Shark Week is just around the corner!
The Discovery Channel programming event has fascinated shark lovers every summer since 1988. While Shark Week has many of us glued to our screens, attractions around Orlando boast unique ways to celebrate the rulers of the ocean.
Whether you want to raise a glass to sharks from afar or take a daring dip into their underwater lair, Central Florida is the perfect place to do Shark Week in real life.
Shark Attractions at SeaWorld Orlando
As you might guess, SeaWorld Orlando is a shark lover’s paradise. Planning a trip to the park during Shark Week? Be sure to stop by these attractions:
SeaWorld’s Shark Encounter is your best bet to spot some sharks.
Hop aboard a moving sidewalk that transports you through a 60-foot underwater tunnel as sawtooth, brown, nurse, bull, lemon, and sandpiper sharks swim all around you. The immersive experience also features interactive exhibits fun for adults and kids.
Sharks Up-Close Tour and Animal Experience
The Sharks Up-Close tour goes above and beyond the standard Shark Encounter experience — literally!
Tickets for this add-on experience start at $20. You’ll take a deep dive into the world of shark conservation as a tour guide shows you around the backstage of Shark Encounter. Your guide will debunk common shark myths and tell you about the work SeaWorld does to protect these oft-misunderstood creatures.
From there, you’ll have a chance to feed and pet small sharks before climbing up to the top of the Shark Encounter aquarium for a jaw-some view.
Sharks Underwater Grill and Bar
Many shark species get by with one or two meals a week, but humans can’t. Luckily, SeaWorld has a range of fin-tastic food options, including Sharks Underwater Grill and Bar.
This full-service restaurant has stunning views of your favorite creatures of the deep. As you enjoy dishes like filet mignon, tempura shrimp, and grilled chicken satay, see how many shark species you can spot in the floor-to-ceiling aquarium. Kids can bite into shark-themed ice cream sundaes. Adults will delight at the mako margarita.
Even better, proceeds from all signature cocktails support conservation and social causes.
Shark Swim at Discovery Cove
Chomping at the bit for a thrilling shark experience? Discovery Cove, located next to SeaWorld Orlando, offers an add-on Shark Swim package for fearless shark fans.
You’ll first hop into a shallow pool where an aquarist will introduce you to the 20+ sharks living at Discovery Cove. Afterward, you’ll don a snorkel mask and swim into a tropical reef teeming with blacktip reef, nurse, zebra, and bonnethead sharks. The experience is open to guests 10 and over. Admission to Shark Swim starts at $169, plus the cost of your Discovery Cove ticket.
SeaWorld donates 5% of Shark Swim proceeds to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.
Shark Attractions throughout Central Florida
SeaWorld isn’t the only place where you can have a whale shark of a time. From I-Drive to the Atlantic beaches, the Orlando area boasts many ways to make your Shark Week unforgettable.
See Sharks at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is home to several black tip reef, bamboo, and epaulette sharks, as well as Joy, a zebra shark brought to the International Drive attraction as part of a breeding program.
Adventurous guests can also head to Undersea Explorer. This add-on virtual reality experience ($10 per guest) follows a team of oceanographers to the depths of a Bahamian tiger shark habitat.
NSB Shark Hunters: Shark Fishing for Science
If you’re one of many fishers who dream of reeling in a thresher or hammerhead, then New Smyrna Beach is a coastal town you’ll want to visit.
It’s about an hour northeast of Orlando and has a sizable shark population. It just might be the perfect place to cast your line.
Expert anglers at NSB Shark Hunters host high-adrenaline shore fishing excursions every evening. Rods, rigs, and bait are provided, and friends and family are welcome to watch for free. All sharks are caught, tagged, and released.
The tags help NOAA scientists track shark populations and migration patterns.
Drink an Ocean Attack at Universal Orlando Resort
Many shark aficionados fondly remember traveling around Amity Harbor during Jaws: The Ride’s long run at Universal Studios. While the attraction closed in 2012, its memory lives on in the form of a bright blue cocktail served at the Chez Alcatraz bar.
The Ocean Attack is more than a fruity drink with a snappy name.
Upon ordering one, expect your bartender to break out a shark puppet and reenact a classic Jaws scene as blood-red grenadine seeps into a sea of blue Curaçao. Before you leave, be sure to stop for a picture with the bar’s shark statue, which used to be part of the Jaws ride.
Make Any Week Shark Week at Rosen Inn International
After a day spent navigating the wild world of sharks, drop your anchor at Rosen Inn International.
The 43” HDTVs in our guestrooms feature Discovery Channel, alongside other cable networks. With this cable package plus our closeness to International Drive attractions and free shuttle service to Universal Studios and SeaWorld, your Shark Week is sure to go swimmingly.