Thursday, March 14, 2013

SeaWorld San Antonio - Family fun...yes, even with a teenager in tow


I take my kids out of school early every year for Spring Break.


I am a people person but not in large Disney World size quantities.

We loaded up the car and got ourselves into full road trip mode. Headed out to San Antonio which is about a 3 hour -ish drive from our town.

I'm not sure how many times my family visited San Antonio when I was a kid but I do know that I cherish the memories from the times we were there. Especially my memories at SeaWorld in San Antonio.
I have always loved the water whether it was a pool or the ocean I never had any fears. Sharks, sting rays, manta rays, drowning....I knew these things existed, I understood they could hurt me and I took precautions but I don't remember ever feeling fearful of the water.
But SeaWorld San Antonio truly sparked my interest in marine life when I was a kid. I can remember being mesmerized by Beluga whales and the smiles they wore on their faces. I recall being completely happy watching the dolphins and feeding them fish from the little paper trays. I used to wait around before and after the shows, lurking....hoping and praying that I would get picked for some sort of interaction with the animals. I never was picked for any interaction with the animals...I'm not sure why because I was pretty snazzy in my high side ponytail, Hyper color t shirt and neon shorts.
My love for marine life has not waned although I never did go on to be a marine biologist like I wanted to....and my grandfather likes to remind me of this in a loving way. I'm assuming that I talked about it a lot.
So, taking my own children to SeaWorld to spark their own love for the place seems natural. My husband and I first took our oldest to SeaWorld in the sweltering heat of a normal Texas summer when he was just 18 months old. A little young because, honestly he could have cared less. The next time we took the trip was when we had three children. And it was much better.
Reason one: we have vowed to each other to never visit in the summertime again. Don't get me wrong, SeaWorld San Antonio has some amazing things happening in the summer but I just can't comprehend traipsing through the whole park in 100 degree weather while dragging three sweaty, hungry and thirsty kids. So that is our secret to travel success....early Spring traveling.
The park was pretty much empty when we arrived last Thursday and it was beautiful outside! We dressed in layers and as the day went on I shoved every one's hoodies in to the backpack (Sea World essential #1).
SeaWorld San Antonio really has something for everyone and the shows are enjoyed by all ages. If a sea lion can make my 14 year old laugh than I can promise you that it will make everyone in your family happy.



We enjoyed every show the park had to offer that day....with no lines and no time restraints other than closing time we took on whatever the day brought.

The Beluga show, Azul, was amazing with all of the high flying aerobatics and colorful costumes I think the whole family was engaged. The Shamu show, One Ocean was magical as always. It seemed shorter for some reason but still --just a wonder to see the size of the creatures and the beauty they hold.


 Cannery Row Caper, the sea lion show, was hilarious. Everyone was cracking up and when the gigantic walrus showed up we were just in awe of his size.

Dolphin Cove, is still one of my favorite places to be in Sea World. Just that little bit of interaction and the chance to see these beautiful animals up close and personal makes you feel good inside. We ended up at Dolphin Cove twice during the day.

I missed out on The Great White this time but I promise to make it next time. The Steel Eel is always thrilling and never disappoints a roller coaster enthusiast. My 6 year old was so excited that he was finally old enough to hop on....his face from the roller coaster cam was priceless. We also love the smaller rides over at Sesame Street Bay of Play so that my youngest can explore everything and not be hindered by height requirements. A lot of the rides are a bit too babyish for him already...he's a pretty adventurous kiddo and the slow moving stuff just isn't his thing. But the boat ride, carousel and Shamu Express roller coaster that's nearby are the perfect speed.

The staff at SeaWorld San Antonio was just amazing.....extremely friendly and helpful. The picture of all three of us feeding the dolphins....wasn't taken by my husband (he and the oldest went to see the sharks while we hung out with the dolphins) it was taken by one of the Dolphin Cove staff! She took my camera after seeing me struggle to take pictures while doling out fish to the kiddos to feed the hungry dolphins. She took so many great shots and it was nice to actually be in the picture to remember my own day at SeaWorld instead of being the photographer.

We had a sneak peek at Aquatica while we were walking around...and I can not wait to try it out! It opened on March 2nd but I wasn't brave enough to test out the cold water even if the weather was perfect. We are planning on making it a weekend trip when the weather warms up a bit more. My must try....hanging out with the sting cool will that be?!
A few tips for SeaWorld:

  • Bring a backpack so that you and your travel partners can take turns hauling all of your hoodies, snacks and wallets.
  • SeaWorld San Antonio allows a 6 pack size lunchbox or cooler. No straws. I have a diabetic husband so we definitely packed a few chocolate covered granola bars just in case. When the kids were younger we packed more but now that they're older they don't need to snack as much. We ate a huge breakfast at the hotel before heading to SeaWorld and we knew where we were having dinner that night so the only meal we planned on having in the park was lunch. Kid menu prices are very reasonable.
  • Pack a hand towel and wipes for any sticky or messy accidents with seats, drinks, etc.
  • Give the kiddos a limit on souvenirs. We told the kids they had $10 each to spend. I know this doesn't seem like much but let's be honest here....eventually all of those treasured souvenirs become garage sale pieces in about a year...don't go overboard.
  • That money you saved in souvenirs....use it to feed the dolphins (or any other animal). It's an experience! Make memories!
  • Wear comfy shoes and dress in layers (depending on the weather). I wore my trusty TOMS and they were fine for a full day of walking but others might disagree. Pack flip flops in that backpack! I forgot to throw my youngest son's flip flops in the bag before we left and I regretted it all day. He could have been in the Splash Zone more often if I wouldn't have been worried about him going on strike after walking in wet shoes and socks.
  • Throw a few Band aids in the bag..those little ones get excited and start running and concrete does not feel too great on elbows and knees.

Be sure to check out all that SeaWorld San Antonio has to offer for every season....Spring Nights are happening NOW. I really wish we lived closer so that frequent weekend trips to San Antonio were possible. This would be a great time to experience all of the cool nighttime shows. SeaWorld San Antonio is great place to reconnect with your family and get away from the mundane day to day activities. Get outside, explore, experience and make memories with your family. They grow up too fast...there is no perfect time to take a road trip, take the time you have.

We did receive passes to Sea World San Antonio for this trip....all opinions are always my own. And all fun had is completely honest. We love it here.

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