A few weeks ago we visited Sea World in San Antonio Texas for the first time. I have lived in Texas all my life (thank you God) but I had never been. I was beyond giddy at the thought of going. The week before we went I spent hours online pouring over blogs and travel forums looking for tips to surviving Sea World with little kids. I got so into it that I even made a Pinterest board for visiting Sea World.
Now that we’ve gone and lived out the awesomeness that is Sea World Texas I thought I would share some tips with you that we learned first hand.
1. Don’t sit in a splash zone if you don’t want to get wet. If you mail this tip to your husband in a long email, make sure to highlight it and maybe put it in bright red font. We were running late to the Shamu show and of course there were open seats at the bottom. It just happens that is the splash zone so he made a beeline to those seats that he thought were just amazing. My mother in law and two older girls followed willingly because apparently no one reads my emails. I grabbed my father in law and youngest and we found a seat right above the splash zone. Then the show started, the first big splash came and there was an exodus of people out of the splash zone, including my husband, mother in law and kids. It was hilarious! Just be aware of the splash zone seats and don’t think that the splash will never reach you, because it will.
2. Plan your day and then make a back up plan. We had a basic plan of things we wanted to do and had planned to go to all the earliest shows and then hit the attractions later in the day. We wound up getting a really late head start to Sea World that morning and missed all the morning shows. Then we spent the rest of the day zig zagging the park and just trying to fit it all in. Plan, prioritize what you want to do and then make a back up plan. It seems like a lot but it’s your feet and sanity we’re talking about. Just do it.
3. Look at all the extras that Sea World offers. One thing that we did is that we paid a few extra dollars for the special Shamu parking. It’s really not that much closer and when you pull in to your parking spot you are going to feel like you wasted money. But when you leave and you are tired and possibly might smell like fish if you didn’t follow the , “don’t sit in the splash zone warning” then you will be so thankful for that extra few dollars. Also they have a dining pass that you can purchase where for a one time fee, you can get free meals and certain non alcoholic drinks. We looked at it before we went and didn’t think it would be worth it. However later we wished that we had bought one or two just to help with the supply of food we were consuming after being in the hot sun and walking so much. Buy one or two and split the meals and snacks between kids.
4. Bags. They will search your bag when you enter the park and if there’s a ton of compartments and it’s loaded down with stuff, they will make you take it out and search the entire thing. We lucked out because we just threw some things in a fabric shopping bag and we breezed right by the security line. You can take in snack sized portions and bottled water. I took a ton of snacks and we went through all of them. Also don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, baby wipes even if you don’t have a baby anymore, band aids and diaper rash cream in case someone chaffs. I’m not saying it will happen, but it might and then you will thank me.
5. Feed the dolphins. It’s more than worth it.
6. If you go with children, save plenty of time for the Sesame Street themed area in the middle of the park. It’s amazing. Our kids loved the little rides that were there, they played forever in the huge playground area and went crazy every time a dressed up character went by. The two oldest girls spent time with the Count from Sesame Street, shooting people walking under the play area with a water gun. Also don’t forget their swim suits! There is a fun splash pad there and they will get soaked.
7. Take your stroller. We are not the type of parents that rely heavily on a stroller, especially now that the littlest one is getting close to three. But we could not have made it without the stroller. It’s great to throw bags underneath so you don’t have to carry them, we put the drinks in the stroller when we went on rides or into a show and finally it served it’s purpose and held a very tired Princess Newbie for the last hour or so. Even if you don’t normally use it, you will at Sea World. When you go into a show or an attraction there is stroller parking and your stroller might get moved by a worker making more room so don’t be alarmed if you come out and it’s moved. If you have a super popular stroller, tie a bandana or ribbon around the handle so you can find it easier.
8. Consider your electronics. There is a lot of water at Sea World. There was a guy entertaining the crowd before the Azule show that was dumping water on everyone by the hat fulls. It was crazy and unexpected. There’s also rides that splash water, games that splash water and the water splash pad. It’s a water free for all. Be aware of this. I saw a lot of people with their really nice DSLR cameras. I did not take my camera at all because I didn’t want to have it accidently bathed. My mother in law was super smart and put her Iphone in a plastic baggie. Just think hard before you bring electronics into the park. Edited: Since this original post we’ve been back several times and to Aquatica, the water park. I highly recommend buying a waterproof cell phone lanyard such as this one. It will save your phone and help you still be able to find other family members if you get seperated.
9. Make a mental note of your favorite Sea World things as you go through such as the fact that they serve Watermelon slices at the Sea Fire grill which you can eat while watching the Canery Caper show because you will go back! And when you do go back, you’ll be prepared.
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