SeaWorld Orlando’s Turtle Trek With Teens
We live in Florida, I have a daughter who is very involved in protecting marine life and conservation education, and we’re members at SeaWorld Orlando. So needless to say, we were all excited to explore the popular Turtle Trek exhibit. (Learn more about other Kelly’s other favorite Florida aquariums.)
What Is Turtle Trek at SeaWorld?
The Turtle Trek Show
it’s billed it as the first 3-D, domed, 360-degree attraction in the world. Even with that hype it managed to surpass my expectations. It’s unlike any exhibit I’ve ever seen. You can’t take photos inside, but this video gives you some idea of what to expect. My hard-to-impress teens thought it was fantastic.
SeaWorld likes to say that part of its mission is giving its visitors a deeper connection with the outdoors, particularly sea life. Despite some people’s criticisms, our experience is that SeaWorld often does a good job of mixing conservation and education with fun. This attraction is a good example of that effort.
Turtle Trek at SeaWorld Orlando aims to show us what the journey to the sea is like for turtle hatchlings, and how we can become “everyday heroes” by doing even the smallest things to make that journey easier.
The presentation follows the green sea turtle Nyah on her journey from hatching on the beach to becoming an adult who returns to the beach to lay her own eggs. Watching Turtle Trek is like being in the ocean with the turtles and other marine life, without getting wet!
The sounds and effects might be a little intense for younger children who are sensitive to those things, but it’s not scary. Tweens and teens will get the most out of it and like the empowering what-can-you-do message. Younger children will like seeing the turtles and some of the effects, even if they don’t get quite as much out of it.
Note: Even thought it’s been around for a few years now, it’s still a popular exhibit. The $20 Quick Cue Unlimited pass (on top of your ticket) will earn you front-of-line access to this exhibit and six other popular attractions and rides, including the Penguin experience and their hottest new thrill rides.
The Turtle Trek Lessons
By educating the public about the problems facing sea turtles, SeaWorld hopes to increase the number of sea turtles that survive to adulthood. Isn’t it amazing that an adult will return to the same beach where she was hatched to lay her eggs? They face a host of dangers to do it, though. Learning how we can help really does make a difference.
One of the most important things we can do is to remember to keep the porch lights turned off at night when we’re living near the beach. It seems the turtles follow the natural light off the ocean’s horizon, and if they see a light in the other direction, they will follow it, instead. Getting off track means getting eaten by a bird, raccoon, or other predator, or getting lost and overheating.
And of course it’s important to stay off of the beaches where they nest during nesting season and to leave the eggs alone if you come across them.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see a turtle release, and these little guys are so vulnerable! In fact, when the team releasing the turtles sees some struggling, they will hold on to them for a few days to give them a chance to gain strength for the journey. The release I watched was a second attempt.
The Rest of SeaWorld Orlando
Before or after Turtle Trek, there is a lot more to see!
You’ll walk through an aquarium where you will come face to face with sea turtles like this one. You’ll also see all kinds of fish. You’ll even see manatees! There’s also the rest of SeaWorld’s rides and attractions, which offer a range of thrills, shows and other animal encounters.
We’re not big on roller-coaster-style thrills, even my teens. But we like SeaWorld because it offers the thrill of seeing wildlife in a new light (but not a porch light). In that way, Turtle Trek is an awesome experience. We can’t wait to go back, probably very soon!
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