The McDonald’s of aquaria has some four dozen locations worldwide, and it’s such a success because it’s fairly well-stocked, theatrically lit, and charmingly designed: There are clear walkway tubes passing through huge tanks, for example, and kids can crawl under the moray eel habitat and see from “inside” the tank through bubble-like head spaces popping through its floor. SeaLife angles for kids in particular, what with the annoying voices of anthropomorphic fish delivering factual tidbits on the loudspeakers and the chipper docents sticking religiously to a corporate-approved script (“Here’s your Discovery Fact of the day!”) that pummels you with boasts about its good deeds of conservation. Concluding the self-guided tour of the 5,000-plus creatures (including jellyfish, small sharks, and clownfish) there’s a shallow touch tank where kids can pet live starfish. Adults will be satisfied in 30 minutes, but kids might prefer an hour.
Orlando SeaLife Aquarium
ICON Orlando 360, 8387 International Dr., Orlando
Our Rating Neighborhood International Drive Hours Daily 10am–10pm, last admission 1 hr. before closing Phone 407/370-5353 Prices $28 adult, $23 child 3–12; discounts available to add Madame Tussauds and ICON Orlando; frequent discounts online Web site Orlando SeaLife Aquarium