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SeaWorld Orlando picture in Orlando-Walt Disney World
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  • Amusement Parks, Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

Local Experts Scorecard
Based on 8 interviews

  • Must-see
  • Recommended
  • If You Have Time

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While Mickey's house and Harry's wizarding world are certainly magical, many vacationers find Shamu's lair equally enchanting. And if you're short on time, you might want to make this central Orlando spot a priority. Larger resorts like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando are best enjoyed over a few days, anyway. Take your pick of rides (including Orlando's tallest, fastest and longest rollercoaster, Mako) and an array of shows and exhibits.

Travelers love SeaWorld's animal experiences, heart-pounding rides and relaxed atmosphere, but some caution that food and merchandise are pricey. Keep in mind: If you want to see the famous "One Ocean" Shamu show at SeaWorld Orlando, be sure to visit soon  all of SeaWorld's theme parks will stop offering this show by 2019.

SeaWorld Orlando is typically open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, though hours vary by day. One-day passes cost $99.99 per person when purchased at the park, but if you buy your ticket on the property's website, you'll save $20. Multivisit tickets offer additional savings. What's more, an Eat Free Ticket (which covers all meals at participating restaurants, as well as entrance fees) can be purchased for the same price as a standard single-day ticket if bought online.

In addition to rides, shows and interactive animal experiences, the park has gift shops, restrooms and quick service and sit-down food options. On-site parking is also available but costs $18.77 to $23.47 per vehicle. Additionally, you can take LYNX buses (Nos. 8, 38, 50 and 111) or I-RIDE Trolley's Red Line (stop No. 28) to the property. You'll find SeaWorld Orlando across the street from Discovery Cove near the International Drive Resort Area.

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#1 Walt Disney World Resort Excessive, exhausting and expensive, Walt Disney World Resort is above all else enchanting. Composed of four theme parks (the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal ... Read more » Handout / Handout / Getty Images

#2 Universal Orlando Resort Whether you're traveling with little ones, teenagers, friends or your significant other, odds are you'll find something to enjoy at Universal Orlando Resort. This sprawling entertainment area features ... Read more » Brett Kiger / Flickr

Paladin27 / Flickr

#4 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex As much a part of Orlando's culture as Mickey and Minnie, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is another alternative to the city's crowded theme parks. Though it ... Read more » Purdue9394 / Getty Images

#5 SeaWorld Orlando While Mickey's house and Harry's wizarding world are certainly magical, many vacationers find Shamu's lair equally enchanting. And if you're short on time, you might want ... Read more » jimfeng / Getty Images

#6 Golf If you're not coming to Orlando to explore its theme parks, chances are you've come to visit its links. More than 170 golf courses – many of which have ... Read more » ivanastar / Getty Images

#7 The Mall at Millenia Popular brands like Apple and H&M rub elbows with high-end boutiques like Prada and Versace at the The Mall at Millenia. Providing a nice change of pace from the overpriced ... Read more » inazakira / Flickr

# Downtown Orlando Read more » Gina Pricope / Getty Images

#8 Gatorland Let's face it: Orlando is not the place for a cheap getaway with the kiddies. But this 110-acre preserve of alligators, crocodiles, snakes, toads, turtles and more is an ... Read more » Danita Delimont / Getty Images

#9 I-Drive The International Drive Resort Area is one of Orlando's most diverse regions to visit. Situated less than 10 miles southwest of downtown Orlando, this area features a variety of ... Read more » Philipp Meier / Flickr

#10 Harry P. Leu Gardens Despite the fact that most vacationers spend their time pounding the pavement, trundling tots from one amusement park ride to the next, Orlando is actually a great place to stop ... Read more » scott.zona / Flickr

#11 Orlando International Premium Outlets If you enjoy shopping, then no visit to Orlando would be complete without perusing the city's outlet malls. Although several are available in the International Drive Resort Area, some ... Read more » DJ A. / Flickr

#12 Fun Spot America Although these amusement parks are not as well-known as those found at SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, Fun Spot offers a plethora of rides, including ... Read more » Rain0975 / Flickr

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While visiting Walt Disney World Resort, take in one of the parks' fireworks shows, which are offered at various times every day. Handout / Handout / Getty Images

Take your pick between a variety of movie-themed attractions at Universal Orlando Resort, including Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Brett Kiger / Flickr

Interact with aquatic animals like dolphins, otters and stingrays at Discovery Cove. Paladin27 / Flickr

Prepare to launch your vacation into overdrive at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Along with perusing historical NASA exhibits, you can see what it's like to get behind the controls during the Astronaut Training Experience. Purdue9394 / Getty Images

SeaWorld Orlando's main draw is its animal exhibits, but thrill seekers will likely enjoy the park's three rollercoasters: Kraken, Mako and Manta. jimfeng / Getty Images

Golf courses abound in the Greater Orlando area. For some of the best fairways, tee off at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge, the Villas of Grand Cypress, Orlando or the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. ivanastar / Getty Images

Need a day away from Mickey and Minnie? Find refuge at The Mall at Millenia, where high-end boutiques like Prada and Versace rub elbows with everyday retailers like Victoria's Secret and Gap. inazakira / Flickr

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Experience alligator-centric activities like zip lining above a breeding marsh, feedings and gator wrestling at Gatorland. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

One of International Drive's quirkiest attractions is WonderWorks, an interactive entertainment complex. Philipp Meier / Flickr

Harry P. Leu Gardens features 50 acres worth of camellias, roses, ferns, azaleas and more.  scott.zona / Flickr

Orlando boasts an array of outlet stores, but some of the best can be found at Orlando International Premium Outlets. DJ A. / Flickr

This amusement park may not be as well known as those found at Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, but Fun Spot America – the only family-owned theme park in Central Florida – regularly draws in visitors with its unique rides, including a virtual reality rollercoaster and Orlando's only wooden rollercoaster. Rain0975 / Flickr

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