Showing posts with label seaworld. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seaworld. Show all posts

Top 10 Posts of 2020



2020 was a crazy year - that goes without saying!  But, we had a lot of fun still here at Running on Pixie Dust and I'm excited to take a look back with you at my top 10 posts of the year.  From running to recipes, travel and family, there's a little something for everyone!

10.    Family Guide to Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando - Before COVID hit, we had the chance to visit Orlando in January and spent two days exploring SeaWorld with the kids.  This was the first time I had been to the park in 25 years and so much had changed.  We loved exploring Sesame Street Land with our boys!


9.    Holiday Gift Guide for Runners - I've been lucky this year to join the BibRave Pro Ambassador family and as such have had the chance to try out some amazing running gear.  I compiled a list of some of my favorites to share with you in a holiday gift guide which became a very popular post in Decemeber!

8.    Hersheypark Seasonal Events 2020 - If you've read my site over the past few years, you'll know that Hershey, PA is one of my favorite places to visit.  I was excited to share with my readers the awesome activities that took place in the fall and winter - Hersheypark in the Dark and Christmas Candylane.  These are annual favorites and we can't wait for next year to hopefully be back to normal so we can enjoy more time in the "Sweetest Place on Earth!"

SeaWorld Orlando - The Best Roller Coaster

SeaWorld Orlando - Entrance to Manta

When vacationers think of Orlando theme parks, SeaWorld usually comes to mind, but might not be at the top of lists.  While it's true that there is a lot for young kids to love here (sea animals, Sesame Street Land, cute shows, and much more!), there is plenty of adventure for adults as well.  While I had done my research and heard that there were some stellar coasters at SeaWorld Orlando, I wasn't quite prepared for how amazing some of the rides would be.  With three big coasters - Kraken, Manta, and Mako - roller coaster fans will find plenty to enjoy. Let's break down each ride and I'll share which one was my favorite.

SeaWorld Orlando - Roller Coasters and Quick Queue Pass


Before we start, I should mention that my family and I had purchased Quick Queue passes for the day we were at the park.  Unlike FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, there are no "freebies" that come with your admission ticket.  We found Quick Queue Unlimited passes on a Black Friday sale so we figured it was worth it to give it a go.  This got us unlimited access to most of the popular rides including Mako, Manta, Infinity Falls, Wild Arctic, Antartica: Empire of the Penguin, Journey to Atlantis, and Kraken.  It was a good value to not have to wait in lines with little kids and also allowed us to revisit our favorite attractions again and again.

Traveling with little ones to SeaWorld? Visit my guide to Sesame Street Land!

SeaWorld Orlando - Mako

SeaWorld Orlando Roller Coasters - Mako


Let's first talk about Mako.  Mako is currently Orlando's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster.  At speeds in excess of 73 MPH and at a height of more than 200 feet, you certainly feel that distinction as a thrill seekers dream.  Mako does not go upside down so riders are restrained with a lap bar in open car seating which makes the coaster feel even more exciting.  I love that sensation of your butt lifting off a seat while you ride a coaster and you will certainly have that feeling time and time again here!! 

SeaWorld Orlando Roller Coasters - Manta


Talk about a roller coaster that is unique!  Manta was my first experience riding a roller coaster from the "flying" position.  That's right!  Inspired by the beautiful and majestic Manta Rays, this coaster takes guests from a seated loading position to flying before you leave the station.  It felt a little awkward as your body is strapped in so tightly.  I enjoyed the unique ride experience, but felt that between the restraint and being in the middle row, I didn't really "see" anything while riding.  I'd love the chance to go back again and ride from the front row.  One of the coolest sensations on the ride was skimming the water - just like a sting ray! 

SeaWorld Orlando Roller Coasters - Kraken


The most traditional of the roller coasters at SeaWorld in my opinion is Kraken, but even this ride has a non-traditional twist as Orlando's only floorless coaster.  Guests sit up right and wear over-the-should harnesses to prepare for twists, turns, loops, and heights of over 150 feet.  It's fast and full of adventure, just like the mythical Kraken it's named after!  While I enjoyed this ride, I did feel like it was something I had "done" before.  
SeaWorld Orlando - Manta


SeaWorld Orlando Roller Coasters - What's My Favorite?


Time for the big reveal!  (Although the excitement of which I wrote about them may have given something away.)  While I love trying new things and Manta was certainly unlike anything else I have ever experienced, nothing quite excites me like the pure speed and height of Mako.  Wowsa!  That roller coaster will leave you catching your breath and begging for more.  I had so much fun riding it and look forward to riding again!

Have you been to SeaWorld Orlando before?  Which coaster is your favorite??

Find out more about the reopening of SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort following the COVID closures here!


Walt Disney World Resort Re-Opening: What We Know!!!

Slinky Dog Dash at Disney's Hollywood Studios

It's coronation day!

Well, not quite. . .but for Walt Disney World fans it's kind of the same thing.  For the first time in forever, Walt Disney World Resort is preparing to open the gates again!! On May 27th, Walt Disney World presented to the Orange County Task Force about their plans.  While I'm sure more will be shared in the days and weeks ahead, this is what we know so far.

Walt Disney World Re-Opening


As always, for the latest information, visit the Walt Disney World website and the Disney Parks Blog.

With announcements from Universal Studios Orlando and Legoland Orlando, Disney fans have been patiently waiting their turn.  Here's what Disney shared:
  • Reopening of the parks begins on July 11th with Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Both EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios will follow suit on July 15th.
  • No parades or fireworks for now.  Disney is limiting these in park events that draw large crowds and said they plan to have them return "at a later date."
  • No character meet and greets, no makeovers, no playgrounds - for the time being.  They do mention that characters will be around the parks though.
  • Limited capacity means you'll need an advanced reservation to enter the park.
  • Currently new tickets and new hotel reservations are not being accepted.  Disney is working with guests who have existing reservations first before allowing new reservations to be accepted.
  • Masks are a must for everyone 3 and over.
  • Temperature checks will also be required prior to park entry.
  • Of course, increased cleaning and disinfection will be a priority around the park.
  • DVC resorts at Walt Disney World will begin reopening for members and guests on June 22 along with Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  Hilton Head and Vero Bech Resorts will begin reopening June 15.

It's never too early to plan your next WDW vacation! Find all the details on Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and celebrating the holiday season at Walt Disney World here!


SeaWorld Announces Re-Opening Plans Too!


Not to be outdone by Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando also announced their plans to reopen at the same Orange County Task Force meeting:
  • June 11th reopening for SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove.
  • Masks required for guests 2 years and older.
  • Temperature checks prior to park entry.
  • Limited capacity in pools and rivers.
  • Hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit of each ride.
  • Character interactions and parades may be modified to promote social distancing.
  • Increased cleaning procedures and practices to promote social distancing. 

For the latest information on SeaWorld, visit the official SeaWorld website.

Planning a visit to SeaWorld, check out my guide to Sesame Street Land!


So what do you think?  We all know that visiting theme parks this summer will be unlike anything we've ever experienced before.  Will you be joining those braving the parks, or watching and waiting to see how things go?  

Family Guide to Sesame Street Land at SeaWorld Orlando

Bert and Ernie
SeaWorld Orlando has been a popular family destination in Central Florida for many years now, but the recent addition of Sesame Street Land gives young families even more to love.  This new land opened in Summer 2019 and adds so much fun for little ones when visiting SeaWorld.  Before our visit, I had a lot of questions and I want to share answers to some of those questions that may be on your mind too as you plan your visit!

What is in Sesame Street Land?


A lot!! In this relatively small corner of the park, you'll find 6 rides - all perfectly sized for pint sized visitors, a playground area, a splash pad, shopping, interactive displays, food trucks, character greetings, and a parade.  See. . .it's a lot!  At the time of our visit, my boys were 4 and 7 which was perfect for visiting.  Throughout most of the rest of SeaWorld, my youngest was too little for almost all of the rides, but here he could do everything.  His favorite was the Cookie Drop.  My oldest is still a little shy when it comes to roller coasters, but the Grover themed roller coaster here had him all smiles - he rode it 3 times in a row!  The interactive displays are all very well done too.  You can actually walk along Sesame Street ringing doorbells, knocking on Oscar's trashcan, racing bicycles, and building monsters.