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.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.
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