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Old 04-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #1
kikids
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SW trip report with early entry & breakfast

Info learned from our visit April 2nd:

We booked an entire package with preferred hotel and SW passes thru the SW website.

Staying on site at a SeaWorld property gets you: * Early entry to the park on certain days, * Unlimited Quick Queue wristbands, * Offer to take the exclusive Rescue Tour on early entry days, and * Free transportation to SW, DC, Aquatica and Universal. (We also were offered the all day dining plan for free with a promotion running when we bought the tix online.)

Getting these benefits: Each hotel has an Expedia Travel Expert desk. On early entry days, the Expedia person arrives at 6:45 am and hands out benefit cards starting at 7 am. Our hotel was booked so I arrived right at 6:45 but the rep told me SW gives her lots of passes and that she didn’t anticipate needing to deny anyone the benefits though it is first come, first serve, while supplies last.

Rescue Tour: I asked the rep about this tour and she told me you go behind the scenes and learn how SW takes care of sea turtles and manatees. She explained that it is interesting and informational but added that there is no feeding or interaction with these animals. We opted not to do the tour – the only times offered were around 8:20 and 9:00 and we didn’t want to cut into our early entry experience or breakfast.

Early Entry: With early entry you bring your card from the Expedia desk to SW at 8 am and are let in through a different gate to the left of the main gate/guest services. The biggest surprise to us is that early entry only means access to only four exhibits: the Manta ride and aquarium, the dolphins, the sea turtle, and the sting ray pool. All other exhibits remain off limits until the park officially opens at 9 am. For some reason I had thought ‘early entry’ meant to the entire park but it does not (or at least not when we were there). However, my DD and DH loved riding the Manta three times in a row and being the only ones at the dolphin pond. (Though you cannot feed them until the first feeding time at 9:30).

Breakfast: I’ve seen many threads asking about breakfast at the park. When we went on April 2nd, early entry day, the SeaFire Inn opened at 8:45-10:30 for breakfast. They served French toast sticks (exactly like the frozen Aunt Jemima ones), bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, danishes, chocolate chip muffins, fruit cups and orange juice.

Transportation: We used the shuttle from the Renaissance to SW, even though we could have just walked across the parking lot! The shuttle runs several times during the day including a 7:40 am run for early entry and is very convenient. I kept the shuttle schedule if anyone has questions about times to the various parks.

Unlimited Quick Queue: This was a wonderful perk of the hotel stay! My DD rode Journey to Atlantis five times never waiting more than a few minutes to get on, while outside the line for other park goers said “60 minutes” from this point. TIP: Target stores sell Coleman ponchos in their camping section for $1.49 each that are packaged into a square the size of an index card. I bought and brought four to the park and we stayed dry on this ride! They work well in ‘splash zone’ areas of the shows too! Also, this bracelet gets each person a free Sky Tower and Paddle Boat rental. We did both. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Sky Tower!

In general it was a very nice SW visit for us. All employees were very friendly, all rides were open, the park was extremely crowded but you only noticed it during the shows. The food was not great, except Voyagers Smokehouse which was pretty good, though crowded. I recommend staying away from Spice Mill Cafe (not good at all IMO). We really enjoyed the Sea Lions tonight show after seeing the other shows during the day. Wish we could have caught the new Shamu Stadium show but it wasn't showing yet, guess we'll have to go back!
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:44 AM   #2
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Thanks so much for all this great info! We did not purchase a package through Seaworld,but we are going to stay at a partner hotel-HGVC across the street from Seaworld. I assume we are going to be able to enjoy all the same perks as you except the free all day dining deal. I plan to purchase the all day dine out of pocket. Does anyone know if I can get a discount on that purchase if I show my AAA card? Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:08 AM   #3
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Sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for the wonderful info and tips.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:36 PM   #4
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On the unlimited quick queue do you get a card or something from the hotel to show at each ride? Is there any benefit to this for the shows?
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Sorry for delayed reply, you show your voucher from the hotel to an attendant at the tours and information counter inside seaworld and they give you a special quick queue wristband to wear all day.

You simply get into the specific 'quick queue' lines at rides (similar to fast pass lines at disney) and hold up your wrist to show the attendant. It is only vaild at the main rides (Manta, Kraken, JTA, Wild Arctic, Skytower, and paddleboats); there is no quick queue in the kids area, for example.

The wristband doesn't help at the shows, unfortunately. Even at the shows over spring break though, as long as you arrived 20 min early you could get a good seat, except for Pets Ahoy which fills up really early and it's hard to see the cats and dogs well from far back. We arrived 30 min prior for that one, and were glad we did.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:38 PM   #6
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I never booked the package , as it worked ourt cheaper doing it myself.
Are you entitled to any of the perks, and who gives you the voucher from the hotel.
Would doubt i am entitled , booking it my self, but would be interesting to know.
staying at Hilton garden Inn
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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See comments and question in bold:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikids View Post
Breakfast: I’ve seen many threads asking about breakfast at the park. When we went on April 2nd, early entry day, the SeaFire Inn opened at 8:45-10:30 for breakfast. They served French toast sticks (exactly like the frozen Aunt Jemima ones), bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, danishes, chocolate chip muffins, fruit cups and orange juice.

Thanks for this info.. now I feel good about the "all-day dining" that we bought... This means we can do breakfast, lunch and supper.. that's a pretty good deal!!!
Unlimited Quick Queue: This was a wonderful perk of the hotel stay! My DD rode Journey to Atlantis five times never waiting more than a few minutes to get on, while outside the line for other park goers said “60 minutes” from this point. TIP: Target stores sell Coleman ponchos in their camping section for $1.49 each that are packaged into a square the size of an index card. I bought and brought four to the park and we stayed dry on this ride! They work well in ‘splash zone’ areas of the shows too! Also, this bracelet gets each person a free Sky Tower and Paddle Boat rental. We did both. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Sky Tower!

Question about Quick Quene.. can you purchase this at the Park, or do you have to pre-purchase online?
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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rpbert1 Regarding the Hilton Garden Inn: From what I read, as long as you are staying at a Sea World Partner Hotel, which SeaWorld Hilton Garden Inn is, you are entitled to all of the benefits whether you book via the website or not. Read this link http://behindthethrills.com/2011/01/...t-great-deals/

Coach81 Regarding Quick Queue: There are two types, one time quick queue and unlimited. You can purchase either at the park, doesn't have to be online (there are signs advertising it when you come in), but they claim they can sell out/only offered in a limited number. It's very expensive though, I doubt they sell out often. And yes, if you get bkfst, lunch, and dinner, the dining plan is definitely worth it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikids View Post
rpbert1 Regarding the Hilton Garden Inn: From what I read, as long as you are staying at a Sea World Partner Hotel, which SeaWorld Hilton Garden Inn is, you are entitled to all of the benefits whether you book via the website or not. Read this link http://behindthethrills.com/2011/01/...t-great-deals/

Coach81 Regarding Quick Queue: There are two types, one time quick queue and unlimited. You can purchase either at the park, doesn't have to be online (there are signs advertising it when you come in), but they claim they can sell out/only offered in a limited number. It's very expensive though, I doubt they sell out often. And yes, if you get bkfst, lunch, and dinner, the dining plan is definitely worth it.
Thank you so much!
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikids View Post
rpbert1 Regarding the Hilton Garden Inn: From what I read, as long as you are staying at a Sea World Partner Hotel, which SeaWorld Hilton Garden Inn is, you are entitled to all of the benefits whether you book via the website or not. Read this link http://behindthethrills.com/2011/01/...t-great-deals/

Coach81 Regarding Quick Queue: There are two types, one time quick queue and unlimited. You can purchase either at the park, doesn't have to be online (there are signs advertising it when you come in), but they claim they can sell out/only offered in a limited number. It's very expensive though, I doubt they sell out often. And yes, if you get bkfst, lunch, and dinner, the dining plan is definitely worth it.
Thanks for the info, will let you all know when we get there.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:09 AM   #11
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We got the unlimited dining.. and now I"m wondering if we should just go ahead a get the unlimited Quene pass as the 30th is memorial day weekend???

I would love to hear everyone's thoughts....
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:53 PM   #12
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Coach81, you know, I guess the quick queue (which I almost just called 'fast pass') probably depends on how geeked up your family is to ride the rides. If you are mostly going for the shows and animals and don't mind waiting in 30 min+ lines and only want to ride a few things once or twice, then you wouldn't need it. But if you have people in your party who love coasters or water rides and hate waiting longer than 10 minutes to get on something (which accurately describes my family), then I'd go for it. Maybe price the one time quick queue versus the unlimited? Hopefully you'll get some other opinions from folks out there too...
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:47 AM   #13
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Great review! We are headed to SW July 11-13 (after time at Disney). We are using military tickets but I did book an official hotel for the other perks ...

My question is about the all day dining (which we will be purchasing). Does that include breakfast also? And is that only at the Seafire Inn or other places too? Also, is it truly unlimited? Like my son can eat two hot dogs ... can I go through the line and get him one and them immediately get back in line?

Thanks!!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:59 PM   #14
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I can help answer the all day dining questions -- DH, DD, and I just went to SeaWorld today!

The all day dining was a really great deal for us. Yes -- it truly is unlimited. At one point, DD was sleeping in her stroller, so DH sat with her while I went through the line three times (once for his meal, once for mine, and once for an extra drink). We sat there in the Spice Mill Cafe for over an hour while DD slept in the air conditioning -- I think I got up and went through the line a total of 6 or 7 times -- sometimes just for a drink, sometimes for dessert.

The employees were really nice about it too -- they told me to just go on past the people waiting to pay and just make sure to wave my wristband at the cashier.

Also -- I found it a bit confusing at first to figure out what you could get on the plan. Each time through the line you can get one entree, one side item or dessert, and one drink (bottled water or coke, etc.). Sometimes a burger would come with fries, so I assumed at first that the fries were the side item, but they weren't, they were considered part of the entree, so you could still get fruit or something as a side. I just asked, and the workers were very helpful.

You can also go through the line and just get a drink, or just a side item. There was a good selection of fruit -- watermelon and strawberries.

I thought it might be a pain to only be able to get drinks at the six or so restaurants on the all day dining, but it really wasn't. We would usually each go through the line a second time to get a bottled water after we finished eating, so we'd have that water to take with us. A couple times we stopped and just got drinks and maybe some fruit.

We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner there. The Smokehouse was probably the best food, the rest was just okay.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:43 AM   #15
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Thanks Darcy! Great info!!!
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