Sea World - Help with first visit in 34 years!

We will be visiting Sea World on our spring trip. This is the first time DH and I have been since we were kids. We will have DD5 (turning 6 on trip) and DDad (he will be using a scooter). I need some help in planning out a day at Sea World. DD loves seals and it looks like the one attraction for them will be closed. Any must do’s and a suggested order (best things to do first or end of day) that you can suggest? Best places for eating lunch? Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

When are you going? The previous SeaLion show has closed, and the theater is currently being refurbed for the new show, set to debut “this spring”, but all signs are pointing to early March. Even without the show, Sea Lions and Seals can be seen out in their habitat at Pacific Point Preserve. Your DD can even feed the sea lions there, for something like $5 for 4 or 5 pieces of fish.

I just recently gave my advice for a SW touring plan, let me dig that out and link to it here: Seaworld Advice

Of course, that TP was not taking into account any children. You’re going to have to build in some time for Shamu’s Happy Harbor, the “kiddie” section of the park. There are a few attractions there, and several playground-type things. I would still recommend doing the “big” attractions (Manta, Antarctica, Kraken) first, but then you can work Shamu’s Happy Harbor in at roughly the same time you make it to Wild Arctic, as they’re very close to each other.

My favorite lunch location in the park is probably Expedition Café, in the Antarctica section. There are several “stations”, similar in set up to a food court, and most parties can find at least one dish at one of the sections that they’ll enjoy.

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Oh, also make sure you download the SeaWorld app for your phone before you go. Lately they’ve been giving push alerts for various deals in the park as soon as you enter. I was just there today, and it gave me three different deals: a free shot at the Hoops basketball game near Key West, $1 off a souvenir refillable cup, and 10% off Voyager’s Smokehouse after 3pm. The app is also pretty great for finding your way around the park - if you choose an attraction or animal or restaurant you want to go to, it will show you a map of the park with the walking directions highlighted right on the map from your current location to your destination. If you’re not familiar with the park layout, it can be a big help.

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@Mr_Itty gave great advice. I would like to add a few more things.

If you have time and want extra time with the sea lions and seals, there is a tour called the Sea Lion and Otter Up-Close tour. The highlight of the tour is getting to feed a bucket of fish to the animals - and it’s not a small bucket, either! :slight_smile: @Mr_Itty and I have done it, and we both enjoyed it.

My favorite show is Blue Horizons, and I highly recommend watching it. Things have changed a lot in 34 years, so I also recommend studying the map (found on their website) and clicking around to see what your family might enjoy. The website is also great for planning your day around the shows, as it will list show times of each day (subject to change).

I hope you have a wonderful time - and please don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you have them. We are big fans. :slight_smile:

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@Mr_Itty and @Journey_On, thank you both so much for this information. I started with the web site and was like WOW! I need some help! I am going to look at all of these things and then I will be in touch again with some follow-up questions I am sure! The tour sounds like a great idea and I didn’t realize they had an app! I truly appreciate your assistance! We will be going April 2-April 10th. Planning to go Tuesday the 7th.

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In Nov I did the Expedition tour. For a very reasonable price 79 for adults and 59 for kids it included 6 hour tour, feeding sting rays and sea lions, special seating at shows, all you can eat all day, and the equivalent of fast pass for every ride

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wow, that tour sounds like an awesome way to get a lot done at the park!

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It was a great way to do the park. There were only five of us in the tour and this included two children. The crowds were low at least for Disney standards and the express pass was great. I did Manta over and over. If you go mid week the admission tkt is discounted so it is easier to justify adding the cost of the tour. I was amazed that it included food all day!

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I will have Ddad with a scooter. Did you find the tour would be an issue with a scooter? He can get off and walk to sit at a show or to transfer to a ride. He just can’t go all day walking in a park. This tour could be a good fit for us if the scooter could be accommodated easily.

Think it should be fine. You do the rides before, after and during “lunch” break. Tour itself does not do rides. We had great seats for the shows and did not have to wait in line to feed the sea lions and rays. Oh I forgot we did do the ride the polar express. The tour was definitely worth the money.

So does the tour include taking you to the shows and feeding the sea lions and rays? Do they break for lunch in the middle? Just trying to see how this would fit together for the day.

Exactly three shows I believe, both feedings petting Dolphins etc

Jec4289 - Did you have to have a special ticket for the tour? I purchased it but it doesn’t show on the park ticket printout that I got via email. So do we just use that ticket to get in and then go to the park reservation counter that morning to check in for the tour?

Hi I believe I just got an email confirmation when I booked. ThenWhen I got to the park I went to guest services and they had my name on a list did not even need the copy of the confirmation I had printed. As long as you have proof of payment ( in the unlikely event of a problem) you should be fine. If you are still worried I would just give them a call They were very nice. Have a great trip

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Thank you. I will post back here about our experience. Thanks for all of the advice @jec4289, @Journey_On and @Mr_Itty!

Hi @pamperedpup. Just wanted to give some updates, since a couple things have changed since your original questions:

  1. The new SeaLion show officially opens on April 16, but just yesterday started “technical rehearsals”. Any given day, there may or may not be a show. Check the schedule on the back of the park map as soon as you get there to see if there is one that day.

  2. Dolphin Cove has reopened. The Dolphin feedings have been replaced with the new Dolphin Encounter. You do not feed the dolphins any longer, but instead are instructed by a trainer in giving them visual commands to have the dolphins perform behaviors like waves, jumps, and slide outs. It’s a much more intimate experience than the old feedings were. It’s just you and one other party with a trainer and your dolphin.

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