SeaWorld Orlando Phased Openings

Written by Eric Davis. Posted in Features, Orlando Parkhopper, Orlando Parks, SeaWorld Orlando

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Published on September 03, 2013 at 2:00 am with 11 Comments

After last week’s article about SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment’s tough summer, we have a follow up article about changes being made at SeaWorld Orlando, and some updates around the park, along with some new babies.

Phased Openings at the Park

For the past few weeks, SeaWorld Orlando has been testing phased park openings on various attractions such as Sharks Underwater and Wild Arctic.  Phased park openings have a long history here in Orlando with Epcot opening one half of the park at 9am (Future World) and the 2nd half of the park at 11am (World Showcase).  Here is the list of the current attractions affected by the phased opening schedule:

  • Turtle Trek – 9:30 am
  • Sharks Underwater – 10:15 am
  • Shamu Underwater Viewing – 10:15 am
  • Shamu Happy Harbor – 10:30 am
  • Wild Arctic – 11:00 am

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With most guests heading straight towards Antarctica, Manta, Kraken and Atlantis at park opening, this change should have minimal impact. As more guests fill in the park, the 2nd half will open similar to what happens at Epcot. If they must do phased openings, this is the optimal way to do it.

All Day Dining Now Includes Breakfast

SeaWorld has been offering “All Day Dining” for the past 5+ years.  The $32.99 price tag includes 1 Entree, 1 Side OR Desert and a Non-Alcholoic beverage.  In order for the consumer to come out ahead, you would have to eat 3 times, which was difficult since you could only eat lunch and dinner.  Recently, SeaWorld has been testing breakfast at the SeaFire Inn, which now makes this “All Day Dining” plan the best value plan in Orlando.  We hope this test is successful, as it’s a good deal for guests.

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8 Sea Lion Pups born

This year has been a successful one for SeaWorld Orlando’s Sea Lion program, so far there have been 8 pups born in Orlando, and they are all healthy and doing well!  It is always exciting when babies are born in the park and visitors love to see the little ones.

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Basking babies

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New Panini Venue

In front of the the Sharks Underwater attraction, where the Shark Photo-op was, they have installed a new Panini venue, where guests can get great sandwich and wraps, with some good vegetarian options.

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Coca-Cola Swelter Stop

For the last week of Summer, a pop-up attraction appeared at SeaWorld furnished by Coca-Cola called the “Swelter Stop” where guests can go in and enjoy a nice club/dace party scene with free Coca-Cola products.

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Jack Hanna Breakfast and Dinner

On September 14th and 15th Jack Hanna will be at SeaWorld Orlando, where guests will be able to either eat breakfast or Dinner with the famed conservationist, and day guests will also be able to attend one of his wild weekend shows. Guests wanting to dine with Jack Hanna need to book in advance by visiting SeaWorld’s website.

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That wraps up our SeaWorld Orlando update, but for more SeaWorld news and discussion, please listen to  the Unofficial SeaWorld Podcast with your hosts Eric & Mike as they talk to Catherine Brown a Sea Lion trainer from SeaWorld San Antonio, along with animal spotlight and super fan interviews.

About Eric Davis

By day, Eric is in Marketing and Social Media. But on the weekends, he's a theme park addict. Eric is a frequent contributor to MiceChat's Orlando Parkhopper columns and tends to focus his efforts on what's new and what's news at Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

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11 Comments

Comments for SeaWorld Orlando Phased Openings are now closed.

  1. Its common pratice in smaller Amusement Parks to open rides later in the day. But SeaWorld’s location is between Disney and Universal. These kind of changes will further illustrate how much poorer your product is to the other two Resorts in the area. Its a bad idea and something that should be scrapped straight away. You simply can’t compare this to what Epcot does each day. Everyone knows World Showcase opens later in the day and closes later and its advertised by Disney this way. People have always viewed Future World and World Showcase as seperate Parks. SeaWorld on the other hand is opening the whole Park on time but select rides throughout the Park will open later in the day. SeaWorld’s Management team needs to figure out why business is down and not make excuses up or cut cost. Antarctica for instance is a failure in regards to Guests enjoyment. The only people who seem to like it are the Park Bloggers. I have been encouraged to not visit WDW on my upcoming visit. People say its not what it once was and you will be disapointed.

    But I’m a weak guy and can’t miss out on the opportunity to see the SeaLion’s. But depending on how the trip goes this might be my last visit to either Orlando or San Diego Parks.

    • I encourage you to pull out a Disney park times guide and look at all of the special operating hours for attractions and even seasonal dining locations. Disney started doing this long before SeaWorld did. There is nothing wrong with doing this. If the majority of guests are going another way wait to open it till you have to. Its always good to save money if they can and in the end it will be spent on making the park better in the long run

      • Difference is Disney are open about what attractions will be closing earlier. And have plenty of alternatives to offer instead. And some of the closures are for opperational reasons. I doubt SeaWorld will be putting these hours up on its website for all to see… SeaWorld’s attitude is that unless you want to do a thrill ride of some kind then people with young family’s or there to just enjoy the shows and animal exhibits really are no longer required to show up at Park opening.

  2. I don’t mind the phased openings in the off season, but if they continue this during the busy season, that’s a problem.

    We always love seeing the baby animals. On our last visit, we got to meet the newest Dolphin babies. SOOOO cute.

  3. [...] You can read more information about this new opening schedule at http://micechat.com/39955-seaworld-orlando-update-phased-opening-and-new-sea-lion-pups/ [...]

  4. We were recently at SeaWorld and happened to get a one-day dining plan with our multi-day ticket. I guess we were part of the “test” because we did enjoy breakfast at the Seafire Inn. I guess considering we ate “THREE” meals, the all-day dining plan was worth it. To tell the truth, we got “three” full meals (including drinks) plus one drink during the hot day. While we could have gotten more food, we didn’t. We had breakfast (impressive), lunch BBQ (it started to rain and that’s where we were) and burgers for dinner.

    As much as I like SeaWorld, I would say none of the food thrilled us. It was far from bad, but there was little imagination. We appreciated the delicious fruit instead of fries (the BEST oranges and grapes). We had plenty of fries with other meals during our week.

    On another day, we ate fish and chips at the Seafire Inn when we were not part of the dining plan. Actually better than we expected.

    I would have liked more fish offerings (it’s Sea World!) such as fish tacos, tuna salad, grilled fish.

    As far as staggered openings, I can’t blame Sea World for trying to contain costs in the “off season,” but it is a troubling sign.

    I personally think Sea World needs more indoor dining and a few more family rides (C and D attractions). –Let me ride a boat through the Florida swamp and see gators, heron, and fish tanks. Steal the glass bottom boat idea and make it a ride. I believe people get tired of walking from show to show at Sea World. Yet some are not into the super thrilling Manta. There needs to be something in the middle.

    With all of that said, I am tired of Disney World and the money squeeze. Sea World is getting the formula right at Christmas!!!!!!

  5. Got to eat at the new panini stand during our visit in mid-August. The caprese and the steak and cheese were both very tasty,

  6. While I love SeaWorld, I cant say it’s somewhere I rush to at opening so the phased attraction opening doesn’t really bother me. I doubt many head for Wild Arctic when they arrive so it’s probably getting towards 11 before people start to get to that side of the park anyway. Nice to see the new food stand, will have to give that a look next time I manage to get there.

    Thanks for the update Eric

  7. As a fellow Micechatter, I just want to say you guys should all watch both documentaries called The Cove and Blackfish, as they will show you what SeaWorld truly is and you’ll never want to go back. But like everyone, they are entitled to their own opinion. Just thought I would say something about SeaWorld.
    Thanks for everything though Micechat! Keep up the good work elsewhere!

  8. I wouldnt be surprised if this years documentary ‘Blackfish’ has had something to do with park attendance.

    Blackfish is gathering pace especially on twitter/facebook.

    Tilikum without him knowing is helping educate park goers about how he came to be at Seaworld and the implications of killer whales in captivity.

    I dont even think the film makers knew how big this documentary would get.

    Only time will tell if the tide starts to change at keeping whales in captivity.

  9. [...] Story 4: Open: Late [...]