Sea World/Discovery Cove in November or wait?

MarBee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Hello!
We are currently re-planning a cancelled Summer trip to DC/SW for November. I am super indecisive and was hoping for feedback to help with some of my possible plans/decision making:

1) How is SW with the enforcement of distancing/masking indoors? I know they say that masks are required inside, but is actually enforced in any way? FWIW, we were just at Disney, and they were amazing with it.
2) I see that Sea World starts its Christmas celebration on 11/13. Is it worth shuffling our DC and SW dates to attend?
3) it was unclear whether the Christmas celebration was an added cost or included in regular admission. I’m buying through a third party (credit card rewards portal), so I wanted to be sure. Also, does the Christmas celebration start after the park closes for the day, like Disney, or is it just a regular day with Christmas enhancements throughout the park?
4) Any recent reviews on the parks from someone recently there? I was reading a lot of negative reviews about trash and lack of employees. I know to take internet reviews with an enormous grain of salt, but I still can’t help to wonder if I’m better off waiting or not? This is most likely the one and only time we will go to DC/SW.
Thank you in advance for your input and advice!
 

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

Life is short. Live it well.
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Hello!
We are currently re-planning a cancelled Summer trip to DC/SW for November. I am super indecisive and was hoping for feedback to help with some of my possible plans/decision making:

1) How is SW with the enforcement of distancing/masking indoors? I know they say that masks are required inside, but is actually enforced in any way? FWIW, we were just at Disney, and they were amazing with it.
2) I see that Sea World starts its Christmas celebration on 11/13. Is it worth shuffling our DC and SW dates to attend?
3) it was unclear whether the Christmas celebration was an added cost or included in regular admission. I’m buying through a third party (credit card rewards portal), so I wanted to be sure. Also, does the Christmas celebration start after the park closes for the day, like Disney, or is it just a regular day with Christmas enhancements throughout the park?
4) Any recent reviews on the parks from someone recently there? I was reading a lot of negative reviews about trash and lack of employees. I know to take internet reviews with an enormous grain of salt, but I still can’t help to wonder if I’m better off waiting or not? This is most likely the one and only time we will go to DC/SW.
Thank you in advance for your input and advice!
1: There is no enforcement of distancing or masking indoors at SeaWorld. They leave it completely up to guests to self-manage. You are welcome to wear a mask inside, but there will be no distancing unless other guests give you that courtesy (and you make that same effort yourself).

2. Absolutely, 100% yes. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is spectacular.

3. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is included with your regular park admission. The Christmas events will start at night (around 7 pm, if I remember correctly), after the regular day events have concluded. No one needs to exit the park during the transition, it just happens. You can purchase upgrades, like reserved show seating or food lanyards, if you so choose.

4. We were at SeaWorld and Discovery Cove the week of September 4 to 11 this year. We had a fabulous time (the Craft Beer Festival and Howl O Scream were the special events at SW at that time, and we attended both). We did the Flamingo Mingle at DC and rented a cabana......one of the best days of our whole trip, as always. You will always, ALWAYS read negative reviews about SeaWorld and sometimes the complaints are valid, but very often its because people are comparing the park to Disney and that's just not a fair comparison. The SeaWorld experience is ENTIRELY different than the Disney experience, and that's intentional on SW's part. We have been out of state passholders for the better part of 10 years now, and have never regretted it for a second. I highly recommend any of SeaWorld's tours if you want to add something special to your trip, especially one of their "Up Close" tours (belugas, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, orcas or walrus).

SeaWorld has struggled, like most other businesses these days, to hire sufficient staff since their reopening following the pandemic closure. That's definitely going to affect the guest experience, and has to be taken into consideration when reading reviews. Not an excuse, but something to keep in mind.
 
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MarBee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
1: There is no enforcement of distancing or masking indoors at SeaWorld. They leave it completely up to guests to self-manage. You are welcome to wear a mask inside, but there will be no distancing unless other guests give you that courtesy (and you make that same effort yourself).

2. Absolutely, 100% yes. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is spectacular.

3. SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is included with your regular park admission. The Christmas events will start at night (around 7 pm, if I remember correctly), after the regular day events have concluded. No one needs to exit the park during the transition, it just happens. You can purchase upgrades, like reserved show seating or food lanyards, if you so choose.

4. We were at SeaWorld and Discovery Cove the week of September 4 to 11 this year. We had a fabulous time (the Craft Beer Festival and Howl O Scream were the special events at SW at that time, and we attended both). We did the Flamingo Mingle at DC and rented a cabana......one of the best days of our whole trip, as always. You will always, ALWAYS read negative reviews about SeaWorld and sometimes the complaints are valid, but very often its because people are comparing the park to Disney and that's just not a fair comparison. The SeaWorld experience is ENTIRELY different than the Disney experience, and that's intentional on SW's part. We have been out of state passholders for the better part of 10 years now, and have never regretted it for a second. I highly recommend any of SeaWorld's tours if you want to add something special to your trip, especially one of their "Up Close" tours (belugas, penguins, dolphins, sea lions, orcas or walrus).

SeaWorld has struggled, like most other businesses these days, to hire sufficient staff since their reopening following the pandemic closure. That's definitely going to affect the guest experience, and has to be taken into consideration when reading reviews. Not an excuse, but something to keep in mind.
Thank you so much for the info! Sounds like a ton of fun but since they’re not taking Covid measures, I think we are probably better off waiting.
 

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

Life is short. Live it well.
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Thank you so much for the info! Sounds like a ton of fun but since they’re not taking Covid measures, I think we are probably better off waiting.
I totally understand and respect that decision. At this point of the pandemic, we all need to do whatever is within our own comfort zone.

Just so it doesn't seem like I'm intentionally crapping on SeaWorld, I feel that I should also note that we went to MK, Blizzard Beach, Sangria University at CSR, Disney Springs, and several Disney resort restaurants on that same trip. Honestly, we didn't feel that Disney was significantly better in terms of Covid enforcement than any non-Disney locations......but of course, everyone's "feel" is different. Yes, they had people wearing masks inside, but we were also PACKED in at times (Haunted Mansion stretching room.....I'm looking at you!! And that was just one example). We never experienced that same kind of mass crowding at any non-Disney park or attraction. Folks were literally shoulder-to-shoulder in Frontierland waiting for the Boo Bash Cavalcades.....enough that we skipped those entirely.....and being outside, there were no masks enforced and certainly no social distancing mentioned. So while Disney "sounded" like a safer bet to us, I can't say I actually felt that it actually WAS after all was said and done. Not at all to say you should make a different decision (as I mentioned before, it's all about personal comfort levels) but I did think I needed to give some perspective to my reply.
 
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