Access for the Disabled
All parts of SeaWorld are accessible to disabled guests and all the stadium shows have sections set aside for those in wheelchairs. These are some of the best seats in the house. Wheelchairs are available for rent at $10 per day. Electric carts are $38 per day.
Little ones under three are admitted free and strollers are available for rent if you don’t have your own. Single strollers are $10 for the day, double strollers are $17. There are also diaper changing stations in all the major rest-rooms (men’s and women’s). In addition, there are “non-gender changing areas” at Wild Arctic, the Friends of the Wild shop, and the Hospitality Center where you will find diaper vending machines. There are nursing areas near the Friends of the Wild shop and at the Baby Care station near Shamu’s Happy Harbor, where you can also buy a limited menu of baby food and baby care products.
It’s hard to say too much in praise of the education staff at SeaWorld. There are some 100 employees whose job it is to hang around and answer your questions. They are invariably friendly, enthusiastic, and more than happy to share their considerable knowledge with you. Don’t be shy. Taking advantage of this wonderful human resource will immeasurably increase the enjoyment and value of your visit to SeaWorld. Just look for the word “Education” on the employee’s name tag. In fact, even employees who are not with the Education Department will likely have the answer to your question.
As a general rule, the moment something goes amiss speak with the nearest SeaWorld employee. They will contact security or medical assistance and get the ball rolling towards a solution. There is a first aid station in a tent behind Stingray Lagoon in the North End of the park and another near Shamu’s Happy Harbor in the South End.
Feeding time is an especially interesting time to visit any of the aquatic habitats. Unfortunately, there is no rigid schedule. By varying feeding times, the trainers more closely approximate the animals’ experience in the wild and avoid, to some extent, the repetitive behaviors that characterize many animals in captivity. However, you can simply ask one of the education staff at the exhibit when the animals will next be fed. If your schedule permits, I would recommend returning for this enjoyable spectacle. Of course, at some exhibits — the dolphins, stingrays, and sea lions — you can feed the animals yourself — for a fee!
Kids’ ID System
SeaWorld may be less crowded than Disney World, but it’s still remarkably easy to lose track of your little ones here. Stop by Guest Services to pick up wristbands for your young children – Guest Services will label them with your name and cell phone number so staff members can easily get ahold of you if they encounter your child on the loose. Wristbands are available free of charge, and are uniquely numbered, so that even if the writing on the wristband smears, they can still use this number to look up your information back at Guest Services, should the need arise.
Lockers are available just outside the main entrance and in the Entrance Plaza across from Cypress Bakery. The fee is $1 for small lockers, $1.50 for large (quarters only). Once you open your locker, you will have to insert another four or six quarters to lock it again. A change machine is located in the Entrance Plaza locker area. Lockers are also available near the thrill rides Kraken and Journey to Atlantis.
If the paper park map is too 20th century for you, rent Shamu’s SMARTGUIDE for $18 (plus tax) for a more 21st century approach to getting around. It’s a GPS gadget with a big screen that serves up an interactive version of the park map along with information about whatever you happen to be near at the time. It also provides some park discounts.
Vegetarians can stop at the Information Desk and request the Food Services staff’s list of meatless dishes and the restaurants that serve them. Similar lists of seafood and low-fat selections and other dietary notes are available from the same source.
All of the stadium shows give the adventuresome the opportunity to get wet — in some cases very wet. One advantage of the splash zones is that they are some of the best seats at SeaWorld. But the threat is very, very real.
I am a believer in splash zones for those who come prepared. Those inexpensive rain ponchos that are sold at every major park will hold the damage to a minimum (although there is probably no real way to guard against a direct hit from Shamu!). Kids, especially young boys, will enjoy the exquisite machismo of getting thoroughly soaked.
One word of warning: In the cooler periods of the year, a full soaking will be extremely uncomfortable, and may be courting a cold, or worse. Bring a big towel and a change of clothes, or be prepared to shell out for new duds at the SeaWorld shops.
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