Finding the right water park for the little ones in your life can be a challenge. Many water parks slides and rides require riders to be taller than most toddlers and even preschoolers. It leaves parents wondering which water park is best for their little ones? And is the ticket price worth it?

Our family absolutely loves Aquatica San Antonio for all the reasons below, and even more that I didn’t mention. Hopefully, this list will help you decide whether or not to take your baby or toddler to Sea World Aquatica in San Antonio, Texas. My vote is yes!

#1 – Aquatica Actually Has Shade

Before I took my three small children to Aquatica San Antonio, my biggest concern was ample shade. Texas summers, and even spring time, can be brutally hot and sunny. Unfortunately, the risk of skin cancer is real and we all know sunscreen doesn’t always last or gets washed off. Plus, little kids can overheat much more easily than adults, and some are more sensitive than others. Mine are pretty sensitive.

Thankfully, Aquatica offers more shade than I ever expected. Most water parks don’t put trees around the play areas and ride lines, probably due to the need to clean debris from the water constantly. Usually, available shade has been limited to seating areas, and often the covered seating areas are restricted to cabanas that must be rented for an additional fee.

So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to find several shaded areas including spots in the water. Both the tiered pools and tall fort structure at Aquatica provided delightful little pockets of shade where my kids could play while covered.

#2 – Aquatica Has Sting Rays You Can Touch

By far my favorite perk of this water park, the stingrays provide a hands-on educational experience for your little ones. You can also buy food to hand feed them, which you have to admit, is pretty darn cool! There’s also a family ride that passes through a tunnel where you can see into the stingray aquarium for riders 39” and above.

#3 – Aquatica Has Pools and Slides for Toddlers

While some water parks only have one main area for little kids, Aquatica offers a variety of pools and small slides only for little kids.

Tucked in the trees on the hillside, Kata’s Kookaburra Cove provides 3,000 square feet of super shallow pool just perfect for babies and toddlers. It features sea creatures and fountains and lots of seating, even some umbrellas.

Directly overlooking the wave pool, Cutback Cove provide a lovely spot for families with both small and big kids. The 3,360 square foot pool for the bigger kids offers two slides: a corkscrew slide for kids and adults 48” and above and a short but very wide slide perfect for any size fun seeker. The pool is perfect for walking around but too deep for littles to sit in. However, directly adjacent to this pool is another very shallow pool with some spraying features that is perfect for the toddlers. Ample seating surrounds the pool.

Kids love the crashing waves of Big Surf Shores, a 400,000-gallon wave pool with swells up to 5 feet and graduated beach entrance. Everyone in your family will enjoy the motion of this faux ocean.

Slippity Dippity® offers fun fountains, several spraying water features and four kid-sized slides that dump into the 30” deep pool.

Walkabout Waters boasts three stories of interactive play with seesaws and dumping buckets.

Naturalistic rocks border Whanau Waters where guests will find waterfalls and two more small slides.

#4 – Discovery Cove is Right Next Door

Be sure to hit Discovery Point, located outside the waterpark and right next door. Watch bottlenose dolphins play from the shores of Dolphin Lagoon or check them out via the underwater viewing area. You can Explorer’s Reef features a variety of aquariums including one very large tank with several species of sharks and coral reef. Don’t miss the sea horses, clownfish, dart frogs and more. You can also opt for an in-person in-water experience with the various animals for an additional fee.

#5 – Aquatica Allows Re-entry

Sea World allows you to leave the park and come back without paying again, but they don’t allow outside food and beverages. So, pack some healthy snacks and head to the car for lunch time. This might be a great time to sneak in a little nap, too, before heading back inside the park for more fun!

#6 – Aquatica Allows Strollers and Wagons

It’s awesome, and it’s not, depending on what works best for your family.

  • The pros: strollers are great! Of course, you want it if you have a baby that you’d otherwise have to carry, and for toddlers, strollers can be incredibly helpful when your little one gets tired. They’re also great for lugging around the loads of stuff that can go along with having little people in your group.
  • The cons: On a busy day, having our stroller wagon proves kind of a navigation nightmare because pushing it through the sea of people can slow you down quite a bit, especially when people often dodge in front of you.

We take our Wonderfold wagon to Aquatica and we’re always glad we did!

#7 – Aquatica Isn’t Too Big

Sometimes less is actually more. Only 18-acres, Aquatica water park is the perfect size for toddlers and that’s great, because if your little people tend to run off, it’s never that hard to find them.

#8 – Sea World Is Only a Few Steps Away

Who can resist the allure of orcas, walruses, sea lions and penguins? It’s just too easy to walk over to Sea World and visit our water-bound friends. Thrill seeking big kids and adults can enjoy the roller coasters, too.

#9 – Sea World Offers Free Passes for Preschoolers

This year, and maybe previous years too, Sea World has a promotion offering free season passes for preschoolers. If you live close, or if you don’t, and depending on the ages of your kids, it can be a great deal. You have to pay a very reasonable fee to add the Aquatica passes, and will need to pay for adult passes, but the passes pay for themselves pretty fast. For our family of five it ended up being totally worth the money!

What do you think?

For us, Sea World’s Aquatica Water Park feels like the jackpot of water parks for my baby, toddler and preschooler. I hope you’re able to enjoy it as much we did. Have you been to Aquatica San Antonio? Let me know about your experience and what you think: is Sea World Aquatica San Antonio good for babies and toddlers?

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