One of our favorite places to visit is Sea World. We have been down to Sea World San Antonio three times since we have had children. This weekend we are back at Sea World for a quick visit before our passes expire. San Antonio is a quick 5-hour drive from the DFW area.
Sea World is a great place for a quick family getaway. Every time we visit Sea World the kids enjoy something different. Sometimes they are really into the whales, dolphins and other sea animals. Other times they are really excited by all the different shows that are available. On this trip the rides and the pet show were a hit with the girls. There is enough fun stuff to do at Sea World to keep it interesting across multiple visits.
One big difference on this trip, they have done away with the dolphin feeding. There is now a dolphin touch experience that costs $12 per person. We did this today and it has its advantages and disadvantages. The kids interacted directly with a Sea World employee and a dolphin. He got the dolphin sitting up and posed for them so they could get a good interaction. He even nudged the dolphin closer to the wall so short arms could reach. It is our understanding that parents can accompany young children at no cost, but of course you are just there to supervise. It can be more expensive and the interaction time is shorter.
Like most amusement parks, Sea World can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Here are a few of the tips and tricks we use to keep costs as low as possible:
- If you are visiting more than one day I would definitely check out the Fun Pass. The Fun Pass is the same cost as a single day ticket but can get you in for several visits. Depending on the promotion, a Fun Pass can be good till the end of the year, for a year from date of purchase, and sometimes over a year. Our Fun Passes were purchased in September 2012 and expire in early 2014! (Fall is the best time for a big promo.)
- Visiting the park for more than one day? Look into upgrading one of your passes to a 1 year pass. The cost is about $30 more but a 1 year pass covers parking ($15 a day) and gives a 20% discount on food and some gift stores.
- Use the Sea World policy on outside food to your advantage. It is one of the more interesting policies for outside food. You are allowed a “reasonable” amount of bottled water, regular sized snacks, and even opened beverages like sodas or sports drinks.
- Bring a refillable water bottle. All of the Sea World beverage stations will fill your bottle with ice cold water for free. It is bad for business if the guests die from heat stroke.
- Do you know someone that has been to Sea World? Ask them if they have a souvenir cup you can borrow.
- If your kids like face painting, save yourself some money and buy some temporary tattoos at Party City. Our kids love them and at $1 a pack they are downright cheap compared to face painting at Sea World. On our last visit a little girl with full face paint was jealous of our daughter’s Ariel tattoo 🙂
- I don’t know how your family does souvenirs, but ours get one item at a reasonable price. The girls are told to be on the lookout while we are in the park. Parents have the final say. This limits some of the difficulties that can come with consumerism in amusement parks.
- Stay in a hotel on the 151 corridor. The first time we came to Sea World we made the mistake of staying on 410 and got stuck in traffic all the time! The hotels across the highway from Sea World can be expensive in the peak season. We are staying at the Springhill Suites at 151 and 410 and it is the best hotel we have stayed in down this way.
- If you have time in San Antonio and have young children, you MUST check out the children’s museum in downtown San Antonio. We spent a whole day at the museum on our last trip.
If you were observant, you noted that my title indicated there was some bonus material on this post. Another one of my favorite things is my Nasa Flo sinus cleansing pot. These are also referred to as neti pots. What is it? It is a little tea pot shaped thing that you use to flush mucus out of your sinuses…eww! BUT the feeling is amazing. Ok…it is really weird the first few times you do it, but after that it is amazing.
Here’s how it works. In the little pot you mix up some of the sinus cleansing solution with bottled water. Don’t use tap water since it can have chlorine and other things that might actually inflame your sinuses. Lean over the sink. Tilt your head to one side and place the spout of the Nasa Flo into your nostril. Prepare yourself! The water will go up your nose and into your sinuses and out the other side. And with it goes all sorts of horrible stuff like mucus and allergens.
There is something in the air that is driving me nuts right now and there is nothing better than having a good cleanse in the morning and the evening. My wife appreciates it because it limits or does away with my snoring. I appreciate it because I feel super. I know it sounds freaky but you should really give it a try. Of course my experience may be different than yours and it is always a good idea to consult a physician before sticking anything in your body.