When planning out things to do around San Antonio a big attraction in the area was Sea World. I was bit hesitant of going here-mainly due to the cost of admission. I was trying to keep out long trip budget friendly-but John on the other hand said this was his number one thing he wanted to do. So thanks to a gift of money, we used that to buy admission to the park. Elsie was excited about going too. I waited to buy tickets because I was waiting to see that they weather was. That was my first mistake-if you can, buy tickets ahead of time online. It saves time and money by doing so. We waited almost a half an hour just to buy tickets into the park.
Against my better judgement, we arrived to SeaWorld after it opened. It was already pretty busy. I am going to say this here and the beginning and then will be done with the complaining. It was busy…which I get but the employees did such a poor job of handling the situations. I would rather have been at Disney World during spring break than here. At least Disney does a good job of handling crowds and their employees are present. One situation really irritated me when I had been standing in line for 30 minutes for ice cream. I finally get to the counter and one employee comes up to the counter and starts talking to the employee who was taking my order about what their plans were for the weekend-seriously?!? It was bad enough to stand in line for 30 minutes for ice cream (especially when there wasn’t that long of a line) but then this really upset me. Ugh… so it was situations like this that was the major disappointment. But we did have some fun too…it wasn’t all negative :).
One of the first things we did was look at the schedule and try to figure out which shows we wanted to go to since they aren’t offered all that often. We kind of came up with a tentative plan and the headed towards the Killer Whales Up Close show. We knew we wanted to see this show and figured that we better make it a priority. There has been quite a bit of controversy regarding the killer whales and SeaWorld. SeaWorld is changing some things that they do and the last baby killer whale was born at the Texas SeaWorld shortly after our trip.
When walking into the seating area it is clearly marked where the “Splash Zone” is-which I believe was the first 16 rows. We chose seats in one of those rows but more off to the side which worked out-no splashing for us. So if you do not want to get wet, picking a spot in a dry zone would be important for you because some people left the show soaked. The show was really interesting. A mix of showing trick and also education about killer whales. Of course the girls loved it.
After the show we made our way to the Sesame Street Bay of Play because I knew the girls would enjoy a few rides-and that is all we really got to do was 1 or 2 rides. These rides are more like kiddie carnival rides but perfect for my two and five year olds.
Elsie had to ride the Elmo’s Dolphin Dive. It is essentially the frog hopper ride that we see at the state fair and other carnivals. This tends to be one of her favorite kiddie rides.
Then the three of us went on Big Bird’s Spinning Reef which got lots of giggles from Evie. The other ride that they went on was Grover’s Round Up-which is their version of a carousel while I waited in line to get lunch.
There are a few character photo opportunities available here but the only one that we took part in was a picture with the mermaid. She’s not Ariel but the girls didn’t seem to notice.
After lunch we walked around a bit. If you had older children there are a few more thrill rides you could do and Elsie would have but she wasn’t tall enough yet. She is so close to that 48″ inch requirement but not quite there so she did ride the rides that she could except the Shamu coaster because the line for that was WAY too long. She enjoyed the Rio Loco-a raft ride and the Journey to Atlantis with her dad. They were water rides so it’s a good thing her dad was along because it wasn’t that warm and I really didn’t want to get wet. While we were there, they were constructing a new family roller coast (48″ height requirement)-The Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster which opens June 16th. That looks like a lot of fun too!
Her absolute favorite ride was the Journey to Atlantis. For some reason, I was nervous about her going on this ride. It went up so high and the drop was pretty steep but she had no fears. I really got nervous when it got shut down while they were waiting in line due to some malfunctions. But she wouldn’t get out of line and John was okay with it so I knew I just had to relax. Oh boy-the joy on her face at the end was priceless!!
SOAKED!! I could hear her squeal with delight that she wanted to go again. This excitement is what we do all this for!
We did make it to one other show which was the Beluga Whales and Dolphin show. The girls loved this and made the list of one of their top things of the day.
There were a few animal exhibits throughout SeaWorld and then also over at Discovery Cove-another part of the complex where you could book animal encounters. This was actually mine and John’s favorite part of the day-it was relaxing and fun to just look at the animals.
The penguins were in the main part of the park but it was fun to see them and for Elsie to identify them. Earlier in the school year they had a week where they learned about penguins and two months later Elsie could remember which species each of them were. I was VERY impressed!
Overall, we enjoyed the day because the girl enjoyed their day. I am not sure we would go back again to this one, or to one in a different location-maybe if they were both older and could do the rides but I don’t think I would go back just for the rides either so I don’t know.