We Are At the Grand Reopening of SeaWorld Orlando — Here’s What It’s Like!

Last week, we reported live from a Passholder Preview for Universal Studios, which became one of the first major American theme parks to reopen to the public after a months-long closure.

SeaWorld

Today, we’re still in Orlando, but we’re here for the reopening of SeaWorld! From its theme park reservation system, to health, safety, and ride procedures, we’re bringing you with us live from the first day back at the park!

We will continue to update this post throughout the day, so make sure to check back for updates!

Parking

Despite an advanced reservation system in place, the line to get in for parking at SeaWorld was crowded!

SeaWorld Reopening Day

Once you did get through, they were parking every other space, which was ensured by blocking off certain spots with cones.

Temperature Checks

While the line of cars to get in took a bit of time, the temperature screening to get in went pretty quickly!

Temperature Screening Line

We immediately noticed signs marking spatial distancing, and overhead announcements reminded guests that physical distancing and face masks are required in the park.

Spatial Distancing Markers

Once you get up to the temperature check, a team member will use a contactless thermometer to ensure your temperature is below 100.4. Once that is checked, you can go forward to enter the park.

Temperature Screening

Throughout the way, you’ll notice a variety of different health and safety signs, along with hand sanitizing stations.

Health Overview
Health Overview
Temperature Screening
Hand Sanitizer

If you don’t have a face mask with you, SeaWorld is offering disposable face masks for guests. Alternatively, you may buy one of these (very cool) themed face masks prior to entry.

Face Masks for Sale

Additionally, you can pick up supplies such as travel-size hand sanitizer or disposable gloves.

Supplies for Sale

Read more about the face masks for sale at SeaWorld here!

Entrance

The entrance for SeaWorld is split up into three different zones — Zone A for Self-Service Ticketing, Zone B for Full-Service Ticket Windows, and Zone C for Park Entrance and Bag Check.

SeaWorld Zones

While we were not able to take pictures at the bag check, the team members checking bags were behind a partition, with the line using taped markers to ensure spatial distancing between parties.

Bag Check Line

Welcome Back Merchandise

One thing we didn’t see at Universal that SeaWorld had on hand was some welcome back merchandise!

SeaWorld Gift Shop

These include the “Whalecome Back!” Shirt…

Whalecome Back Shirt

…the “We’re All in This Together…6 Feet Apart” Shirt…

“We Are All In This Together” Shirt

…and the “Social Distance Expert” (this might be our favorite).

“Social Distance Experience” Shirt

Animal Exhibits

At each of the animal exhibits, we noticed spatial distancing markers to keep guests properly spaced apart.

Dolphin Nursery

This is similar to what we saw for the entertainment when we visited Universal Orlando last week!

Spatial Distancing

The same markers were everywhere at the Shark Encounter, which brings guests through a tunnel surrounded by an aquarium full of sharks.

Shark Encounter

At the entrance to the walk-through exhibit, there was a hand sanitizer station that guests could use.

Hand Sanitizer Station

Throughout the exhibit, there are markers telling guests where they can stand as they walk through, allowing distance between groups.

Shark Encounter

Orca Encounter

Concessions were still open at the Orca Encounter show, which is scheduled to take place three times throughout the day.

Orca Encounter

The concessions stand implemented spatial distancing markers throughout.

Concessions Stand

Additionally, SeaWorld was still implementing their free refill program. However, instead of refilling your refillable mug, they were asking guests to instead use a disposable cup each time they refill.

Refill Program
Refill Program

Seating for the Orca Encounter show was being done every other row, as well as every other section.

Orca Encounter

For rows they wanted to space out, they had them clearly marked.

Orca Encounter Seating

There were also markers for sections that were completely cut off to ensure distancing.

Orca Encounter

The show went on relatively the same as it had prior to the closure.

Orca Encounter
Orca Encounter

Construction for Upcoming Ice Breaker Roller Coaster

As we wandered over to Sesame Street Land, we caught a glimpse at the construction progress for SeaWorld’s upcoming Ice Breaker!

Ice Breaker

The coaster was set to make its debut in Spring 2020, but due to the closure the opening was delayed, and a new date has not yet been announced.

Ice Breaker

Sesame Street Land

While some of the more popular attractions have seen longer wait times throughout the day, overall, crowds are pretty low at SeaWorld for its reopening!

Sesame Street Land

At the beginning of each ride’s line, as well as at the exit, there is a hand sanitizer station for guests to use.

Hand Sanitizer Station

We asked team members, who told us they were wiping down ride vehicles every third cycle.

Grover’s Box Car Derby

Sesame Street Land as a whole was fairly quiet. While many rides were open, there were a few closed rides as well.

Big Bird’s Twirl n’ Whirl

Playgrounds and “splash areas” were also closed, with characters walls blocking them off from guests.

Sesame Street Land Splash Area
Sesame Street Land Playground

There was, however, a meet and greet! Similar to what we’ve seen at Universal Orlando, characters won’t be able to do a typical meet and greet with you, however, you are able to take a picture from a safe distance away. There were line marks to wait in line to meet…

Character Meet and Greet

Big Bird!

Molly & Big Bird

Big Bird is seated in a nest, so guests can take a picture in front. Only one group is let in at a time to be able to to take a picture.

Big Bird

While we didn’t see them, we were told Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Abby would also be available for pictures throughout the day!

Big Bird

Rides

While crowds have been relatively light (likely due in large part to the park’s advanced reservation system), some lines for popular rides and attractions did reach slightly higher wait times throughout the day. The Empire of the Penguin saw a posted 40 minute wait. We found out through a team member that the ride is not operating, only the exhibit is, though there was no sign indicating this at the line entry.

Empire of the Penguin

Kraken Unleashed was another ride with longer wait times, though the ride stopped running midday due to thunderstorms in the area.

Kraken

Mako had some of the longer lines of the day, though the ride went down midday due to weather. Manta, another popular coaster, never opened.

Mako

Face Covering Relaxation Zones

While we didn’t start seeing them until later in the day, it looks as if Face Covering Relaxation Zones have been implemented around SeaWorld, similar to Universal’s URest Areas. We spotted this one over by the Shark Encounter.

Face Covering Relaxation Zone

Restaurants

For lunch we went to Waterway Grill, which had spatial distancing markers in line.

Waterway Grill
Waterway Grill

Registers were behind plexiglass barriers, and team members were all wearing face masks.

Plexiglass Register

One difference from Universal Orlando was that we had to grab our own tray to use for the serving station.

Waterway Grill Trays
Waterway Grill Trays

We did notice that team members were cleaning everything down as we ate.

Side Salad and Empanadas

App Issues

One thing we noticed throughout the day was the the SeaWorld app consistently was showing the wrong showtimes. For example, Dolphin Days was listed as 4PM on the app…

App Times

…but, on the sign, it’s listed at its correct time of 3:30, and by the time we came at 4PM it was very much empty. This happened to us for the Orca Encounter show as well earlier in the day.

Dolphin Days Times
Dolphin Days Stadium

We did see a team member cleaning each of the seats in between the shows.

Team Member Cleaning

Crowd Levels

Towards the end of the day, crowds had decreased significantly. Wait times for some of the lines were still long, but we believe this was because not all rides were open, and some popular rides experienced down times more than once throughout the day.

Manta

Read more about the crowd levels for SeaWorld’s reopening day here!

Turtle Trek

The walk-through experience Turtle Trek was open, with hand sanitizer available prior to entering.

Turtle Trek
Hand Sanitizer

Inside, there were markings in front of the tanks to promote spatial distancing between groups.

Turtle Trek

Some experiences, like the Turtle Trek Movie Experience, were still closed.

Turtle Trek

From there, we headed over to the manatee exhibit, where we found this sign highlighting the rescues SeaWorld has made.

SeaWorld Rescue
Manatees

And that’s it from our time at the reopening of SeaWorld! On our way out, we spotted this sign thanking guests for adhering to safety measures put in place.

SeaWorld Sign

Read about our biggest surprises from SeaWorld’s reopening here!

Will you be visiting SeaWorld? Let us know in the comments below!

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One Reply to “We Are At the Grand Reopening of SeaWorld Orlando — Here’s What It’s Like!”

  1. I love Sea World!! It is my favorite place ever! I go to Sea World San Antonio every summer but I will not be going this year. I refuse to wear a face mask in over 100 degree temperatures. The weather is miserable enough without it. I cannot breathe with those things on. Plus it is not worth spending the money when some shows and rides are closed and the park hours are shorter.