Guest writer Kaylin Williams shares the Top 5 BEST Interaction Programs & Tours SeaWorld Parks have to offer
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So, we all love up close animal encounters right? Imagine swimming with beluga whales, shaking hands with sea lions, feeling a penguin’s feathers on your fingertips, and being immersed in a whirlwind of awe and basking in a wave of education. Interested? Well good news for you, SeaWorld is one of the few places in the world to offer such interactive experiences, for they’re rare opportunities.
I myself, have participated in various programs SeaWorld has to offer and I’m going to give you the lowdown on some of the best edu-taining programs, Top-5 style. (Note: I am only going to list programs that I have personally participated in, for I have no jurisdiction to talk about other programs such as the Grand Adventure Tour or Behind the Scenes Tour since I have not partaken in those programs myself.)
#1. The Beluga Interaction Program:
This program is offered at all three SeaWorld parks, it is my favorite interaction I’ve done so far. In this completely immersive experience you get to work side-by-side with a trainer. You get to put on a wetsuit and get in the 62℉ salt water with one of the most interesting, rare and mystical ocean dwellers. This program includes hands-on interaction and learning through trainer talks. I did mine with Imaq and Natasha the belugas!
Wanna see for yourself? Link to video: https://youtu.be/_1XJXHBJC2E
#2. The Sea Lion Interaction Program:
This program is offered at SeaWorld San Antonio, it’s a very immersive experience for ages 7 and up! Get on your wetsuit and swim with one of the loudest, most playful and agile animals in the marine environment. You get to lay out and relax, tote around and just have fun with one of the most dog-like sea mammals our there. I did mine with Digit and Dylan the sea lions!
Wanna see one for yourself? Link to video: https://youtu.be/xkH9P7xfTzo
#3. Dolphin Touch/Interaction Program:
So far, I’ve only participated in the Dolphin Touch Program and I’ll be doing the interaction this summer! This touch program is a 5-10 minute long program of fun facts, hands-on rubdowns, feedings and a couple behaviors with either an Atlantic Bottlenose or Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin. I did mine with Donely the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin.
#4. Penguin Tour/Penguin Up-Close Tour:
This program sure does break the ice! Ever wanted to touch a penguin without the frozen tundra temperatures? Then this program is just right for you. Enter through the back of the polar exhibit (Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin or Penguin Encounter depending on which park you are planning to visit) and meet a penguin face to face! Touch hand to flipper with one of the most popular polar birds, from Rockhopper and Chinstrap Penguins, to Gentoo and King Penguins, every species has its own flare. You can even take a peek into the exhibit itself and feel, listen and smell. I met Jenny, the 2-year-old Rockhopper Penguin.
#5. The Beluga Tour:
This program is on the less expensive side of the Beluga Interaction Program. This program takes you backstage where you can meet a white whale from the dry land — no wetsuits necessary! Take a look at all the different whales, get background information on each individual and learn about the anatomy, behavior and training techniques SeaWorld uses with their Beluga Whales from a trainer. I did my melon rub with Imaq!
So there it is. The top 5 programs that I have personally participated in and know you’ll enjoy! I hope you have a chance to partake in these programs so you too, can learn about these beautiful animals and how to help make this world a cleaner, safer, less polluted and overall, better world for both animals and us humans.
Article and photos contributed by guest writer Kaylin Williams.