Tips for visiting SeaWorld San Antonio including things to do, rides to ride, food to eat, and more.
Look at any list of things to do in San Antonio with kids, and you are likely to see SeaWorld San Antonio listed. This theme park, which is located about 25 minutes from the historic River Walk, offers so much for families to do. During our recent San Antonio family vacation, we enjoyed spending Easter day at SeaWorld.
We received complimentary admission to SeaWorld . Affiliate links are included – if you click/purchase through an affiliate link, we may make a small commission.
Arriving at SeaWorld San Antonio
We knew that we wanted to visit SeaWorld during our family vacation, but they do offer reduced hours in April. The only day they were open during our trip was on Easter Sunday, which was actually perfect. They opened at 10am, but we headed out early. After a short drive from our hotel, the Omni La Mansion Del Rio on the River Walk, we arrived at the parking lot. Regular parking is $20 per car, and since we arrived early, we parked right up front and walked to the entrance. There are three separate sections to the park – SeaWorld, Aquatica (the water park), and Discovery Point (where you can experience animal encounters). Before going through security, you have the option to choose which tickets you want to buy. There’s one security gate for all three parks. Maps of the park are also available at this point, as are stroller and wheelchair rentals. When the park opened at 10am, we went through the ticket gate, and walked right to the first ride.
Rides at SeaWorld San Antonio
Kids of all ages are likely to find something that they want to ride at the park. My kids headed right to the Steel Eel, one of two hypercoasters located at all of the SeaWorld parks. This long rollercoaster has huge drops – more than anything I’d experienced. The park was still quiet when we finished the ride, so my kids went right back on.
It’s important to note that bags and other belongings are generally not permitted on the rides. You can rent a locker at each attraction, and if you plan to ride several, it’s a good idea to get a day pass. With that, you’ll be able to use a locker at each attraction. We chose to do that, since we knew we’d be riding more than one ride.
After the Steel Eel, we headed to the Great White. My son and I waited while my daughter and husband went on, but they loved it so much that we all went on right after. I was so glad to see how much my son enjoyed it – because he was so fearful right before he got on it.
There are also two water rides – the Rio Loco (a river rapids ride) and the Journey to Atlantis (a flume-style ride), as well as a Sesame Street Bay of Play area dedicated to younger children.
SeaWorld San Antonio is opening a brand-new ride – Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster. It’s build like a jet ski, and is the first design like this in North America. The ride will reach heights of 61 feet and will be 2,600 feet long. With a track running over water, and the jet-ski design, it will make rides feel like they are actually riding a jet ski across the lake.
Animals and Shows at SeaWorld San Antonio
As you’d expect, SeaWorld offers a number of shows and other animal exhibits. You can pick up a schedule of events at the front entrance, including the following: Killer Whales: Up Close, One Ocean, Sea Lions at Play, Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High™, Ocean Discovery: Dolphins & Beluga Whales, and Pets Ahoy. We saw the Killer Whales show, which was very educational. SeaWorld recently announced that this is the last generation of Killer Whales at SeaWorld, and their 25-year old female Takara is currently pregnant with the last calf that will be born at SeaWorld.
There are also several exhibits located throughout the park. We especially enjoyed the penguin exhibit, which had a moving sidewalk so you could view them without crowds. It’s also worth walking over to Discovery Point, where you’ll find the dolphins and sharks (SeaWorld guests are welcome over there, even if you don’t have a Discovery Point reservation).
Other animal exhibits include Pacific Point (where you’ll find sea lions), Flamingo Cove, and Alligator Alley.
Food at SeaWorld San Antonio
In addition to the tickets at SeaWorld San Antonio, you can purchase extras. For instance, there’s an all-day dining deal, where you’ll get one entree, one side or dessert, and one non-alcoholic drink. You can go through the lines of participating locations once per hour. There’s also an all-day drink cup. Purchase one cup and you get free refills on the day of purchase.
SeaWorld San Antonio also offers special dining, including a Sesame Street Breakfast and Dine with Shamu. We chose to dine a la carte, and had lunch at Shamu’s Smokehouse. It was delicious, and the portions were perfect – not too big and not too small.
Events at SeaWorld San Antonio
SeaWorld San Antonio is home to a number of events throughout the year. These include the Seven Seas Food & Wine Festival, Summer Nights at SeaWorld, the Fourth of July Celebration, the Halloween Spooktacular, Howl-O-Scream, and SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. We missed the Food & Wine Festival by a week, but they were setting it up and it looked so fun. I’ll have to check it out in the future.
Where to Stay Near SeaWorld San Antonio
We decided to stay on the River Walk, at the Omni La Mansion Del Rio. The Drury Hotels (there are two in the River Walk area) have great reviews as well (see reviews for the Drury Plaza and the Drury Inn and Suites). Expect to drive about 25 minutes to get to SeaWorld. If you’d prefer to stay near the park, this Courtyard by Marriott gets great reviews.