The Orca Encounter at SeaWorld Orlando


For the past several years SeaWorld Orlando has been undergoing a transformation from an animal centric theme park to more a thrill based theme park. With the addition of the new roller coasters in Ice Breaker and Pipeline: the Surf Coaster, along with another rumored coaster in the former Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin building, SeaWorld has really “upped their game” with respect to rides and attractions.

However, SeaWorld still offers a number of animal themed shows including one focused on it’s  orcas / killer whales.

At this time The Orca Encounter is the premier animal show at SeaWorld Orlando. This version of the popular “Shamu Show” commenced on January 1, 2020 and is structured as 30-minute educational presentation about the orca’s being the ocean’s most powerful predator.  

Situated within Shamu Stadium and held several times a day, guests will learn how orcas (killer whales) live, hunt and play.  There are several different parts of the show for guests to enjoy including a video presentation as well as trainers interacting live with the orcas.  

According to SeaWorld’s web site, the “Orca Encounter will leave you with a deeper understanding of these magnificent animals and will inspire you to care even more profoundly for the wonders of our natural world”.  

Frequently Asked Questions – The Orca Encounter at SeaWorld

Does SeaWorld Orlando still have an orca / killer whale show?

While the current format of the show differs from the shows of the past, SeaWorld Orlando still has an orca / killer whale show called the Orca Encounter. Multiple shows are offered daily at Shamu Stadium.

How long is the killer whale show at SeaWorld?

The Orca Encounter show is approximately 25 to 30 minutes in length and features a video presentation about killer whales as well as live trainers interacting with the orcas.

Does SeaWorld’s animal trainers swim with the orcas?

While there is a fair amount of interaction between the orcas and SeaWorld’s trainers, the trainers are no longer in the water during the show.

How deep is the killer whale tank at SeaWorld Orlando?

According to published reports, the killer whale habitat at SeaWorld Orlando is 36 feet deep and holds more than six million gallons of water.  There is a team of water quality experts that continuously monitor the water quality

Do guests get wet during the Orca Encounter?

There is a “Soak Zone” in the first several rows of the Orca Encounter where guests will get wet as the orcas jump and splash the audience.  The water is fairly cold so if you are sitting in this area, be prepared.

SeaWorld Official Hotels & Hotel Partners

Prior Killer Whale (Shamu) Shows

There have been a number of different shows over the years including special presentations during holidays and other select times.  Some of the more recent prior shows are as follows:

  • One Ocean (2011 – 2019)
  • Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up the Night
  • Believe (2016 – 2011)
  • Shamu Rocks (2007 – 2014)
  • The Shamu Experience (2005 to 2006)

Where to stay when visiting SeaWorld Orlando?

There are a number of great hotel options in the immediate area of SeaWorld Orlando. During peak times these hotels can book up quickly so try to make advance reservations as early as possible.

Following are two of our most frequented hotels to stay at when we visit SeaWorld Orlando.

The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld

The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld is one of our favorite hotels in Orlando and it is our “go to” when we are planning on visiting SeaWorld. The Renaissance is literally across the street from SeaWorld and within easy walking distance.  The hotel features 781 rooms & suites, a resort style pool with splash pad and water slides (R AQUA ZONE), fitness center, full service spa and extensive dining options.

Hotel rates range from less than $150.00 per night to more than $300.00 per night depending on the time a year.  There is a $30 per day resort fee plus a 6% resort tax on top of a 6.5% sales tax.  

The Renaissance is an Official SeaWorld Hotel which provides guests a number of SeaWorld benefits including guaranteed admission and complimentary parking at SeaWorld, dining and merchandise discounts and complimentary access to the SeaWorld Rescue Tour.

The Residence Inn Orlando SeaWorld 

The Residence Inn Orlando SeaWorld is less than a mile from the front gate.  This hotel features family-sized apartment-style suites with kitchens and is one of the more affordable hotels in the SeaWorld area.  Features include complimentary breakfast, 24-hour fitness center, resort pool with hot tub, barbecue grills and a sports court.

Hotel rates range from less than $150 per night to more than $250 per night depending on the room type and the date of the stay.  There are no resort fees but there is a daily parking charge of $15.oo to go along with the resort and sales tax.

The Residence Inn is also a Official SeaWorld Hotel so guests receive a number of theme park benefits along with their stay.

SeaWorld Official Hotels & Hotel Partners

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1998 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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