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Visiting Sea World San Antonio in the Winter – A Good Idea?

Visiting Sea World San Antonio in the Winter – A Good Idea?

We visited Sea World in San Antonio in early January.  It was cold by San Antonio standards – in the forties.  While it wasn’t too awful since we had fantastic coats on, I felt really bad for the people that got wet during the Killer Whale show.  They must have frozen while they dried off!

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The One Ocean show starring the “Shamu family.”

Our family’s favorite animal show was the comical Cannery Road Caper staring seal lions, a walrus and their human friends.

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The sea lion stars of the “Cannery Road Caper”

The kids were sad to walk by all the water features that are active in the summer that are closed in the winter.  Although they knew it was too cold to wear swimsuits, they were still disappointed because it looked like so much fun for them.

We were also disappointed that the roller coasters had such a high height requirement for riding.   Luke is 42 inches, exactly.  This was not a problem at Disneyland, where it only precluded him from riding one ride.

However, his 42 inch height meant he couldn’t ride any of the non-water rides at Sea World San Antonio.  The Steel Eels height requirement was 48 inches while the Great White’s height requirement was whopping 54 inches.

This might not have been as big of a deal in the summer, since he could ride the water rides Rio Loco and Journey to Atlantis, but there was no way we would be riding them in the January cold.

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Luke loves fast roller coasters, but he was too short to ride The Steel Eel.

The kids really enjoyed the Sesame Street Bay of Play area.  I think they would have been fine playing here the entire day and skipping the rest of the park.  The lines for the rides were not very long (which is probably different than during the peak of summer season), and the climbing area wasn’t overly crowded.

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Sesame Street Bay of Play at Sea World San Antonio

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A Sesame Street themed ride they were tall enough to enjoy.

However, the large admission cost (over $200 for a family of four) would not be worth it to just visit the Sesame Street Bay of Play.  There are similar places to visit with a much lower fee, so despite their protests we did make them leave this area to make sure they saw the whole Sea World park. They weren’t all that interested in the inside aquarium areas. I think this is because they have such a world class zoo (The Fort Worth Zoo) that they visit often and they weren’t impressed.

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Watching the kids feed the dolphins was one of my favorite things.

Bottom line – The kids did have fun, but I think we’d skip Sea World in the winter in the future.  We live close enough that we can repeat our road trip without too much trouble in the summer.  But if you will likely not return to San Antonio, it might be worth it to go ahead and visit despite the cool weather and closed features.

  1. Disneyland, California - Fun for Kids, but What About Adults? - Everything Everywhere Family Travel 29 April, 2013

    […] thing is catering to the smaller child. In many of the places we’ve visited, the height requirements for most of the rides preclude my 42″ inch average sized four and a […]