America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – No. 6 SeaWorld

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, LLC, is a family-friendly entertainment, amusement park, and attraction company headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

It operates 12 theme parks including five water parks in the United States. SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is the ninth largest theme park operator in the world and welcomed over 20 million visitors in 2018.

People either love the SeaWorld brand or hate it. Those that love it enjoy not only the rides and shows but learning about the care and training of some of the world’s most beautiful creatures.

All Parks Owned by SeaWorld

Busch Gardens

  • Busch Gardens Tampa – Tampa, Florida
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia

SeaWorld

  • SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  • SeaWorld San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
  • SeaWorld San Diego – San Diego, California

Other Theme Parks

  • Sesame Place – Langhorne, Pennsylvania
  • Discovery Cove – Orlando, Florida

Aquatica Chain

  • Aquatica Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  • Aquatica San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
  • Aquatica San Diego – Chula Vista, California

Other water parks

  • Adventure Island – Tampa, Florida
  • Water Country USA – Williamsburg, Virginia

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi – Coming Soon

On December 13, 2016, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment announced a new partnership with Miral to bring SeaWorld Abu Dhabi to Yas Island. The park, which will be situated to the northeast of Ferrari World, is set to open in 2022 and will be the first SeaWorld without orcas. 

New Sesame Place Theme Park

On May 18, 2017, SeaWorld Entertainment announced that they would build another Sesame Place theme park in the United States by 2021 in addition to the one currently operating in Pennsylvania, with the option to build more Sesame Place parks after that.

SeaWorld Parks

SeaWorld San Diego is the oldest of the SeaWorld parks opening in 1964. Orlando opened in 1973 and San Antonio in 1988.

Photo via SeaWorld Entertainment

The parks feature orcas, sea lion, and dolphin shows and zoological displays featuring various other marine animals. SeaWorld parks also feature thrill rides, including roller coasters like Kraken and Manta at SeaWorld Orlando, and Steel Eel and The Great White at SeaWorld San Antonio. Journey to Atlantis, a combination roller coaster and splashdown ride, can be found at all three parks.

Photo via SeaWorld Entertainment

The parks’ marine mammal collections have been the subject of public debate for years. The 2013 documentary film Blackfish, led to initial decreases in attendance and profits. In 2018, SeaWorld’s attendance and revenue began to recover with the addition of new rides, shows, and animal exhibits at its parks, as well as increased marketing about the parks’ conservation and rescue efforts.

Photo via SeaWorld Entertainment

In 2016, SeaWorld announced that they would end their in-park Orca breeding program and eventually phase out their theatrical Orca whale shows altogether (due to state legislation in California that banned shows using orcas) starting in San Diego. It was announced later in the same year, that SeaWorld would build their first park without killer whales and outside of the United States in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Your visit to SeaWorld isn’t just a chance to feel connected to the ocean and its creatures and ride the rides! It’s also a way to be part of the park’s mission. Each ticket, each visit, each experience at the parks help fund wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts, habitat protections, and ocean health initiatives.

The SeaWorld parks are a combination theme park and marine zoological park. In Orlando,  when combined with its neighbors Discovery Cove and Aquatica, it forms SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando, an entertainment complex consisting of the three parks and many hotels and is a vacation destination similar to Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.

SeaWorld San Diego is an animal theme park, oceanarium, outside aquarium and marine mammal park. SeaWorld San Diego offers multiple aquariums and exhibits, like the Penguin Encounter and Shark Encounter attractions, as well as rides for every member of the family.

San Antonio offers thrilling rides and amazing animal encounters and is the largest of the SeaWorld parks. SeaWorld San Antonio is the perfect blend of amusement park fun and wildlife exploration. Backstage tours provide unbelievable up close and personal interaction with some of the most amazing creatures of the sea. 

Busch Gardens Parks

Busch Gardens Tampa opened on March 31, 1959 as an admission-free hospitality facility for Tampa Anheuser-Busch; in addition to various beer tastings, they had a bird garden and the “Stairway to the Stars”, which was an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery.

Photo via Busch Gardens

The Tampa park is now home to rides that are fun for the whole family. You can take on a thrilling triple-launch coaster, a family spin coaster that’s a new ride every time, epic coaster legends and more.

Photo via Busch Gardens

The Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened in 1975. The theme is classic Europe with artfully landscaped villages, like the Parisian streets of France, the hamlets of Scotland and the Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. In all, there are nine villages centered around six countries for you to explore.

The Busch Garden parks are a combination of nature and adventure. The parks feature a combination of roller coasters and Broadway-style shows and the parks are widely known for the roller coasters.

Both Busch Gardens parks offer seasonal events and festivals that are enjoyed by millions.

Sesame Place

Sesame Place first opened in 1980. It is a children’s theme park and water park, located on the outskirts of Philadelphia in Langhorne, Pennsylvania based on the Sesame Street television program. It includes a variety of rides, shows and water attractions suited to young children.It is also the first theme park in the world to become a certified autism center.

Amazing Theme Parks SeaWorld
Photo via Sesame Place

Families can have breakfast with the characters an hour before the rest of the park opens. The entire Sesame Place crew struts down Sesame Street twice a day in the “Neighborhood Street Party” parade, features all of the Sesame Place characters, large floats, dancers and music.

Discovery Cove 

A day at Discovery Cove can be as relaxing or as busy as you like.

It’s a beautiful park. It’s a one-of-a kind experience where you can interact with bottle nose dolphins, feed tropical birds, play inches from a family of otters and even walk on the Grand Reef floor-all in one day. Between adventures, recharge with unlimited island fare and refreshments.

Discovery Cove is definitely a one of a kind experience. Discovery Cove limits the number of tickets sold each day. Only 1,300 people per day are allowed to visit. This insures the park is never crowded not only for the enjoyment of all the guests but also for the stress and interaction with the marine life.

Aquatica Parks

The Aquatica parks are sister parks to the SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego. The parks feature a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, some of which pass by or through animal habitats.

Amazing Theme Parks SeaWorld
Photo via Aquatica Parks

The parks have wave pools that feature man made white-sand beach area equipped with deck chairs, sun beds and umbrellas. Some of the best and most thrilling water slides call the Aquatica parks home.

Amazing Theme Parks SeaWorld
Photo via Aquatica Parks

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! Also, don’t miss:

Amazing Theme Parks SeaWorld