I live in San Antonio, Texas. Not just anywhere in San Antonio, but about half way in between Sea World and Six Flags. Every year we get season passes to one place or the other. We’ve done six flags for the past 2 years, so we decided to go for sea world this year. After going too many times to count, I think I might be a Sea World expert.
At first, we thought that we couldn’t afford to get passes, but then I found out about their payment plans. On the season passes, you have to option to pay with their payment plan. For our 8 year old, we just got a regular season pass and had to pay flat out for it, but for my husband’s and my passes, we got the season pass and chose the payment plan option. I think for both of us it’s only $20 a month! Who can’t afford that? And our 2 youngest get in free because you don’t pay for ages 3 and younger. Now parking is $15 a car each time that you go, so GET AT LEAST ONE SEASON PASS! With your pass you get free parking every time you go. That alone might make the cost of the pass worth it! A season pass also comes with a coupon book for games, souvenir’s, food, etc… Season pass holders also get automatic discounts on all purchases, just show them your pass, sometimes they don’t ask and you’ll miss your discount. Hey, all change and savings add up! If you can only go for one day, check online for special discounts on one day tickets. Also check for military, teacher, etc.. kind of discounts.
Next thing to do is download the free app for your phone that gives you up to date ride wait times, show times, animal feedings, etc… It also has cool features like a GPS car finder, weather, map, operating hours, and possibly my favorite feature, a camera with fun Sea World frames! Use these and skip buying the overpriced, but gotta have it souvenir photos!
Next, something that a lot of people don’t seem to know, Sea World does allow you to bring in one small cooler (I think they say a 12 X 12, but don’t quote me on that. call to find out exact sizes allowed). Things like bottled water and small snack sized items are allowed. Think fruits, yogurts, trail mix, salami, cheese, crackers, etc… They don’t allow meal sized items like sandwiches. We pack a cooler every time we go and save a ton on mid day cravings. If you are going to buy a souvenir drink bottle from them, buy the big refillable sized cup. You get free refills on the day you buy it and 99 cent refills for the rest of the season. Much cheaper than buying a new soda every time!
Bring your own stroller or wagon. You wont have to rent one, and you won’t have to tote around your cooler, backpack, etc.. all day long. We have a double stroller for our 2 year old and 5 month old so we always have a place to stash the cooler, hold the diaper bag and swim gear bag. Otherwise, it’d just be too much to lug around!
If you don’t want to spend the extra money to get the water park passes, then don’t. There are plenty of other ways to get wet and cool off. Catch one of the sealion, shamu, or dolphin and beluga shows and sit in the splash zone. Or head inside to the 4D theater and get sprayed by their water effects. Or head over the the sesame street bay of play where they have water features to splash in and run through!
Remember to pack your own sunscreen, towels, change of clothes for the kids, extra batteries, mini portable fan, etc… anything that you might need because the prices for those things there are obviously more than you’d like to spend.
Most importantly when visiting Sea World, don’t forget to make new friends!