Frommer's EasyGuide to Disney World, Universal and Orlando 2018 by Jason Cochran

Frommer's EasyGuide to Disney World, Universal and Orlando 2018 by Jason Cochran

Author:Jason Cochran
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: FrommerMedia
Published: 2017-11-23T05:00:00+00:00

Mako ROLLER COASTER SeaWorld’s newest offering, wholly independent of animals, Mako (“MAY-ko”) takes the crown as Orlando’s longest (nearly a mile of track), fastest (73mph), and tallest (200 feet) coaster. It’s billed as a “hypercoaster” with “relentless air time,” which means there are lots of humps and drops, including several over water, that combined with its deceptively loose restraint system make you feel weightless. That first brutal sideways drop is called “the hammerhead.” On an industry level, it’s a sign SeaWorld wants to do something big to boost attendance. On a thrills level, this is one helluva ride—Orlando’s best coaster. The nearby lockers ($1 an hour) are necessary unless your item is small and you don’t mind leaving it unattended in a bin on the platform. If someone in your party doesn’t want to make a foray on this nerve-tangler, send them to the flamingo paddle-boats on the lake across the walkway ($5 per person for 20 minutes).

Pacific Point Preserve ACTIVITY Like Dolphin Cove, Pacific Point is an open-air, rocky habitat that encourages feedings, but here the residents are incessantly barking California sea lions and a few demure seals. There’s a narrow moat between the tank and the walkway, but you’re encouraged to lean over and toss the doglike animals fresh fish, which are sold for $5 per tray, $20 for five. More often than not, marauding birds snatch what you toss. The area gets busy around Clyde and Seamore showtimes at the neighboring Sea Lion & Otter Theater.

Shark Encounter ACTIVITY The onetime Terrors of the Deep was given a more responsible name to rehabilitate the public image of the much-maligned creatures within. It’s one of the better exhibitions, with 60-foot acrylic tubes passing through 300,000 gallons of water stocked with sharks—you’re ushered along quickly via moving sidewalks. Don’t ignore the shallow tank in front of the building, because that’s where the smaller species are kept. There, you can feed rays and tarpon shrimp for $5 a tray.

Sky Tower OBSERVATION RIDE Jutting above the lagoon—and topped to still-greater heights by a colossal American flag—is the 400-foot, old-fashioned “Wheel-o-vater” (that’s what its interior label says) that rotates as it climbs 300 feet for a panorama. At the top, it slowly spins for two or three revolutions, giving you a good look around, before lowering you back to the Waterfront at the end of 6 minutes. You can spot Orlando landmarks, including Spaceship Earth and the skyscrapers of downtown.

Sea of Power, Sea of Fun

Shamu lives on the far side of the lake (which you may remember as the setting for the hilarious Jaws IV), along with kiddie rides and walruses.

Shamu Stadium ACTIVITY The home to One Ocean has something to offer outside of show time. A few of the killer whales are visible in the viewing area (accessed from the lakefront) that surveys one of their holding pods. Above the surface of that pen, the Dine with Shamu supper (p. 157) is held, separated by netting from the water (reserve several weeks ahead).


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