On Wednesday of last week, my family decided we would visit SeaWorld San Antonio on Saturday. Though my husband and I had been several years ago, this was our first visit with kids. I found out before we left that the park didn’t open until 1 pm, and the Halloween celebration Howl-O-Scream would be starting at 7 pm. Uh-oh. Neither my young children nor their mother do scary things. At all. I was a little nervous that this trip was unraveling a bit, but it actually worked out to our advantage and the trip was even better than I expected.

We had not originally planned to visit The Alamo on this trip, but because SeaWorld wasn’t opening until the afternoon, we headed out to the historic site. Tip: Hilton Palacio del Rio is within walking distance of the Alamo and many of the popular downtown attractions. We spent a couple of hours at The Alamo and then headed to SeaWorld, which is approximately 25 minutes from downtown San Antonio.


Ticket, parking, and meal discounts abound if you purchase online before you head to the parks. Our auto and home insurance carrier was offering a ticket package which included a one-day admission, an all-you-can-eat meal pass, and parking for only slightly more than the one-day admission at the gate.

There are several add-on features you can include with your tickets as well such as front-of-the-line passes for the rides and reserved seating for the shows. While we didn’t purchase any of the add-on options, I can certainly imagine they would be beneficial on even moderately crowded days.


As we waited in the line for the park to open, my husband downloaded the SeaWorld app on his phone. We used the app throughout the day and found it beneficial. The GPS-enabled map displayed where we were in the park and the approximate walking times to other attractions. There was a list of upcoming shows from which you could select to see a description of that show and showtimes throughout the day. You could also see menus for each of the restaurants in the park.


We mostly concentrated on seeing the shows on this trip. The first two shows were educational presentations about Beluga Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, and the stars of SeaWorld, Killer Whales. Surprisingly, these were two of our favorite shows because we learned so much about the beautiful animals and how SeaWorld trainers care for and interact with them.

Azul was a well-done show featuring acrobatic performers, divers, Beluga whales, dolphins, birds, and a very comical performer which my boys found quite funny. One Ocean featured Shamu and his trainers as they conveyed the connection of the whole world through its oceans. The last show we were able to make was a light-hearted comedy about Clyde and Seymour, two “students” at Sea Lion High who were trying to meet some final class requirements in order to graduate.


As night was approaching and people were coming in for Howl-O-Scream, we knew it was our time to exit. For those that enjoy a good scare, it certainly seemed that SeaWorld was ready to deliver. Some of the creepy props and closed off areas looked ready to raise the dead in their haunting ways. Perhaps in a few years my husband and kids can take this in…and I’ll head to the hotel early.


Hilton San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is practically across the street from SeaWorld, and is hands-down one of the best hotel options for your SeaWorld San Antonio visit. Because we were sadly driving back home that night, it actually worked out to our advantage to leave the park and get on the road so we wouldn’t be too terribly late getting home.

SeaWorld offers so much more that we simply weren’t able to fit in during this trip. Roller coasters, train rides, animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, and special dining experiences are just a few of the things we’d like to try on a future visit. Aquatica is also on our list for a summer trip. This adjacent water park is only open seasonally, but would be a great way to cool off during a sizzling San Antonio day. I could certainly see taking two or even three days to fully enjoy everything SeaWorld San Antonio offers during peak season.

We look forward to returning to SeaWorld soon. We definitely had a WHALE of a day!

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