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Warm Winter Wonderlands
(2015 - Winter Issue)

Writer: Jenny Fauser

Wintertime at SeaWorld Parks in Florida is a toasty tradition I’ve come to love.

So, ditch the parka and don your flip-flops for a day of sunshine and nose-to-nose encounters with some of the ocean’s coolest creatures.

A Bevy of Attractions

From the splash of Shamu to the dash of the dogs at Pets Ahoy, SeaWorld Orlando’s shows provide ample seating and a perfect opportunity to rest and enjoy world-class shows. We love the thrill rides, Journey to Atlantis and Manta, and can’t wait for Mako to open in 2016.

If you visit between November 21 and December 31, be sure to stay for the Winter Wonderland on Ice show and the Sea of Trees display. Ice skaters and water theatrics, festive costumes, beautiful singing and fireworks choreographed to Christmas music leave you giddy as a child awaiting Santa’s arrival.

Shamu’s Happy Harbor should really be renamed Shamu’s Insanely Giddy Playground. The area features a splash area, the kid-size Shamu Express coaster, the Sea Carousel and a four-storey net climb.

Shark Encounter is home to one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels. SeaWorld knew we’d be mesmerized by toothy tyrants and designed the exhibit with a moving walkway under the pool where nurse sharks, saw sharks and at least one really fat grouper lurk overhead.

Pop into Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin for a family adventure ride that follows the story of a penguin named Puck. Pick the wild ride option to get a full interactive experience before coming face-to-face with a real penguin colony.

If your day leaves you pining to play with anything from sharks to minnows, book an all-inclusive day at Discovery Cove where guests can snorkel in the grotto, feed exotic birds and swim with dolphins. Reservations include unlimited snacks, beverages and meals along with white sandy beaches.

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, boasts two wave pools, age-appropriate kid areas and awesome slides. Little ones love the toddler area while older children go wild in the massive jungle-gym-meets-water-cannons-and-slides big kid area. My hubby and I enjoy the not-so-lazy river attraction and, when we feel adventurous, we brave Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. No need to pack the life vests. Aquatica offers them to all, free of charge.

Migrate a little farther west to Busch Gardens Tampa where the coasters are ah-may-zing! Over the last few years, Busch Gardens has taken rides to new heights with attractions such as SheiKra and its 90-degree drop; Falcon’s Fury, the tallest freestanding drop tower in North America, which has you diving face-first toward the earth; and Cheetah Hunt with twists and turns at cheetah speeds.

Travel Planner

For more information, visit seaworldparks.com. Be sure to check out SeaWorld’s special Canadian-at-par pricing offer at seaworld.ca or buschgardens.ca to get the very best deals of the season.

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