Sea World, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove! | Castles and Dreams Travel

Sea World, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove!

When I think of Sea World, I think of how much I loved going there as a kid and how much love I have for marine life because of those visits. I lived close enough to one of the Sea World Parks that we visited multiple times when I was younger. Because it was so close, it was also one of the first places I took my son when I became a Mom. Getting up close to the animals, learning more about them and their ocean home gave me a love and appreciation for them that I still carry today!

I’m fairly certain it was at a Sea World park where I first heard the word conservation in relation to saving animals in the wild. I love any theme park that educates, cultivates a lifelong love for animals and entertains all at the same time! If you also have fond memories of Sea World, but haven’t been to one of the parks lately, maybe you should consider it! Sea World Orlando has so much to offer! It isn’t just one park anymore! There are full vacation packages available now that include Sea World, Aquatica water park and you can include Discovery Cove as well! You can spend a whole week there enjoying a great hotel, getting close to dolphins, otters, and Sea Lions, riding roller coasters and maybe walking on the bottom of a lagoon! A Sea World vacation is truly a unique experience and I want to share with you all that they have to offer!

The Original Sea World Orlando park is where you will find the most animal encounters! Sea World is under very intense scrutiny and oversite to ensure they are taking very good care of the animals in their parks. I was lucky enough to go on a behind the scenes tour of the park which included the area where Sea World animal care experts are treating, and rehabbing animals rescued by the Sea World rescue team. I saw several manatee’s that had been injured by boats being nursed back to health before being released back into the wild. I also saw some sea turtles receiving care. It was very educational for me and if you have kids who want to be vets one day or have big love for marine life, I recommend the tour! There are several other tours that give you some very up-close encounters with the animals and give you a great opportunity to ask lots of questions and learn more about the rescue and conservation efforts of Sea World.

The shark encounter is very impressive! This is a huge underwater viewing tunnel which gives a great perspective for viewing the sharks! One of the animal encounters I like the most is Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins! This attraction actually starts out as a ride!

You ride through “Antarctica” guided by a penguin named Puck and end up in a very cold habitat where you can see the penguins playing on the rocks and swimming in the frigid water! I really enjoyed how close I was to the penguins and stayed until I couldn’t stand the cold any longer!

There are lots of other animal encounters and exhibits for you to enjoy with Dolphins, whales, sharks, Sea Lions, Stingrays, and Sea Turtles! But Sea World isn’t just animals and sea life anymore. There is truly something for everyone in your family to enjoy at Sea World. If you have very small children or if you have a large gap between your youngest and oldest kids, Sea World is a great vacation destination. The recently added Sesame Street Land is perfect for your little ones, the animals are great for the whole family, and for the dare devils in your group, there are some intense roller coasters!

But for those dare devils I spoke about earlier, they will have a ball on Mako, Kraken, and Manta!

We are a theme park family. We ride roller coasters on a regular basis. Mako is the most intense coaster I have ever been on! The second picture below is the first drop on Mako! I wish there was an even better word than intense to use. Thrilling, scary, awesome, those are all true, but intense is what I always end up using to describe it! The first picture is the ride seat, which looks like……. a Mako shark. I’m sure you figured that out without my explanation! I think they designed them this way to make it easy for you to hold the hand of the person sitting beside you!

If you conquer Mako, Kraken and Manta should be a breeze. They are intense also, but not quite like Mako! Going upside down while laying on your stomach is a unique ride design in my experience which makes Manta unlike anything else.

Kraken almost looks tame compared to this, but it isn’t tame, just pure fun! You can see both Mako and Kraken in the picture below!


The Kraken up close!


Journey to Atlantis and the Infinity Falls (raft ride) are also fun but be prepared to get wet!  



When I say Sea World isn’t just one park anymore and that you can spend a week here with plenty to do, I’m talking about the other 2 parks that are easily combined with your Sea World package! I could plan two full days at Sea World alone with all the shows, rides, kids’ activities and animal encounters. Add in Aquatica water park and an all-inclusive day at Discovery Cove and you’ve got a great weeklong getaway! You may not have ever thought of Sea World Orlando as full vacation destination, but that’s not the case anymore. There are great packages available that include ground transportation, a great hotel, and tickets to all 3 of these parks. We can even add in a meal plan at Sea World to give your vacation a more all-inclusive feel!


Aquatica water park is a great addition to Sea World and it’s one of my favorite water parks! There are plenty of water slides, pools, and a lazy river but unlike other waterparks you also get some marine life experience here! Dolphin Plunge twin water slides are extremely popular! Riding through these corkscrewing, underwater tubes you can see the black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins swimming beside you! Your enclosed in your tube so no need to worry, but what a fun experience! For those that want to see these lovely dolphins, but don’t (or can’t) ride, there is an underwater viewing area.

Another unique attraction at Aquatica is the side by side wave pools where you can choose Cutback Cove with constant waves or Big Surf Shores where they alternate the waves between relaxing and easy, or high energy.  



Rounding out these three parks is Discovery Cove! Sea World and Aquatica bring big roller coasters, big waves and high thrills! Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive oasis where you can spend the day relaxing with a drink in your hand. You will enjoy breakfast, lunch, drinks (including some adult beverages) and snacks included with your day pass and pretty much everything you need to enjoy a day at what feels like an exclusive beach club! Discovery Cove caps their attendance every day, so it’s never overcrowded! After a few days at busy theme parks, Discovery Cove is wonderful way to take a break without taking a break from your vacation! Just put on your swimsuit and Discovery Cove takes care of everything else including sunblock, towels, and showers!



Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t be bored. In fact, there are lots of fun things to do here but the atmosphere is laid back, relaxing fun. You can visit the otters, hang out in the aviary or go snorkeling which is all included in the basic day pass. You can also add a dolphin swim to your day package for a wonderful, up close experience! There is an additional fee for this activity.


I loved the aviary! This is not just a room full of parakeets! There are very unique birds here, many that I had never seen before and you can hand feed them if you want to. You can take your time here exploring the beautiful landscape and watching the birds and you come back in as many times as you like throughout the day. 

Sea Venture is another unique option at Discovery Cove. Put on a dive helmet and take an underwater walking tour in the Grand Reef! This activity is an add-on and will cost a little extra!


All three of these parks are in close proximity and when you book a package, ground transportation to each park is included in your price.

One of our agents that specialize in Sea World vacations will be able to help you build the best package for your family! We will help you choose the right partner hotel, the park tickets and any add on tours or activities that will work well for your family and give you a fantastic vacation!

I think you will be surprised just how affordable a Sea World vacation package is and what all is included. Even with the dolphin swim added at Discovery Cove, this package is a great value! You truly get so much bang for your buck with this package!

Your package can include a stay at one of Sea World partner hotels, Length of stay park tickets to all three of the parks described above, ground transportation between your hotel and the parks ( no need to pay for a rental car) and as many tours and add on activities as you like!

The partner hotels come with a long list of benefits & inclusions as well, here are some of the current benefits:

  • Free shuttle transportation to Sea World, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove
  • Signature show seating at Sea World
  • Free Sea World Quick Queue – front of the line ride access (one time per ride) at Sea World including Mako, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and more!
  • Free Rescue Tour – An exclusive look at how Sea Worlds Animal Experts care for rescued manatees and sea turtles.
  • 10% off select dining at the three parks
  • 10% off merchandise purchases of $50.00 or more at the three parks
  • Priority entrance to Sea World & Aquatica on select days

This is a great way to get an amazing family vacation that you will talk about for years to come! The free quick queue and priority entrance means far less time standing in line and a lot more time having fun. Time is money on vacation and if I can spend more of it relaxing in a tube on a lazy river, riding rolling coasters, getting up close to dolphins, otters and rays, and less of it in lines waiting for the fun to start, count me IN!




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Kim Hogue

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