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FOR THE LOVE OF THE THRILLS
 
(2016 - Spring/Summer Issue)

Writer: AVALON FROST



Prepare to dive  into summer at  SeaWorld Parks!

For more than 50 years, SeaWorld has entertained, inspired and thrilled generations of families, such as mine, with imaginative and memorable live shows, attractions, animal exhibits and heart-pounding rides. New this summer: thrilling new coasters and special events at its Orlando, Tampa and San Diego parks.

SeaWorld Orlando

Orlando has long been a favourite family destination and it’s about to become even more popular with the opening of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster—Mako—on June 10 at SeaWorld Orlando. Billed as Orlando’s only hypercoaster, Mako is designed for speed and relentless “air time.” Brave riders will soar up to 61 metres high, reaching speeds of up to 117.5 kph.

Inspired by one of the ocean’s fastest sharks, Mako anchors a shark-themed domain where you can learn about these fascinating underwater creatures. This unique attraction is reminiscent of a giant shipwreck. Explore the Shark Encounter attraction through one of the world’s largest acrylic underwater viewing tunnels. Then dine face-to-face with the denizens of the deep at Sharks Underwater Grill with its stunning underwater views.

Interactive displays throughout the realm help educate guests about the diversity of the world’s 450 shark species, their importance to ocean health, the dangers they face from human interference and what you can do to help. 

You’ll also want to check out the newly opened Manatee Rehabilitation, an area where park guests can observe the behind-the-scenes rescue and rehabilitation work SeaWorld undertakes to help save wild manatees. Here, you can step into a working wild manatee acute-care facility, come face-to-face with animals that have been ill or injured, and follow their journey to recovery. While a guided tour of the entire facility has been available for years, with 10 per cent of the cost donated to helping wildlife, the park has now opened up sections of the manatee rehabilitation area for complimentary viewing to all guests.

With the “surfacing” of Mako in June, SeaWorld Orlando will include five coasters in its diverse ride portfolio: Journey to Atlantis, Kraken, Manta, Shamu Express and Mako.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Also opening this summer, Cobra’s Curse is definitely our family’s most anticipated attraction at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Here’s why. The spin coaster will be the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a menacing 13,607-kilogram snake king icon and a 21-metre vertical lift that will take thrill-seeking riders within inches of its 1.2-metre-long fangs. A three-and-a-half-minute ride will have you spinning forward and backward as it takes you on a whirlwind of exciting explorations.

Before you board the new ride, you will be just inches away from an 11-cubic-metre snake exhibit in the queue line, which will include Jameson’s mambas, Angolan pythons, and rhinoceros and gaboon vipers. This multi-level exhibit reflects the theme of the ride while featuring several animal husbandry and enrichment components designed with the welfare of the snakes in mind, including naturalistic design elements, controlled heat sources and humidity control.

Next, meet the wilder residents of Busch Gardens on a Serengeti Safari tour and then head to Jungala for serious close encounters with orangutans and tigers.

Later, at the park’s Animal Care Center, you can observe, and even take part, in the daily animal-care experience.

SeaWorld San Diego

Spread across 77 hectares on beautiful Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld San Diego is known for spectacular animal shows, interactive attractions, aquariums, rides, beautiful landscaping and educational programs for all ages. The park’s founding principles of education, entertainment, research and conservation make it an ideal place to learn about, enjoy and gain an appreciation for some of the ocean’s most fascinating animals.

SeaWorld has reinvented the way visitors enter the park with Explorer’s Reef. Guests are transported into the world of the sea as they pass beneath an iconic and stunning wave structure and are immersed in a coral reef that gives them the feeling of walking on the bottom of the ocean. In this underwater oasis, they have their first chance to experience the beauty and wonder of incredible marine animals through up-close interactions with shark pups, rays, horseshoe crabs and cleaner fish in four state-of-the-art freshwater and saltwater touch pools.

Be sure to schedule time to enjoy the park’s Summer Nights (select dates May 28 to September 5), including Shamu Celebration: Light up the Night and the hilarious Sea Lions Tonite, all ending with the nighttime fireworks finale Celebrate the Wonder fireworks.

Guests are definitely in for an amazing time at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens this summer!

Save with the Canadian Resident Offer

The SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Canadian Resident Offer is US$59 adult/child (plus tax) and available for single-day purchase at seaworld.ca or through CAA or a travel agent. Tickets are good for single-day admission and must be redeemed by August 31, 2016. 

SeaWorld San Diego Canadian Resident Offer pricing is US$52 adult/child (tax included) and available for purchase at seaworld.ca/sandiego. Tickets are good for length of stay (seven days’ admission from first day of visit) and must be redeemed by December 31, 2016.

Proof of Canadian residency is required at the front gate.

Travel Planner

For more information on everything there is to discover and experience at SeaWorld Parks, visit seaworldparks.com.

 
 
 
 
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