What We Wish We Had Known Before Going to SeaWorld

We visited SeaWorld for the very first time last December as brand new annual pass holders! It was a pretty auspicious occasion because we looked forward with great anticipation to getting a tremendous amount of use out of our brand new passes and becoming SeaWorld experts.

Well, we have had a fantastic year and been to SeaWorld many, many times, and now, we would like to give you access to the exact advice that we would give to our friends about how to get the most out of your SeaWorld visit!


One of the great things about SeaWorld is that it is significantly less expensive than its other Orlando competitors. Actually, they frequently run sales, and sometimes they literally give the tickets away to certain segments of society–worthy individuals, like teachers, and Veterans! So keep your eyes open for the sales and the deals. They’re often posted on their social media accounts, on their website, or you can sign up for their e-mail newsletter.

Any other time, we highly recommend using Groupon. Sometimes it may be more economical to purchase an annual pass than it would be to purchase a day ticket. Part of the cost calculation that you should consider is that parking is an additional charge, and while you can save a little on parking by purchasing it in advance through their website, it’s still typically about $30. Multiply that by the number of times that you intend to visit and compare the cost before you make your final purchasing decision.

Another factor to consider for annual passes is that there is a discount for dining which accompanies the passes, so that should be factored in as well.

GROUPON DEAL: SeaWorld Orlando Admission with Dining Option, or 2, 3 or Unlimited SeaWorld Park Visits (Up to 48% Off)


Once you decide if you need to purchase tickets or passes, another consideration that you should give is that SeaWorld Entertainment Parks have a pretty broad offering of passes for their parks as compared to their competitors. Our advice–consider mixing and matching pass levels to get the most economical combination for your family.

The baseline pass is called the “Fun Card.” It provides unlimited entry to the park of your choice (SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Adventure Island), and that’s it–no other benefits. The price on these are great, so we loaded up on them and bought one for the whole family.

Except that we got no discounts, and we had to pay for parking every time we went. The cost of parking alone would have made purchasing even the lowest level annual pass worthwhile, so we recommend that you consider doing this–purchase one annual pass for one member of the family and then Fun Cards for the rest of the family. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of free parking and the benefits of discounts throughout the park without requiring you to pay the full annual pass price for each member of the family.

In some cases, it can be economical for you to even consider purchasing an annual pass at a tier level which allows for you to receive guest passes a certain number of times that year. Just take a moment to plan out how frequently you think you’ll go during the year and multiply the number of potential visits by the cost of a ticket and compare that to the price difference of one pass tier level to another, and this could potentially save you a lot of money!

Here is a full menu of their available passes.


There is so much walking to do in SeaWorld. It sort of took us by surprise. Alaina had been before, but the park seemed so much bigger than she remembered. If you spend your whole day walking back and forth from one side of the park to the other, then you will be wasting a lot of time and energy and your feet will hate you.

The most efficient way we have found to navigate the park is to head to the left of the giant SeaWorld sign once you enter the park. This is probably the direction all normal people go, and maybe for you it goes without saying, but for us, we went to the right and we ended up spending the whole day wandering and it took us three visits to finally do all the things in the park.

Instead, we learned that we could get everything done if we went to the left and based our day around the times and locations of the animal shows. Now, we would start with the dolphin show and do all of the attractions and exhibits in that general area. Then do all of the exhibits, rides, and attractions on the way to the otter show, and finally do all of the exhibits, rides, and attractions on the way to the orca show. from there, do all of the exhibits, rides, and attractions, on your way back out to the entrance, and you have just had an efficient, fun-filled day, and fully accomplished SeaWorld. You’re welcome!


Just buy the dining pass.

You will probably start to realize now, that the reason SeaWorld practically gives their tickets away is because the food prices in the park are a little steep (you expected that from a theme park right?) Just go ahead and buy the dining pass. The All Day Dining Deal allows you to enjoy a meal at the park once every 90 minutes for the duration of the day. Presently, it about $49.99 per day for age 10+ and $24.99 for children ages 3-9. At each meal, you will receive an entre, a side, a dessert, and a drink.

Here’s what you need to know in order to make the best choice for your family, however. You will be issued a wrist band for each All Day Dining Deal you purchase, and that wrist band must be on the arm of the person who picks up the meal.

Before you decide how many of these to purchase for your family, ask yourself the question if every single one of you need to eat every 90 minutes? Depending on how thrifty you are, you may consider purchasing fewer of these than you have people in your party, and any of the indvidual(s) who don’t care much for riding rides or whatever could be the people who stand in line to pick up the food. This plan COULD work for your family, BUT there is a catch to also consider! Food service in the participating dining deal restaurants takes longer than you could feasibly imagine.

We love SeaWorld overall, and the food isn’t bad, but it was literally like the sloth from the Zootopia DMV was serving the chicken wings. It doesn’t matter if there are just a handful of people in the line and the serving process seems fairly simple. For some reason, it will be the slowest line you will wait in all day. You will want to take this into consideration for your entire schedule, and if you go in advance knowing this, then you won’t have to be terribly disappointed.

Purchase All Day Dining HERE.

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We bought the SeaWorld passes not knowing that they had any other events other than the Christmas event, which was pretty spectacular as far as we are concerned! We loved it, and we literally when to TWENTY-FIVE different Christmas events last year leading up to Christmas (never again, by the way!), but SeaWorld was absolutely among our top favorites!

There are, however, other events throughout the year. The Seven Seas food festival was our favorite, and during the summer the Electric Ocean event looked like so much fun, but Alaina wouldn’t let us go because she prefers that she and all the children be in bed by 8pm, so….

At most of the events, you can purchase a lanyard to sample various seasonal food offerings around the park, and I must say that this, as a dining experience, was significantly better, and usually these small stands around the park serve food much more quickly than we experienced with the other park restaurants.

THEREFORE, if you are attending during one of these seasonal event times, then by all means, starve until the event starts, and then EAT ALL THE THINGS using the lanyard. We actually just purchase one lanyard for our whole family and then go around the park sampling the food. This has worked well for us!



We did not know that SeaWorld has vacation packages available for purchase either. As it turns out, they actually have their own resort. Packages can include hotel stays, park entry to their numerous parks (SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, and/or Aquatica), and more. Be sure to take a look at these options before planning your vacation, and see if this is the most convenient and/or economical option for you and your family.


We hope that you have a wonderful time during your visit to Orlando and the surrounding area, and we hope that these tips help you to save money and make the most of your experience at SeaWorld!

Be sure also to check out our BEST DEALS AND ATTRACTION TICKETS page for a full list of the best prices on all of the top Florida theme parks and attractions.

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! To make the most out of your next Florida vacation as a family, check out these passes from Groupon which allow you to have the most amount of fun for the least amount of money!

Be sure also to check out our BEST DEALS AND ATTRACTION TICKETS page for a full list of the best prices on all of the top Florida theme parks and attractions.

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