Last Friday the hubby and I left our hotel room early and headed to SeaWorld San Antonio for a day of fun and adventure. We had our backpack stocked with everything we might need for a full day at the parks:sunscreen, water shoes, swimsuits and waterproof camera. But wait a second, you know what we forgot? The kids!
Alright, we didn’t forget the kids. We purposely left them at home for our first vacation in four years without our children! (also our first time ever away from our kids overnight) WOOHOO! In some way I felt like we should be wearing warning labels, maybe t-shirts that said something clever like: “Mommy and Daddy have left the building” or “Parents time-out!” Anything that warned strangers that we’re out of the house without our children and prone to acting a little wild and extremely silly.
We entered the park at SeaWorld about 45 minutes after the gates opened and got straight down to business. No kids, meant we were ready for the big guns – the roller coasters. So we passed the crowds at Bay of Play and headed to the Great White. And guess what, no lines, no waiting! That’s a good thing, right? Well I hadn’t been on a coaster in almost 15 years and had never ridden a floorless coaster, so I actually needed time to prepare myself.
How? I made a quick detour to the beer wagon to get rid of my inhibitions!
By the way, if you come to SeaWorld with or without the kids, pack light. You aren’t allowed to take your cell phones, cameras or anything handheld on the ride so we had to rent a locker for our belongings. Only problem with that is its a one time use locker and so if you’re constantly checking your phone for texts/calls to make sure your kids are alright or to reapply your sunscreen, you’ll need to bring lots of quarters or dollar bills for the lockers.
I don’t know if the lines were light because it was a Friday or if it was because the skies were cloudy and it looked like rain was imminent, but we rode the Great White not once, but twice without a line and then headed to the Rio Loco. (They’ll let you ride twice if there’s no line before exiting and walking around the ride back to the entrance again!) It was getting warm and I wanted to get wet and cool off a bit before heading to the next coaster, which is about the only thing that happens on the river ride! You get wet. The end. (This is not a ride I’d wait over 15 minutes to ride.)
Oh and don’t make the mistake I made – I was still wearing my tennis shoes so afterwards I walked around squishing and squashing and since they never dried properly they’re a little stinky now. Make sure to wear your water shoes or flip flops.
Next up, the Steel Eel. This hyper-coaster travels almost 4,000 feet in a little over two minutes. This ride looks much tamer than it is, as you speed down the drops you’ll feel like you’re going to come out of your seat! I have a huge fear of heights but the view of the park and the city from the top is incredible. If you love thrill rides, sit in the last car to fully experience everything this ride offers!
The odds were in our favor, with no lines, so we rode this one over and over again. There’s a camera that snaps your picture as you go down the first drop and you can check it out when you exit the ride. We made all kinds of funny faces and acted goofy but never found a picture we both liked.
I’m sure my hubby could have stayed in SeaWorld and continuously rode the Great White and Steel Eel for the entire day, but I’m a water lover and was anticipating the new park Aquatica! Unfortunately, the parks were only open from 10-6 that day which is not enough time to fully enjoy either park let alone both.
We didn’t see any of the shows or ride Journey to Atlantis due to time constraints. Plus, we’re planning to return to the park later this summer with the kids and I know they’re going to want to see all of the shows!
If you’re planning a trip I’d recommend:
- 1 full day at SeaWorld San Antonio
- 2 full days for Aquatica
Remember if you have passes to both parks you can split your time between the parks anyway you choose, but Aquatica limits the total number of guests in the park (which prevents overcrowding) so you may have to wait in line to re-enter.
There are two ways to avoid this:
- allow time for a day or two at Aquatica and be there when the park opens. Find a chair on a beach and relax before the crowds arrive.
- rent a cabana and enjoy shade, your own locker for the day and mini-refrigerator with bottled water, souvenir towels and sunblock. Plus you are guaranteed re-entry to the park!
A big thanks to SeaWorld for making it possible for us to experience their wonderful park. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and I did not receive any compensation for this article.