Strategies for waiting, watching, and enjoying shows at SeaWorld Orlando

by: Shelley Caran Updated:

At the Whale & Dolphin Theater you can see Blue Horizons, a venture beyond the horizon where dolphins, birds, and spirited performers meet.

One thing that makes SeaWorld Orlando unique is the vast number of shows that they offer, but with that being said when you plan on going to the park you also have to be prepared to schedule your day in a very different way.

In my past post on Visiting SeaWorld with Kids, I skimmed the surface of watching shows and wanted to talk more about some strategies and tips for successful and happy show watching!

The first thing to take into consideration is that there are several different show types and settings throughout the park.

Here is a spoiler-free look at each show…

At the Whale & Dolphin Theater you can see Blue Horizons, a venture beyond the horizon where dolphins, birds, and spirited performers meet. This show is high energy, unique storytelling, and full of great moments. The show can be overwhelming at times, because there is just too much cool stuff going on at once. While the stadium does offer covered seating, it is really exposed to the elements…especially the rain!

» IMAGE GALLERY: Strategies for enjoying shows at SeaWorld

Clyde & Seamore Take Pirate Island is presented at the SeaLion & Otter Stadium, and is a hilarious show that lets you accompany Clyde and Seamore on their Pirate misadventures. This is my favorite show, so I am a little biased on this one! The Pirate Mime before the show is hilarious!!! If you love slapstick comedy, this is the show for you! Again this is an outdoor stadium, so keep in mind it can be closed due to weather conditions.

Cats, dogs, birds, and even a pig perform high-action feats at the SeaPort Theater in Pets Ahoy! This show is super cute, and is a must see for any and all animal lovers! The show takes place inside, so it is a great escape from the weather!

If your child is a big Sesame Street fan, they can also see Elmo and Abby’s Treasure Hunt at the Seaport Theater. My daughter loved seeing some of her favorite characters on-stage!!! Since this show shares a stage with Pets Ahoy! it’s important to watch show times!

A’Lure, The Call of the Ocean in the Nautilus Theatre is a very artistic show featuring acrobatics and amazing aerial performers. It is breathtaking! The story is moving and the visuals created by the athletic performers is amazing…I don’t want to ruin it!!!

And at Shamu Stadium you can see Shamu perform in the new exciting show One Ocean. This show is amazing, and a must do for my family!!! You have to make sure that you see One Ocean…seriously you HAVE to!

Now that you know a little more about each show, you are going to want to pick which ones you are going to see. Show times are scattered and overlap, and with that schedule it makes watching every show in one day tricky. It can be done, but you will find that your ride and animal encounter time is limited.

My best advice is to be realistic about what shows will appeal the most to your family and traveling party members! Also know how much time everyone is ready to devote to watching rather than riding attractions and visiting the animal interactions.

Once you have decided on what you are going to be seeing, you will want to make sure that you arrive to each venue 15-20 minutes early to make sure that you get a great seat. With that being said, you will want to make sure that you are fed and ready before you walk in. There are vendors selling snacks, drinks, and small trinkets before each show which is really convenient. Also, make sure that you know where the closest restrooms are to the theaters. Some of the venues have restrooms located inside of them, and the show ushers are always super helpful!

If you have little ones in your travel party, this can be the trickiest part to manage. With my daughter, I often use this as down time to have a snack and I keep her occupied by talking about what we have seen and showing her on the park map where we will be going next.

When you walk into the show areas and are choosing your seats, if you do see that the section you have chosen is in an area designated as a Splash Zone expect to get pretty wet. You will want to make sure that your electronics are protected from the salt water!

During the show, please make sure to use your manner and follow the rules! We are all in this together, so remember what you do affects everyone around you.

What tends to be the most un-enjoyable part of the experience is the mass exodus from the venue. I always add some time to my schedule for waiting to exit a show, because you can never be sure as to how quickly you will be able to leave your seats. Also I am a bit of a worry wart, so I always wait so my daughter doesn’t get caught up in the craziness that can happen when that many people try to leave at the same time.

I hope that these strategies and tips for waiting, watching, and enjoying shows have been helpful! If you manage your expectations and time right, you will be surprised at just how much you are able to accomplish in one day!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelley Caran moved to Celebration, Florida a little over a year ago from Virginia, but has had a passion for Disney World and SeaWorld since her first visit in 1986.  She is a wife and stay-at-home Mom, who never seems to stay at home! She loves to take pictures, talk about her adventures, and what is important to know as you are on the go in the Orlando and Tampa attractions.  In addition to her own site, On the Go in MCO (www.onthegoinmco.com) she is a contributor for Touring Plans (www.touringplans.com).