Sea World’s Special Needs Discount Program Is Epic! Here’s The Details.

This weekend we were invited by Sea World San Antonio to come check out their park (which has an awesome new water park!) and to learn about their special needs discount program. I had no idea Sea World offered discounts to families with children raising special needs, but they do, and it’s a great deal.

Here are some of the details:

Sea World San Antonio Special Needs Discount Program

sea world special needs discounts

Just as a quick disclaimer, I’m not sure if these discounts apply to all Sea Worlds or just the location in San Antonio, but if you’re not in San Antonio it’s certainly worth giving your location a call and asking them about discounts to families with children with special needs.

SeaWorld San Antonio offers a 50% off discount on one-day admissions for our disabled/special needs guests and one (1) companion/chaperone (per disabled guest). Disabled/special needs guest is defined as anyone who is mentally or physically challenged, deaf, or blind.

Pretty awesome deal, huh?

Noah’s Epic First Time At Sea World

boy with down syndrome at sea world

It was a perfect day for a trip to Sea World!

This was Noah’s first time at Sea World, and as you can see in the pictures below he had a great time!

If you’ve been following our story for a while you may remember Noah’s first interaction with a sea creature (a dolphin) didn’t go all to well. However we found that Noah enjoyed the whales (from a distance) much better than the dolphins (up close!)

down syndrome child at sea world

Noah’s having a great time at Sea World!


The great thing about Sea World is that it’s much more than just animal shows, in fact this Sea World had and an entire kids area and a water park! This was a big day for Noah since he got to ride his very first ride! (His dad is a huge fan of theme parks, so this kid is in for a life time of roller coaster rides, that’s for sure!)

child with down syndrome riding theme park ride

He was just “a little” to short to ride alone. 🙂

child with down syndrome riding ferris wheel

Noah’s first ferris wheel ride!


In addition to the rides and animals shows, Sea Word also has an awesome “Elmo Rocks” show located in their Sesame Street Bay of Play area. I know some children with special needs are sensitive to loud music and bright lights, but Noah seems to enjoy them (especially the bright lights of Times Square!)

At the end of the day we also took the time to (sort of) climb up one of these rope walls (which I totally forget how much they hurt your knees and feet…I mean seriously, why do kids like to play on these things?!)

father and son at sea world having fun

Dad’s ready for a nap (Noah wants to keep going!)

We had a great time at Sea World, and if you are near one I think it’s a great place to visit with your family. The one in San Antonino that we visited is especially awesome since it also has an incredible water park attached to it (not to mention the discount they give to families raising children with special needs.) I know we will certainly be brining Noah back!

I’ve also heard great things about Morgan’s Wonderland (a theme park for specifically designed for children with special needs which is also in San Antonino) and plan on taking him there some day as well.

Have you taken your kids to any theme parks yet? If so, which ones and how did they like it? Leave a comment below and tell us about it. (Bonus points for sharing pictures!)

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. I remember going to visit my great-grandparents in San Antonio when I was a kid. We visited Sea World – it was pretty awesome. 🙂

  2. I think James totally falls into the “special needs” category, and would have no problem taking advantage of this discount! I won’t worry about semantics when it comes to Shamu! 🙂

    There is also a park pass for people with special needs. If I understand correctly, most every national park is free for people with special needs, and for anyone in the same car with them.

    I wonder what other opportunities are available for our kids?

  3. Elizabeth Thomas says

    It certainly looked like you were both enjoying yourselves I don’t know which one of you enjoyed it the most x

  4. Thanks for sharing this information!!!! We didn’t know that before. Noah is so lucky having a fun dad & mom taking him to so many new places!!!!

  5. Dawn Keith says

    I took my son David who has autism to Morgans Wonderland te same year they opened. He loved it, we had so much fun. I think he was 11. He told me he liked it better then 6 flags. He said the reason why was, everyone seemed so happy to be there, everyone was so friendly. He said that everyone at 6 flags is in such a hurry and seem so angry. I think Noah would love Morgan’s. They have a very fun water table, that my son loved!

  6. Dawn Keith says

    That’s very cool about the Sea World discount. At 6 flags Over TX we get the disability pass. As my son is unable to wait in long lines. Do you know if they have that at Sea World?

    • Hmmm, I’m not sure if they allow you to skip the lines or not. To be honest their wasn’t many lines as most of the attractions at Sea World are shows,and there aren’t really lines for the shows….more so just trying to find a seat. Although I did notice their were lots of seats marked off for “handicapped” which I’m assuming anyone with a “special need” could sit in.

      We live close to Six Flags over Texas, it’s a lot of fun (hot…but fun!) 🙂

      • Dawn Keith says

        I have never been to Sea World but hope to sometime. So I have no idea how the park is set up. It looks like you and Noah had a great time.

  7. AndreaVega says

    My son Gavin is 20 months lol and has downs. San Antonio has a kiddy park that has many mini rides, so cute! He loved it!

  8. Were you able to purchase online or Is this discount only available in person? I have tried to find info on Sea World’s Website but they don’t seem to have anything at all on it.

    By the way, Morgan’s Wonderland is amazing! And MUCH less expensive! My son loved it and it’s even enjoyable for children who don’t have special needs.

    • I believe you have to call and purchase over the phone, I don’t think they advertise on their website.

      I’ve heard a lot of great things about Morgan’s Wonderland, we really want to take Noah to check it out someday! Do you guys live in San Antonio?

      • Thanks for sharing! I didn’t know that Sea World offered special needs discounts and we live in San Antonio! Is the discount for the child or does it also include parents?
        We LOVE Morgan’s Wonderland and have season passes for our family (we have a 20 month old with Down syndrome). It is incredible and so much fun for everyone (lots of families with “typical” kids enjoy the park just as much!). We feel blessed to live so close to such a fun place full of acceptance!

  9. kimberly hutchinson says

    We live in San Diego and will check our Sea World for such a discount. So glad to hear of this option. We just took Mikey and his big brother and cousin to Las Vegas and he loved it. He “rode” the waterslide with me at Excalibur and loved it. He is a little fishy. So glad you had fun!

  10. Magill diaz says

    I hope you come back soon to our city, I didn’t know about the discount, thank you for the info:) We just took our daughter Audrey to Morgan’s wonderland last month with the local down syndrome association. It is an amazing park, they even host birthday parties!

  11. Magaly diaz says

    Huge fans by the way, my husband and I have been reading since we were still pregnant:) love Noah!

  12. Carie whitebirch says

    They don’t have a discount but Disneyland/california adventure has a pass for special needs children, so they don’t have to wait in long lines…as we know sometimes this is a little challenging! And if its your little ones first time ask for a First Time Button and allof the park characters go out of their way to say hello!! Our little grandson loved California Adventure!!! Disney was a little too much for him but CA was perfect!

  13. Hi,
    These are great tips. I am VERY new to blogging.
    I just found your blog when I was searching for birth stories of people who got surprise diagnoses when their child was born. I actually wanted to make a comment on your son Noah’s moving birth story which I just read but there was no place to comment. It was just so thoughtfully and beautifully written and brought me to tears. I could comment all day on it. Our son was born with a very rare skin condition that we didn’t know about til birth. He’s ok but will grow up with a visual difference. Since his birth I have been always looking for someone to share their experience of welcoming a child who was born different or with a health issue. Not many people share that. Since he was born I was able to go on and have another child who was healthy but I still think a lot about the experience of welcoming a child who wasn’t born “typical”. If curious you can read my birth story here:
    What an amazing blog and a beautiful family you have.

  14. Angela Falleur says

    Walt Disney World in Orlando gives a “Special Guest Assistance” pass. No discount on ticket prices, but with this pass you get an alternate area to wait when the lines are really long. This usually equates to the fast pass line, or the wheel chair entrance. We have three special needs children, and there’s no way they could stand in a line without bothering everyone around us. We couldn’t go to Disney without this pass. There was something going around recently about people taking advantage of this, which is sad that some jerks have to ruin it for everyone, but I always bring documentation and never have any trouble. It’s such a lifesaver. They also can give you a tag for your stroller that allows you to use your stroller as you would a wheel chair and use it all the way in line up to getting on the ride. My husband and I only have two arms each, and it’s hard to park a stroller a couple blocks away from a ride and all get on and off safely. Hope it helps!

  15. Only problem is that sea world takes horrible care of their animals, they only care about money, not the creatures health

  16. phaedra dowling says

    Harry Potter world was amazing! We went for Halloween and I was a witch and John was a snow owl! Theme parks are what playground slides wish to be when they grow up!!!!!!!

  17. Hes adorable and looks like he had a blast! Its nice to see a blog from a dad’s perspective 🙂 Thanks for the helpful info! 🙂


  1. […] * Noah’s Dad tells us about Sea World’s “Special Needs Discounts”. […]

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