If you love roller coasters, cutting-edge technology, thrilling shows, and the wonder of the undersea world, you probably already love SeaWorld Orlando. The theme park once known primarily for its massive aquatic environments now boasts Orlando’s tallest, fastest roller coaster, Mako, plus two other pulse-pounding coasters, Kraken and Manta. At the same time, SeaWorld has been continuously ramping up its rescue mission and educational experiences, making SeaWorld Orlando one of the most diverse and unique theme parks in the industry.

Now, SeaWorld Orlando is about to get even better. A new lineup of shows, attractions and events has been announced for 2017, giving you just enough time to start planning next year’s visit! Let’s take a look at the top five new experiences coming to SeaWorld Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken gets a high-tech upgrade with the first virtual reality experience in Florida.

SeaWorld Orlando’s Kraken gets a high-tech upgrade with the first virtual reality experience in Florida.

1. Kraken Virtual Reality (VR) Coaster: Coming in time for Summer 2017, SeaWorld will introduce Orlando’s first and only VR coaster experience. The floorless coaster is already the only one of its kind in Orlando, and reaches heights of 150 feet – but with VR headgear, who knows what heights (or depths) you might reach? SeaWorld says you’ll “embark on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals of the past, including the mighty Kraken.” If you’re ready for an entirely new type of thrill ride, Kraken’s VR upgrade should go on your to-do list.

SeaWorld's Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive in 2017.

SeaWorld’s Dolphin Nursery will become more interactive in 2017.

2. Dolphin Nursery: Looking for something just a little opposite of sensory and speed overload? The popular Dolphin Nursery, which houses bottlenose dolphin mothers and calves, is receiving an interactive facelift in 2017. Large acrylic windows will provide an underwater view of the dolphins at play, with multiple levels so children of all ages can get a close look. Digital displays will allow SeaWorld educators to provide information on dolphins and animal care. And to aid SeaWorld’s ongoing research and animal care efforts, lifting-floor and slide-out areas will be added. Relaxing by a pool of newborn dolphins and their mothers is the perfect way to calm your nervous system after soaring on Kraken!

3. New Tastes: Love a little extra party atmosphere in the parks? You’re in luck: beginning in February 2017, the Seven Seas Festival expands to 14 weekends. Guests will be able to sample new flavors from around the world while exploring the park. Craft beer joins the party this time, too, with the Flamecraft Bar, slated to open in Summer 2017 with 16 seasonal craft brews, plus a new menu.

In summer 2017, SeaWorld's "Electric Ocean" will light up the theme park's night.

In summer 2017, SeaWorld’s “Electric Ocean” will light up the theme park’s night.

4. Electric Ocean: Orlando theme parks love to end the nights with a bang, but SeaWorld has always been a little light on the nighttime spectacular offerings. That’s understandable, considering the park’s position as the home to marine and animal life from around the world. Beginning in Summer 2017, however, SeaWorld Orlando will introduce Electric Ocean, which SeaWorld says will bring the ocean to life “with bioluminescent lighting, music and pathway entertainment, immersing guests in a glowing sea of wonder.”

Rudolph and friends join SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas celebration!

Rudolph and friends join SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas celebration!

5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends: We have a little bonus for you – this one starts in 2016! SeaWorld Orlando is welcoming the stars of the beloved holiday special, including Clarice, Bumble, the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius, to light up the park for the holiday season. There will be Rudolph-themed attractions, too.

To find out more about everything new at SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com. And to start planning your next Orlando vacation, click the Destinations tab to explore Summer Bay Orlando By Exploria Resorts, a lush tropical oasis just minutes from the fun of Orlando’s theme parks.

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