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All of the ~Splashin'~ Details for Your Next SeaWorld Orlando Trip

by Mommy Frog on August 19, 2021 244 Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando Reopening - PinterestAre you ready for some tail flippin' fun while riding thrilling coasters, zipping down waterslides and meeting wild animals? The SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment locations in Florida reopened in June 2020 after temporary closures due to COVID-19 with new policies and procedures, some of which are still currently in place. This lineup includes SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island. We've made quite a few visits (and will continue to hop back) so we can keep you informed as things change!

We feel fortunate that we've been able to watch holiday fireworks at Busch Gardens Tampa and trick-or-treat at SeaWorld Orlando. What we've found impressive about the SeaWorld Parks events is that each event feels the same as past years despite the modifications. Also, we CANNOT WAIT until Ice Breaker launches its first guests at SeaWorld Orlando and Iron Gwazi debuts its makeover at Busch Gardens Tampa. Tad especially has been watching both of the rides' progress, and he hopes to be among the first frogs to ride them when they open later in 2022.

If you're planning a trip to any of the SeaWorld Parks in Florida anytime soon, here is everything you can expect!

SeaWorld Orlando | Busch Gardens TampaAquatica, Discovery Cove & Adventure Island

What You Should Know About Visiting SeaWorld Orlando

Arriving at the Park

As of May 6, 2021, temperature checks have been phased out. Instead, you'll go through the usual bag check at security (which has plexiglass to protect both guests and ambassadors) and the entry turnstiles (which are now touchless — an ambassador scans your tickets through plexiglass). There are no paper park maps. Instead, you can scan a QR code to download a map on your phone.

Face Coverings and Relaxation Areas

Based on the recently announced guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Discovery Cove are all modifying their policy regarding face coverings. Face coverings will no longer be required outdoors. The parks will not require proof of vaccination, but ask guests to respectfully comply with the revised policy. Likewise, it is recommended that all guests wear a face covering while indoors.

SeaWorld Reopening - Mask Enforcement Ambassadors

Rides and Attractions

Some rides, attractions and play areas remained closed, including:

  • Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin (penguin exhibit is open)
  • Sky Tower
  • Wild Arctic (animal exhibit is open)

Animal Exhibits

SeaWorld Orlando Reopening - Sea Lion

You can watch the dolphins play with toys from the main sidewalk or the underwater viewing area. Public feedings for the stingrays and sea lions have resumed after not being initially available in June 2020.

Restaurants and Retail Shops

SeaWorld Orlando Reopening - Altitude Burgers

Ambassadors and guests are both protected by plexiglass at the registers. Contactless payment is highly encouraged, but cash payment can also be accepted. At restaurants, tables and chairs are sanitized frequently. Select restaurants may be closed or have limited availability until further notice. Flamecraft Bar and Glacier Bar may have a limited menu available.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Reopening Guidelines

Busch Gardens Tampa - Kumba

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has implemented similar park health and safety measures to protect employees, guests and animals. These include health and safety guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, such as face coverings for unvaccinated guests.

Overall Park Enhancements

  • Guests are encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but masks are available for purchase.
  • Contactless payments are encouraged, and plexiglass has been installed in high-traffic areas.
  • Cleaning and sanitization is increased significantly in high-contact areas, including numerous hand sanitization stations.
  • Employees have received new training on new park operating procedures, which includes guidance from the CDC and health advisers.

Specific Enhancements to Key Operational Areas

  • Guest Arrivals and Ticketing: There are enhanced cleaning protocols in arrival areas.
  • Restaurants: Tables and chairs will be sanitized frequently. Additional grab-and-go options have been added.
  • Animal Exhibits and Interactions: Certain tours and interactions are limited to one party at a time.
  • Public Spaces: Hand sanitizer stations have increased throughout the park, as well as consistent signage.
  • Rides and Attractions: Hand sanitizer is available at the entry and exit points of all rides, and the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing ride vehicles is increased.
  • Parades and Meet and Greets: Certain parts of parades and meet and greets are limited or removed. Character interactions and photo opportunities are modified.

Aquatica Orlando, Discovery Cove and Adventure Island Tampa Policies and Procedures

SeaWorld Orlando Reopening - Discovery Cove

Aquatica and Discovery Cove in Orlando and Adventure Island in Tampa have increased cleaning and sanitization of high contact surfaces, such as ride vehicles, rafts, tubes and life vests. To ensure physical distancing, guest capacity is limited in pools and lazy rivers, and lounge chairs are spread out appropriately. All rafts and ride vehicles are limited to a single party, so groups will not be mixed together.

Be sure to check the schedules for each respective park! Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove may be closed certain days of the week and their operating hours are subject to change. Adventure Island — now a year-round water park — reopened March 12, 2021.

We hope you'll find this information hopful as you plan your next visit. Do you have any questions about the reopening procedures at the Florida SeaWorld parks? Let us know in the comments below. And don't froget, you can save some green when you purchase SeaWorld Orlando tickets through Undercover Tourist.

Related: Planning a Vacation During an Uncertain Time

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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1–50 of 222 comments
Sep 26, 2021 at 8:14 a.m. Michaela Says...

Do sea world still offer the 2nd day free option?

Sep 28, 2021 at 8:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michaela!

The 2nd day free deal is not available, but we have some other current deals going on!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jul 25, 2021 at 2:53 a.m. Theresa capocasa Says...

Is sea world fully opened in October 2021 planning a trip first weekend in October

Jul 26, 2021 at 12:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Theresa!

Yes, SeaWorld Orlando has fully reopened and no longer requires reservations. (Though at this time, the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin and Wild Arctic rides are not operating, but the animal habitats at those rides are open.)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 6, 2021 at 1:29 a.m. Heather Says...

I was wondering if you knew if small snacks like goldfish or applesauce pouches were allowed in the park for two year olds? I know it says no outside food, but do toddler snacks count?

May 31, 2021 at 12:34 a.m. John Says...

I purchased the three park ticket combo for sea world orlando, Busch gardens and Aquatica through your site, can I visit without making reservations for all three parks?

Jun 1, 2021 at 8:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi John,

Since you've purchased through us, reservations are not required! :)

Keep hopping!


May 19, 2021 at 7:07 p.m. Katie Says...

Any idea when the rides that are “closed for physical distancing” will be open? With so many restrictions being lifted and so many people being vaccinated, it seems like it should be soon- hopefully before we visit this summer!

May 19, 2021 at 2:24 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Katie,

No word yet on when these rides will be reopening, but we also hope it'll be sometime soon! We'll be sure to update our guide once we know!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

May 13, 2021 at 1:45 p.m. JT Says...

Can you make dinning reservations or is it all just walk up?

May 13, 2021 at 9:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi JT,

Most restaurants are walk-ups. The only exceptions for dining reservations would be Dine with Orcas and any other special dining event (for example, Count von Count's Spooktacular Breakfast around Halloween).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 16, 2021 at 4:28 p.m. Jessica Says...

Do you know if the Pet Kennel at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are currently open?

I'm unable to get a live person on the phone to confirm if they are open & I have emailed them but no response yet.

Mar 16, 2021 at 3:48 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jessica!

Yes, the kennels are open - hope this helps!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Feb 23, 2021 at 3:19 p.m. Penny Thompson Says...

Are there plans to put on more shows later in the season - the schedule looks a little sparse and normally there are two different dolphin performances and two sea lion performances. Also are there any plans to replace pets ahoy with something else now that they have gone? We always loved visiting 3 or 4 times during our stays but there seem very little to keep us occupied for more than one single visit at the moment.

Feb 10, 2021 at 12:04 a.m. MK Smith Says...

Is there a way to see if reservations are available for a specific date BEFORE buying a ticket? There are only limited days we can go. Also, if you purchase a ticket package with Discovery Cove, do you still need a reservation for SeaWorld?

Feb 10, 2021 at 2:23 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi MK Smith!

You can see SeaWorld's availability calendar here. (We've largely found that things say pretty available!) If you have already purchased a Discovery Cove reservation that includes additional parks, you do not have to make additional reservations for those parks. Have fun!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Feb 16, 2021 at 5:21 p.m. Helen Says...

I can see that if you bought a Discovery Cove package (with the reservation date for discovery cove) you are saying that it is not needed to make reservations to the other parks you intend to visit, but is it POSSIBLE to? I would really like to make reservations so that I know that they are going to allow my family in. With flying across the country and only being there for a few days, I don't want to be turned away with max capacity. Would I just use the barcode on the UT tickets?

Feb 18, 2021 at 8:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Helen!

You absolutely can make a reservation in advance for peace of mind! Have a great trip!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jan 24, 2021 at 11:55 p.m. Heather Says...

I’ve read mixed information. I have an autistic two year old who is low functioning. I’ve read that they make exceptions for autism but I don’t see it on their website. Anyone know?

Jan 25, 2021 at 9:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather,

You can find SeaWorld Orlando's IBCCES Sensory Guide and other resources about its Ride Accessibility Program here.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Dec 14, 2020 at 12:15 a.m. Kim Says...

Might go in January. Can you still pet the sting rays?

Dec 14, 2020 at 10:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kim!

Yes, you can! This area was closed initially but has reopened.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Aug 10, 2020 at 4:52 a.m. Cassandra D Says...

I would love to visit soon.

Aug 10, 2020 at 4:29 a.m. RR Says...

We want to go post-pandemic.

Aug 10, 2020 at 4:28 a.m. Buddy Garrett Says...

Great post. It is nice to know what to expect when you visit.

Aug 10, 2020 at 4:27 a.m. KC Says...

I regret never going there

Aug 10, 2020 at 4:15 a.m. Cherry Says...

We have always wanted to go there.

Aug 10, 2020 at 3:44 a.m. Rajee Pandi Says...

Love to go to that trip

Aug 10, 2020 at 3:05 a.m. Candace P Says...

It looks as if they have everything under control!

Aug 10, 2020 at 2:08 a.m. Delores Harris Says...

I've been to Sea World CA, next up Orlando! Glad to see the health precautions.

Aug 10, 2020 at 12:12 a.m. Jamie Says...

We have never been to Sea World and would absolutely love to go!

Aug 9, 2020 at 10:51 p.m. lindsay henige Says...

Can't wait to take my daughter!

Aug 9, 2020 at 10 p.m. Shanna Seay Says...

Definitely recommend using this website you will get amazing deals on tickets!

Aug 9, 2020 at 9:44 p.m. lorna seay Says...

Best way to get great deals and stay in the know!

Aug 9, 2020 at 8:37 p.m. Megan Wilson Says...

Thank you for sharing the details! Hope things get back to where you can enjoy the parks 100%!

Aug 9, 2020 at 8:20 p.m. Rachel Edmunson Says...

I can't wait until we can visit again!

Aug 9, 2020 at 6:20 p.m. Betty Curran Says...

I'm looking forward to a trip soon. Thanks for the information.

Aug 9, 2020 at 4:07 p.m. DEBRA DONNELLY Says...

LOOOOOOOOOVE all the new changes Sea World has made over recent years!!!

Aug 9, 2020 at 3:56 p.m. Kelly Freeman Says...

Thanks for the update !

Aug 9, 2020 at 3:28 p.m. Mary Richard Says...

Can't wait to visit and buy one of their cute face masks with the dolphin smile!

Aug 9, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Amanda Hamilton Says...

I would love to take my son, he has Autism and never been before.

Aug 9, 2020 at 7:08 a.m. Erah McMullen Says...

Can’t wait to visit in spring 2022!

Aug 9, 2020 at 3:30 a.m. Rema Begum Says...

This place is amazing!

Aug 9, 2020 at 12:55 a.m. Mya Murphy Says...

I would love to go.. Just as long as it's safe.

Aug 8, 2020 at 4:41 p.m. Karyna Says...

Would love the opportunity to take my family here!

Aug 8, 2020 at 3:37 p.m. cynthia Beauclair Says...

I hope we get to go have fun soon

Aug 8, 2020 at 1:45 p.m. Elizabeth Miller Says...

My daughter has wanted to go so bad. We were going over spring break but of course with everything, it got cancelled, We are so hoping to get there in the next month or two but it is nice to see the precautions as well as they have masks just in case.

Aug 8, 2020 at 1:17 p.m. Mary Meadows Says...

Can't wait for this Pandemic to be over so we can go!!!

Aug 8, 2020 at 11:34 a.m. Alexis Says...

Great stuff!

Aug 8, 2020 at 11:25 a.m. Amanda W Says...

Love your deals!!

Aug 7, 2020 at 10:40 p.m. Shirhall Says...

I love the detail you provide with each park on their COVID Guidelines. Sharing your personal experiences helps with expectations at the parks!

Aug 7, 2020 at 10:39 p.m. Charles M. Says...

Visited both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa after reopening and I am satisfied with their guidelines and offerings! I will be back soon.

Aug 7, 2020 at 5:58 p.m. Ashley Mains Says...

I haven't been to Sea World in years! This was so informative, thank you!

Aug 7, 2020 at 5:13 a.m. Andrew P Says...

I'd love to go back once it's definitely safe!

Aug 7, 2020 at 1:25 a.m. Jan Says...

Always love visiting SeaWorld Orlando, I can't wait to get back.

Aug 7, 2020 at 12:19 a.m. Mandi Gaines Says...

My family loves SeaWorld. We would be so excited to win a trip!

Aug 6, 2020 at 6:39 p.m. @vdrusprm Says...

Undercover Tourist has an understanding of what people need to know so they feel safe about returning to the parks during this unprecedented time.

Aug 6, 2020 at 6:20 p.m. Daishawn Says...

So glad the resort is back open. Hope they stay open so we can visit for my daughter’s 6th birthday????????

Aug 6, 2020 at 3:49 p.m. Kyle Fujimoto Says...

Our family loves Orlando and Under Cover Tourist!

Aug 6, 2020 at 2:15 p.m. T.Escoto Says...

Hope to visit very soon!

Aug 6, 2020 at 5:35 a.m. Constance V Says...

Looking forward to seeing the changes!

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