As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Having a day in the Orlando area with nothing to do seems like a bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think? I mean, seriously, there is so much to do in the Orlando area that it’s almost overwhelming! But, what if you’re in the area and you’re not actually vacationing, you’re just visiting? Maybe you want to have fun but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. That pretty much leaves out all of the local theme parks, like Disney, Universal, Legoland, etc. They’re all great places and we love them all, but the cost of us visiting for just one day is exorbitant.
On a recent trip to the central Florida area, the kids and I were spending some time visiting my parents. It was great to see them and spend time with them, but we also wanted to get out and experience some new and different things while we were in the “Vacation Capital of the World.” After grabbing a bunch of brochures and conversing with my friend Krista Joy (an area expert), we decided to check out SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium.
Where is SEA LIFE?
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is located on International Drive. There is a city walk area with lots of little shops and restaurants. The entrance to the aquarium is actually shared with Madame Tussauds and the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye (which my Dad wanted to take the kids on, but they both refused!) The area surrounding these attractions and very nice and clean. I wish we would have had more time to spend in the area, exploring. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and it wasn’t crowded at all.
How Much Does It Cost?
I paid $25 for a one-day adult ticket (purchased at the aquarium for ages 13+), but there are lots of other ticketing options available. Tickets can also be purchased in advance, online, and are only $20/adult, which saves you about 20%. A child ticket 3-12 years) is $20 at the door (or $15 if purchased online, in advance).
Combination tickets are also available in conjunction with Madame Tussauds and/or the Orlando Eye. There are some discounts available for Florida Residents also. For $99 (adult) and $94 (child), you can have access to all of the above plus Legoland. This would be a great option if you were planning to visit all these attractions anyway.
What Creatures Live at SEA LIFE?
I was actually impressed with the wide variety of creatures that we got to observe in the aquarium. You can expect to find sharks, rays, sea turtles, seahorses, octopus, jellyfish, and more!
I’m always amazed by the Sea Turtles – how long they live and how huge they are! It was neat to see how much kids measured up. We were also impressed by the underwater divers who were doing demonstrations and answering questions.
We Recommend SEA LIFE Orlando
While it probably only took us a little over 2 hours to walk through the entire aquarium, this is definitely an experience I would recommend. It’s not super expensive, and it was a fun thing for us to do with my parents. They handed out booklets to the kids upon entering and there were stations set up throughout where they could add stamps to the booklets. If they completed it, they got a “medal” at the end, which made for a nice little keepsake.
Of course, we also enjoyed exploring the gift shop at the end. The kids each picked out a nice t-shirt (Gracie’s has sea turtles on it, while Ian definitely opted for the sharks!) and my Mom and I each got a beautiful pair of silver earrings (hers are sea turtles and mine are starfish) – in fact, she surprised me with mine when we were heading to the car!
I would definitely go back to SEA LIFE. Next time, though, I think I’d opt for the combination ticket and explore the other area attractions, like the wax museum and even the Orlando Eye (though it scares me like crazy!)
I thought this ray was a great way to end my post … doesn’t it look like he’s smiling and waving “goodbye”?
Have you been to SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium? I’d love to hear your thoughts.