Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld Orlando provides a sumptuous meal, as you can read in part one of this article, which shows a slideshow of the buffet, but it’s so much more than just food.
The main draw for Dine With Shamu is the chance to sit poolside and get an up-close view of some of the park’s orcas. You can see them several times a day in the One Ocean show, but the dinner is a much more laid-back, informal experience.
The Dine With Shamu pool has been completely remodeled, including the installation of glass panels around the pool in place of the former netting. That gives you a great view of the orcas and trainers as they put on demonstrations around the pool.
There are more slide outs, too, so you get to see these powerful animals come out of the water and show off their size and beauty. Dine With Shamu at SeaWorld Orlando showcases a wide variety of behaviors, including jumps, poses, waving, swimming upside down, and even spitting. Between the water squirting and the orcas’ blowholes, you’re close enough to possibly get wet (we did).
You learn more about how the SeaWorld Orlando orcas are trained, and you get to see their close relationships with their trainers. The trainers are stationed all around the pool, so there’s something happening everywhere. Don’t blink or you might miss a jump or other trick.
You’ll also learn about how the animals are trained to perform behaviors on cue and the various rewards used for positive reinforcement. Obviously fish are a big treat, but the orcas get water, ice cubes, Jello, and even petting to let them know they’ve done a good job.
I enjoyed seeing the playfulness of the trainer/orca interactions. Even though there’s a flexible component to One Ocean, it’s still more structured with musical numbers and predictable sequences. At the dinner, you get to see joyful play based on the trainers’ and animals’ whims.
This experience is a great addition to your SeaWorld Orlando trip if you’re an animal lover yourself or have kids who can’t get enough of the killer whales. It’s more relaxed than the show, and it gives you a chance to wind down at your own table and nourish yourself for a long day of walking around the park.
The slideshow at the top of this article features a number of scenes from the dinner. As you can see, it’s centered around the orcas so you’ll love it if you’re a fan of SeaWorld Orlando’s resident stars.
Book your dinner in advance through the SeaWorld Orlando website or ask about availability when you’re in the park.
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