Here in the Sunshine State’s capital of thrills and tourism, there is a lot competing for the attention of visitors and locals alike. For that reason, we are proud to say that the wealth of institutions featuring aquatic life hold their own against local amusement park giants and the upscale, quaint neighborhoods of Orlando. Read on for some of our favorite aquariums around Orlando.
SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando
The premier attraction for aquatic life and the oceans in Orlando and indeed the Western Hemisphere is the massive empire of SeaWorld in Southwest Orlando. Three parks, SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica form a complex of endless sights and experiences centered around the most iconic species of our waters and the efforts to protect them. The impressive list of aquatic animals is only the start of SeaWorld’s feats, including the beluga whale, bottlenose dolphin, killer whale, walrus, flamingos, five species of penguin, sea turtles, manatees, Asian small-clawed otters, and sharks!
A variety of experiences and shows occur all the time, and special events take place year-round (notably, the change in tone at the annual Howl-O-Scream). Groups can book a variety of interactive tours for specific species, behind the scenes, or after hours! Aside from the countless shows, Q&A sessions, and private experiences, there is also a number of water rides and rollercoasters for thrill-seekers of all levels, true to Orlando’s character. Groups can easily pass multiple days, if not a week or two seeing everything SeaWorld has to offer. With the central location also in mind, this makes SeaWorld a great addition to any travel itinerary for Orlando vacations and staycations.
SEA LIFE Orlando
SEA LIFE Orlando is a smaller attraction for those looking for a more compact aquarium experience. However, that is not to underwrite all that there is to do at SEA LIFE Orlando, as there is much more here than one would immediately see. A striking cast of characters reside at SEA LIFE Orlando, including the black tip reef shark, nurse shark, bamboo shark, epaulette shark, coral cat shark, zebra shark, loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, octopus, moon jelly, and cownose ray, just to name a few. Visitors tour a series of immersive exhibits in a variety of walls, tanks, pools, and breathtaking tunnels through the world of aquatic life, learning about these animals in an entertaining and interactive way.
Gatorland, proudly self-declared ‘Alligator Capital of the World’ is a unique attraction hailing to the popular image of Florida and the state’s association with alligators and unflinching types. Opened 72 years ago, Gatorland and its eccentric attractions have proven a steady staple to travelers and Central Floridians alike, showcasing a variety of alligators and their activities. Come see feedings, alligator wrestling true to the popular character of fearless ‘Florida Man’, and a number of outdoor activities. For those who want to learn all that there is about this symbolic Florida animal and try an attraction truly unique to Florida, come to Gatorland.
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