What the basics cost at SeaWorld Orlando:

Parking: $25 (closer “Preferred” spaces are $30 and not worth it); $30 peak days
Coke: $4.20
Bottle of water: $3.70
Cup of beer: $12
Shamu ice cream bar: $4.50
Single strollers: $40 per day
Wheelchair: $20 per day
ECV (electric convenience vehicle): $100 per day
Lockers: $10 (small) or $15 (large) per day
TIMING YOUR VISIT: You will spend quite a bit of time waiting for shows to begin. People show up early for seats, so it’s smart to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of show times. (It’s also imperative that you wear a watch.) Crowds are lightest Tuesday and Wednesday. Important: If the forecast shows prolonged rain (as opposed to Florida’s typical spot showers), reschedule your visit. Not only will you spend lots of time outside, but it’s also harder to see marine animals when the surface of the water is pelted by raindrops—not to mention the fact that if there’s so much as a twinkle of lightning anywhere in the county, these water-based attractions close faster than a shark’s mouth on his dinner.

GETTING ORIENTED: Once you park or get off the I-Ride (the stop is near the front gates), head for the lighthouse that marks the entrance. Inside, grab a placemat-size park map (or use the free app, which has a map). On the back, printed fresh daily, is the show schedule, plus the opening times of all the restaurants and attractions. Shows usually begin an hour after park opening, and the blockbuster Shamu show, “One Ocean,” has only a few presentations. I always prefer the last one because it’s less crowded. On the off chance there’s a space for a special interaction you’d like to do, the Guest Services and Reservations desk is the place to book. Otherwise, the Cape Cod–style entrance plaza is where you do the necessaries such as rent strollers and lockers. The area is really just a warm-up for the rest of the park

The pathways are lined with the odd “Animal Connections” enclosure—flamingoes here, turtles there—but those are really more like landscaping features than attractions, and some (but not all) aren’t listed on the maps, so poke around. If you’re interested in riding the park’s thrill rides, the best time is when the Shamu show is scheduled, as it soaks up hundreds of people at once.

SeaWorld has a free SeaWorld Discovery Guide app that orients you, supplies show times, and helps you remember where you parked.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.