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September's the very best time to sea ... er .. see SeaWorld Orlando

September's the very best time to sea ... er .. see SeaWorld Orlando

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You hear that? All over Orlando, the people who work at your favorite theme parks are now heaving a sign of relief. The summer season -- with all its heat, crush & crowds -- is finally over. Which gives us all a bit more breathing room down here.

And I mean that literally, folks. When you drop by the Magic Kingdom this time of year, you're no longer going to run into 60,000 tourists who are also eager to ride Space Mountain. No, during the first few weeks of September, you'll typically only going to encounter 22,000 - 25,000 other people whenever you visit the Kingdom. Which will make getting on your favorite ride, show or attraction there a relative breeze.

Copyright 2008 Worlds of Discover. All Rights Reserved

Me personally, while I do dearly love all of the Disney parks that we have down here in Central Florida, whenever the weather starts to get cool and the crowds begin to thin out, it's SeaWorld that I really want to see.

Never mind the fact that now would be a really great time to visit Aquatica (Ever since SeaWorld's waterpark opened back in March, that place has been doing turnaway business. With Aquatica actually having to restrict entry almost every day because the huge numbers of tourists that were turning out). During this quieter time of year, when it's a lot easier to get around this 200-acre marine park, you can really take in the bigger picture. See how truly innovative Sea World Adventure Park is.

tyCopyright 1998 Worlds of Discovery. All Rights Reserved

I mean, sure. The Walt Disney Company gets all sorts of positive press when it announces that it'll be reinventing DCA. But where were the kudos when SeaWorld Orlando did this exact same thing? First in 1998 when Worlds of Discovery retooled this theme park's bland 1970s-era entrance plaza by adding a million-gallon lagoon with a scenic lighthouse as well as statues of sea lions & killer whales.

Then in 2003, Busch transformed the very heart of this theme park by creating the Waterfront at SeaWorld. The largest expansion in the park's 35-year history, this 5-acre project took a boring stretch of asphalt & shops and turn it into this dynamic nautical neighborhood. A fanciful recreation of some of the more exotic seaports found on the map which was loaded with exciting new shopping & dining opportunities.

Copyright 2003 Worlds of Discovery. All Rights Reserved

Yeah, Disney gets all the press. Yet SeaWorld did it first.

The same pattern hold when it comes to simulator rides. Here the Mouse is getting all this great buzz lately about the work that's being done of "Star Tours 2.0" (They can't really be serious about having that ride film end with your Starspeeder conking Darth Vader on the helmet ... can they?). Truth be told, it was SeaWorld Orlando that was first to refresh / revitalize that park's simulator attraction by changing out its ride film. First by replacing the "Mission: Bermuda Triangle" movie with the "Wild Arctic" ride film back in 1995, then by adding "The Polar Express Experience" to SeaWorld's growing roster of holiday-themed shows.

Copyright 2007 Worlds of Discovery. All Rights Reserved

Speaking of which ... Given how popular "The Polar Express Experience" was last year (To accommodate guest demand, SeaWorld actually had to extend the run of this "Wild Arctic" replacement into the second week of January), you can bet that this holiday-themed attraction will be back again this year. And from what they say in the Orlando Sentinel, "The Polar Express Experience" will be " ... the cornerstone of an even bigger holiday celebration" in 2009.

And let's not even talk about Disney's worst kept secret. Which is their Night Kingdom / Jungle Trek project. Which the Mouse is only pursuing because SeaWorld's niche park -- Discovery Cove -- proved to be so popular with theme park goers.

Copyright 2008 Worlds of Discovery. All Rights Reserved

You see what I'm saying here? SeaWorld Orlando Adventure Park (to my way of thinking, anyway) never quite gets the credit that it deserves. The staff of this theme park works really hard to stay ahead of guests needs. Whether it be by regularly plussing the overall look & layout of this theme park and/or changing up its already great assortment of attractions (Wait 'til you get the chance to ride Manta next year). Or even those tours and interactive programs that SeaWorld Orlando offers its visitors, like the Polar Expedition Tour that takes tourists behind-the-scenes at the park's Penguin Encounter exhibit so that they can then personally interact with some of these flightless birds.

So, sure. While you're in Central Florida to commune with the Mouse, make sure that you also set aside a day or more for touring SeaWorld Orlando Adventure Park. For if you haven't been to this Worlds of Discovery park in the past few years, there's lot of new stuff here that you really need to sea .. er ... see.

Orlando Fun Tickets is located less than 2 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort, 2 lights west of I-4 at 8472 Palm Parkway. Their office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. EST Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For further information, please call 866-225-4712 and/or check out the official Orlando Fun Tickets website.

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