Tips for Visiting SeaWorld San Antonio

 Tuesday, March 6, 2012

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Update: To find the 2013 Deals for SeaWorld San Antonio post, head over here.

My family has been to SeaWorld San Antonio three times in the last three months and I am starting to get the hang of it.  We purchased Fun Cards, so we can visit as many times as we'd like until the end of 2012 for free.  My goal is to go until my kids are sick of the park and beg to stay home (you and I both know this isn't going to happen, but it's good to have goals).  If you are hoping to visit SeaWorld this year, here are a few tips to save you some money and aggravation:
  1. Are you a Texas credentialed K-12 teacher?  You can get a 2012 Fun Card for free!
  2. Are you in the military?  You can visit for free too!
  3. Senior citizens receive a $3 discount on a one-day admission ticket. If you are a member of AARP you receive a $5 discount on a one-day admission ticket and during Tuesdays in June and July only, AARP members receive $8 off a one-day admission ticket.
  4. Visit the Official San Antonio Visitor Information website for current SeaWorld discounts.  Click on "SeaWorld San Antonio" and you can purchase discounted tickets online.
  5. Do not purchase tickets off of Craigslist. SeaWorld takes a fingerprint the first time you use your ticket, and your fingerprint will not match the ticket when you try to enter the gate.
  6. Keep in mind, when planning your visit, that admission to the new Aquatica (which opens May 19, 2012) costs quite a bit extra.  
  7. If possible, visit off-season.  When we went in February, we walked up to nearly every ride.  We rode Rio Loco four times in a row because there was no line!  November and December are also great months to visit.  Holidays like Mother's Day generally have less traffic.  
  8. If you purchase a Fun Card, consider staying in San Antonio overnight and heading back to SeaWorld first thing the next morning.  SeaWorld is much more enjoyable when you don't have to cram all of the rides and shows into one day.
  9. Bring $15 for parking.
  10. Take along a stroller you don't care much about, so you can leave it parked unattended outside of shows.  You can also rent strollers at SeaWorld for a fee.
  11. Make sure your drinks don't have straws (security will take them away and juice boxes are tricky to drink without straws).  On our last visit we abandoned juice boxes altogether and each took a Nalgene bottle. This worked great.
  12. All of your snacks must be in "single serving" portions. For example, you cannot take a full-size bag of goldfish in, but you can take several ziplock bags full of goldfish.  I packed sandwiches in individual ziplock bags and was able to take our entire lunch in that way.
  13. Go here for the complete rules of what you can and cannot bring into the park in terms of food and drink.
  14. Consider leaving the park for dinner (your parking ticket allows you to come and go).  Rudy's and McDonald's are just down the street (located at the intersection of Westover Hills Blvd. and State Highway 151).  Another nearby restaurant is Big'z Burgers Joint (located at 10106 State Highway 151).  Big'z has a huge fenced-in astroturf field for kids to run and play, while you eat outdoors at picnic tables.  It's a great contained place to let kids burn off some steam.
  15. Think about leaving your purse at home.  A travel wallet works great and you never have to worry about where you will leave your wallet when on a roller coaster.  Put your money in a ziplock bag, so it doesn't get drenched on a water ride.
  16. Save the water rides for last.  It is no fun walking around in squishy socks.
  17. Bring a change of clothes for the kids and for yourself too, so you don't have to drive home in wet underwear.
  18. Consider renting a movie from Redbox for the drive to San Antonio.  You can return it at the Redbox kiosk at the McDonald's next to SeaWorld. Then, rent a new movie for the drive home.
Let me know if I left anything out!  We'll be going again soon and I'd love to hear your tips as well.

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