1. Don’t pay full price for tickets.
There are many websites that offer discounted prices or package deals. Since we wanted to do several attractions in San Antonio we purchased Explorer Passes, which included 3 attractions for a discounted price. It’s a package deal that works for most of the main attractions throughout San Antonio. Here is the link to their website: https://www.smartdestinations.com/san-antonio/_d_Sat-p1.html?pass=Sat_Prod_Exp&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=GooglePlusAccount&utm_campaign=sat
Even if you don’t want a package deal, you can find discounted single day passes for Sea World on a variety of websites. Use google to find the current best deals out there.
Side tip- purchase the Explorer Pass at least two days before you plan to visit, because it takes 24-48 hours to get the passes sent to your email inbox.
2. Get the schedule and decide which shows to attend.
When you arrive at the park and they scan your tickets be sure to pick up a map. The backside of the map will list all the shows. They are at varying times of the day with some exhibits only having one or two shows a day, so make sure you don’t miss out! Take a pen along and circle the shows and times you want to see. That way you can have your day planned and you won’t miss out on anything you came to see!
3. Avoid busy dates- like Spring Break.
If you go during busy times of the year, like Spring Break, forget about rides. We stood in line for one of the kid rides for almost an hour. After that we decided it wasn’t worth our time. Fast passes are available for purchase, but we opted not to purchase since we came for the shows. If your kids are there for the rides versus the shows you may then want to opt for the fast pass. They don’t have a ton of rides, it’s not Six Flags.
You shouldn’t have problems getting seats for shows if you arrive early, even on busy dates. However, if you spend an hour in line for each ride, you will be running to catch the shows and end up in the standing room in the back. We saw this happen to many families while we were there.
4. Get to shows early for seats.
“We came for the shows, so we will get good seats” was our motto. You can pay for upgraded seats at some of the shows. We didn’t find that necessary in our experience. You can get great seats by arriving early. For the shows that only have one or two showings a day then arrive AT LEAST thirty minutes early. We tried to get to each show thirty minutes in advance. That way we got good seats on the edge of the splash zone. If you sit in the front and the seats are labeled “splash zone” YOU WILL GET WET. Not just a little wet if you are up front. You will look like you jumped in a pool for a swim with your clothes on. For a hot July day you might not mind. Our high for the day was in the high sixties. There were a lot of cold teens walking around because they thought the splash zone was a good idea.
5. Get season passes for only a few more dollars.
6. Dress appropriately.
Everything is outdoors. Some of the shows are covered, but you are still outside. Dress for the weather. I don’t know why I though we would see some indoor exhibits, like an aquarium. You won’t see it at Sea World. The only places indoors are shops, restaurants, and a small conservation exhibit. Everything else is outside. Wear good shoes. Have some layers and wear a backpack to stow layers that you peel off. If you are going in the summer months and intend on getting wet then have a towel along too. Many people there bought towels after they got soaked in the splash zone. Sea World has rides that get you wet too. We chose to avoid those since it was a chilly day.
Bring sunblock and be sure to use it!
7. Bring snacks and water.
Sea World allows each person one bottle of water to be brought into the park. They also allow snacks that are two ounces or smaller. We brought about a dozen granola bars and some fruit squeeze packs in with us, as each was under the two ounce size. It was all eaten. The lines to get anything to eat were horrific. I did not want to waste hours in line for a burger. We were thankful we had brought the snacks in with us and that Sea World actually allows it too! We did purchase some snacks, but the over half hour wait for an ice cream was still annoying. When the place is packed, like it was for Spring Break, the lines are long all day long. There was never a good time to just grab a bite to eat.
8. Bring a stroller or wagon (or rent).
It is a lot of walking. Wear comfortable walking shoes for the day. If you have smaller kids bring a stroller or wagon. They also have strollers for rent. Our twins are now four years of age, so our strollers are long gone. However, we rented a double for twenty dollars at Sea World and were quite glad we did. All three of our kids were in the stroller by the end of the day.
9. The splash zones mean you will get wet. Very wet.
If you sit in any seats marked splash zone you will get wet. Protect your cameras and phones. It is not just a little splash. They are like tidal waves rolling over the crowds. In one of the show areas the first sixteen rows were marked splash zone. We were in the sixteenth row and most certainly got wet. Bring ziplock bags for cameras and phones, so you can protect them if you end up in a splash zone. Sometimes the splashing comes from trainers as part of the show and it is completely unexpected when it happens. Be aware, if you are in the splash zone you are consenting to get soaked. You have been warned.
10. They have a free kennel for pets!
There are free pet kennels located at the far parking lot. Get directions to this lot when you pay for parking. They provide the locks and you just take the key with you for the day. They are not attended per se, so you will want to check on your pet. I wouldn’t leave them there on a hot day since they are outdoors, even though they are covered and there are large fans. We were there on a mild day, so it was perfect for Max. He was the first dog to get kenneled there when we arrived. We brought his food, water, dog dishes, and dog bed along. When we picked him up there were at least 15 other dogs there. All in their own locked kennels. They make it easy to bring your pet along for the day with this free kennel area. They say it is unattended, but we did see a parking lot attendant who looked to be checking on things in the kennel area.
11. Kids ages 3-5 can get in free!!
You read that right. But you must register on their website before May 31, 2018 to get the free passes. Here is the link: https://seaworld.com/san-antonio/tickets/preschool-free-admission/