Theme Parks

SeaWorld and Aquatica are the two other parks that are not Disney or Universal in Orlando and they both are much cheaper for a reason.

A day at Disney World will cost you well over $100.00 and rarely do they discount their admission tickets. Universal Studios, Volcano Bay, and the Island of Adventure will cost you over $100.00 as well with Volcano setting you back $80.00. Sometimes you can find a discount. At SeaWorld and Aquatica, there are always discounts and there is never a reason to pay full price.

A full day price at SeaWorld will cost you close to $100.00 and Aquatica’s gate price will be over $80.00 but they almost never are selling gate-price tickets. On their website, you can buy a two-park ticket for $119.00 that includes both parks. Aquatica tickets can be had for $42.00 and SeaWorld is often around $80.00 or less. On Black Friday, you can buy an annual pass for just over $100.00, a fun card for less than $60.00 to either park. A platinum season pass will cost you about $279.00 but includes every park under the SeaWorld umbrella including parks in San Diego, San Antonio, and Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. 11 parks in total plus a lot of really good amenities.

So why are SeaWorld’s parks so much less than the other? Because you are paying for park entry, not for attention. Our customer service review, which you can read here, says it all. SeaWorld and Aquatica are cheaper because their standards are not as high. My wife laughed at our recent visits.

Both parks have very strict rules when it comes to what you can bring into the park. Absolutely no outside food or coolers to name two. There are signs everywhere yet when we arrived with a collapsable cooler on each park visit, with food in it, they didn’t bother to check. In fact, they did a quick scan of our bags without really looking at all. At Disney, they are far more relaxed with the rules of what you can bring in but they are very thorough when they check your bags.

Breakaway Falls is Aquatica’s top thrill attraction! Image courtesy Brian Miller

You don’t pay as much because frankly, they need your business just to stay afloat and while the parks are great, don’t get me wrong, they have a lot that they can improve on from the cleanliness of the parks themselves to the “ambassador” interactions.

It was on clear display at Aquatica when a child got sick at the top of a tall water rides tower. The climb was high and he threw up all over the steps just below the launch platform. The employees at the top were told and shrugged it off. When a guest complained that patrons couldn’t walk over the step, the employee handed her an empty plastic water bottle and pointed at a pool of water to dip the bottle into. She had to rinse the step off herself and it wasn’t her kid. The employees didn’t care at all. That’s probably why you don’t pay as much.

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