Aquatica and SeaWorld are theme parks with locations in Orlando, Florida, San Diego, California (only SeaWorld), and San Antonio, Texas. You may consider visiting these parks if you’re vacationing in one of these areas.
When deciding between Aquatica vs. SeaWorld, there are many factors to consider. Both are great parks with fun for guests of all ages, but which (or both!) is best for your family? Read on to learn what each park offers to determine the best experience for your vacation.
What Is SeaWorld?
SeaWorld is a theme park featuring thrill rides and offering encounters with marine life. Guests can ride roller coasters, get up close with marine mammals, watch interactive shows, and view aquariums. The Orlando and San Diego locations have Sesame Street attractions for families with little ones.
What Is Aquatica?
Aquatica is a water park owned by the same company that owns SeaWorld. Trip Advisor and USA Today rank it among the world’s best water parks. It has several thrilling and innovative slides and areas where you can also view marine life.
Below are a comparison of rides you’ll find at each park. Both parks have plenty of rides to keep your family entertained for the day.
While SeaWorld started as a theme park designed for people to have encounters and interactions with marine life, it has since evolved also to include quite a few rides. It will soon have five roller coasters and two water raft rides, all exciting and innovative.
SeaWorld Roller Coasters
The Ice Breaker features four launches and a 100-degree spike. Clocking at 73 MPH, the Mako is Florida’s fastest and highest coaster. The Kraken features innovative seating – guests sit on a platform above the track with dangling legs, and it takes riders through inversions up to 100 feet in the air.
The Manta is a smooth coaster modeled after a manta ray. Guests hang and are moved forward and side to side to create the feeling of swimming. The Pipeline is the park’s newest coaster and will open in 2023. Guests stand on a giant surfboard as they twist and turn through the waves.
SeaWorld Raft Rides
Infinity Falls is a raft ride with Florida’s highest drop. It spins you through twists, turns, and drops, soaking you in the process. SeaWorld has dryers, but guests may pay to use them.
Journey to Atlantis is part roller coaster and part flume ride. It takes you through dark rooms featuring scenes from Atlantis and then drops you down a ramp. You can expect to get wet on this ride, too.
Sesame Street Land
Sesame Street Land features rides and attractions for younger guests. It contains seven rides among other attractions. Guests can enjoy a carousel, kiddie coaster, train, and bouncing drop.
Aquatica features 11 major slides and several other activities for guests to enjoy. It has the most slides of all the water parks in Orlando.
While Aquatica has many of the same styles of slides you’d find in any large water park, it also has some truly innovative ones that warrant a trip to check them out. Reef Plunge is one of the newest slides, and guests plunge a clear tube slide that takes them underwater to see some awesome fish and other marine life.
Riptide Race is a dueling raft race with a mix of open and tunnel sections. You’ll race other riders to the bottom. Ray Rush is another innovative slide that gives you multiple experiences, including a launch and spinning in a large sphere.
Tassie’s Twisters take your raft up to the top of a climb and then drop you into a large bowl where you’ll go around before returning to the lazy river.
Aquatica has two large wave pools side-by-side: a lazy river and an action river with rapids. Guests can also choose to relax on the beach near the wave pools.
There’s a large water playground for younger guests with slides, dumping buckets, and more. The youngest guests will enjoy a wading pool and splash pad area.
But parks have attractions, but if you want shows and other non-ride activities, you’ll find more at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld offers three interactive shows featuring dolphins, orcas, and sea lions. There are also many interactive exhibits where guests can view penguins, baby dolphins, and rays. You can visit a manatee rehabilitation area and even walk through a tunnel of sharks.
If your goal is to experience marine life from around the world, then you’ll want to go with SeaWorld when deciding Aquatica vs. SeaWorld.
You can view Commerson’s dolphins in an aquarium near the Reef Plunge. Kids and adults will enjoy watching the dolphins’ playful antics and skillful swimming.
Aquatica also hosts Beach Nights. On these nights, the location shows a movie on the beach, and guests can camp out on beach towels with popcorn, hot chocolate, and other snacks.
Before choosing a theme park, consider what type of dining experience you hope to have. Are you happy with a quick service meal in between activities, or do you want to sit down for a more relaxing meal?
Both parks offer an All-Day Dining voucher, which lets you pay a flat rate. You can eat at select restaurants as often as you like as long as you wait at least 90 minutes between meals.
SeaWorld has the standard fare you’d expect to find in a theme park, like burgers and hot dogs. It also offers unique dining options; you can dine with orcas and sharks for a truly unique experience.
Several other sit-down restaurants also feature cuisine from some of the countries featured in their animal exhibits. Overall, SeaWorld offers many more unique dining experiences than Aquatica.
All of the dining options at Aquatica are quick-service meals, and you can find a variety of options like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and empanadas. You can also get alcoholic beverages at a couple of walk-up bars.
When deciding between SeaWorld and Aquatica, it’s challenging to say one is better than the other. Several factors will ultimately play into your decision and the type of vacation experience you’re looking for.
If you’re traveling with little kids, especially ones under 42″, you’ll probably have a better time at SeaWorld. There are plenty of rides at attractions at Sesame Street Place to keep little ones entertained.
Younger kids will also love the many animal experiences. You can easily spend two days with little kids at SeaWorld without them getting bored.
If others in your party have their hearts set on Aquatica, there is a large water playground, splash pad, wave pool, beach, and lazy river. They’re sure to have a good time.
Big kids and teens are a toss-up. As long as they’re tall enough to ride all of SeaWorld’s and Aquatica’s rides, they should have a good time at either one. Both parks have plenty of rides to keep thrill-seekers happy.
Ultimately, it may come down to whether your kids and teens prefer water slides or roller coasters. If they’re only interested in the thrill rides, you can visit both parks in one or two days if visiting during the off-season.
If your travel party consists of only adults, SeaWorld is your best bet. There are several more dining options, including table-service meals. In addition to the rides, adults are likely to enjoy the attractions and may even want to sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour.
When comparing ticket prices, Aquatica is slightly cheaper. For a small party, the difference is fairly negligible. However, if you’re paying for a lot of guests, then it can get expensive. Both parks offer packages to help you save money.
Both Aquatica and SeaWorld are good options for short trips. Ideally, you need two days for SeaWorld, but it can be done in a day, especially if you don’t plan on seeing all the attractions and riding all the major rides. You can easily do Aquatica in one day.
Aquatica and SeaWorld: Can You Do Both?
When it comes to your vacation, you might find yourself deciding on Aquatica vs. SeaWorld. You can do both, especially if you plan to be in the area for two or more days. You should allow one to two days for SeaWorld and one day for Aquatica.
SeaWorld even offers packages that let you save money on tickets to both parks and a hotel room.
When deciding Aquatica vs. SeaWorld, there’s no right answer as to which is best. It really comes down to who is in your travel party and what you envision for your vacation. If you want more of a theme park experience and have little ones in your group, SeaWorld is a good choice. Aquatica and its water park features make it a good option for a relaxing trip.
If you have the time, choose to visit both. You’ll get the thrill rides, animal experiences, and exciting water slides to make a wonderful and memorable trip.