Life

How Our (MILITARY) Family of Seven Visits Sea World for Under $200

One of our girls’ FAVORITE things to do in Texas is visit Sea World in San Antonio. The younger girls are fascinated with the animals and the older girls love the roller coasters. We went last week for our last Texas visit (we are moving in 20 days!!) and I thought I would share some tips that we have learned in our time here that make the trip much more enjoyable and affordable.

  1. Waves of Honor

From the website linked, this program “permits any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.”

Of course are a family of 7, so we usually still have to pay for 3 tickets. Since children’s tickets cost much less than adults, we usually pay for the 3 younger girls.

  1. Preschool Fun Card

This year we lucked out and registered the two youngest for the Sea World Preschool Fun Card. From the website linked “To celebrate all the fun Sea World San Antonio has for our littlest guests, we are offering kids ages 3-5 living in Texas a FREE Sea World Preschool Fun Card!”

Thanks to this we only had to purchase a 1 additional ticket, and we got it at a discounted rate through the Waves of Honor program.

  1. All-Day Dining Meal Plan

DO THIS!

From the website linked, “An All-Day Dining guest can select one entree, one side or dessert and one non-alcoholic drink. The cashier will ring up all three items and scan your wristband. All-Day Dining wristbands can be used at participating restaurants once every hour until the restaurants closing time; located on the park map.”

This has been one of the best things we have done every visit to Sea World, especially being such a large family. They have changed up the program a bit, limiting visits to once every hour, but it is still worth its weight in gold (or cold waters, in this case!)

BIG TIP: The normal price for this is $31.99 for adults and $18.99 for kids. If you are using the Waves of Honor program, when you get to the gate to pick up your tickets you will receive a 30% off voucher for a ONE TIME food purchase. They will let you use this off of the TOTAL purchase of the All-Day Dining plan. You can only get this discount at the park, so plan to do that first thing.

  1. Best Time to Visit

Plan to go on a week day if possible, we were told Monday – Wednesday are the least crowded days. We went on a Thursday this trip and did not wait for ANY of the rides, and easily found great seats at all of the shows.

  1. Plan Your Day

Print a copy of the show schedule before you go! This is something we have done the past few times that we have gone, and it has been a huge help in making sure that everyone gets to do what they want to do (without us running all over creation with crying kids). We highlight the times we plan to visit each show and then make notes on which rides and restaurants are close to the shows location.

Anytime our family visits theme parks or anywhere that I know there will be a large crowd, I make a trip to Walmart to find the brightest matching shirts I can find for the girls. This makes it much easier to spot them all in a crowd, especially when they are all running different directions in the big play area Sea World San Antonio has. I get a ton of compliments and comments from other moms at the park on this, so I figured it would be a good tip to share here. I picked the shirts they are wearing in the picture up at Wal-Mart for $3 each the night before our trip!

 Sea World is something that we are truly going to miss doing as a family when we move home. I hope that these tips will help other large military families in the area realize that it is possible to visit on a budget and get to experience Sea World as well.

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