Published in: Archives
Published on Monday, 16 April 2012 09:35
About a month ago, the Orlando Theme Park News team received a copy of the newest edition of Kelly Monaghan's newest book, "SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, & Aquatica - Orlando's Salute to the Seas."
As a person very familiar with the theme parks in the area, I have to say that I was more than pleased reading this book. It provides all the necessary information that readers need to know regarding all of the SeaWorld Parks in the Central Florida area: SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island, while also sharing some well-thought personal comments regarding some of the shows and attractions offered at each park.
The book is divided into seven different sections. Let's take a general look at each of them:
- Dive Right In! - This section provides a good amount of general information about the Central Florida area, including a couple of maps, the weather to expect when visiting, directions to reach the parks from the Orlando International Airport and from some of the major roads in the region, and more.
- SeaWorld - In this section the author give as in-depth description of the park, highlighting his personal favorites by attributing to them four or five stars (anything less than that is considered average or less important). The chapter also includes the two newest attractions that the park will soon open to the public - TurtleTrek and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin -. In addition to that, you will also find reviews of the most popular dining locations found in the park in this same section.
- Discovery Cove - This chapter provides some very useful information regarding one of the best themed experiences in the area. It is also one of the lesser-known attractions in O-Town (in terms of number of people that were able to visit it), due to the restrictive nature of the park. The book will guide you through all the areas of the park. That would even help me!
- Aquatica - Our favorite water park in Orlando has an entire section of its own, which includes all the information you will need to plan a trip to this whimsical watery paradise. This section also includes reviews of the dining locations that the park offers.
- Resort Hotels - This is something you may have not expected! This book can also help you in choosing one of the many hotels found near SeaWorld Orlando, including the Renaissance Orlando Resort, Marriott's Grande Vista, The Peabody Orlando, the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek (which we visited some weeks ago, by the way!), and a few others. Included in this section is also a review of the restaurants found in each of those hotels.
- Busch Gardens Africa - This bonus chapter takes you around one of the best animal theme parks in the country: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. It even includes some tips on how to organize your day if you want to include the special Serengeti Safari during your visit to the park. The chapter includes the newest roller coaster of the park, Cheetah Hunt.
- Adventure Island - The book closes with a look at one of the least-known major attractions in Central Florida, the Key West-themed Adventure Island water park. If you have never visited the park, you will be amazed to find out all the attractions that it offers.
Some Additional Comments:
One thing that stood out is the fact that most of the sections of the book include some very interesting background information regarding selected rides or shows. For example, did you know that the very first killer whale of the park was not called Shamu, but Namu (which is a town in British Columbia)? You learn something new every day, isn't that right?
One thing that bothered me a little was the fact that the few images of the book are in black and white. This is certainly far from being a major problem (it is actually more of a pet peeve of mine!), but I would have preferred seeing a bit more colors inside the book. The only technical error we found in the book is the reference to Busch Gardens Africa. The park stopped using that name a while ago (it is now Busch Gardens Tampa Bay). But again, that's nothing that would prevent me from buying this great book.
In conclusion, if you are planning to visit any of the SeaWorld Parks here in Central Florida, Monaghan's "SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, & Aquatica
" guide will without a doubt help you to get the most out of your vacation, especially if you are visiting the parks for the first time.
Now, here you are some more official information on the book:SeaWorld, Discovery Cove & Aquatica: Orlando’s Salute to the Seas – 2nd edition
by Kelly Monaghan with Seth Kubersky
235 pages • 6 x 9 • Index
49 b/w illustrations * 4 maps
$15.95 • Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2012