Family Tips for Sea World San Antonio

My family loves Sea World.  Actually we visit about two times a year and Noah would go weekly if he was given the chance.  We were invited to a blogger event by Visit San Antonio a couple of weekends ago and I thought it would make a good post to share some tips with you when visiting Sea World that I have learned.

Let’s call this the Dos and Don’ts of Sea World.

DO plan to stay all day, especially during the summer.  There are quite a few shows to see as well as rides for both little kids and big kids.  You also might want to visit the water park at no additional cost that is inside Sea World so taking a couple of hours for a break during the hot day to cool down is a great idea.  Bring swimsuits!

DO NOT sit in the Splash Zone unless you want to get wet and smell like fish.  I know the row of benches marked Splash Zone goes up fairly high, I believe 16 rows if I remember correctly.  Trust me, this isn’t for show effect to make you think the splash is larger than what it is, it truly can splash that high.  Remember the shows include sea mammals which of course smell like sea mammals.

DO sit in the Splash Zone during the last show of the day if you would like to get splashed for fun, especially during the Shamu show.  My oldest loves to get wet and when we are leaving the park she doesn’t mind smelling like fish for the short drive to the hotel.  Don’t feel bad allowing your children to sit up front while you sit a little higher, as long as they are old enough to stay put, you can keep an eye on them from your seat and they usually get a lot more excited about Shamu soaking them than you do.

DO wear water proof mascara, sunscreen and drink lots of water.  You will sweat during the summer heat in Texas.

When your child no longer wants his/her piece of cotton candy in the middle of a show, DO NOT place it in your lap thinking it can gently rest there until end of show to dispose of, it WILL melt on your capris and cause a very sticky mess.

DO purchase the Quick Queue passes for older kids and adults that want to ride all the rides in the park.  During the summer months Sea World is very busy and these passes work wonders to skip lines.

DO NOT purchase Quick Queue passes for younger children.  They do not work on kiddie rides, except for the Shamu Express kid coaster.

DO purchase the all day meal passes for adults at $29.95 and children at $13.95 if you plan to stay all day and eat/drink all meals for the day at park.  The wrist bands allow you to get meals, sides, desserts and drinks all day.  I highly recommend even going through the line to get a free bottle of water outside of your regular meals times.  Take full advantage of the all access pass and you’ll save money in the long run.

DO NOT purchase a separate dessert if you have the all day meal pass arm band.  The arm band includes one meal and one side or dessert with drink, each time through line.  However you can purchase your meal, side and drink.  Then eat, enjoy and go through line again for dessert.  It’s honestly no hassle and if you pay for all access pass it’s silly to pay for additional food.  My kids loved getting the fruit during the day for snacks in between meals and this is also included in the restaurants, you do not have to always get a meal.

DO purchase a tray of fish to feed the dolphins.  It’s worth the extra cost for the experience.  Feeding the dolphins is a lot of fun and it’s my son’s favorite activity.  If you do it like the trainer shows then you are even given a chance to pet them.  We were able to capture some great photos during the feedings as well and the dolphins are eager for the attention and food.  It’s wonderful!  Check the feeding times as soon as you arrive at the park, usually they are every hour starting at 1:00 PM but this does vary.  The line can get long so I advise you arrive early to scheduled feeding time.


Full Disclosure: My family and I were invited to visit San Antonio and Sea World for a social media event.  We were provided with complimentary tickets to Sea World as well as Quick Queue passes and all access meal passes in order to appreciate the full experience of the park.  All opinions in this blog post are 100% mine and this is not a sponsored post.

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  1. says

    I found your blog and found it SO helpful! We are going to Sea World tomorrow and your post answered lots of questions.

  2. says

    I don’t know how I missed this post before, but I’m glad I saw it when I came by today! That meal pass deal is awesome and I didn’t know kids could feed the dolphins. So excited about that.

    And um, yea, the splash zone is something I stay far away from. haha
    .-= Erica Mueller´s last blog ..Chevy Traverse Meets Roadtip =-.

  3. Monica says

    Thanks we are going this weekend and yes you answered a lot of questions. This was very helpful. This will be our first time and were very excited. Thanks

  4. Alejandra says

    We are visiting seaworld for the first time and thinking about buying the quick pass but our party is 3 adults and one 9 year old, but on internet there´s only adult price, do you know if my kid must pay as an adult?
    Thanks for your help.

    • MommaDJane says

      There are two different levels of Quick Queue. Unlimited is the most expensive, then you can buy the one that allows for two skips for each ride. There is only one price so I would make sure your 9 year old is tall enough to ride all the rides that you plan to use the Quick Queue pass on. Your child may not need one.

  5. Brandy says

    Love this! We are going in a few weeks and I was curious about the all day meal pass. We are taking two young kids (5 & 8) and I am curious if we need to buy them a pass or can we just go through the line to get their food then go back to get ours… is there at time limit between going through the lines?

    • MommaDJane says

      Brandy: from what I understand there is no time limit. At least I didn’t hear about one and didn’t see them enforcing one. I’m sure they may say something if you went through the line back to back multiple times attempting to use one arm band for the whole family. However I would say this… I believe your youngest could probably share with you at meal times. You could always go back through the line if you guys were still hungry and get another side, fruit or a second dessert. We even went through the line just for drinks between meals. We wanted to get the most out of the arm bands. You won’t be able to use an adult arm band for a kids meal or a kids arm band for an adult meal. That’s the main difference there. I hope that helps!

  6. Mary K says

    Thanks so much for your helpful post! We are going this weekend and, while I was able to snag Breakfast with Elmo tix and a cabana at the Bay of Play, I was NOT able to get Quick Queue passes. I went back to the website today and saw that they are now available; however, after reading your post, I realize it would be a waste of money. My kids are 8, 6 and 2 – and I was under the impression that this worked for ALL of the rides. Thanks for saving me a bundle of $$! (BTW, the personnel at Sea World, while kind, are NOT a helpful source of information. The two people I spoke with while booking tickets, cabana, tours, etc. not only said I should get a Quick Queue pass if they became available, but also were not aware of age/height limits on various tours until they read the fine print on their end. Both tried to talk me into tours that my children couldn’t go on. Just an FYI for anyone calling to get more info.)

    • MommaDJane says

      I think it depends on what time of the year you are planning to go. If you are going after they have opened their waterpark then I highly recommend at least two days to enjoy everything. Just watching all the shows can take up most of your day. If you want time to ride rides and take part in the waterpark you will need an extra day. There is a lot to see and do.

      • Ginger says

        Can I purchase meal wristbands & quick queue when I get to the park or do I have to purchase them online before I get there?

        • MommaDJane says

          Ginger, great question. You can purchase them once you arrive. You can actually even purchase the all day dining at the restaurants.

  7. says

    When you talk about feeding the dolphins…. Can you purchase the food there or is this the dolphin encounter for $60 a person? Would love too but would be pricey for 5 of us.

    • MommaDJane says

      Feeding the dolphins can be done by buying a tray of food for around $6. They swim right up to the side of the pool and you can even pet them. The dolphin encounter is a more extensive experience and completely different.

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