(December 15, 1973 - present)
Assorted brochures, guidemaps and vacation guides for SeaWorld Orlando theme park as well as Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove.
On December 15, 1973, Sea World of Florida became the second major theme park to open in the Orlando, Florida, metro area after the opening of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in 1971.
While the Magic Kingdom had a ton of rides and exotic and magical lands, Sea World provided more of a zoological and educational experience. At Sea World, guests could observe and learn about a wide variety of marine animals in animal exhibits as well as several different live shows, the main show involving the park's icon, the killer whale. In fact, it was the killer whale shows that helped make the theme park so famous and popular with the tourists.
As the Orlando-area theme parks grew in size, so did Sea World of Florida. To help compete with the growing competition, Sea World began adding rides and other forms of entertainment inside of the theme park. Sea World started getting people's attention with rides such as Mission: Bermuda Triangle and Wild Arctic, but the park gained respect from the thrill ride fans when Journey to Atlantis opened in 1998. It was also in the late 1990s when Sea World of Florida was renamed SeaWorld Orlando.
Since the addition of Journey to Atlantis in 1998, Sea World has been steadily growing and keeping up with the families as well as the thrill seekers. The park added Kraken (a floorless roller coaster) in 2000, Manta (a flying roller coaster) in 2009, and Mako (a hyper roller coaster) is scheduled to open in 2016. Family-oriented additions include Shamu Express (kiddie roller coaster) as well as a bunch of kiddie rides in 2006 and 2007, Turtle Trek in 2012, and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin in 2013.
It's not just *inside* of the theme park where SeaWorld Orlando has also been expanding. Discovery Cove, a smaller and exclusive theme park offering personal interaction with a variety of sea creatures, including swimming with dolphins, opened in 2000. SeaWorld Orlando also expanded with its own water park, Aquatica Orlando, which opened on March 1, 2008.
Today, SeaWorld Orlando continues to grow and focus on a balance of education as well as entertainment, animal exhibits as well as rides. The park came under scrutiny and received negative attention with the 2013 documentary Blackfish, but that's history as SeaWorld Orlando continues moving forward towards a bright future in Central Florida.
These SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica Orlando brochures, guidemaps and vacation guides are (c) SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as well as their respective trademarks. If you wish to share them, please link back here to Florida-Project.com.