First Trip to Sea World

We typically go to San Antonio twice a year. Camden has an appointment. We have these crazy amazing friends we stay with, and we just make a little vacay out of it. Last Spring, we had contemplated taking the boys to Sea World, but we just weren’t sure we were ready. When we try new adventures, I like to set us up for success as much as possible. I thought it would be best to experiment during an off-peak time. So when we were in San Antonio a couple weeks ago, we had planned on giving Sea World a whirl. We visited at the end of October on a Friday. My husband’s employer had some slightly discounted tickets for $28 a piece and parking was $17. The deals on line weren’t much different, but we saved a few dollars. I had read that the park does 50% off tickets for those with special needs as well as one caretaker. It’s not on their site, but when I called Customer Correspondence at 210.523.3115 they confirmed that it was true. The catch is that it’s 50% off of regular priced tickets, which didn’t save us any money at that time. Maybe it would during peak times? You can check out their Accessibility Guide for more info on rides, bringing in food, and such. As soon as we entered the park, we headed to Guest Services for a fast pass type thing to help avoid lines. It was easy. Turns out that we didn’t use it since it was so slow while we were there. It’s nice to know that it’s available if we did need it though. They were accommodating about allowing us to bring in food for Camden. We did have some juice boxes, and since they don’t allow straws in the park, we’ll plan that better next time.

Mama and Boys Sea World

So silly, I know, but when I see how much they are growing, it floors me.
So silly, I know, but when I see how much they are growing, it floors me and makes it feel like there is cut glass on my throat. Sigh. They are well on there way to “steel eel” status.

The day of our visit, the park was open from 12PM-9PM. We should’ve utilized our time better and eaten before we entered, but we didn’t. Camden was fine and dandy because he had his yummy food. We ate some not so scrumptious cuisine that tasted like it was a day old, which could’ve been the case since it was an off-peak time. We hardly ate any of it, and the manager was kind to refund our money.

the guys NOT eating

We cruised over to the Bay of Play which has rides, splash pad, playground, carousel, climbing area, roller coaster, etc.

Bay of PlayMy little guy loved the climbing nets! He enjoys anything that slightly resembles American Ninja Warrior. Carson also liked the splash pad. Camden did try some rides and had me in a head lock every time. He’s a cautious creature…which is why it completely FLOORED us when he walked Brian over to the Shamu Express roller coaster for multiple rides. I love when he does stuff like that for two reasons: 1) It’s exciting to see him try new things and push himself. 2) It’s a great reminder to us that we don’t have him pegged. Like all of us, he is ever-changing and growing.

We did spend some time at the Flamingo Cove. Camden loved watching the various birds. I found it interesting that he never seemed to flinch when they got up in his space. There were machines nearby where you could buy bird food, so the boys enjoyed feeding them. Camden could’ve stayed much longer, but I had to move us along. At this point, we’d only done the rides and seen birds. There was also a little train-type thing, called the Sea World Express, that Camden had to ride a few times.

Flamingo Cove and TrainThen we moved on to our first show, the “One Ocean Shamu Show.” Camden didn’t know what to expect, but he was such a trooper about waiting patiently. I also think it helped that we were there at an off-peak time and didn’t have to get into the show crazy early. Here is one of the many smiles that was plastered to Camden’s face. The kid was so very happy.

Camden smiles

One Ocean Shamu ShowWe checked out another show called Azul that incorporated dolphins, Beluga whales, birds, acrobats, etc. It was entertaining, but Camden had a definite preference for the killer whales. Brian rode a crazy coaster by himself while we waited, and then we headed to our last show that started at 6PM.

Sea World Family shotWe had been told that the park transformed at 7PM for their Fright Fest thing. I don’t like scary stuff and didn’t want the kids terrified, so we knew we needed to head out after the show. Our plan was to see the 6PM show and then drive to a Tex-Mex restaurant we enjoyed back in college, even though it’s not nearly as tasty as it once was. Since the earlier killer whale show that we saw in the same arena was pretty tame, we thought it’d be fun to move closer to the action. We opted for front and center. How fun! Right? Well…this time they meant business when they said “splash zone.” Things were going fine and dandy till they did a shpeel about how the killer whales, like us, have different personalities, likes and dislikes, but there was one thing they all had in common. Serioulsy…it was like slow motion. Brian and I looked at each other slightly panicked. “THEY ALL LOVE TO SPLASH!!!” We sat there in the center of that 2nd row and took a major drenching from head to toe. Our kid that we thought would be super upset, was loving it! Our kid that we thought would be happy, was a wee bit emotional. Carson had already used his dry set of clothes since he’d done the splash pad. So not only was Camden the only one of us to eat a decent lunch, he was the only one who had dry clothes to change in to. We kept with our plan to go to dinner, wet denim and all.

Camden's many smiles during the Shamu show
Camden’s many smiles during the Shamu show.
Wet Dogs

Camden, who typically likes to get out of his wet clothes just as soon as he’s finished in the water, walked to the exit like this:

That is one happy and wet kid!
That is one happy and wet kid!

I admit. I was slightly uneasy that we didn’t see more exhibits. I like to check-check and see as much as possible. We didn’t see the penguins or the aquarium or dolphins or alligators. None of it. No sea life exhibits other than the birds. I know Camden (and Carson) would’ve enjoyed them, but it just didn’t happen. Since we are always pushing Camden to be more flexible, it was probably a good lesson for the mama as well.

Until next time…

Daddy and the boys at Sea WorldI’d love to hear if you have any tips or special memories of Sea World.  It was a good fit for our family, and we hope to make it back next time we are in San Antonio.

Next time, I’ll share about one of our family’s favorite play places…Morgan’s Wonderland.


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