Living The Dream at SeaWorld in San Antonio

You may not have achieved the rock star status level where you can demand that only red skittles be in your dressing room – BUT there are ways to live the dream while you vacation this summer…even if you aren’t going that far. Even if you have a mini-van with red skittles smashed permanently into the seats and carpet.

My family and I went to SeaWorld in San Antonio recently and had a blast!
We decided that this year we would take a couple smaller overnight/weekend type trips because a big vacation just isn’t in the budget. Can you relate? The three or so hour trip from Houston to San Antonio is the perfect amount of “road trip” time for my five-year-old and nine-year-old since neither of them have patience (nor do they have the ability to control their arms from hitting each other.) Weird.
When we travel… sometimes we go totally on the cheap (think igloo coolers with pre-made PB&J sandwiches, mini carrots and goldfish in baggies, juice boxes) and sometimes we go all out (i.e. frozen margaritas ordered pool-side vs. boxed wine smuggled into the hotel in our suitcases!!) You kind of need to make that decision before you leave and stick with it.
As guests of SeaWorld we were treated to a couple of park “upgrades” that you can purchase to make your stay a little more cushy and I wanted to share with you when and why I think they are worth the splurge. Especially when you are saving money in other areas of your tip like travel costs.
SeaWorld offers two options that can make your stay more enjoyable and even save you money if you play your cards right.
1. All-day dining pass
2. Quick Queue and Quick Queue Unlimited passes

At the front of the line at Journey to Atlantis!

Let me start with the Quick Queue pass. At first glance, the additional $15 to $25 seems like a lot to pay above the normal ticket price BUT here’s why I think it might be worth it.
When we went it was crowded and the line for our favorite ride, Journey to Atlantis, was long. While others had to wait for an hour or so – we got to bypass the line and go straight on the ride. My kids were in awe and even Ed and I felt a little VIP’ish. And we saved so much time. We had the unlimited wrist band and we rode that particular ride alone many times. For the sake of full disclosure, we were given the wrist bands by SeaWorld to try for free BUT because we have season passes, we are going back to the park in the fall and we are going to purchase the quick queue passes. It’s not often that $100 or so dollars can buy rock star status – but that day at SeaWorld we truly felt like ones.

On Journey to Atlantis!

These are especially worth their weight in gold at the end of the day when you have the energy level of a wet noodle from walking around and being in the sun. At 6:00 p.m. my kids were all, “Mom, can we ride Journey to Atlantis AGAIN?” Normally I would have looked at the hour-long line and thought “hell to the no” and simply grunted “Car!” but knowing we could bypass the line I was all “Sure, why not?!” and the kids were all, “Mom, you are the bomb!” and I was all, “Yes, I am, indeed, the bomb diggity.”
Because we didn’t go on an expensive vacation this year like Disney World or a cruise…we can budget for this luxury when we go back to SeaWorld for the holiday celebrations this fall and I’m looking forward to it! Maybe I’ll wear a purple wig and platform shoes and people in line will be, “OMG – it’s Lady Gaga!”
Or maybe not.

Dining at Shamu's Smokehouse. Yummy grapes and watermelon for dessert!

The All-Day Dining Pass was another cool upgrade but while it may seem like a luxury it actually pays for itself if you are going to be at the park all day. For $15.95 for kids ages 3-9 (Kids under 3 can eat off an adult plate) and $29.95 for adults, you can eat at six different restaurants in the park as much as you want. If you tally what you would spend on 3 meals, it makes total sense PLUS you can get bottles of water throughout the day. The water alone made it worth it.
When we are at parks like SeaWorld the four of us are often on different “hunger schedules” and many times when we stop for lunch – one or two of us may eat a lot while the others only graze. Mid-afternoonish the kids wanted to play on the Splash Pad at Bay of Play but I was starving. Ed watched the kids and I popped into Rosita’s pizza buffet right there and got myself a piece of pizza and drink to hold me over until our next regular meal. It took five minutes and because I wasn’t paying for the entire buffet I didn’t feel like I had to have five slices to get my money’s worth. It was great! And kudos to SeaWorld for offering healthier food items like cold, sliced watermelon as a side item. Perfect on a hot day in Texas!
My family and I were guests of SeaWorld and received the Quick Queue Pass and Dining Pass to review. No other compensation was received nor was there an expectation that I would write a favorable review about the park or attractions. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I decided to post this article on my own so that you could know more about SeaWorld before you plan your next trip!


  1. 1
    nancy wahmhoff says:

    How awesome! great information! We will definately do both of those!!

    • 1.1
      Jennifer Patrick says:

      Hey Nancy! So glad to see your comment, girl! Isn’t commenting easier on wordpress? Giveaways coming soon so check back and enter! 🙂

  2. 2
    Stacy of KSW says:

    This was so fun to read! I love your writing style and the way you broke this down. We went back to Sea Worl again today and I was seriously considering splurging on the dining pass for the kids just so we could eat fruit and pudding all day 🙂 It was nice to meet you, hopefully I’ll get a chance to know you better next time around.

  3. 3
    Karen says:

    You make me want to go right now!!! Great new site!

  4. 4
    Billie Jo says:

    One of the best vacations we took was to San Antonio! We were able to do so much for so little. We lived in Santa Fe, Texas at the time so it was only a 4 hour drive for us.

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