SeaWorld San Antonio Review
During a fun spring break vacation, we spent an overcast and drizzly March day at SeaWorld in San Antonio with our daughter's family which includes her three kids. It could have been pouring rain, hailing, blowing 35 miles an hour, and freezing cold and the grand kids (and us adults) still would have a blast! SeaWorld is clearly one of the Best Attractions in Texas!
Some of what we really like about SeaWorld and the reason we highly recommend it as a must see Texas attraction are:
there are a wide variety of shows that are funny, entertaining, and informative
the rides range from high speed thrilling hair raising roller coasters for the brave souls to a merry-go-round for the youngsters - there is something for all ages
there is a new whimsical waterpark, Aquatica
, with up-close animal experiences, a variety of rides, and lots of splashes and waves - thank gosh it had not opened yet for the season on our rainy cold day
it's a unique opportunity to learn a lot about some amazing creatures and even get-up-close and personal with happy-go-lucky sea lions; touch, feed and learn hand signals that are used to communicate with bottlenose dolphins; and lots more - these unique encounters come at an additional charge.
there are a variety of surprisingly tasty food choices plus beer, wine, and excellent frozen margaritas for the adults
the Park is clean, well maintained, and staffed by some young polite and enthusiastic employees and the bathrooms are always nearby and clean
it is a little pricey but reasonable for a fun filled day that everyone will remember for quite a while - get there early and leave when it closes
SeaWorld San Antonio is huge and right after you arrive you need to plan your day using the SeaWorld map and activity grid. For the very young you can bring or rent a stroller and for the older generation electric carts are available for a small charge. Our first priority when we arrived was to plan our day around making sure that we saw all of the very entertaining shows that are scheduled one to five times a day. And between the shows we enjoyed the rides, food, and a bench seat to rest! The shows we really enjoyed included:
Make sure if you pick a seat where you will or you won't get wet, be brave because a large part of the fun for the kids (ok, I liked it also) was sitting in the "wet zone" - we brought plastic lightweight raincoats to keep some of the water off!
Unfortunately, we missed (thanks to a couple very tired grandkids and some cold rain) the following:
- Pets Ahoy is a show with a variety of talented animals (dogs, cats, birds, rats, pot-belly pigs and a few surprise guest stars), the majority of which were rescued from animal shelters
- Sea Lions Tonight showcases sea lion pranksters as they spoof the park's daytime shows
- Block Party includes a DJ who keeps guests and the muppets (Elmo and his Sesame Street friends) moving and grooving
All of the above shows can take up a lot of the day and for some of them you may want to go back and catch the same show again - they are that good and entertaining. Between shows, some of the thrilling rides that all of us loved included:
- Steel Eel - a thrilling roller coaster ride (for thrill seekers 48" and above) with a 15-story vertical drop and a series of camelbacks that will provide periods of weightlessness - the grandkids insisted we do this one twice and must sit in the front seat and keep the hands in the air
- Great White - the grand-daddy of coasters and it includes 360 degree flips, speeds up to 50 miles an hour, floorless runs of breathtaking loops, curves, and corkscrews - I was relieved when I saw that you need to be 54" inches to ride and I immediately volunteered to stay with the grandkids - the rest of the adults loved it and came back with their lips stuck to their teeth and the hair flowing straight back
- Journey To Atlantis - part water ride and part coaster that takes you up 10 stories in a Viking boat and then sends you straight down on a wet and wild plunge into the lake - another ride the grandkids insisted on doing 3 times and came back soaking wet each time and with a huge smile on their face
- Rio Loco - a river rapids ride that bobs and bounces through some unexpected twists, turns, and drop-offs as it takes you down raging river, around twists and turns, and under a waterfall
- Sesame Street Bay of Play - finally, the youngest granddaughter (2 years old) got to enjoy some rides at Sesame Street Bay of Play which has a big playground, carousel, Shamu Express roller coaster, and a tea cup Ferris wheel - it was hard dragging her to the next show
The rides and shows are outstanding and there's even more to do, some of which includes:
- Dolphin Cove, Alligator Alley, and Penguin Encounter
- An aquarium loaded with sharks, stingrays, tropical fish, and more
- Rocky Point Preserve where you can feed California sea lions and harbor seals and visit cute and cuddly Asian otters and sea lions
- Animal Connections Conservation Center where you can learn from experienced Animal Ambassadors about birds, snakes, and other animals from around the world
- Interaction Programs where you can put on a wet suit and get up close and personal with beluga whales, California sea lions, or penguins
- A gift shop loaded with lots of Shamu plush and lots more the kids will want to take home as a souvenir
After all that excitement and walking, you're going to be hungry and thirsty and the good news is that regardless of where you are in the park you'll find food and drinks. You can try BBQ, turkey wraps, bacon cheeseburgers, a pizza buffet, turkey legs, chicken alfredo and lots more.
Make sure that you plan for a full day or you'll be disappointed that you didn't get to see it all. SeaWorld is major Texas attraction and as such lines can be long - consider buying a Quick Queue which is a ticket to the front of the lines. You can buy SeaWorld tickets online or get a season pass and if you like to eat the All Day Dining Deal is perfect.