flamingo Cove and even the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium to learn and see more of the sea life that fascinates you. Be sure to check out the Shark Encounter, Stingray Lagoon and Wild Arctic, as well as Manatee Rehab, Manta Aquarium and Orca underwater viewing as well as the SeaWorld Rescue Center.
Be sure to take in a show or two, if time allows, including the Orca Adventure, the always fun Sea Otter and Sea Lion Spotlight and of course, Dolphin Adventures. For an additional fee you can get reserved seating to some of their most popular shows – not a bad idea if you go during the busy summer season.
SeaWorld has had its ups and downs through the years but has a strong commitment to conservation. For more than 50 years, animal rescue and rehabilitation have been the heart of SeaWorld, according to SeaWorld officials. From habitat protection and supporting ocean health initiatives to its many rescue and rehabilitation efforts, SeaWorld is part of conservation projects across the globe. That is its mission, and they want to inspire others to take action and join in the efforts to save wild animals and wild places. For more information, be sure to visit seaworld.com/orlando/commitment/conservation/.
Food here is pretty good and goes beyond hamburgers and hot dogs, and meal plans are available. Hotels nearby are plentiful, and the sister attractions of Discovery Cove and Aquatica (water park) are nearby. Package deals are available for all the parks, and some may include meal plans. Be sure to plan ahead and visit seaworld.com/orlando/ for more information!
Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent and loves a good roller coaster.