Plan Your Day with Small Children at SeaWorld San Diego
Planning Your Visit
All the excitement and anticipation of visiting SeaWorld can make standing in line a stressful experience for small children and their parents. Avoid the stress by purchasing your tickets online before you arrive. Not only will it let you skip the line and get straight to the fun, but you can also save money with discounted ticket prices and SeaWorld ticket packages that combine your visit with entry to other amazing theme parks in San Diego.
The best way to beat the crowds and make the most of your visit is to arrive early. SeaWorld San Diego park hours vary according to the season, so check the website regularly before your visit and aim to arrive around 15 minutes before the gates open. Don’t forget to include time to find parking or travel from the bus station if you are using public transport.
Find a Map
To create the perfect itinerary for your day with your kids, you need to know where everything is located including rides, exhibits, and shows, as well as important amenities like toilets and dining areas to avoid any emergencies.
You can download a map from the SeaWorld website or access the map anytime from the mobile app. By finding a map before your visit, you can plan the best route to take to catch all the best rides for the little ones, and include a snack, toilet and nap breaks for little ones who are worn out from all the fun.
Use Guest Services
Taking a stroller along with you is the perfect way to ensure that little feet don’t get too tired from wandering around the park and can make nap times easier to organize with the little one sleeping while you enjoy some of the other sights around SeaWorld.
However, if a stroller is too cumbersome for you to pack, there are plenty of rental strollers available from guest services. Guests services operates on a “first in-first served” basis, so get in early to make sure that there are plenty still available.
SeaWorld is a marine park, so chances are that you are going to get wet at some point whether from splashdown rides or spray from the front row at one of the amazing live shows.
Be sure to pack an extra pair of clothes for everyone in the family, or waterproof poncho for everyone to wear, and definitely don’t forget to pack the swimsuits; no child can resist splashing in the Sesame Street Bay of Play. If you do get wet, there are family-sized dryers available outside some of the wetter rides to dry off.
Plan Meals and Snack Breaks
SeaWorld San Diego has some exceptional dining facilities and you can chow down at many of the restaurants in the dining area when you combine your entry ticket with an All-Day Dining upgrade. And while bringing snacks is fine, if you choose to pack your own lunch you will need to eat it outside the park at one of the picnic areas.
Things to Do
SeaWorld San Diego is home to some of the most thrilling theme park rides in the country, however, most of these white-knuckle thrill rides are far too terrifying for the youngest members of the family, not to mention there are strict height restrictions in place for safety. Luckily, there are still plenty of rides and attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
Wild Arctic is a thrilling flight simulator ride that propels you over the icy landscape of the Arctic exploring the wildlife that lives there. This is an ideal beginners level thrill ride for young school-aged kids; however, it is best if an adult accompanies them as the 3D technology may make young kids a little nervous during some parts of the flight.
Wild Arctic Exhibit
Next to the flight simulator ride is the Wild Arctic exhibit where young kids can enjoy the frozen sensation of climbing along the ice wall, and if they feel a bit daring, to crawl inside the frozen den. Some of the animals that you will find are beautiful beluga whales, gigantic walruses and harbor seals with plenty of opportunities for interacting with these stunning marine creatures.
Family Adventure Tour
Tours are always a hit with families of young kids and one of the newest tours available at the park is the Family Adventure tour which departs before the park opens, ideal for engaging early risers, leaving you plenty of time to explore the rides and shows after the tour ends.
The 1.5-hour tour takes you around the hands-on attractions like Explorer’s Reef and the bat ray pool and gets you up close with moon jellyfish then finishes with playtime with the dolphins.
One of the most popular attractions in the park is the breathtaking Sky Tower. The tower reaches over 300-feet and offers a stunning 360-degree view of Mission Bay and San Diego from the rotating pod. Guests enter the pod at the bottom of the tower and gently ascend to the top while taking in the view. Young kids and parents alike will love this peaceful break from the excitement of animal shows and rides, and it is the perfect place to get away from the heat.
Another ride that offers spectacular views of the park and the surrounding bay is the Bayside Skyride. Enjoy the tranquility as the gondolas gently take you soaring above the park. This is a great ride to spend the afternoon as it allows the kids a chance to unwind from the excitement of the day before heading off for more marine adventures.
A visit to SeaWorld San Diego would not be complete without an up-close and personal encounter with some of the amazing marine life found in the exhibits there.
At Dolphin Point, you can meet the playful bottlenose dolphins face to face at the open water exhibit and learn about dolphin behavior from the knowledge of the park educators and trainers stationed at the exhibit. As part of the exhibit, SeaWorld now offers dolphin connection times where you have the opportunity to touch, feed and even give the dolphins their training signals.
Also found at Dolphin Point is the Sea Otter exhibit where you can see these adorable creatures dive for shellfish.
Viewing the majestic orcas from the underwater viewing platforms at Orca Encounter will keep your little ones entertained for hours. They’ll be fascinated watching the orcas play in the water and the exhibit is the perfect complementary experience to the live show. For children over 6 years, there is also the Killer Whales close-up tour where guests can get face to face with these amazing creatures.
Curious little hands love to touch and explore and the Explorer’s Reef at the entrance to the park, as well as the California Tide Pool, feature shallow touch pools where young kids can engage with all kinds of marine life including fish, crabs and even gentle reef sharks.
Another hands-on experience that you don’t want your kids to miss is petting and feeding the bat rays at the exhibit close to the Manta roller coaster.
The live shows at SeaWorld San Diego are spectacular and there are so many to choose from. Little ones always enjoy the Sea Lion show, Sea Lions Tonight, with Clyde and Seamore getting up to hilarious antics with their trainer.
Dolphin Days displays the graceful athletic prowess of the bottlenose dolphins, while Orca Encounters aims to show off the natural behaviors of the orca including the amazing family dynamics that help them survive.
Sesame Street Party Parade
Running every Saturday and Sunday all throughout the summer, the Sesame Street Party Parade is a show like no other. With your kids’ favorite characters singing and dancing through the streets of SeaWorld, and 10 spectacular floats featuring places like Hooper’s Store and Count von Count Castle, this fun-fest will have the whole family singing along.
Sesame Street Bay of Play
Sesame Street Bay of Play is designed specifically for the toddler and preschool crowd who are a little too young for the rollercoasters. Best of all, the Bay of Play, as well as a variety of other kid-friendly rides, are located close to the entrance so there is no need to trek across to the other side of the park.
At the Bay of Play your kids can enjoy the water play areas with plenty of fountains and equipment to play with, there are also cargo nets for climbing, bounce areas for jumping and many kid-friendly rides like Abby’s Sea Star Spin, Oscar’s Rocking Eel and Elmo’s Flying Fish for kid-sized thrills.
Day Camps and Educational Fun
At SeaWorld San Diego they want kids to grow up understanding and protecting the world’s oceans, so they also run a series of educational day camps for school-aged kids throughout the summer.
For the young kids, the best option the Shamu Adventurers Day Camp which includes visits to the attractions and hands-on experiences with the animals, as well as ocean-themed crafts and sing-alongs.
For the perfect end to an amazing fun-filled day you can’t miss the Saturday night firework display that lights up the sky over the park. During the peak summer season, SeaWorld San Diego also hosts the incredible light and firework display, Electric Ocean.
Every summer night when the sun goes down the park lights up with laser shows, fireworks and stunning illuminated sea creatures floating around the park. There are also DJs, an interactive dance floor and performances by acrobats of Cirque Electrique and Atlantis Ignites, the 1 million volt Tesla coil show.
Each year, SeaWorld San Diego fill their calendar with amazing special events for the whole family. Plan your trip around one of these seasonal spectaculars for an even more unforgettable visit.
A not-so-scary Halloween celebration for the kids with trick to treat paths through the park, characters dressed up in their favorite Halloween costumes, and Halloween-themed live animal shows and live performances.
Lunar New Year
SeaWorld San Diego’s unique Lunar New Year celebration features Chinese acrobats, live musical performers and delicious pan-Asian cuisine.
Christmas has never been merrier than at SeaWorld San Diego with festive décor decorating the park and a sea of floating Christmas trees to brighten your holidays. There is seasonal shopping and plenty of holiday treats to sample. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be there to greet the little ones as well as the big man himself, Santa Claus ho will be available at Santa’s Village for photo opportunities.
Tickets and Packages
You can buy single-day entry tickets online to skip the queue and save with SeaWorld San Diego discount ticket prices, and until the end of October 2019, kids under the age of 9 visit free.
To include access to some of the amazing dining experiences available at SeaWorld San Diego, you can purchase a single day pass with free all day dining at participating restaurants and food vendors throughout the park.
You can also bundle your visit to SeaWorld San Diego with trips to other amazing theme and water parks, including SeaWorld’s Aquatica. Or, if you can’t get enough of the animal exhibit and interactions purchase a Go San Diego Pass that includes access not only to SeaWorld San Diego but also to LEGOLAND California, Knott’s Berry Farm San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park.
If you plan to include some of the up-close animal encounters for your little ones, you will need to purchase additional tickets. Prices vary according to the exhibit.
SeaWorld San Diego is a fun and educational place for the whole family. Toddlers, preschoolers, and grade-schoolers can enjoy so many of the incredible rides, shows, and exhibits while learning important lessons about our marine life, conservation and respect for the planet.
For SeaWorld San Diego special offers, amazing savings on packages and hotels, and some of the lowest prices on travel, call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use +1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.
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