Planning a trip to SeaWorld San Antonio this summer? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your day to the fullest!
This weekend, I was invited to check out SeaWorld San Antonio’s inaugural Sesame Street Party Parade, the park’s newest daily attraction. While there with my three children, I realized that over several years of SeaWorld visits, my family has developed a routine. From where we park to which rides we tackle first, we have a methodology for keeping our SeaWorld visits low-stress. Here are a few of our tips, so you can do the same.
SeaWorld San Antonio: Where to Stay
Tip number one is to turn your SeaWorld visit into a mini vacation, even if you close by. For years, we would drive two hours to SeaWorld, tackle the park in one day, and return home that night. It was exhausting. Now, we extend the fun to last all weekend. It’s so much more enjoyable.
This trip, we were hosted by Hilton San Antonio Hill Country, which is less than a mile from the SeaWorld entrance. We arrived on Friday night and purchased a s’mores kit for $5, which included the ingredients to make four s’mores, plus the two sticks we needed for roasting marshmallows over fire pits on the hotel’s back patio. After our sweet treat, we enjoyed watching Finding Dory under the stars, and swimming in the outdoor pools and hot tub. On Saturday night, after our day at SeaWorld, we returned to the hotel and did it all again!
One nice perk offered by Hilton San Antonio Hill Country is a free SeaWorld shuttle. If you time it right, this hourly shuttle will save you having to pay for parking at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld San Antonio: Where to Park
However, if you do decide to drive to SeaWorld, here’s where to park. After paying to enter the parking lot, turn left at the sign for Preferred Parking. When you see the kiosk for Preferred Parking on your right, park to the left. This way, you can nab a prime parking spot mere steps away from Preferred Parking, without having to pay the extra $5. It’s a short walk to the entrance from these spots.
SeaWorld San Antonio: How to Start Your Day
The easiest way to avoid lines for rides is to arrive right when the park opens. After going through the security bag check, make sure to grab a paper map (these are much more helpful than the free SeaWorld app when it comes to accurate show times and the times that rides open). Generally, the large rides open half an hour after the rest of the park. Walk as far as you can towards the rides before being stopped by a SeaWorld employee. Then, you’ll be first in line when the employee allows you to pass when that section of the park opens.
We like to do all of the water rides first. They are less popular early in the morning and you can usually ride several times without encountering a line. On this visit, we rode Rio Loco five times in a row because there was no one waiting. Then, we moved on to Journey to Atlantis, which we rode twice with no line. After we were fully soaked, we changed into our dry clothes and headed off to find lunch.
SeaWorld San Antonio: Where to Unwind
It might be crazy, but the playground is my favorite spot in SeaWorld. Letting the kids play awhile is a nice way to break up the day, before heading off to enjoy more rides. There are tables in the shade, so we grab some sides from the nearby Sea Star Market (grapes, oranges, and cookies), refill our drinks ($0.99 using old SeaWorld cups), and relax awhile.
Another great casual dining location is tucked away just past Alligator Alley. To find this secluded spot, pictured below, head down the steps behind Rosita’s Cafe and you’ll see a series of docks with tables overlooking the water. These tables offer a nice, quiet place to enjoy a meal outdoors (and to feed some fish!).
SeaWorld San Antonio: Wrap up the Day with a Dance Party Parade
We spent the rest of our afternoon on rides, before heading to Sesame Street Bay of Play for the Dance Party Parade. We had a reserved spots for parade viewing, which is a perk of the Sesame Street Dinner, but my kids preferred to watch from the playscape bridge above.
The Sesame Street Party Parade is a colorful, musical event featuring 10 themed floats, Elmo and his furry cast of friends, and more than 20 dancers. The parade stops for musical dance numbers and concludes with plastic streamers (my kids’ favorite part). This new attraction will happen daily along the pathways of SeaWorld San Antonio. It lasts about 15 minutes.
SeaWorld San Antonio: How to Save
One last tip for having an easy day at SeaWorld is to buy your tickets in advance. Here are two ways to save:
- 2-Park Flex Ticket: If you are visiting the park from outside of the San Antonio area, the best way to experience the Sesame Street Party Parade and all the fun SeaWorld and Aquatica have to offer is with a $69 2-Park Flex Ticket. This limited time offer allows guests unlimited admission to both parks for up to five consecutive days. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit SeaWorldSanAntonio.com.
- GOLD Pass: For those in the San Antonio area, the best way to experience the Sesame Street Party Parade and all the fun SeaWorld and Aquatica have to offer is with a GOLD Pass – available for only $99 for a limited time. The GOLD Pass includes unlimited admission to both parks and includes free parking, free tickets for friends and in-park discounts on merchandise as well as special dining offers and other exclusive benefits. For more information and to purchase a GOLD Pass, visit SeaWorldSanAntonio.com.
That’s it! Go, know that you can’t possibly do everything in the park in one day, relax and enjoy yourself.
More articles on Sea World San Antonio You May Enjoy
Thank you to SeaWorld San Antonio for hosting us for the day. No compensation was received for writing this post. All opinions are my own.