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SeaWorld-Thereís more to it than Shamu

Located in Orlando off Interstate 4, Sea World has become one of the most popular destination points in central Florida, outside Disney. Shamu, the Orca whale, is inarguably one of the most popular exhibits at Sea World, however; there is much more to Sea World than the friendly whale. One of the most unique aquariums in the world, Sea World offers a wide variety of sea creatures that seem close enough to touch and some that actually are! Here, visitors can explore the real last frontier: the undersea home of fish and mammals.

In May of 2005 an exciting new exhibit will be opening, Blue Horizons, a unique blend of under water and above water acrobatics and a theater-style play; all conjured up in the imagination of a young girl who dreamed the whole adventure! This is the new Sea World entertainment adventure that you will not want to miss. High jumps and leaps from above water and wonderful under water encounters create a unique mix of entertainment that your family will enjoy.

The Wild Arctic exhibit offers visitors the chance to meet polar bears, beluga whales, walruses, harbor seals and trout. Built around a 1900-styled ship, the exhibit provides educational learning centers where big kids and little kids alike can interactively explore the Arctic region and the experiments that further our knowledge of the wildlife that make the Arctic their home. There are over 900,000 gallons of saltwater in the exhibit and the water temperature is about 55 degrees. This is as close as you can come to the Arctic Circle in the lower United States!

All aboard the moving walkway to enjoy over 200 penguins in the Penguin Encounter! Here, Hopper Penguins, Gentoo and King Penguins are all awaiting your visit to Sea World. The exhibit is set at 30 degrees while the ice is set at 45 degrees, so be sure to bring a jacket! It snows every day inside this exhibit and you will not only "feel" like you are in the Antarctic, but you will see the cliffs and walls of the region while you are on your walking tour. The Penguin Encounter is a wonderful experience because penguins are some of the most active and comical residents of zoos and aquariums. They enjoy diving and sliding into the water. It is how they play in the wild and they enjoy playing here, too.

Another of the unique exhibits at Sea World is a 60 foot under water tunnel. Visitors walk beneath a manmade sea in the shark aquarium as the predators swim over and around. Eels, barracuda and venomous fish are also viewable from inside the tunnel. This is a truly amazing experience, all encased inside acrylic panes. The most docile and benign nurse shark to dangerous and lethal tiger sharks can all be seen from the underwater tunnel.

The Dolphin Nursery is one of the most popular of all of the attractions at Sea World. Newborn dolphin calves and their mothers make their homes here. Dolphins, which are mammals and therefore able to give birth to live young, nurse their babies with milk for up to two years. This is an exhibit the whole family will enjoy, as you watch the infants interact with their mothers in their manmade pods.

Stingray Lagoon is a unique exhibit at Sea World that allows visitors to touch the stingrays. Although stingrays have traditionally been portrayed as scary creatures, they are actually curious and friendly, even when encountered in the wild. There are over 200 stingrays in the Stingray Lagoon at Sea World. Some of the stingrays in the lagoon are five feet in diameter! This is a wonderful way to explore the gentle creatures one on one.

Turtle Point is another wonderful attraction at Sea World. Here on the beach, you will find over 300 rehabilitated and endangered sea turtles. There have been hatchlings and you will also find large four foot long leatherback turtles! The exhibit is actually built on part of a sandy stretch in Orlando and includes natural grasses and plants from the Florida coasts.

Sea World also offers a wide variety of entertainment throughout the park, including music and review shows. When hunger strikes, there are numerous restaurants to dine in and you can choose seating indoors or outdoors. Early risers will be delighted with the Shamu and Crew Creature breakfast, where cute and cuddly creatures like Shamu, Dolly Dolphin and Pete Penguin are likely to stroll up while you are enjoying your scrambled eggs and pancakes. Unique under the sea dining experiences offer visitors the opportunity to dine on exquisite cuisine while sea life swim by in underwater tanks. The kids will love eating on Shamuís poolside patio and the grown-ups wonít want to miss Makahiki Luau, an authentic sunset Polynesian dinner show featuring Pacific Island dancers and island style cuisine. For those who really want to soak up some Florida sunshine, picnic areas are available as well.

After a day of exploring, everyone will be ready to head to Shamu's Happy Harbor, where children can climb through nets and enjoy sliding into pools of cool water. With nine water slides that empty into pools and four levels of netting to navigate, thereís plenty of adventure here for the kids to enjoy. Parents can relax in the shade and sip a cool and refreshing drink while the kids splash to their hearts content.

As an education partner, Sea World strives to offer a wide variety of educational and adventure camps. Sleepover camps allow kids to enjoy the park after hours when they are able to experience the antics of animals which are just naturally more active at night than others. Exploration encounters provides the perfect opportunity to see what it is like to maintain the habitats of sea creatures. Visitors will also enjoy the training techniques used to train dolphins and other creatures that perform in shows throughout the park. This is a real encounter where you will see practical experiences of Sea World employees.

To make your trip to Sea World more enjoyable, be sure to bring a water proof camera and check the feeding times for the animals as soon as you arrive. When you time it right, you may be able to actually hand feed the dolphins, sea lions and stingrays. Also, donít forget to make advance reservations if you plan to dine in one of the special breakfast or dinner shows.

 

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