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SeaWorld Orlando

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Sharks Deep Dive

Swim with the Sharks at SeaWorld!

Sharks Deep Dive is now closed.

Swim with the Sharks at Seaworld Sharks are often feared, but find an intriguing eye in most that come across them. Shark Encounter at SeaWorld Orlando puts these often feared but truly fascinating creatures in a 660,000 gallon tank along with some large bodied fish and a giant manta ray. Shark Encounter is also home to the new interactive program called Shark Deep Dive. Shark Deep Dive puts two guests at a time into a large cage inside the giant aquarium with waters ranging from 70 to 72 degrees F. A reservation to this exciting program can be made and must be made quite a bit ahead of time due to the limit of shows per day, and the amount of people allowed into the cage at once, which is only two. As you enter the park on the day of the dive, you make your way to Guest Services to check in. Here you will pick up medical information and release forms to fill out for the adventure.

Up Close Shark viewing Guests then make their way to the Wild Arctic exhibit where a member of park staff will greet the divers, usually five minutes prior to the appointment. Once everything is situated, it is off to the prep center which houses a full locker room facility, and a “mud room” where the guest dawn wetsuits, boots, and gloves. Prior to suiting up, guests are debriefed on the equipment in use during the dive and other safety information. Guests are also introduced to the over 5 species of sharks and other sea life in the tank. Think of a modern diving bell that uses free-flowing oxygen which keeps the diver’s head completely dry during the dive and you’ve got a Sea Trek helmet. The helmets from Sea Trek, which weigh 75lbs out of water and approximately 15lbs in water, have a communication system including a microphone and an earpiece. Other equipment includes a wetsuit, boots, and gloves. These items help keep divers comfortable in the water while diving for 30 minutes. Once the debriefing is over, it’s off to a golf cart which takes the divers on a “back lot” tour where guests will see the huge units used to filter and cool the waters of Wild Arctic, the filtration systems for Shamu Stadium, which filter 7 million gallons of water in approximately four hours, and SeaWorld’s amazing recycling center which helps in keeping the park and environment clean and also serves as an amazing example of our contribution to the planet in waste, and what we can do to complete the cycle of responsibility in conserving and reusing these resources. Once at Shark Encounter, guest make their way to the top of the tank where they meet their dive professional and their spotter who is usually well versed in sharks and shark information. The spotter also makes sure everything in the cage is safe during the encounter. The spotter is connected to the divers via a headset and can also answer questions while in the tank.

Shark encounter SeaWorld Once all important information has been revisited and general questions answered, guests are led into a “med pool” where they first become acclimated to the water in the tank. As you take a knee at the entrance to the cage, which sits at a constant depth secured by a buoy on either side of it, the Sea Trek helmet is lowered to your shoulders via a pulley system while the entire experience is documented by a professional photographer. The helmet is connected to free flowing oxygen and you are ready to sink into the cage once the helmet sits firmly on your shoulders. At this point, you and your co-diver are standing 10 feet underwater, weighed down by the helmet. The cage door is closed and the encounter begins. You can sit, stand, and move about the cage while communicating back and forth with the other diver and the spotter above. The cage moves across the 125 foot tank for a duration of 30 minutes which gives an amazing amount of time to observe the sharks that are quite curious of the new additions to their home. As the cage moves about the exhibit via a pulley system attached to the ceiling of the massive building, you see the people passing underneath in the acrylic tunnel admiring the sharks from below and the people in Shark’s Bar and Grill, SeaWorld’s sit and dine restaurant, where reservations are preferred. Here family of the divers can take pictures and capture video of the encounter while you meet and greet with the sharks. The sharks swim through the water, admiring their new guests almost as if they are observing the divers.

The sharks are within inches from you and the cage so it is not permitted to place fingers outside of the cage for obvious reasons. The sharks in this exhibit are individually fed on a regular diet to keep them from becoming aggressive. As it is, the sharks are so full and satisfied from their diet that they do not eat the other fish in the tank, although in the ocean, these fish would be a meal for the sharks. Once the cage is back at its starting point, the dive professional helps you out of the cage and simultaneously removes the helmet. Once guests are returned to the locker rooms, they may strip out of the suits, wash up, and return back to their original clothing where they then receive an informative book on sharks and a T-shirt exclusive to the program. This experience should be tried at least once in a lifetime, and adds a new view to the deep blue and all of its amazing habitants. Guests can make their way to the Guest Services Desk after the encounter to pick up a free CD of the images taken before diving. The entire experience lasts approximately 2 hours and family can meet back up with the divers at the Wild Arctic exhibit.

Group Ticket Discounts

Parties of 10 or more
Call and speak with a group specialist for Group Discounts
(407) 334-4652

May 1, 2013