What’s New At SeaWorld Orlando

Asoka Elon

Brace for the new Ice Breaker, with a 93-foot spike and the steepest beyond vertical drop in the state. (COURTESY SEAWORLD ORLANDO)

SeaWorld splashes into 2022 with two new rides and the return of their well-loved special events.
For starters, the highly anticipated new coaster dubbed Ice Breaker opened in February, tucked between Bayside Stadium, Shamu Stadium and Wild Arctic. As SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, Ice Breaker features four launches—both backwards and forwards, with the steepest beyond-vertical drop in Florida—a breathtaking 93-foot spike with 100-degree angle. Racing along 1,900 feet of track at 52 mph, Ice Breaker also takes thrill-ride enthusiasts over a near vertical top-hat maneuver into a series of thrilling twists, turns and hills.

So. Much. Airtime.

“Ice Breaker is a one-of-a-kind thrill ride which complements our existing exhilarating ride portfolio perfectly,” said Park President Kyle Miller. “With the opening of Ice Breaker, SeaWorld features the most coasters in a single theme park in Orlando.”

(COURTESY SEAWORLD ORLANDO)

Just a few weeks later in March, Aquatica Orlando debuted its new water slide called Reef Plunge, where guests twist and turn through more than 330 feet of fiberglass tubes. In an immersive journey, riders zoom pass Commerson’s dolphins, leopard sharks, sardines, and other vibrant marine life—thanks to eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings that showcase sea life and provide a peek into this dynamic underwater habitat. This new water slide replaces Dolphin Plunge and differs in how guests exit the slide. Riders splash down side-by-side onto a flatter surface (rather than into a four-foot-deep pool), which makes it easier to get up and out of the way quickly. This change also lowers the height requirement (from 42 inches tall compared to Dolphin Plunge’s previous 48 inches), so smaller guests can enjoy the ride, too.

Hungry, tired, sun-soaked visitors will be delighted to hear that the water park itself has gotten a few upgrades as well. New dining options include a quick-service pizza place, a brand-new beach bar, and a refreshed Banana Beach Cookout. Plus, the park added 1,000 new loungers and beach chairs, which provide increased shade and comfort.

(COURTESY SEAWORLD ORLANDO)

Since theme parks temporarily suspended many special events due to COVID, it’s refreshing to see reincarnated festivals (or at least certain festival elements) return. This month, you can catch the tail end of Seven Seas Food Festival, which runs every Thursday through Sunday through May 8. With more than 50 fresh global cuisine tastings, guests can indulge in 200+ chef- and mixologist-created offerings inspired by the tastes and smells of Ireland, Sicily, the Caribbean, Italy, Asia and Brazil. Looking for thirst quenchers? This year’s festival includes an expansive beverage menu with more than 75 specially curated cocktails and wines, and 75 craft beers from Florida and beyond. While you may have missed Gabby Barrett, Boys II Men, and Flo Rida perform during the festival’s months-long concert series, three shows remain on the line-up at 7:00 p.m. on May 1, 7 and 8.

Rounding out SeaWorld’s events for the rest of the year are Viva La Musica (May 14), Electric Ocean (May 27), the Craft Beer Festival (Aug. 5) and a duo of fall favorites, Howl-O-Scream for fright lovers (Sept. 9) and Spooktacular (Sept. 10) for the pre-school set. Those seeking holiday merriment can mark their calendars for the return of Sea-World’s Christmas Celebration, which begins November 11.

At Aquatica, take to the tubes at Reef Plunge. (COURTESY SEAWORLD ORLANDO)

If you’re looking for a more intimate (read: less crowded) theme park experience, consider spending the day at Discovery Cove. This day in paradise allows you to be up close and personal with myriad wildlife. Connect with dolphins, snorkel with fish and rays and hand-feed exotic birds. Although pricier than typical theme parks, Florida Residents get a year-round 20 percent discount. Bonus: This all-inclusive experience means unlimited food and drinks (including beer and wine) all day.

Did you know that SeaWorld offers a variety of VIP options? For instance, The Family Adventure Tour—ideal for families with kids ages 10 and younger—can access behind-the-scenes experiences such as private play time with young dolphins and their moms at Dolphin Nursery, an opportunity to meet a penguin and a chance to make a new friend at Sesame Street Land.

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What’s New At SeaWorld Orlando

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