Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saving at Sea World San Diego

Saving at Sea World
Pay Online if You Want to Pet the Dolphins

Sea World San Diego can be an educational and money saving family destination if you plan ahead.


The most important thing to consider when choosing a hotel in the Sea World, San Diego area is the hotel placement and the freeway system.  Very few hotels in San Diego offer shuttle service, however if you choose a hotel in the right location you can save money by using the San Diego trolley system to get around.  The trolley however does not stop at Sea World.  Choose a hotel that either states that they have a shuttle to and from Sea World or choose a hotel that is closer to the beach than the freeway as you will have a much easier time getting around.   

The Dana, Ocean Park Inn and the Hyatt are all located between the beach and Sea World, San Diego.  Although these hotels may take a little bit more out of your budget you will save quite a bit of time and headache as the San Diego freeway system can be very difficult to negotiate. 

Hotel Circle may seem tempting because of price and free breakfast offers however the hotels are very run down, the breakfast is not usually as great as it sounds and the freeway system around Hotel Circle is indeed a nightmare. 

You will pay for parking once you are at Sea World.  Parking rates are $12 per car for regular and $17 for premium.  The parking lot is not that big and regular parking is not that far from the door so unless you are seriously handicapped it really is not worth the upgrade. Save money by staying at a hotel on the trolley line.

 
Food @ Sea World San Diego


Sea Worlds official policy on bringing snacks into the park is no food or drink.  I have heard mixed reviews in regard to security.  We were not allowed to take our snacks in, while others say they take lunch in with no problems.  I imagine this must depend on the day, time and mood of the security guard.  Sea World does have collector popcorn buckets and refillable drink cups.  These are around $8 to $10 on the first purchase and then they can be refilled for $1 to $3.  Food prices do vary within the park on like items.  You can save money by purchasing from a vendor on the boardwalk rather than at the shows. 

Once you are in Sea World Park there are several choices in regards to food.  Some families have #saved money with the Dine All Day bracelets.  The food is quite expensive; however they do offer large portions.  Should you choose to purchase these Dine All Day bracelets, in my experience you could save money by purchasing one bracelet for every two people and then share a plate.  In general, the Dine All Day offers more food than one can eat in a day.


Should you choose to eat in the park beware of the Seagulls.  They are armed and dangerous.  Many people have fed them over the years so they are very fat and inclined to swoop down out of the sky and attack you for your food.  Choose a restaurant with covered seating.  Although Sea World is aware of the issue and will be happy to replace your food the trauma you may suffer is just not worth the risk.

If you want to save more money on food then the Denny’s on Mission Bay gives great service and hot food.  Another money saving alternative is Kono’s on Pacific Beach but the wait is long so plan ahead.  We stayed for the fireworks the first night and they were not really that great.  Most people leave at dinner time and go off site to eat at one of the many restaurants through the San Diego area. It is especially nice to go back to the beach for dinner.  Kono’s serves breakfast all day and they offer large portions that you can share.

Attraction Tickets

The park is not unmanageably large so one to two days is really the most you will need to plan for.  This is where you can really save money when purchasing a ticket package.  Sea World, San Diego has a new policy when you purchase tickets through a vacation package they will include a seven day pass.  While this may seem like a great deal, you really don't need this much time in the park.   

Purchase your vacation package through a website such as Get Away Today and then when you get to the check out portion you can down grade your tickets to one or two days. If you have children then down grade to one day and it will possibly give you the children’s tickets for free depending on what special Sea World is running at that time.  You can also purchase a Southern California City Pass that will allow you into most of the theme parks including Disneyland, Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Universal Studios.

Plan ahead if you want to do an animal encounter; these encounters run anywhere from $6 for sea lions to $45 per person for dolphin encounters.  Make sure you arrive at the park early and then stop at the reservation desk on the way in to make a reservation for an dolphin encounter.  Should you wish to swim with the dolphins this is much more expensive and sometimes you can save money by making reservations online.  Visit the Sea World, San Diego website to review this information.

Finally, save money tip: Don't forget to wrap your electronics in a zip lock bag! You will get wet!

Are you going to Disneyland at the same time? You may want to read Saving at Disneyland.

No comments:

Post a Comment

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I did not consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I am normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. I did succeed in changing our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming where we are about to take an even bigger step and move out on a dirt road in the country where we can expand our hobby bees and more! You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. Any sponsors or advertisers are independent of this blog.