SeaWorld Orlando 2013 - Photo Trip Report
In Summer 2013, I took my first visit to Seaworld - a theme park unlike any other combining some of Orlando's most thrilling rides with stunning scenery, great food and incredible entertainment. Here's my photo trip report.
I started off by getting the iRide Trolley to SeaWorld with Oriol, it stops right inside the parking lot itself. We arrived at around 8:30 for a 9:00am opening. We had just 6 hours in the park before we had to leave for an evening shift at the Magic Kingdom.
I ventured towards the park not knowing what to expect and knowing very little about it. I was pleasantly surprised with the nice bit of theming.
Oriol said this lighthouse was the classic trademark symbol of Seaworld so I of course got a photo by it.
It was busier than I thought it was be. In my head Seaworld would have no one there at park opening.
I was wrong and a few hundred people were there by 8:45am, when they opened the park 15 minutes early - a great tip!
We beelined straight away for the newest attraction in the park - only recently opened: Antartica: Empire of the Penguin.
The theming in the area was great - something I didn't truly appreciate until now as I look back through these photos.
The entrance to the attraction is designed to look like a penguin with its head down. When I got there the ride had a 0 minute wait - later in the day it was up to 100 minutes so I'm glad I got it out of the way soon.
In the first room the temperature dropped and we were shown a video starting off the ride's story featuring Puck, the penguin. We were then taken to a second room - more video, more Puck and a higher temperature drop.
Finally, we boarded our vehicles which were twirled around this icy wonderland.
And through screens the story of Puck was brought to life.Then in the final room the cars turned around...
...and a rather impressive reveal showed the real penguins. The ride was a bit meh and its essentially a way of getting you to the penguin area of the park with a ride as well. It wasn't great but not as bad as some people had said - it just didn't feel necessary.
More luscious landscaping in SeaWorld.
The main reason I had wanted to come to Seaworld was this baby - Manta!
Manta is a flying coaster and I was dying to try it!
The queue line of course was filled with Manta rays and the initial wait must have been close to 45 minutes instead of the 25 minutes posted due to technical problems.
Seeing the loading system made me quite excited as you could hear people cheering every time their seats went from upright to laying flat.
Then it was my turn to ride. Wow, it is such a rush - from the incredible elements like the loops and turns, to how comfortable you feel this ride is simply incredible!
The splashdown is a particular favourite of mine.
Next, it was time for a coaster I had heard a lot about - Kraken!
It was by far the biggest coaster I had ever done. It is a floor less coaster so your feet dangle above the track and I chose the back seats for the most intensive experience - and it was exactly that!
There was no wait time and the ride was a walk on.
7 inversions later I came out the other end - and I loved every minute of it!
Next up - Journey to Atlantis with a tedious 30 minute wait! A water ride and rollercoaster combined into one - you don't really get too wet, unless you're sitting in the front seats like I was, and then you get drenched. A fun ride overall though!
With the three big rides done we explored the park looking for some place to eat and ended up having a great lunch.
The quick service food at seaworld was better than at any other theme park I've been too - something that was really unexpected! the chicken I had was great (Sorry, I can't remember where from but it was a smokehouse).
With a few hours left we aimed to see a bit more of the park, catch a show and of course get some more rides in!
First up I had to see some killer whales so it was time for Shamu: One Ocean.
Sitting in the splash zone will get you more than just a splash.
Next it was time for a kiddy coaster ride credit by riding the little Shamu coaster for kids which was surprisingly fast.
I didn't have a chance to take in my surroundings but looking back at these photos it's clear the theming is absolutely stunning at Seaworld.
We got another ride in on Kraken - once again it was a walk-on.
And then using the single rider line we got another two rides in on Manta. What a thrill.
So, that's SeaWorld! I loved my short time there and would thoroughly recommend a visit! I'm sure to come back again, but next time for a full day.