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SeaWorld Orlando Ultimate VIP Tour - Is it Worth it?


For our first year on the road, we decided to Winter in Florida. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, we didn’t do a whole lot of research before hitting the road fulltime as a family of 4 plus a pup. We were letting our intuition guide the way.


We really wanted to spend the holidays in the Florida Keys and that is what landed us in Florida for the winter.


We originally planned to spend October to January in Florida and then head to Texas, but we soon changed our plans and stayed in Florida until March.


Knowing we would be there for quite a few months, and several of them being in the Orlando area, we had some decisions to make.


Orlando has always had a special place in my heart. We visited often when I was a kid for gymnastics competitions, softball tournaments and to visit family. My Aunt loved Disney, her house could have been a little mini Disney museum!


So, when we arrived, the conversations began about whether or not to do Disney annual passes, or whether we would visit Disney, Universal, water parks, and SeaWorld.


At the time we had a 2 year old and 7 year old that are really into animals, so we landed on doing SeaWorld Platinum annual passes (blog coming in the future about the different annual passes).


I have been in the travel industry since I was 17 years old, and I have really enjoyed luxury and VIP experiences. I am all about creating incredible experiences, so when I saw that SeaWorld had a VIP Tour, I had to know more!


Let’s dive into if the SeaWorld Orlando Ultimate VIP Tour is worth it!


YES!


End blog…


Haha, no, but really I could leave it at that.


It is an absolute YES! For me and the entire family!


After booking our Platinum Annual passes, we chose a day for our Ultimate VIP Tour. I couldn’t believe that this tour starts at just $600 per person, and kids under 3 are free! In comparison to other VIP tours that we have done, this seemed too good to be true, but with the 20% discount we would receive from being Platinum pass holders and Harper being free it was a no brainer for us.


Upon arrival, we were met by our Tour Guide and given Priority Access to the park. I love skipping the lines I am not sure if this comes from being a kid with an end of the alphabet last name or from the fact that my dad started the VIP tradition from an early age, so this was a great perk to start the day!


We were met by our incredible, knowledgeable tour guide, Emilee, who had already prepped an itinerary for our day based on our requests and with enough room for flexibility and fun.


We started with a family picture at the entrance sign and then headed to our first animal encounter. Oh, I hadn’t mentioned that yet, huh. Of course SeaWorld’s Ultimate VIP Tour includes Animal Encounters, not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 animal encounters!


With the SeaWorld Ultimate VIP Tour, you get a private guide, but for animal encounters, sometimes there will be additional groups that are also on VIP tours that will be a part of the animal encounter with you. On this day, we just happened to be the only VIP tour in the park. Just another special gift!


We started with getting to see the Sea Lions. A couple of Sea Lions came out to greet us, we learned their names and some fun facts about them. Talk about a fun homeschool lesson! They talked to us, barking loudly and we got to pet them and take pictures with them. All of us were smiling from ear to ear and the day had just begun!









Next, we would be heading into cooler temperatures for a behind the scenes encounter with the Penguins. Surprisingly, the kids were a little more reluctant with the Penguin encounter. It may have been the cold air, or the instructions to pet them in a specific spot with only two fingers, but even with the chilly air, Log warmed up to one of the Penguins even if he was still a little nervous.


Again, it wasn’t just a come, see, pet. It was a full experience with fun facts being shared.


I keep thinking that I am going to say, “next came my favorite part”, but I honestly am not sure what my favorite part was!


Next on the itinerary was the Orca Show. Another great benefit of the Ultimate VIP Tour is that you get reserved prime seating at shows! This allows you to enjoy more of your day, because you don’t have to arrive early to get seats or worry that the show may be full if you arrive too late. Plus, they truly are the best seats in the house!


The show was out of this world! Again, what I love is that it isn’t just a show to show off the animals, they talk about the animals and the efforts we all can make to create a positive impact on the planet for all beings!





It was now time to grab some food! No detail has been overlooked in this tour! Included in your Ultimate VIP Tour is lunch at SeaWorld’s upscale restaurant, Sharks Underwater Grill. Our family doesn’t eat out much because of the foods we avoid, and most of those foods we avoid are on our absolutely don’t eat list because at least one of us has a bad reaction to them in some way. SeaWorld hit the mark again. The server was understanding and beyond helpful. We enjoyed an amazing meal while watching 20 species of sharks swim past us. (And yes, this is the only photo I got at lunch LOL)





Now with a full belly, we were ready to go explore some more! Our guide ate at a nearby table, we invited her to join us, but she had a couple things to check in on, so she was ready as soon as we were.


We had one more encounter, which was the Dolphin encounter. Logan and Harper are in love with Dolphins, I mean they are in love with a lot of marine animals, but Dolphins definitely have a place in their hearts. The Dolphin encounter was nothing short of spectacular! It was short and it was not an in-water experience, but it was a great first experience for the kids interacting with these beautiful creatures.





The rest of the day was filled with anything the kids wanted and one thing that was really important to mommy (me) the SeaWorld Rescue! Conservation, sustainability, rescue are all things super close to my heart, so a behind the scenes tour of the rescue was definitely on my list of must see during this tour!


For the kids their final wants were going to feed the Stingrays, which is always a favorite of theirs. Our amazing tour guide was sure to get the kids lots of shrimp to feed the Stingrays. They also got to pet a small Shark.


We also went to see the manatees, which were our tour guides favorite marine animal and soon to be a favorite of Logan’s. What we didn’t know is how much this gentle giant would be in our life moving forward as we explored Florida and the Florida Keys in the months to follow.


Last, we had to spend time on Sesame Street!


As I reminisce and share this experience with you all, it immediately takes me back to that amazing day and I can’t wait to do it again!


Are you ready to create your Orlando vacation? I can help you to determine what the best options are for you and your family based on the things you each love and your needs! Email me at smartinez@startstufftravel to get started today!





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