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Friday, June 29, 2012

My Sea World and Aquatica tips

If you know me or have been reading here for a while, you probably know by now that we love Sea World. If you didn't, you do now. I will be sad if we move away from here and aren't able to go regularly like we do now. I've had a few blog/twitter friends ask me for some Sea World advice as they were planning trips so I figured I'd tell some of my tips I've learned over the years we've been going. These are what work for best for us when we visit. 
- Go on a weekday - Monday-Thursday if you can. It's much less crowded than a Friday-Sunday making it much more enjoyable! Lines are shorter and less crowded means it's easier to spot and chase after your kids in the play areas. Both good things to make for an enjoyable visit. 

- I always get there 30 minutes to an hour after gates open, it's still early enjoy to enjoy the morning but enjoy time has passed that the lines have died down considerable to get through the gates. Another option that we do often is go in the afternoon, many people who showed up at opening are heading home and there aren't any lines to get into the park. 

- Aquatica opens early so we have been hitting the water park first since many of the shows don't have their first show until an hour or more after the park opens. So far since we've been on weekdays, Aquatica hasn't reach it's capacity by the time we are leaving, but it's a possibility and you'd have to wait to get in until enough people leave so on a crowded day you risk having a wait to get in if you wait until later in the afternoon. If you are in the park already, you can also text 90210 to see if they've reached capacity, before you head over there so you don't walk around there only to find out it's full.  

- With the opening of Aquatica, there is a new pool for the little ones to play in called Slippitty Dippity with 6 slides for the little guys to go down. My kids love this pool. It was slightly nerve wracking for me to keep my eyes on both of them the first time I went even with my husband with me. It was much better after we had been a few times. This last visit I got smart and brought Micah's new puddle jumper (so happy I decided to get it for him.) Aquatica does have life vests for anyone who wants one but a regular life vest does exactly what it's supposed to do and turns Micah onto his back, which he fights and spins around. With the puddle jumper he's got a little more control. Also the small sizes of life vests go quick, especially around the kid pool areas so this way I don't have to search for one. 
- The rides for the bigger slides are going to be shorter in the early hours and also the later evening hours. So we try to hit the water slides first thing, then play in the other pools. Abby is tall enough to go down all the tube rides, but the only one we've convinced her to go down so far is Stingray Falls. Micah might be tall enough for this one by the end of the summer! 
Can you spot Abby and Beau?
- At Sea World you can feed the stingrays, the sea lions and dolphins. The dolphins are by far the most popular to feed so there tends to be a line there and they do occasionally run out of fish until the next feeding time. I've never had a problem getting fish to feed the stingrays or the sea lions though. I do admit I can tell why the dolphins are a favorite as I do enjoy when we feed them. So pick one or feed them all they are all pretty fun! 
Micah did think the stingrays were a little scary when they were getting hungry and came up thinking his fingers were fish. They didn't hurt him at all but it scared him thinking they wanted to "bite" him. I'll admit it does look a little scary in this picture! 
If you feed the sea lions I'm sure you'll see this guy! He's a rescue from off the coast of Oregon. He and several others were eating all the fish and the fishermen weren't too happy about it. So Sea World rescued them and now he's very vocal about wanting all the fish in the sea lion pool. 
My favorite part of the sea lion pool is seeing the nursing babes when they have babies. So sweet to see the animal babies. And to watch them grow up! Over the years I've seen the dolphins, belugas, orcas and sea lions all have itty bitty babes. 
Need to cool down and you aren't near Aquatica? You can always get a good splash from Atlantis. 
Abby's getting brave. Before she would have never wanted to get splashed. Now she loved getting splashed and wants to go down Atlantis next time Beau joins us!
Or if you don't want to go to Aquatica, kids of all sizes can cool off in the Sesame Street Bay of Play. There are lots of nice chairs all around the splash park to take a break in while your kids cool off. (Or you can join them playing and getting wet - which would be my suggestion!) There are also picnic tables if anyone is in need of a snack and a smaller spray park area for the little ones so they aren't run over by the big kids. 

There are lots of rides for the littles in the Bay of Play. The carousel is a big hit for my kids. Abby also really likes the Shamu roller coaster. The lines for these were very short in the early-afternoon while we were there. By this point lots of the crowds are cooling off in the water or in the shade at the shows so there was no wait time at all to get on the carousel. 
- If you are going with small children, definitely bring some snacks! My kids play so hard they work up a huge appetite! You are allowed to bring a small (6 pack sized) cooler with juice boxes (no straws though), reasonable quantities of bottled water and single serving snacks which I usually bring some fruit to go with our popcorn bucket refill. This is nice for those times you know it's too close to meal time to ruin their meal, you aren't near where you want to eat or the lines are really long and they are starving! 

- Plan out what you must see and decide when you want to see those first and look at the map for what's close to what so you aren't walking back and forth across the park all day! Then add in everything else so come the end of the day you aren't disappointed you didn't see something you really wanted to see.

- Don't forget the sunscreen!

- Try and see the night shows - Shamu Rocks and Sea Lions Tonight are at the very top of my favorite shows list! If you have littles, take a break in the afternoon, rest, have dinner and come back for the night shows if you can.

- Most of all have fun!

1 comment :

Colleen Pence said...

Katie, these are great tips. I've been to SeaWorld many times but I still learned some valuable info from your post. Thanks!