A few weeks ago, for a family movie night, we watched Dolphin Tale. I’m not sure who wanted to see it more – me or the kids (ok fine it was definitely me) – but by the time it was over it was abundantly clear to both Morgan and I that our kids were now fascinated by everything marine life. Since watching the movie, we have visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center here in Laguna Beach a total of 3 times – and now Audrey Grace has decided that all of the elephant seals there now know her name. And, at least twice a week we “check on” Winter, the star of Dolphin Tale, by watching her on a livestream on her website.
Considering all of this, last week I looked at Morgan and I said “I think now is the perfect time for us to visit SeaWorld in San Diego” – and he agreed! So, thanks to the folks at SeaWorld, we are going to do just that tomorrow! I know that the first place we will make a beeline for is the Rocky Point Preserve – the kids are especially curious about dolphins right now and I want to make sure they get to spend time there early in the day before they are totally exhausted. I’m not sure what the feeding schedule looks like there, but I’m hoping the kids might even get to feed them.
I’m also excited because we’re planning to “Dine with Shamu” – the kiddos will not only get the chance to be about 4 feet away from Shamu, but they’ll get to ask their (millions and millions) of questions to the trainers about what they eat, how they learn, etc. We are also looking forward to seeing the Blue Horizons show with the dolphins, and Sea Lions LIVE – I am giddy just thinking of the excitement on their faces when they see this:
Here are my tips for planning a trip to SeaWorld San Diego with two preschoolers:
1) Check out the park schedule online. The schedule was super helpful in planning our day, and also in choosing which seating of “Dine with Shamu” we wanted to check out.
2) Pack a poncho. Oh yeah baby, I’m one of those. I don’t dare deprive my kids of the joy of being “in the splash zone” but I also have this fabulous hair that needs protecting. So, I’ll split the difference and sit in the splash zone – I’ll just be wearing a poncho when I do.
3) Pack extra clothes for everyone – right down to their shoes and socks. I’ve heard there are more than a few “wet” opportunities and the last thing I want are two tired, soggy kiddos who are too miserable to enjoy dinner with Shamu. Or a soggy miserable mommy. She is no fun, either.
4) Bring your own strollers. SeaWorld has strollers for rent ($12 for a single, $17 for a double), but I like to bring my own because I can keep pushing the kids virtually all the way to our car at the end of the day. Plus, it’s one less line to stand in.
5) Wear and bring sunscreen. The high tomorrow is 70, so it should be a perfect day, but both of our kids are fair and will burn easily. Also, I’m not a fan of cancer so I plan on slathering it on myself as well. Probably Morgan too, if he’ll let me.
6) Pack water bottles. You can’t bring snacks or food into SeaWorld, but you can bring your own water, which will be a huge help for us since we have two kids who get “sssooooo ttthhiiirrssssttttyyyy” at the most inconvenient times.
7) Buy tickets online. We actually already have our tickets, but if you’re looking to skip the lines and make your day go much more smoothly, consider buying your tickets in advance. It’s actually a no brainer, especially when you consider that you can save $10 by purchasing online!
Disclosure: The folks at SeaWorld are providing us with tickets for tomorrow. Our excitement however, is all our own. Ahhh! We’re going to SeaWorld!