Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

July 15, 2024

Family SeaWorld Orlando Getaway

"Cincinnati Family" writer, Charles Infosino, created memories with his 11-year-old daughter at Sea World Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando is a 200-acre amusement and marine zoological park with roller coasters, flat rides, whales, dolphins and more.

The park received more than 4.4 million guests last year, making it the world’s 19th most visited amusement park. I have gone to SeaWorld Orlando with my family several times over the years. We spent the past Christmas vacation in Orlando, and Sandy, my 11-year-old daughter, and I spent a day at SeaWorld Orlando.

The park features a children’s area, Sesame Street Land – which is an area that looks like Sesame Street – and includes Hooper’s Store and Big Bird’s Nest. It features Super Grover’s Box Car Derby – a family-friendly coaster, Sunny Day Carousel and other attractions. Sesame Street characters interact with park guests. My family had fun times at Sesame Street Land when Sandy was younger. 

Note: I purchased Quick Queue Unlimited passes because we were there during the holiday season, and I anticipated long lines. SeaWorld Orlando’s app showed me the day before our visit that ride wait times were up to two hours long. 

We rode the newest coaster, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, first because it is the only ride that does not accept the Quick Queue Unlimited pass. Pipeline is a first-of-a-kind prototype in which the riders stand and shift up and down during the ride.  Pipeline launches 110 feet up at 60 mph. The vehicle is shaped like a surfboard. We liked the ride because it made us feel like we were surfing as our bodies moved up and down during the ride. 

Sandy and I then rode Manta, the only flying roller coaster of its kind in Florida. Guests get securely strapped in and placed in flying positions before spinning, gliding, and flying in the air while enjoying a great view. We felt like superheroes soaring in the sky.

Next, we headed to Mako, named after one of the ocean’s fastest-known sharks. Mako is a hyper-coaster that speeds up to 73 mph and reaches as high as 200 feet. The ride’s big hills and movements reminded us of Diamondback at Kings Island.

We then headed to Kraken, Orlando’s only floorless roller coaster. Kraken gets its name and theme from Kraken, a gigantic Greek mythological sea beast. Riders’ feet hang as they move above the track, which reaches heights of more than 150 feet. We enjoyed Kraken’s speed and the smoothness of its two vertical loops. 

After that, we headed to Jewel of the Sea Aquarium to see jellyfish and other forms of sea life. 

Next, we went to Journey to Atlantis, a flume ride/roller coaster hybrid that gets its name and theme from the Greek mythological sunken city of Atlantis. Its vehicles are boats with wheels. Journey to Atlantis starts as a log flume that enters the ancient city of Atlantis through a tunnel. The city’s darkness suggests that guests are visiting Atlantis at night, and they see what appears to be stars in the sky. Instrumental music accompanies the city tour, which includes structures, furnishing, and statues. 

The vehicle then moves uphill on a roller coaster lift hill past two doors that take it out of the city. Next, the vehicle turns, climbs up a second lift hill, and then soars down into a water pool. The vehicle then turns around and makes a small drop into the water and then goes up its final lift hill, which is quite large. Once at the top, the vehicle enters a roller coaster-styled track. It then rushes down the track toward its last splash pool. 

We enjoyed the ride but wished that it was smoother. Sandy and I got soaking wet, so much that I paid $6 for a family dryer machine because we were cold. 

By then, Sandy was hungry, so we went to Voyager’s Smokehouse for lunch. Sandy ordered smoked chicken and fries.

Our last coaster of the day was Ice Breaker, named after the icy Arctic summits. The coaster features four airtime-filled launches, both backward and forward, that culminate in the steepest beyond-vertical drop in Florida.  Riders then fly over a near-vertical tophat maneuver into twists, turns, and airtime hills. This ride reminded Sandy of Viking Fury at Kings Island because of the first part of the ride in which we swung back and forth. 

After we rode all the roller coasters, we made time for animal shows. That day, there were four shows: Dolphin Adventures, Orca Encounter, Sea Lion & Otter Spotlight, and Sesame Street Parade. 

We went to the Dolphin Adventures show at Dolphin Stadium. The show featured bottlenose dolphins doing flips in the air and performing many other feats. 

Sandy and I also saw the Orca Encounter at Orca Stadium. We witnessed the majestic killer whales performing flips and other impressive movements.

My daughter enjoyed the park and liked one ride more than the rest.

“Mako was my favorite. I was scared at first. But once you get past the super-fun drop, and it has many more drops in it, it feels like you were flying and it’s really fun,” Sandy says. “I would suggest that you would try it out. If you are afraid of heights, then probably not because it has a lot of dropping but it’s so fun.”

SeaWorld Orlando is an amazing park! We rode six awesome roller coasters and enjoyed animal encounters. SeaWorld Orlando is located at 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando. Visit seaworld.com/orlando for more information.

About the Author

Charles Infosino

Charles Infosino is a freelance writer from Fort Thomas and the author of "The Unofficial Guidebook to Paramount’s Kings Island"; "Pina Panda: Adventures in Pandacornlandia"; and "Ultra Bunny: To the Rescue".