Thursday, May 17, 2012

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SeaWorld San Antonio: Know Before You Go!

One of our families' favorite parks in Texas is SeaWorld San Antonio.  We have been tons of times and wanted to give you the inside hints to help you next time you go!

Here's our list of Know Before You Go:

1. Buy your tickets online - saves time waiting when you first arrive at the park! You can also purchase your parking online too! If you will go more than once in a full year, you should really consider a Fun Card or an Annual Pass - sometimes it is just as much as a single day ticket!

2. Plan your day in advance by checking out the show schedule (remember to give yourself 45-30 minutes before the show starts to get good seats).  Also, there is a great iPhone app to the parks that will put the schedule, map, and wait times on all the rides right in the palm of your hand!

3. Food - You are welcome to bring in a small (6 pack size) soft sided cooler with individual waters or juice boxes and a reasonable amount of individual snacks.  Try to time your meals with the shows or at abnormal times, otherwise you will be waiting in line for a long time for food.  Additionally, the new All-Day Dining Meal makes sense if you plan on being there all day.

4. Bring your own stroller or rent one - nothing worse than dragging a tired little one (or carrying) around all day.  

5. This is Texas - plan for it to be hot!  Wear lots of sunscreen and hats, find places to cool off, and have lots of patience.  While it may seem crowded and the lines seem long, everyone is there to have a good time!

A few friends from FaceBook offer this advice:

Fredderica: Go to the Sesame Street breakfast. Good food, full tummies and you get to take pictures with all the characters. They will be dancing around the eating area and saying hi to all the kids.

Allison: Check ticket prices before you go. When we went to SeaWorld in San Diego three years ago, we bought tickets online and got season passes for less than a regular day pass. Also, look for discounts in unexpected places. My insurance company (Farm Bureau) has SeaWorld discounts for its customers.

Dolly: Feed the dolphins early. My kids love this and the earlier you go the less crowded it is. Buy lots of fish as they sell out.

Ange: Be sure to purchase your season pass online before your trip so that you benefit from the free parking on your first trip.

A few of my Travel Friends (and Experts) offer this advice: 

Linda with Travels with Children offers this regarding the "Splash Zone": If you sit in the splash zone at the Shamu show, the signs warn that you MIGHT get wet. People need to know that if you sit in those rows, you WILL become completely soaked, and your very surprised three-year-old will forever hate Shamu for splashing her on purpose.

Julie from Roadtrips For Families has an excellent post on SeaWorld San Antonio tips.  I loved this one: Break up your day (and beat the heat) with visits to the indoor exhibits. Sharks and The Coral Reef was one of our favorite spots. Air conditioned and without a line or wait time, check the back of the park map for feeding times. Other indoor spots are Wild Arctic, Penguin Encounter, and Nautilus Theater.

Windwalker Duo of 1Dad1Kid mentioned this regarding all SeaWorld Parks: Not everyone realizes there is a water park there, so I would advise people to bring swimwear and a change of clothes since many of the show activities will result in you getting wet enough that you may not want to wait until you dry off.

Lastly, here are some great posts regarding SeaWorld that you might find helpful as well:
Mom's Guide to Travel's post on theme parks tips of traveling with Special Needs
The Vacation Gal's trip to SeaWorld San Diego
Wandering Off's Stingray Up Close Tour
Suitcases & Sippycups's Preview of Aquatica

SeaWorld San Antonio is a treasure to have so close by.  Make sure to take advance of it begin so close to us!!

This week, I also discussed the amazing animals to be seen at SeaWorld San Antonio,  all the other entertainment SeaWorld provides, and gave you a good idea of all the fun SeaWorld offers for small kiddos. 

Save money on SeaWorld San Antonio tickets by purchasing online!

Texas Travel Facts for SeaWorld San Antonio:
Location: 10500 SeaWorld Drive
Hours: Vary based on month - click here
Admission: Varies - search for deals or buy your tickets online to save money and time waiting at the park
Recommended Time: All Day
Good to know: Check the website for park hours & show times the day you want to go; can bring your own strollers with few drinks & individually wrapped snacks for little ones; can rent strollers; buy parking pass online to save a few dollars
My family and I were invited to visit the park and were provided admission. I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions of SeaWorld San Antonio are strictly my own based on my experience.  

5 comments:

Lisa said...

Thanks for your great tips! We will soon be taking the kids there..

Brianna said...

Looks like a really fun place to go.

Stacie said...

Made me think of planning our next family vacation really soon. Thanks for posting!

Dana said...

My kids will surely love this place. Awesome!

Megan Whitehead said...

Great! Thanks so much for your post! I am planning a vacation for me and my husband and we are going to SeaWorld and Aquatica for a day. I'm still trying to figure out how we are going to be able to do everything but there is something I would like to ask you.

Along with breaking up the day to beat the heat, when do you think is the best time for we rides? should we alternate between doing something dry and then a wet ride? I would rather not walk into a restaurant after a water slide.

Thanks so much!