In Epcot’s Futureworld, The Seas with Nemo & Friends (remember when it was called The Living Seas?) houses, among other attractions, Epcot’s Sea Base, an open area where you can roam free to view the multiple aquariums and various sea creatures. Going here as an adult is enjoyable, but going with a small child is even more fun, because watching a little ones’ amazement and surprise while discovering the fish is a heartwarming and joyful experience. Revealed here are some of the highlights you may want to check out!
As you enter through the gift shop, if you keep walking straight to the first aquarium you get to, you will be at the Manatee tank. This has always been a personal favorite of mine, so it’s my go-to when visiting Sea Base. I found that my toddler really enjoyed having the ability to go right up to the tank and watch the two Sea Cows pass by over and over again, playing and swimming up to the surface to eat lettuce leaves. By taking the elevator upstairs you can also view these beautiful mammals from the top level of the tank as their cute chubby noses break through the surface of the water to take in breaths before diving back down. You can see more of their activity from the lower level, where my toddler had to be pulled away from the tank when it was time to move on and explore the rest of the displays.
Sea Base features a very big tank separate from the manatees that is so large, tweens, teens, and adults are able to SCUBA dive there. It’s called DiveQuest. We had the pleasure of seeing some of the divers while we were there. Oh, and just so you know, if you’re not certified to SCUBA, there’s also a snorkeling experience you can book called the Aqua Tour.
Having a toddler, we weren’t exactly good candidates for a dive into the aquarium, but we had just as big of an adventure for a little one who had never before experienced seeing live fish close up. We saw Bluemoon Angelfish, Atlantic Spadefish, Queen Triggerfish, Porkfish, Cownose Stringrays, Leopard Rays, Black Durgon, and Bowmouth Guitarfish. He was even able to view Loggerhead Sea Turtles, pointing out and making excited baby babble each time he saw something new and interesting.
Outside of the main aquarium area, there are smaller areas with cylinder-shaped tanks available for a 360 degree view of the coral and residents of each tank. In the first area we visited, we met a familiar Clownfish friend. The little one recognized his friend Nemo!
And in another area he was fascinated by the big and flamboyant Lionfish. Fun fact: there is actually a campaign created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in which they attempt to encourage people to eat lionfish.
Around the corner, the baby found another friend he recognized: a Blue Tang named Dory.
There is plenty more to see here aside from the aquarium. Here’s the short overview: The Seas with Nemo & Friends also includes two attractions, a restaurant, and a gift shop. It is an easy transition from the aquarium to the Seas with Nemo & Friends ride, where you climb aboard a Clam-mobile and go through an adventure with your fishy friends. There’s also the Turtle Talk with Crush interactive show, which might not be the most enjoyable for an infant or even a two-year-old; it’s directed at slightly older children. The Coral Reef Restaurant is a table service dining option with a beautiful view of the aquarium. Of course, no trip to Sea Base would be complete without one of the most fun photos you can get in Epcot (see below). Remember, fish AND toddlers are friends, not food.
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