SeaWorld Orlando with Toddlers & Preschoolers

As the mom of three young children who adore dolphins, whales, and other sea life, I was excited to bring my family to SeaWorld Orlando. I was blown away, though, by the fun we all had and how much my kids learned while exploring this ocean-themed amusement park in Florida! Here are five must-see attractions when visiting SeaWorld Orlando with toddlers, preschoolers, and babies.

Young child at SeaWorld Orlando
Young children love SeaWorld Orlando (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)

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1. Manta Aquarium

My family wanted to look into blue tanks and see an array of the ocean’s creatures. At our first stop, Manta Aquarium, we found just what we were looking for. Effortlessly swarms of these beautiful animals glide past viewers at Manta Aquarium. Leave the stroller at the front of the attraction outside and walk through with your kids. Crowds come in waves so pick your opportunity and jump in.

Rays at other ocean creatures at Manta
Rays at Manta Aquarium (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)

2. Dolphin Cove

Kids and adults alike love dolphins. Dolphin Cove and the Dolphin Nursery are filled with these friendly mammals that are sure to make your children smile.

We spent over an hour at the nursery alone –watching the dolphins swim through the pool and asking the guide questions. I can’t say I have seen many things cuter than a baby dolphin up close.

Dolphin Days animal show at SeaWorld Orlando
Dolphin Days animal show (Photo credit: SeaWorld Orlando)

3. SeaWorld Orlando Animal Shows

It may be easier to skip the shows when visiting SeaWorld with fidgety toddlers and preschoolers, however, animal shows are what SeaWorld does best. Watching orcas and learning about them was the highlight of my family’s visit to SeaWorld Orlando.

Take a look at the daily schedule and choose at least one show to watch during your visit. Choose from Dolphin Days, Orca Encounter, Sea Lion High: The New Class, Pets Ahoy, and Ocean Discovery.

SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando (Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Orlando)

4. Shark Encounter

You know an exhibit is good when you can actually feel your skin prickle and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Such was the case when we approached SeaWorld Orlando’s Shark Encounter. My children squealed with delight and shouted “leopard shark!” The boys ran around the attraction for quite a while, just watching these sharp-toothed predators skim the surface. Never have I seen so many sharks in one place before.

Another highlight was the replica great white shark hanging from the ceiling inside the aquarium. My preschooler was so impressed with its lifelike representation, that he didn’t stop talking about it for the rest of our Florida vacation.

Family dining with orcas at SeaWorld Orlando
Dine with Orcas at SeaWorld Orlando (Photo credit: SeaWorld Orlando)

5. Dine With Orcas

We wrapped up our day by having a meal with our new friend, Shamu. Quite literally, we sat next to the orcas while eating a buffet dinner that night at Dine with Orcas. The meal is all-you-can-eat, complete with desserts.

My children loved watching the whales swim past while we ate. A family photo is included with the meal. If your kids are as whale-obsessed as mine, then Dine with Orcas is an incredible treat your family won’t soon forget. Children under age 3 eat free, and the cost of child/adult tickets varies by season. You definitely want to make your specialty dining reservations in advance!

Want to visit SeaWorld with toddlers, babies, or preschoolers? Buy tickets directly from SeaWorld Orlando or look for discounted SeaWorld Orlando tickets from our partner, Undercover Tourist now!

If you liked this story, then you’ll want to read our tips for what to do when it rains at SeaWorld Orlando and take a look at what it’s like to swim with manatees in Florida!

Flying with a toddler
Make travel fun with toddlers and preschoolers (Photo credit: danr13,

Learn More Tips for Traveling with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Make reaching your destination easier with these tips for road trips with toddlers and flying with toddlers.

Sleep is super important for a successful trip! Read these expert tips for good travel sleep with children.

Get tips for visiting Epcot with kids.

Read about the best Orlando attractions for families.

Tips for Visiting SeaWorld Orlando with Toddlers, Preschoolers and Babies

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    1. Hi Tota – I could not find the answer to your question on the SeaWorld website so I’ve sent an email to them. I’ll post the answer when I hear back from them!

    2. Here’s what SeaWorld Orlando says, “Yes, children under 3 do not require a ticket.” Have a great time at SeaWorld, Tota!

  1. Hi, love your post. My family and I are going to stay in Disney Resort during our vacation but plan to visit Seaworld in between. I have a 3 y/o son. Do you think we can cover Seaworld in 1 day or do you recommend a 2 day visit?

    1. Sita – Unless your family is crazy about ocean animals and will want to see every show and attraction at SeaWorld, one day should be plenty. Enjoy!

  2. Be careful, we had our double stroller stollen while we watched the Shamu show. Seaworld didn’t do anything (they said they would, but we never heard from them).

  3. Thank you for this! I was wondering if our little almost 3 year old would be too small to enjoy this but it sounds like it’s the perfect place to bring her at this age for a 1 day Orlando experience! Disney can wait. 🙂 I appreciate the suggestions of what to see too!

  4. Very good trip! Surely the kids were having fun with the animals. So do you, right? Always love to take the kids to see animals. Nice post!

  5. Laura you have no idea how jealous I am. I am SO glad that you had a great time! Thanks for reading and letting me know- I am thrilled when I learn I can offer someone a tip or two 🙂

  6. We are in Orlando now and had , probably the best day of our lives as parents the day we went to Sea World. It was absolutely perfect and we did everything you recommended! I just came back here to get a link to this post so I can talk about it on my blog about Sea World! Thanks AGain! I am also gonna search for Disney tips as I hope you went there too 🙂

  7. Just wanted to say Thank you so much for this post. We are leaving to visit grandparents in Orlando soon and my 2.5 year old is so obsessed with Sharks, Whales and Dolphins that I started researching Sea World and found this ! Our kids sound just alike. Thank you for the tips/suggestions!