I took my 21 month old and 10 year old to Sea World this week for a few hours (we live about 15 minutes away). It was incredibly hot and humid at park opening (with guaranteed afternoon thunderstorms), which is to be expected for mid-June. So, armed with refillable cups and my Sea World app (I love that thing!), we headed into the park.
The reason we went is because Passholders were given the opportunity to reserve “front of the line” tickets for the new Antarctica ride. We arrived shortly after the park opened and made a beeline to the information counter to exchange our reservation vouchers for line passes. It was a huge time saver because we skipped the 50 minute line that had already formed!
RIDE TIPS (which we found out the hard way):
1. Your baby must walk 3 steps alone in order to board the ride. This is not posted ANYWHERE (not that I saw)!! Otherwise, you will be sent to Baby Swap.
2. If you do have reservations for this ride, you have to go to the Information/Registration counter at the front of the park (the reservation voucher says to go to the ride).
3. If your little one does get to go on the ride, try (politely) to get a front row seat.
Once on the ride, our little one was in the 2nd row and couldn’t see anything. At the end of the ride are all the penguins in different settings. It is 32 degrees in there! Very, uh, “refreshing”. I had to extract shivering kids because they could have watched the penguins for a long time. Wish we could have gone back in when the heat index reached 105!
Then we went to look at all the animals (gators, manatees, flamingos, and turtles). We have done Turtle Trek on a prior visit, and the little one was ok with it. For this age, he enjoys time spent in the Jewels of the Sea Aquarium inside the Journey to Atlantis ride.
Then we went to feed the Stingrays. The little guy loved it and threw a tantrum trying to leave, after 30 minutes of me holding him over the edge of the tank (my arms were giving out and we were soaked). Then we went to the Dolphin Viewing tank. The boys loved that too, and I decided to skip the show. We had been to the Whale Viewing tank on a visit a couple weeks ago, so we skipped it too, but I would highly recommend spending some time there.
We grabbed lunch at Seaport Pizza (around 11:15am). I ordered the kid’s pizza with the souvenir plate and refilled our cups. I put the pizza, plate and all, into a large Ziploc bag and took it with us to the One Ocean (Shamu) Show. The noon show is a great place to sit and have lunch. We got there about 10 minutes before the show (took 30 minutes to buy lunch and sit down). Every seat is good (except the “Soak Zone” ones if you’re trying to eat, LOL). Every time the little guy sees this show, it’s like the first time. My oldest boy was given the camera to take pictures of all the whales jumping.
After the show, we headed towards Shamu’s Happy Harbor. First was a diaper change stop at the Baby Care Center. Then the older one climbed the netted play area while I took the little one on the “Seven Seas Railway”. Choo-choo! If we had planned to spend more time in the park, I would have let them get soaked in the “Water Works” area (I did bring along their swim suits, but time ran out). Most likely, we would’ve spent most of the day doing all the rides in the Happy Harbor, then strolling around and looking at all the animals, as we have done on past visits. Overall, it was a great summer day with my boys!