Our family recently took a trip to San Antonio Texas, and we had a great time. So much history and fun, packed into one truly Texan city! One of the highlights was going to be going SeaWorld San Antonio, and the kids in our group could not wait! It was my first time going to SeaWorld, and I’ll be honest – I made a lot of mistakes. That said, the kids in our group had the time of their lives despite the adults not being as prepared as they could have been. So the good news, is that SeaWorld San Antonio is likely to be a kid pleaser no matter what you do!
But I know there are some things I would do differently next time, and I thought I would share them with you, so you dont make the same mistakes I did!
10 Mistakes I made at SeaWorld San Antonio
1. I went to the Park at one of it’s busiest times – I went during *gulp* Spring Break. The truth is, even if I had thought about how crowded the park was likely to be during school break, I would still have gone. I just would have gone with more appropriate expectations about wait times for rides, and how thick the crowd was likely to be. Which brings me to my 2nd mistake…
2. I did not purchase Front Of Line Access – If I could change one single thing about our trip, this would be it! Because we chose to visit the park during a high capacity time, the wait for most rides was quite long. We had planned to buy a front of line pass, but didn’t know you had to buy them at the outside the park ticket line. By the time we learned that, we were already inside the park, and the line to get tickets to get in, was even longer than the ride lines – so we skipped it. Because of our bad planning, we ended up riding only two rides during our day at the park, and spent 2+ hours in line, to get on those. Buy the Front of Line Access. Trust me.
3. We didn’t make a plan for mixed Ages in our group – We had two 7 year olds and one 5 year old, in our group. The 5 year old wasn’t quite tall enough to go on the rides the rest of us could. So if your group is mixed like ours was – you really need one adult to take the smaller kid on a different set of rides, than the kids that are 42″ inches tall and higher. Be ready to split your group up according to height. And perhaps talk to kids about that ahead of time, to avoid hurt feelings about who can ride what.
4. We didn’t take note of what attractions were open or closed for refurbishment – Our group had heard that you should go straight to the dolphins when you arrive, and so thats what we did. After much looking, we realized that that attraction was temporarily closed. So we went to go find the sharks, and after walking in circles for a little while – realized that was not open for a few more weeks. We could have saved ourselves so much time by just making a plan ahead of time, and looking up what rides & attractions were open during our specific visit.
5. I didn’t pack a swimsuit – I didn’t know you needed swimsuits at Sea World! I thought it was just the sea animals in water there! But if it’s a hot day (like the day we visited), your kids will want to go in the spray park in the Sesame Street® Bay of Play® . Thankfully we had the kids swimsuits with us, but none of the adults were prepared to get wet. That made watching the kids in the spray area a little challenging! Another reason I wish I’d brought a swimsuit? See mistake number 6!
6. Not planning to visit Aquatica – I thought a visit during March would be too cold for Aquatica, Sea World’s Water Park. SO wrong! It was 90+ degrees, and our group kept wishing we could go cool off next door! Because the adults in our group didn’t have their suits, we couldn’t make a quick change of plans. Be smarter than us, and bring your suit. It will give you options. Plus, Aquatica looked really cool!
7. Not paying attention to “Splash Zones” – Certain attractions and shows have areas designated as splash zones. We didn’t pay attention to that, and kept sitting in areas that stayed dry! In our case, the heat was making us want to get wet! But perhaps someone in your party has an expensive camera, or does not want to get covered in water? The only way to choose, is to take note of where splash zones are – and sit accordingly!
8. We ate when everyone else ate – By picking popular times to get food, we encountered a lot of lines. On our next trip, we will try to eat at times that are less crowded. We also wished we had purchased a refillable Souvenir cup when we entered the park. Free drink refills would have been great in the heat!
9. Not making Shows a Priority – Actually, we didn’t make a mistake on this! We just accidentally figured it out. In order to avoid ride lines, we started to go to the shows instead. And that was an AWESOME decision. They were the absolute highlight of our trip. Beautiful! Inspiring! And informative! I particularly suggest you go see the Sea Lion show – Sea Lion High. It was SO funny, so cute, and our very favorite part of our Sea World trip! The shows should not be missed!
10. Not buying a Preferred Parking Pass – If you arrive right when the park opens, or on a slow day – you probably don’t need to do this. But if you get to the park on a busy day, and the parking lots are already filled up – I highly recommend you spend the extra money on closer parking. During our trip it was just $5 more than regular parking. It’s easy to think you wont mind the hike when you first arrive all full of energy and ready to go. But by the end of a long day, you are likely to be very thankful for a car that is just steps away from the park entrance!
Bottom Line: Despite all the so called mistakes I made on our trip – our gang of kids had an absolute ball at Sea World San Antonio. They all said they cannot wait to go back. My daughter hasn’t let her stuffed Sea World Whale, out of her hands since we’ve gotten home! I share the list of mistakes above, in hopes that it makes your families trip to Sea World an even bigger success than our trip was!
Have a great time!
Many thanks to Sea World for tickets to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own, and were not influenced in any way by Sea World.