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Five ways to enjoy SeaWorld Orlando in the cold weather

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Florida usually has mild winters, but this year the cold has overtaken pretty much every part of the country. Chilly days and freezing temperatures overnight mean that you need to take some special measures to enjoy yourself at the theme parks.

Many of SeaWorld Orlando's attractions are outdoors, so you'll definitely want to follow these five strategies to enjoy the park in the winter:

1) Do the outdoor activities in the warmest part of the day. The temperature can drop pretty low when the sun goes down, and it takes a while to warm up in the morning. Save outside activities like feeding the sea lions, visiting the dolphin nursery, and seeing the shows in outdoor stadiums (orcas, sea lions, and dolphins) for the late morning/early afternoon when things have warmed up.

2) Enjoy inside activities in the morning. There's plenty to do indoors at SeaWorld Orlando, like visiting the Manta aquarium, seeing the Pets Ahoy show and Alure: Call of the Ocean, visiting the sharks, and admiring the beluga whales, walruses, and other animals in Wild Arctic.

3) Dress in layers. Because of the fluctuating temperatures, it can be tricky to decide what to wear. Dress in layers than you can easily take off as the day warms up and put back on when the temperature drops as evening approaches. A t-shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket is good. You can carry the jacket and long-sleeved shirt, tie them around your waist, or put them in a locker.

4) Warm up inside when you dine. The park has several restaurants where you can eat inside in comfort. There's a nice, new restaurant with American and ethnic cuisine (Asian and Italian) in the Antarctica area, with ample indoor seating, and the Terrace Garden Buffet has all the pizza and salad you can eat, while Voyager's Smokehouse is good for BBQ. Sharks Underwater Grill is a sit-down restaurant if you want a leisurely meal, and the bonus is getting to watch live sharks through the floor to ceiling windows.

5) Get chilled in Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. If you think it's cold outside, take a trip to Antarctica in SeaWorld Orlando's newest attraction. The temperature inside is a steady 30 degrees. That means that you're going to feel warm when you leave on all but the most frigid of days. Check out the video accompanying this article for a peek inside the attraction.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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