I’m so excited because now that I am an Orlando resident, I’m getting a chance to finally go to SeaWorld with my family. My grandfather worked there for many years, but I never got the chance to go there with him. A few years back, my husband’s job had a special event and gave us tickets, but something happened to our car on the way there and we missed the event.  Yes, this will officially be my first visit to SeaWorld ever!

What’s even cooler is that we are going to see Jack Hanna this weekend! I grew up on Jack Hanna. My father would literally watch National Geographic and other nature shows with us so we could learn all about animals. And SeaWorld Orlando is giving us all a chance to finally meet him due to the launch of their annual Wild Days event, which is presented by Coca-Cola.

Sea World Wild Days logo

Wild Days will take place for the next three weekends in January (Jan. 16-17, Jan. 23-24 and Jan. 30-31) and is included in park admission. Each weekend is hosted by different animal experts, and features new educational shows – from orcas to wildlife rescue – and they say even more up-close animal experiences, meet-and-greet opportunities and interactive education stations.

Here are the Wild Days Weekend Themes:

January 16-17:  “Wild Weekend with Jack Hanna”  

Jack Hanna

World-renowned animal expert “Jungle Jack” Hanna hosts the first weekend. Guests can meet and learn about amazing animals from Jack, and hear about his unique travels and personal experiences. We’ll be heading there on the 16th to see him.

Add-on packages:

  • Breakfast with Jack Hanna at Sharks Underwater Grill — Package includes breakfast and a personal meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna starting at $49 (available Saturday and Sunday).
  • Dinner with Jack Hanna at Sharks Underwater Grill — Package includes dinner and a personal meet-and-greet with Jack Hanna starting at $59 (only available Saturday).

January 23-24: “Penguin Lovers’ Weekend

Julie Scardina

Nationally recognized SeaWorld Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina hosts a cool weekend of wildlife surprises with a special focus on penguins.  Guests can get up-close to these amazing feathered friends and hear from Julie about her lifelong love of animals and the parks’ commitment to wildlife conservation. A few years back at Hispanicize, I got up close and personal with a penguin from SeaWorld thanks to Visit Orlando, and I absolutely adored him.

January 30-31: “Sea Rescue” Weekend

SeaWorld has rescued more than 27,000 animals over 50 years, and these amazing animal stories are featured weekly on the popular Saturday-morning ABC TV series “Sea Rescue.” Hear first-hand accounts of marine animal rescues, rehabilitations and returns by SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team, heroes and partners featured on the show. This is the other side of the coin that not everyone gets to see. My grandfather loved the rescue work that SeaWorld focused on.

Every Wild Days Weekend Includes:

New “Ocean Discovery” killer whale presentation – Guests can learn more about killer whales, also called orcas, and other species of whales during a special educational show. This interactive, 30-minute presentation teaches guests about the animals’ adaptations, habitats and behavior. (Note: This special presentation is in addition to the popular “One Ocean” shows scheduled throughout the day.) Killer Whales are something Sea World has become known for, and we look forward to checking this show out.

Sea World Trainer Talks

New “Inspiring Stories” pre-shows – The SeaWorld Animal Training Team has some of the most fascinating jobs in the world. Guests can learn what it takes to care for animals that call SeaWorld home and how caring for them has helped with the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals that need help.  “Inspiring Stories” will take place at the beginning of three of the park’s popular shows: Blue Horizons, Pets Ahoy and Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High. Check park maps for times. We’ll be sure to share which one we check out.

Sea World Meet the Animals

Meet The Animals – Throughout the park, even more trainers, educators and animal care staff are stationed to share information and stories about the animals in our care and provide up-close meet and greets, scheduled feedings and fun surprises. Check park maps for times and locations. We are big on animals, so we are excited for this.

Explore ZonesMore than 14 fun and interactive education stations can be discovered throughout the park, featuring games and hands-on experiences that teach guests about animals and what they can do to protect the wild world in their own lives. Check event guide for exclusive in-park experiences. Being that this is the first time we are going, this will be a new chance to explore for us all.

Sea World show

Wild Days takes place every Saturday and Sunday, January 16 through January 31, and is included with park admission. All feature shows take place at Nautilus Theater at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The best way to experience this year’s Wild Days is with an Annual PassFor a limited time, park guests can receive a refillable souvenir cup with the purchase of a SeaWorld Annual Pass.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest details on Wild Days 2016. Join the conversation with #SeaWorld and #WildDays.

Disclosure: We were invited to participate in a blogger event in association with the Sea World Orlando Wild Days event, which includes admission and breakfast. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.