Florida Trip 2017: Part 2 Sea World Orlando
Sunday August 20th was our first full day of our Florida trip. We bought Busch Platinum Passes at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in the spring, during our 3 day spring trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. So, we have free admission and free parking into Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa. For our first full day of the trip we chose to go to Sea World Orlando.
Now, 2001 was my last visit to Sea World, and I liked the park back then. 16 years later and wow, Sea World has improved in every aspect. It had the best coasters of our Florida trip, it was the best landscaped, had the best shows, the most beautiful park, and overall, by far, my favorite park in Florida. The only major parks that I haven't visited in Florida are Disney Studios and Legoland. I have visited Legoland when it was Cypress Gardens. Sea World even made my top 10 favorite parks that I have visited. Sea World was my daughter's favorite park of this trip also.
On the first day we literally ran back to Kraken. They have put VR on Kraken and if you don't get there early, you have to sign up for a reservation. On both days we got first train of the day, and even got a second ride on our second day, for a total of 3 rides on it. We did VR once in the front seat, and once in the back seat. We actually rode it front seat the second day without VR. Now I never thought I would like VR on a coaster, but Kraken Unleashed is an awesome experience. This B&M floorless coaster is still a good ride and the VR adds to the experience.
Each day we visited Maco didn't open until a hour after the park opened. We were there waiting the rope drop each day. Because we have Platinum Passes, we are entitled to 2 consecutive rides on everything at Sea World, expect for Kraken and everything at Busch Gardens Tampa, except for Cheetah Hunt. Even if there's a 30 minute wait, we get 2 rides in a row. Maco is B&M's newest hypercoaster, and it's a darn good one. The first 2/3 of the ride is top 10 steel coaster quality, and full of the best air time on any B&M, with exception of Fury 325. There is a mid coarse brake that just kills the speed of the last 1/3 of the ride. If it wasn't for those brakes, Maco would be a top 10 steel coaster. We got 22 rides on it, in 2 days, and back seat was our favorite seat. Maco is my second favorite coaster in Florida, with only Mine Blower topping it.
Since my last visit Sea World had added a B&M flying coaster called Manta. Now I'm not a huge fan on The 3 Superman Ultimate Flight coasters, but Manta is different. It's a longer ride, with better elements, and the theming is phenomenal. A very photogenic coaster. On the first day we got 4 rides on it. During our Busch Gardens Tampa visit we got stuck on the brake run of Sheikra for about 10 minutes. They gave us 3 quick que passes, that were at any Busch Park in 2017. On the second day at Sea World Manta had a hour long line with one train running. With our 3 quick que passes, and our double ride Platinum Passes, we got 6 rides on Manta in a little over 30 minutes, for a total of 10 rides on Manta. Front seat ended being my favorite on Manta, and Manta was my daughter's favorite coaster of the trip. I actually would rank Manta somewhere around 25-30 on my favorite steel coaster list and probably at #5 of our Florida trip.
We also rode Journey to Atlantis which is a flume that's themed, that turns coaster like at the end. We only rode it once, but it was the kids favorite water ride of the trip. We also ride Shamu, which is a Kiddie coaster, for the credit. We also rode Wild Artic, which is a simulation ride, that's sort of out of date. We also rode Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, which was new to me.
We took a bunch of time to view all the marine animals and aquarium exhibits. We watched several shows. Dolphin Days was a very good Dolphin show. Ocean Discovery is a killer whale show. I was surprised that the trainer's no longer get in the water with the whales. I guess that whole Blackfish thing, is the cause of that. We also watched a sea lion show called Clyde and Seamore's Sea Side High. There was a some type of show where a guy made all kind of bubbles that was actually very entertaining and very different from the other shows. We also did a show called Turtle Trek which was my favorite. You enter a room with a screen that goes all the way around and even up on the ceiling. You take the life journey as a sea turtle.
They only thing we didn't get to do on our list is have the Dolphin encounter. It's an uncharge, but we willing to pay for it. Unfortunately when we thought of it during our second day, it was sold out for the rest of the day.
All in all we all just loved Sea World. It has some diversity in attractions, and the quality of those attractions are stellar. Sea World probably provided us with the most memorable experiences of the trip. Next up Disney's Animal Kingdom.