A trip to Florida is not complete without experiencing the thrills and fascination found in the state’s iconic theme parks. Lucky for you, the most revered of those attractions are within driving distance to one another. From Tampa to Orlando, Central Florida is the undisputed king of theme parks. So, put on your fun hat and be prepared to be thrilled.
For more than 50 years, the mission at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a leading theme park and entertainment company, has been to help guests explore animals and the world in which they live and to be inspired by what they learn as well as take action to help protect them.
As one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a worldwide leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care, SeaWorld collectively cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America. Over the years, it has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations.
SeaWorld Orlando continues to captivate visitors with new and exciting rides and shows. A must-do for thrill seekers is the new Mako, the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando, reaching speeds of 73 miles per hour along 4,760 feet of steel track. Named after one of the fastest shark species in the oceans, Mako is a hypercoaster that sits in the middle of the park’s seven-acre shark realm, where guests can learn all about (and watch) these fascinating creatures.
Still need more? Manta is the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world. Ride headfirst and face-down on this exhilarating journey.
At Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, visit the icy South Pole and learn about and visit with a colony of more than 200 penguins. If you’d rather enjoy animals in a warmer climate, consider spending time with bottlenose dolphins at Dolphin Cove. Adjacent to Dolphin Cove, the popular Dolphin Nursery becomes more interactive in 2017. Large-scale acrylic windows offer enhanced viewing and multiple levels allow kids a face-to-face view with mothers and calves.
Also new in 2017, Kraken will be transformed into a virtual reality roller-coaster experience. Travel alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past in the only VR experience in Florida.
When it’s time to cool off, venture over to Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark. Brave Roa’s Rapids, mastering white water swells and turns. Or dare to take on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, the free-fall drop slide. It’s the tallest and steepest in Orlando. For the kids, Kata’s Kookaburra Cove is where it’s at with a beginner’s body slide, water spouts and silly rides.