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(2017 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: Kevin Fritz

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment offers exciting new adventures for the entire family. A blend of nature, education, once-in-life-time experiences and thrill rides beckon young and old alike to SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark.

Since the first SeaWorld opened in 1964, the mission has been to both educate and entertain guests. Over the past 50 years, more than 400 million guests have been introduced to animals and the plights they face from habitat loss and pollution.


Did you know SeaWorld is the largest rescue organization in North America, with a vision to be the largest in the world? Learn more about SeaWorld’s 50-year legacy of helping animals in need at the new Manatee Rescue Center. Go behind the scenes where they rehabilitate ill, injured or orphaned manatees, sea turtles, birds and other marine animals. Watch rescue footage straight from the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team.

Like thrills? Shark Wreck Reef, the new realm at SeaWorld, features the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando—Mako. Reach speeds of 117 kilometres per hour along 1,451 metres of steel track, reaching a height of 61 metres. More than just a ride, you’ll learn of the many challenges facing our oceans and their inhabitants. SeaWorld has helped more than 30,000 animals in the past 50 years, many of them marine animals affected by ocean trash.

Hungry? The Seven Seas Food Festival fills the air with music and street food from Asia, the Caribbean, South America and the Mediterranean for 14 weekends between February 11 and May 13. Thirsty? Savour specially chosen international, local and seasonal craft brews on tap.


When it’s time to cool off, venture over to Aquatica, Sea World’s Waterpark. Brave Roa’s Rapids, mastering white water swells and turns. Or dare to take on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, the free-fall drop slide. For the kids, Kata’s Kookaburra Cove is where it’s at with a beginner’s body slide, water spouts and silly rides.


From March 4 through April 30, the Third Annual Food & Wine Festival at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay features chart-topping artists and creative chefs preparing everything from signature dishes to cabernet-filled chocolates. Pair savoury dishes with delectable wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails. 

The park, known for its array of wildlife and thrill rides, now features Cobra’s Curse, the ultimate family roller coaster. Board the one-of-a-kind spin coaster and thrill at the 21-metre vertical lift that takes you inches from the cobra’s 0.9-metre eyes and 1.2-metre-long fangs. Travel at 64 kilometres per hour through 640 metres of track, backwards, forwards, then spinning freely. A state-of-the-art snake exhibit more than holds your attention while waiting in line.


Canadian residents can enjoy the warmth and thrills of SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with discounts up to 25 per cent off gate pricing through April 30. The price for a single-day ticket to either park is US$74.99, plus tax. Redeem up to one year from date of purchase. To book your tickets, visit seaworld.ca, buschgardens.ca  or contact your travel agent.

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