Somehow, every year, it seems summer days get hotter and those hot days last longer. Temperatures in Orlando have even frequently been reaching the mid-90s, as of late. With Florida's neverending sunshine and notorious humidity, it can be tough to stick out a full day at the theme parks. Luckily, SeaWorld Orlando offers plenty of ways to beat the heat and stay cool during your visit. Keep reading to find out how to have a fintastic time, no matter the temperature!
Packing for the Heat
Before you begin enjoying your day at the park, it's imperative that you've arrived with all the necessary essentials to keep you and your froggy squad cool, protected and hydrated.
This is our no. 1 packing essential. (However, if you somehow find yourself frogetting it, it is available at almost every store throughout the park.) Slather it all over you and your tadpoles prior to arriving at the park and reapply every two hours. Keeping your skin protected under the boiling Florida sun is incredibly important. The last thing you want is to arrive back at your hotel and realize you're bright red! Sunburn isn't only damaging to the skin but can ruin any other fun activities you have planned on your vacation.
Hats and Sunglasses
I never leave the pond without sticking a pair of sunglasses on top of my head. For any frog, but especially those with light and sensitive peepers like mine, keeping your eyes shielded from the sun is equally as important as protecting your skin. A hat or visor will also provide some wonderfully welcomed shade on your face. Make sure not to bring anything too fancy. The last thing you want is to lose a favorite accessory while riding Manta or Mako!
Lightweight, Quick-Dry Clothing
Avoid dark colors that attract the sun and heavy fabrics such as denim or cotton. Tank tops, athletic shorts or yoga pants are my go-to clothing options and are incredibly comfy to walk around the park in all day. They're also perfect for those water rides you might just find yourself running to!
On that note, Infinity Falls will get you drenched. While there are human-sized dryers available at the exit of each water ride, you may want to bring a swimsuit to wear underneath and/or a change of clothes if you know your tadpoles will get fussy walking around in wet clothing (even though the sun is also a quick, free dryer)! Additionally, wear slip-on, waterproof sneakers or bring a pair of flip-flops or water shoes for these rides. Wet socks are not something you want to deal with for the rest of your park day.
Cooling towels, portable misting fans and neck cooling fans are all permitted on SeaWorld property and a great option to have when the clouds disappear and the sun starts beaming down mid-day. While not absolute necessities, if you already have them, you may as well bring them. Your future self will thank you.
How to Stay Cool at SeaWorld Orlando
1. Visit Antarctica Empire of the Penguin
I cannot even begin to express how absolutely amazing it feels hopping into this exhibit on a hot day. This habitat that features five different species of penguins is kept at a whopping 32 degrees Fahrenheit and there's no barrier between you and these birds. I took shelter in here on a particularly scorching day in June and was able to stay in here — wearing just a tank top and yoga pants — for about half an hour before I felt my fingers start to go numb. That being said, you will want to bring a jacket for any particularly warm-blooded frogs in your party. (A useful rain jacket will even do the trick!) While a new group is brought in here every few minutes, you can stay in here as long as you like admiring our waddling friends, and then quickly exit through the revolving door to the left when you need to warm back up.
2. Stop by Other Animal Habitats
While Antarctica is by far the coldest building on property, you'll still find a much-needed escape from the heat at other exhibits, including the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium, the Manta Aquarium, Shark Encounter, Turtle Trek and Wild Arctic (which can also get particularly chilly if you stay in here long enough). Conveniently spaced out throughout the park, these habitats offer a mesmerizing look into the fascinating underwater worlds of these majestic animals — while also offering some blissful air conditioning.
3. Sit in the Splash Zones
Park your frog squad in the first few rows of Dolphin Adventures, Orca Encounter or Sea Lion & Otter Spotlight to get a wet and wild welcome from our aquatic friends!
4. Hit Up the Water Rides and Splash Pads
There's no faster or more fun way to cool off at SeaWorld Orlando! Enter a mystical paradise and prepare to take the plunge on Journey to Atlantis, a thrilling flume/coaster hybrid. Store all valuables and hang on tight as flowing fountains, surprise geysers and breathtaking waterfalls soak every inch of you on Infinity Falls, a world-class, rip-roaring rapids ride that leads you to the tallest drop of its kind into churning whitewater. Splash along with Ernie and his bath time buddy at Rubber Duckie Water Works, a water play area complete with watery blasts, fountains and pop jets that's fun for the whole family.
5. Brave the Coasters
Experience daring drops, high speeds and epic inversions on SeaWorld's four thrilling roller coasters: Ice Breaker, Mako, Kraken and Manta. If anything, these awesome attractions are sure to get the wind flowing through your hair — even on the most scorching of days. Mako is especially notable for its intense series of dips and dives that'll have you flying out of your seat over and over and over again.
6. Take a Mid-Day Hotel Break
Nothing recharges you when the heat starts to be too much like a dip in your resort pool or even just a relaxing nap in your hotel bed. With many hotels just minutes away from the park, there's plenty of time to leave the park mid-day and come back right before the sun starts to set. This is also a great strategy because you won't be out in the heat when temperatures are at their hottest. No matter how toasty it gets, temperatures are always more manageable both early in the morning and later at night.
7. Take It Slow
While it can be tempting to just run from ride to ride, it's important to squeeze in frequent breaks throughout your park day. Taking time to sit down in the shade and cool off is incredibly important. Lakeside Grill, Flamecraft Bar and Glacier Bar are two of our favorite places to do just that in comfortable, shaded areas. Coaster Coffee Company at the front of the park is also the perfect place to grab some caffeine when you need that extra boost. Of course, I have to mention my favorite area of the park! One of the least crowded spaces at SeaWorld Orlando is the walkway between Sesame Street Land and Wild Arctic Plaza. This sidewalk skirts the water and is an ideal place to slow down for a bit and enjoy the view of Kraken and Mako across the lake and even the adorable Flamingo Paddle Boats!
8. Stay Hydrated
One of the most important tips I could possibly give is to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink water even when you're not thirsty. Heat exhaustion and dehydration are no joke and hoppen more often than you think. Pack a reusable water bottle and refill it at various water fountains located throughout the park. Sugary and alcoholic drinks (such as the crazy Coaster Cocktails) might be delicious but can leave you even more dehydrated than you were before.
9. Utilize Quick Queue
While many of the lines are under shaded structures, few of the lines are actually inside. Cut your wait time significantly on any ride by purchasing Quick Queue. With this epic add-on, you can hop on your favorite rides over and over again without waiting for potentially over an hour each time in the hot sun. Note that Ice Breaker doesn't come with Quick Queue Unlimited but one-time priority access to the coaster can be added alongside a purchase of Quick Queue Unlimited and Reserved Seating to SeaWorld's most popular shows.
Do you have any other tips or tricks to stay cool at SeaWorld Orlando? Let us know in the comments below.