Follow these simple time saving tips to maximize your time at Seaworld and Aquatica!
Now that SeaWorld has two parks, it can be hard to squeeze in everything you want to do in one day. Today we are sharing our favorite ways to maximize your time at SeaWorld and Aquatica in San Antonio, Texas. These simple time saving tips will ensure that you cram every ounce of fun into your day and don’t waste time.
:: Visit Aquatica in the Morning
Most people save Aquatica for the afternoon when the park is crazy hot. While this seems like a great idea, it means for long, long lines on rides in the afternoon. To skip lines we flip flopped our schedule. We went to Aquatica first, right when they opened. Then we rode Stingray Falls® first, more on that below. Then we spent the rest of the morning riding the other water rides. On a busy August day, we walked onto Woohoo Falls® and HooRoo Run®. There was no wait and we rode each several times.
We purposely skipped the wave pool, lazy river and kid areas to come back to later and really maximized our time by riding as many rides as we could as many times as we wanted. Around noon, we went back over to our beach chairs and swapped shoes. We left our towels, flip flops and other swim things behind and headed over to SeaWorld to catch some shows and ride the rides in the main part of the park.
:: Ride Stingray Falls First
When you first walk into Aquatica, the first ride you see is Stingray Falls®. This is a really fun tube ride that ends with you floating through a glass tunnel with sting rays all around you. My kids loved it! However, this is a relatively slow ride and the line gets crazy long, like an hour or two wait! So my recommendation to maximize your time at SeaWorld is to arrive at Aquatica when they open.
Quickly put your things down and make a beeline for this ride. We got in line about 5 minutes after the park opened. The line was at the top of the stairs but we still had to wait about 15 minutes. By the time we finished the ride, the line was halfway down the stairs. Then, about 10 minutes later we walked past after a doing a different ride and the line was at the bottom of the stairs! Even at closing time, the line was still halfway down the stairs! If Stingray Falls is on your must-ride list, do it as your very first thing.
:: Get Quick Queue Passes for Sea World Rides
We visited on a busy August day. The park was fairly crowded and most of the lines in the main section of the park were at least a 20 minute wait. To save time and maximize your time at SeaWorld, I recommend Quick Queue passes. There are two different types of Quick Queue passes: One-time and Unlimited.
We got One-Time Passes because I knew that even with all our time-saving measuring, we still wouldn’t have much time for rides. The One-Time Quick Queue passes give you a front of the line pass to each ride at SeaWorld once. But then there are two additional front of the line passes that allow you to pick your ride. We chose to use ours on Journey to Atlantis and Rio Loco. So we got to skip the line twice for each of those. It was perfect for squeezing in a ride in between shows.
If Quick Queue passes aren’t in the budget, save the rides for the late afternoon. Most people are at Aquatica or seeing the shows and the lines get much shorter. You won’t wait nearly as long. We were able to ride Journey to Atlantis 3 or 4 times without our Quick Queue passes and only waited about 5 minutes.
:: Get Reserved Seating for Shows
One of the most exciting things at SeaWorld is seeing the various shows they have to offer. My kids love Azul® and Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High™. The best seats at these shows fill up fast and the park recommends you arrive 30 minutes before showtime to get good seats. This means you get to spend 30 less minutes enjoying the park. In order to maximize your time at SeaWorld, I recommend taking advantage of their Reserved Seating tickets.
Order these online before you go and at the ticket booth they will give you a wristband granting you access to a special area of seating. This section usually doesn’t fill up – even on the busiest days. Arrive just 5-10 minutes before the show starts to take your seat. You have a great view and get to spend those extra minutes riding rides or exploring the park instead of securing seats. We also found it worked well to stack our shows. We saw 3 back-to-back and never worried that we wouldn’t have seats.
If Reserved Seating Tickets aren’t in the budget, send one family member ahead to save seats while the others finish riding rides or visiting animal encounters. While you won’t be able to do back-to-back shows as easily without Reserved Seating tickets, you can still save time by sending one person ahead.
:: Return to Aquatica in the Afternoon
In the late afternoon, most of the park is either seeing the afternoon shows or standing in line for Aquatica rides. This is the perfect opportunity to go back over to Aquatica and take advantage of some of the activities you skipped in the morning. When we returned, we spent our time floating the lazy river through Roa’s Aviary, and playing in the kids areas. The kids also played in the wave pool for a bit. We marveled at how long all the lines were. Then near closing time, we gathered our towels and headed home.
If you are concerned about flip flopping your visit to do Aquatica first, keep in mind that SeaWorld has their super fun Sesame Street® Bay of Play®. When we got too hot, we just ran through the splash pad section to cool off. We usually did this right before a show. Then we could sit and watch a show and not be too hot. By the late afternoon, it was really nice to relax in the pools at Aquatica knowing we had checked everything off our list!
Use these simple tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld next time you visit. You’ll be so glad you did!
Looking for more San Antonio fun? Don’t miss our post all about The DoSeum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids. And if you need a place to stay, there is nowhere better than the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country. It’s our home away from home!