I thought so too, but I never see it. I can see the animal show times & such…
DH and I were at Sea World this past August and had a great time, aside from just about passing out from the heat. There was a beer festival going on, so we spent a fair amount of time trying a bunch of samples. The park feels HUGE and it’s a long walk from one side of the park to the other.
Sesame Street was delightful and completely redone from the last time we were there with the kids. It reminded me of HP at Universal, only for younger kids. Lots of interactive stuff. I seem to recall that there was a meet and greet inside of Mr. Hooper’s store. I don’t recall seeing a schedule, though - but I wasn’t looking for one.
And completely agree that the best rides are Atlantis and Manta. Though honestly, we didn’t ride anything else
My absolute favorite thing at SeaWorld though is the penguins. I could watch them all day…
What a cute penguin shoulder pet!
I looked at the App this morning and during my trip they will be having an Elmo Birthday Celebration with meet & greets. I’m hoping that will make it easier to find them!
This was the San Antonio one, but my family enjoyed our one day there in 2018 with very little advance planning. It was unlike other parks in many ways so there was a lot to see and experience. At the time my kids were fairly small so we weren’t focused so much on thrill rides, as we would be today.
@darkmite2 - curiously following along…
I have an upcoming solo trip planned ( 4 weeks out ) on the hope for a Tron preview. If I don’t get Tron then it’s 2 days Universal Mardi Gras and I haven’t been to SeaWorld in decades so it’s definitely an option and I enjoyed BG Williamsburg enough to pick up the membership that includes all SW/BG parks. Lol tried like crazy to get my kids to go to SeaWorld San Diego on Friday ( they choose the zoo )
How many days are you allocating for it?
Are you doing Aquatica too? That’s where I get stuck…
Any ideas where to find any type of crowd calendar?
I’m only going one day and I’m not doing Aquatica. I got a great deal from Orlando Informer on the ticket. ($80 and includes All Day Dinning)
It’s not that I’m opposed to Aquatica, but I don’t have enough time. (And $$$ )
I’ve never found a crowd calendar for SeaWorld. I know they aren’t as busy as Universal or WDW. I knew February was slower at Universal so I feel OK it will be good there. Plus, I am going on a Wednesday. I am going to buy the $20 Fast Pass from them even if it is slow. That’s low enough to be worth it even in a day you might not “need” it.
This is where I’m going to start my SeaWorld TR. I’m going to go to my UOR TR and get all the stuff I already typed there and put it all in one place over here…
I’m already at SeaWorld. I didn’t intend to come this early, but I am here an hour before RD. I will say that I wasn’t first here or anything! There’s already a very small collection of people at the main gate.
I schedule a delayed ride to time out my arrival so I would be here about 20 - 30 minutes before park opening. My driver showed up in about 2 minutes! Plus, it was only a 3 - 4 minute drive!
At least they have a few shaded benches along the path to the main gate!
Ok…so…30 minutes before opening they let you go through security screening and wait at the taps
It is odd as there are only 2 staff standing on their side of the entrance. No one knows which entry queues are going to be the ones used to enter. People are shuffling all around and are lining up in front of people already waiting. It’s not as bad as I may make it seem as this is the entire RD “crowds”
I just loathe disorganized situations
Ok…it did get hectic and a little “pushy” as they only opened 2 taps and people “funneled” to them.
I went to guest services right away and got my unlimited food wristband, my fast pass and I made an appointment to meet a dolphin!
The rides don’t start for a few more minutes as the let us in about 20 minutes early.
Animal exhibits are open early. I decided to go pet and feed a Stingray!
The rides are going and of course all the non planners stopped at the first attraction by the entrance. I’m going to the back of the park…
I rode Kraken…
It was a bit of a head rattling ride!! I hope that this isn’t going to be theme today with SeaWorld’s traditional big coasters.
Not as rough as Hulk or RRR
Visited my first aquarium of the day. Wow!
I have the all day dining plan. I’m not going to make it a food challenge or anything.
I wanted to activate it and I needed caffeine. I present you Captain Pete’s Hot Dog Island
The fries were inedible and hard as rocks. This is a chili dog with half a teaspoon of chili on it. The dog is a Nathan’s and it’s great. I threw it away…I wasn’t going to finish it anyway
I met a dolphin!!! It was amazing! Highly recommend!
SeaWorld is a lot of fun. If I was local I would get the AP for all the SeaWorld/Busch Gardens parks.
So… the aquariums are great. Kraken was the only ride that rattled me around.
I’ve been on everything and Icebreaker three times. The crowds are light enough that Quick Queue isn’t really needed, but I walked on everything instead of waiting for a couple cycles…
I know it’s my first day here, but the park is a bit hard to navigate. It reminds me of Six Flags (not a bad thing). The lack of “lands” and winding paths can make it confusing. I have made a full lap and have a decent idea on how to get around. I did get spun in circles a couple times though!!
I’ll keep going soon, but now it’s time for the Dolphin show!
Hey! The afternoon got hectic and not all in pleasant ways.
First let me catch up on the food.
I ate at 4 eateries. They did improve as the day went on. However, nothing was impressive or something I would’ve paid for. (My dining plan was free / included with my discounted ticket)
The popular Voyagers Smokehouse…
I come from a famous BBQ city. I know theme park BBQ can’t compete. This was a bit fatty and the chicken very dry. Not bad, but not good.
Next Waterway Grill
This is the steak… It was my favorite of all of the items today, but a bit bland. All the flavor is the sauce. The chocolate cake was good. It had that “defrosted” taste, but still good
Finally, a Chicken Caesar Wrap from Expedition Burger. Why a chicken wrap at a burger place? If you saw how sad and pale those wet cafeteria hamburger patties were you’d have gotten the chicken too!!
One major issue…no Caesar dressing at all. It had all the usual elements, but totally dry!
SeaWorld is filming ads today. They shut down multiple rides throughout the day for filming without notice. I was in line for a second Manta ride and they said we could stay and wait 30+ minutes or come back
Then, a locker wouldn’t open with all my stuff inside. It took 15 minutes to get someone to come to the lockers to open it. They don’t have locker attendants. I had to talk to multiple staff to find someone to radio another person who could assist.
The last eatery I wanted to go to was closed. I don’t know if they closed early or never opened. It was around 3:30pm. I bet they never opened.
After that, I bought a ticket to the Sky Tower. Right at my turn to board it went down. They said it wouldn’t reopen today. Then I had to stand in queue until a manager could come up to give refunds…
Ok…I’ve been waiting for the Orca show. I didn’t know it was only 2 shows a day. It is a must do, so I had to work my late afternoon around it. It’s about to start…
That drama was really about all of it! It happened in cascading order, so that’s how it really got me down for a couple hours. You know who made me feel better? This guy!
A Cookie Monster hug can fix anything!
Sesame Street Land is great! Definitely one of, maybe the best, themed area for toddlers and very small children. I’m talking about ages 7 and under. Not saying a 10 year old wouldn’t like it, but it is targeted at that younger demographic.
There’s plenty of rides and they’re spread out. They do a “parade”. It’s a street show that spans most of the land. The performers all come out and hit their marks. You get a up close show, but if you child HAS to see Big Bird you need to go find him and sit there.
As you see there is an indoor photo spot to meet the characters. They have 2 out at a time. …
I left off at Sesame Street…
There’s lots of free interactive buttons to press and games to play. You can also buy a “wand” or something similar to do more interactions. There also is a paper scavenger hunt.
Basically, it’s a must do for the young & young at heart!
The lockers… interestingly they act like a hybrid between the Universal lockers and the upcoming Tron lockers. (Yes…I still pay attention to what my Ex is doing…don’t judge me!)
You can do a single purchase or all day rental. The single rental is $2 for two hours. Your ride queue times are not a factor. That’s your locker now for that time.
An all day transferable to every ride is $10. That’s the best way.
How it works is you provide an 9 digit pin you want… (that was pressure I wasn’t expecting! )
This is your account ID
Then you provide a 4 digit code to use at the locker door.
(I was quaking trying to think of numbers that I don’t use for banking! )
Now, every time you need a locker you go to a terminal at the locker area…(There were typically 4 in most bays. )
You input that info and you are assigned a locker and provided a receipt in case you forget you number. (Like Universal though if you do forget just go to any terminal and it will tell you)
You input you pin on the locker door and done!
I would love to hear more about this.
Also, did you ride the Journey to Atlantis?
I’m not even started with my SeaWorld TR… don’t worry! I admit I’ve put it off because I have so much to say… I’ll try to add something new today
Take your time! I just read the first entries & that comment/question came to mind.
After actually reading everything I can remember some things and I have notes in my phone…
Let’s go ahead and back track to the Dolphin Encounter. I probably should have been more in-depth as it was the most incredible experience of the day. (Possibly of my life!!)
To arrange for an encounter you can either purchase a ticket online / Guest Services / Dolphin Encounter Booth…
You pay per person in your party. Then you are put in a group. Your group is then given 15 - 20 minutes of time to learn about, play with and pet a dolphin. This is your total time. A family of four will have to divide up between themselves this allotment. They don’t tell you the exact time. Since I was solo I got the whole “group” to myself. I did see families doing and the trainers are good at making sure everyone has their turn to engage with the dolphin. You can not use your phone at all. They will take your photo for you. You can purchase that picture, separately, as you exit.
The price for this is only $30 / person!!??!! If you are ever there, this is one of the few things I will ever insist is a “must-do” for others. The cost is so reasonable and the experience so much fun that I have to recommend it. I do believe the pricing, like most things at SeaWorld / Universal, is date-based / surge pricing. Since this was a slow Wednesday in February I got the minimum price. I don’t know what it goes up to in peak times. I’d probably consider paying it though. This was amazing!
You get to do the hand signals for tricks as the trainer rewards them with food. You only engage with one dolphin. So that is nice that it’s a “personal” encounter. You get to pet them, they’ll splash you and all the other stuff you hope to do with a dolphin if you got “picked” for a theme park show or something. You can and are encouraged to ask as many questions as you can think of.
The photo is where they “get” you. If you bought the photo pass for the day, this is included. If you haven’t, this is where you have to decide, “Do I spend $30 for one picture or $75 for an entire day of photographer and ride photos??” if you like your dolphin picture. I opted for the single picture. They do provide an acrylic frame for it. At least that’s something… too often they are paper/cardboard frames.
I’m glad I signed up as I entered the park. I did see a queue when I came for my check-in time. Again, it was a very slow park / crowd day. I can only imagine how long that queue is on a July day!
They have these bus stop style recharge stations scattered about the parks. They didn’t look comfortable, but you have easy access to a USB charger…
Also, I love collecting Pressed Pennies. However, it can be annoying never knowing how many machines are in the park. Also, when a machine rotates a new design you have to figure out where that machine is in the park, At SeaWorld they are numbered! You’ll know exactly how many to “complete” your set and where they are located!!
This sounds great. DD16 said just yesterday that she most wants to interact with a Dolphin (she used other words haha but I can’t remember exactly what she said). Anyway, there’s an experience on the cruise we are going on, but it’s very pricey and the reviews were bad.
It seemed serendipitous that you wrote about this today and I read it. It’s now on my list for next year. I’ll probably spring for the pictures afterwards .
I’ve only just started SeaWorld researching–looking forward to reading more!
Here are a few random pictures from the day! There are so many shows and exhibits that I couldn’t do them all AND all the rides in one day.
Let’s talk rides!!!
I put it off on purpose as SeaWorld rides target a specific audience - coaster enthusiasts! These are the type of rides you’d find at Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Kings Island, Busch Gardens…
If you are not a thrill seeker or have people in your group that are bashful about “big” coasters, you’ll still have plenty to do with shows & exhibits. However, there are very limited options for more “Disney” level thrills
Kraken - “Traditional” sit down coaster with over the shoulder restrain. Roughest ride of the day. Did not repeat
Manta - You ride laying face down to the ground. Very smooth and fun! Rode it twice
Mako - Lap / stomach restrain and very smooth - like VelociCoaster. This one is about big hills / drops!! No inversions!! I loved it and rode it twice
Journey Into Atlantis - This is SeaWorld’s “Matterhorn”. Hybrid log flume / coaster. The dark ride portion is underwhelming, but nice. The coaster portions aren’t “rough”, but rumble you around. I wanted to love this. It was only “cute”. If there’s no / low wait, you should definitely do it! You will get mildly wet, but not soaked. (No need for a poncho!!)
Sky Tower - The first ride at the park. Looks fun and is only $5. I attempted to do it, but it went down for the remainder of the day
Infinity Falls - I didn’t want to get soaked today and didn’t do this. I’m sad as it looked fun! You start by going up a lift hill - like a log flume. You splash down that hill, like a flume, and then start the regular raft experience! You definitely get soaked!! I saw many people getting off that one dripping from head-to-toe!!
Ice Breaker - I did this more than anything as there was no wait and it’s the ONLY ride on that side of the park. Super fun for all ages. Imagine one of those “Viking ship” / “Dragon” swinging rides mixed with a small coaster. You launch and have to keep launching back & forth until your vehicle can make it over the big drop hill and the coaster starts. I don’t think it’s worth a long wait though. (60+ min.)
Paddle Boats - Not open… Could be fun! Limited capacity. You could be waiting a while to get one. (Maybe they have a queue system / return time or something…)
That’s it! That’s all the rides (not counting Sesame Street Land)
It was easy to do everything on a slow day. I didn’t really need the “Quick Queue” pass. Most rides I would’ve only waited one cycle or so. Heck, OFTEN, no one was monitoring the Quick Queue. You could walk right up to the train. The only “proof” you have is a ticket and you don’t have to display it.
Those are the big highlights of my day. Here’s some miscellaneous topics I had in my notes.
Security - Once you get past the main gates you don’t see many, if any, uniformed officers. I asked Guest Services about this. They said they prefer to have more plain clothes officers in the parks. “What happens if I need someone and can’t identify them as security or someone in “plain clothes” says they are an officer?” They didn’t have a straight answer, only generic assurances about safety.
Park Maps - OMG!!! You are going to need one. The App doesn’t list any of the restaurants and the App can be “fussy” about looking at certain things. There is ONLY ONE PLACE to get a paper map!! Guest Services at the main gate. They don’t even have them conveniently placed out. You have to wait in a queue just to get a map!! I thought I had a good grasp of the App and didn’t take a map when I should’ve. I had to backtrack to the very front gate to get a map. They aren’t available in shops, kiosks or any “normal” place you’d find a park map at other venues!!
All-Day-Dining = This is not worth it unless you commit to eating two meals. The food is not even on par with fast food. I’ve had better BBQ / Chipotle / Hot Dogs & Hamburgers at many, many fast food places. I’m not saying it’s gross. It just shouldn’t be something to look forward to. Also, do not buy this à la carte.
I saw this dining plan offered at multiple places as a “free” add-on to a ticket. I got my ticket with dining plan included through Orlando Informer for $80. I don’t know what to recommend about food. You are going to get hungry… If you get one of these third party vendor tickets that’s already cheaper than the main gate price with food included then it’s no big deal. I’d just couldn’t see myself being an Annual Passholder and eating inside the parks often.
Shows - There are so many shows. SeaWorld is smart about spreading out crowds with these offerings. I don’t think it would be impossible to plan a route to see them all in one day. However, that would be the focus of your day!
Ride Share Drop-Off / Pick-Up - SeaWorld is less than 10 minutes from Universal. I was very surprised how fast I got there. The ride share area is very easy to find and marked well along with the taxis and buses. My drop-off & pick-up drivers had no issue knowing where to go. This was very reassuring to a first timer. I know getting to some Disney & Universal areas via ride share isn’t always easy!
“Service Charge” on all purchases - I had heard of this and it’s so infuriating! Normally, if you buy a t-shirt for $30 you expect to see some tax on the receipt. What you shouldn’t see is a “service charge” on top of tax and the purchase price.
SeaWorld claims that rising costs mean they need to increase costs. Ok…I’m fine with it. However, this is a bad way to do it. It feels more like a nickel & dime money grab at the register. Most people may not even notice if they don’t look at their receipts!!! Just go around the park and fix your pricing. Don’t add another 5% “flat tax” on everything you buy in the parks. It’s so tacky!! Plus, I can’t imagine the cost of every item has gone up by 5%!!. (If Disney did this it would make national headlines of outrage!)
I really did have a fun day!! An annual pass “pays for itself” on the second visit. Right now, they are even adding Aquatica to the ticket as a free bonus to purchase incentive!
As an out-of-town visitor I didn’t get an Annual Pass and can’t recommend it. If I was local I would do it as that Annual Pass gets you into Busch Gardens and such as well!! This would be a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon or if I skipped work mid-week as a local!
I can’t recommend you go out of your way to add / “squeeze in” SeaWorld to your WDW or Universal trip. However, if you have the time and want to do something “different” that will still make theme park addicts happy a trip to SeaWorld is worth the visit!!!
I’m glad I did it, but probably won’t be back for a long time - if ever
Well… I think that’s really it! If anyone can think of a question I’ll try to assist!