Have you ever thought about having an affair?

I was listening to a podcast yesterday and they mentioned SeaWorld Orlando and I thought “hmm — that might be cool to visit”.

I’m not sure I ever will, though. I need persuading that it’s Disney quality.

I do make time for UOR, but I do consider it to be Disney-quality. I know a lot of folks here seem to think of UOR like I think of SeaWorld.

Then there’s the other Disneys. We’ve talked about this before but for me it would be hard to go anywhere but Orlando. If SWGE creates chaos, I’d consider Tokyo.

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Seaworld has some excellent thrill rides and is an enjoyable way to spend a day or more. The shows are good and they invest a lot on conservation.

We’ve been to Seaworld on every trip until our last one when I skipped it because DH is morally opposed. He’s not coming on our August trip and I’m planning to do a morning there so that DS can do the coasters - he was only 7 last time we went and was just too short for Kraken and Manta. Mako wasn’t even there.

I personally enjoy the shows, though we’ve been there when the dolphins refused to perform. But my main love is for the rides.

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Me too.

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SWO is a fun park.

It is NOT in the same class of immersivity as Disney - though it is far superior to most regional parks.

I have not been to any of the regional/thrill parks in the UK, so I cannot compare it to any of them, but I would put it well above the major regional chains here in the US (Cedar Fair and Six Flags) and only slightly less well-themed than its sister parks, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Tampa.

Honestly, if you like conservation efforts (they were the only game in town for that before Animal Kingdom, and still do more maritime animal conservation work than any other org, IIRC), and appreciate thrill rides, it’s worth a day. If not, sounds like your choice is made.

I suspect that if you were to do any of the SeaWorld Parks, you would be more likely to do Discovery Cove… because it’s ticket-limited and personalized experience-driven. Just knowing your touring style and preference for individualized service at appropriately increased prices.


We skipped WDW altogether in 2014 because I was (and continue to be) appalled at FP+. We made a whole trip out of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. We bought an annual pass and did two days at each park, did one day at Aquatica, and enjoyed All Day Dining at both. It was an excellent vacation and one we talk about replicating.

They have some highly unique rides (Manta, Empire of the Penguins) and the layout is relaxing.

I’d love to visit Discovery Cove.

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Actually, my husband suggested it recently.

He learned that you can meet Rudolph and crew at Sea World, and that at Uni at Christmas there is a face-character Grinch to meet. He suggested a three day trip wherein we do one day at each of these and then also, too, MVMCP.

I don’t think I’m on board. But there’s 11 months to think it over.


I’d love to meet the Grinch. He doesn’t meet in summer but sometimes there’s a show with lots of characters that he’s in.

I suppose if going to Sea World is having an affair, that we must be full-on swingers!

We frequent plenty of other amusement parks in lieu of Disney. In the past few years, this has included Cedar Point, King’s Island, Hershey Park, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Silver Dollar City. This year, we’ll return to Cedar Point for our first ever overnight trip there (two days in the parks).

As far as actually while IN Florida, we almost tacked on Busch Gardens and Carowinds (in North Carolina on our our drive back) in 2016, but we just couldn’t make it work financially, so both parks were canned from the plan. It is hard to justify adding additional properties to a trip when just tacking on additional days to Disney or Universal is far cheaper.


I feel like you need to also make a trip to EPCOT to catch the one-season-only showing of EPCOT Forever + whatever holiday extension they do.


We usually go to Busch Gardens when we’re in Florida too.


I really enjoy SeaWorld, but I don’t know that I would put it in the same class as Disney or UOR. But the coasters are great and I love animals - we don’t have nearly the broad array of marine life at any of our local aquariums that I get to see at SeaWorld, so that’s a lot of fun for us. We usually only do a single day there when we go, but it’s one I always look forward to.


Lol, I attempted to do a SeaWorld/Busch Gardens trip last year, and in the end, caved into doing UOR again. I would be willing to try one of those places again, though.

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We’ve done SeaWorld, but not the rides. I’ve only ever done the shows, as we went when the kids were small. I will say, my first impression was that it was dirty. Well, when you’ve just come from WDW and you go to a place that’s a normal type of upkeep, it feels dirty. It just wasn’t kept to the immaculate state of Disney. So if you go, do it first, not last.

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What a can of worms I’ve opened!

I have deliberately not looked into any other parks except WDW and UOR because I don’t want to discover that they’re great and then have to try to fit them into my schedule. Plus they imply additional cost.

So I’ve persuaded myself that they’re all second-rate and beneath me.

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It just depends on what you want. I mean, truth is, WDW and Universal pale in comparison to so many parks when it comes to rides. In fact, a great deal many amusement parks have nearly twice as many rides in a SINGLE park as WDW has across FOUR parks. And those rides are far more exciting.

But, there is no magic in those parks. At least, not at all at the same degree. There generally are far fewer “family friendly” options, as well. Instead, there are usually kids rides, and then everything else. Disney, by comparison, knows the art of making rides that are accessible to kids, but fun for adults.

We are big amusement park fans. I’m a roller coaster enthusiast. So, WDW and Universal are not high on my list for those things. But there’s just something about Disney/Universal that makes it worth the 2-day drive down for us to do every 2-3 years. Honestly, though, part of it is also a seasonal thing. Disney is not a seasonal park. But most amusement parks closer to us only operate in late spring through early. The places are crowded and hot in the summer months, as a result. Whereas with Disney, we can go during off-times. If we couldn’t do that, and we had to go during busy times, I’d probably fall out of love with the idea much more quickly.


I went to Six Flags New England on 12/31 and haven’t been in about 18 years. Aside from it being insanely cold (literally, I couldn’t feel my any part of my body - you couldn’t smile on rollercoasters because your teeth would freeze), it was a very different experience. They had a few characters out and about and the rollercoasters were amazing (Batman 3 times - holy smokes), but I spent the entire time comparing it to Disney…wow, having to pay for lockers before you get on rides stinks!..the employees don’t have a Cast Member feel…everything is so crammed into a tiny space…yup, I missed the magic.

Given that DS loved the coasters, I’ll probably try again during the warmer months (given it’s only 45 minutes away, it’s not a bad ride), but it just wasn’t the same.


I agree with everything you say.

Historically, I’ve been a big fan of two of the main UK theme parks (Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Alton Towers) and was a regular visitor each summer to one or the other.

What makes WDW so compelling to me is the emotional aspect and the immersive theming. UOR lacks emotional draw for me, but the theming in some areas is good and in WWOHP is great.

As you say, at WDW none of the rollercoasters are as good, say, as the best ones at the UK parks I’ve been to.


Yep. You don’t go for the magic, that’s for sure. Although, you can generally do a full day at an amusement park like CP and get in 10-15 coasters, a bunch of other thrill rides, and eat for the day for less than $90/person. In fact, we’re going a 2-day CP trip this May. Including overnight accommodations on property, 2-day all-day dining passes and 2-day all-day drink passes, parking, and two full days at the park, we’re paying less than $1000 for 5 of us.

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Very, very true. And our Six Flags adventure was actually free because friends brought us who had Annual Passes and it was bring a friend for free day. Worth completely losing all feeling in the extremities.