SeaWorld and Busch Gardens are world-class theme parks bursting with exceptional things to do. From engaging animal experiences to exceptional rides and entertaining shows, these attractions make it easy for families to reconnect and make unbelievable memories.
You may be familiar with both of these parks but you’d be surprised at just how much each has to offer. With that in mind, we’re going to guide you through a SeaWorld and Busch Gardens family vacation. Along the way, you’ll discover why these parks are real, amazing and full of more fun than you ever could’ve imagined!
We’ve also teamed up with SeaWorld and Busch Gardens to offer an exceptional, one-of-a-kind getaway. After reading through this helpful guide, enter to WIN an exclusive vacation package to both parks featuring behind-the-scenes experiences. Tickets for a family of four are included as is a two-night hotel stay. (Scroll to the end of this article to enter!)
When you think of SeaWorld Orlando, you probably picture Shamu. But there’s so much more to this theme park! Home to thrilling rides, upbeat shows, interactive exhibits and immersive encounters, this Orlando attraction strives to not only showcase aquatic life but bring a larger sense of purpose to its visitors. In fact, the park’s mission is for people to “See it here. Save it there.” Hopefully, by spending a day at SeaWorld you’ll be inspired to protect our planet and its creatures one conservation effort at a time.
How does SeaWorld Orlando hope to inspire you? By providing a one-of-a-kind look at ocean life that takes you below the surface and to the forefront of aquatic exploration.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Part thrill park. Part zoo. Totally awesome! To say Busch Gardens Tampa is a unique theme park is an understatement. Where else can you be speeding through the skies on a coaster at one moment, then be face to face with a gorilla minutes later? This park artfully combines traditional theme park experiences with zoo-style exhibits. As a result, it’s a favorite of families who want to explore more on their Orlando vacation.
Make the Most of Your Time at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens
To help you make the most of your SeaWorld and Busch Gardens tickets, use these easy-to-follow tips.
Sure, everyone likes to sleep on vacation. But don’t sleep in too late as you’ll want to get to the park when it opens to ensure you have enough time to experience all this park has to offer. Of course, the SeaWorld and Busch tickets you purchase from Reserve Orlando are gate-ready. So, all you have to do is print and go straight to the gate.
Grab a Map
Upon arrival, be sure to grab a map. This map will be the key to making your day a success. Not only will it help you navigate the park, it also has helpful information like show times and rides information printed on the back.
Purchase Quick Queue Passes
You’re on vacation. That means your time should be spent having fun, not waiting in line! As such, purchasing Quick Queue passes means you’ll gain front-of-the-line access to SeaWorld’s most popular rides including:
- Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®
- Journey to Atlantis®
- Wild Arctic®
At Busch Gardens Tampa, Quick Queue gives you front-of-the-line access at these popular rides:
- Falcon’s Fury®
- Cheetah Hunt®
- Cobra’s Curse®
- Stanley Falls Flume®
- Xongo River Rapids®
Please note you can only use Quick Queue once per ride.
Select Signature Seating
SeaWorld is a combination thrill park and aquatic park. As a result, rides aren’t the only main attraction—so are the shows! With that in mind, it’s helpful to select Signature Seating to ensure you have the absolute best experience at their world-class entertainment options. Signature Seating allows you to receive a reserved seat at shows including:
- One Ocean®
- Dolphin Days
- Pets Ahoy®
- Sea Lion High
As a result, with Signature Seating, you can keep having fun right up until showtime (or at least 15 minutes before showtime). No need to stop the fun to save seats! (Total bonus.)
Discover Dining Deals
All of this exploring is sure to work up an appetite. Luckily, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens makes it easy to satisfy that hunger with their all-day dining deals. With this upgrade, you can eat and drink all day as often as once every hour for one low price. Plus, I’m not sure if you know this but the food at SeaWorld Orlando is actually really good. Theme park food has a bad reputation but the chefs at SeaWorld have crafted menus that strive (and succeed) to offer food that’s not only delicious but nutritious. (Shhh…don’t tell the kids!)
Over at Busch Gardens, you can pay once and enjoy delicious meals and exclusive benefits throughout the day. In addition, it allows for buy one, get one free offers on all snacks, bottled soda, beer and wine all day long.
Go Behind the Scenes
How can you make your day at SeaWorld even better? Go behind the scenes on one of their exclusive tours. During these experiences, you engage with trainers and get an up-close with some furry, finned or flippered friends. Whether you get to touch a shark or pet a penguin, you’ll come away with a whole new understanding of what makes SeaWorld one of the leading zoological care facilities on the planet.
In addition to Behind the Scenes Tours, I recommend reserving up-close encounters with your favorite animal. Whether you’re a fan of sharks, dolphins, sea lions or penguins, SeaWorld has an up-close encounter that will get you thisclose to the action.
Busch Gardens also offers exceptional up-close and behind the scenes tours featuring animals such as tigers, elephants and more. The most popular option is the Serengeti Safari. I can tell you from experience this tour is incredible. As you trek across 65 acres in an open-air touring vehicle, you’ll gain unobstructed access to animals. Led by an expert guide, the Serengeti Safari tour provides a truly memorable look at exotic animals like zebras, rhinos, and antelopes. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to feed a giraffe during the experience. And, trust me, it’s just as amazing as it sounds!
As SeaWorld is in the heart of Orlando, it’s easy to access. However, Busch Gardens, with a location in Tampa, requires a little bit more planning as far as transportation goes. If you don’t have a car (or don’t feel like driving!), you can opt to take the Busch Gardens Shuttle Express. Plus, transportation is complimentary with any purchased Busch Gardens admission ticket. Keep in mind, though, reservations are highly recommended due to demand.
Two Parks, One Incredible Vacation
By combining SeaWorld and Busch Gardens during your Orlando vacation, you’re creating a one-of-a-kind theme park vacation for your family. Not only will you be able to discover classic theme park fun like roller coasters, you’ll gain access to remarkable animal experiences that take you above and beyond the typical zoo or aquarium.
Now, you’re ready to take your family on a memorable vacation full of fun and adventure. We’ll see you at the parks!