Editor’s Note: We visited Aquatica during the 2015 season so details such as food offerings or locker pricing are subject to change. We found a family ticket package on their main website and have no business relationship with the brand or its sister companies.
Ready to start the season off with a splash? We found some refreshing fun in the sun on a recent Southern California road trip. Aquatica San Diego, a water park property owned by SeaWorld, is actually situated about 15 miles south of San Diego proper in Chula Vista, California.
Having arrived before the main gates opened, we were treated to a moment of calm (in the middle of the tension usually found in amusement park lines) by the singing of our national anthem. Shortly after stepping into the park, we were “greeted” by a group of colorful and majestic flamingos. Their enclosure is located near the kids’ area. We enjoyed a view of their antics as we relaxed on lounge chairs at the border of the lazy river.
The grounds were remarkably clean and enjoyable to stroll about during the morning in the cool breeze. I noted that later in the day when the sun baked down, the air temperature was still comfortable but much of the park’s concrete was remarkably HOT! It was difficult to stand in one place and we even stood on our towel while in line for Dippin’ Dots. Rather than running and hopping to the next shady spot, I would definitely keep my sandals close at hand on a future visit.
One thing to note (that may not have been available during our visit or we just didn’t notice) is some attractions are heated to 78–80 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature. Big Surf Shores, Loggerhead Lane, Slippity Dippity®, Walkabout Waters, and Kata’s Kookaburra Cove® are some of the areas you can enjoy even on an overcast morning or windy afternoon. Having been “kicked out” of a water park near Las Vegas due to chilly weather on a prior occasion, the heated areas at Aquatica act a bit like travel insurance. You can be more confident making plans here because some wind or a few clouds aren’t going to make the pool water feel like the Polar Plunge.
As far as safety and security go, attentive lifeguards abound. Many attractions had two or more lifeguards on duty. In addition, locker and lock box options are available and expansive racks of life vests pepper the grounds.
Despite the fun surrounding us, our little one wasn’t having it and there were some tears. We were grateful to the sympathetic lifeguard that treated our daughter to an adorable Aquatica-branded temporary tattoo that finally put a smile on her face!
Some of our best Aquatica San Diego tips for new visitors:
- Get there early. It’s sunny and pleasantly peaceful in the hours just after the park opens. Save a towel and lounge chair and head straight for a water slide!
- Bring sandals. If you plan to get a snack or walk anywhere outside of the water, you’ll likely need them.
- Plan ahead and buy your tickets and parking online. Your wallet will thank you!
If you’ve been to Aquatica San Diego, do you have any tips to share with future visitors? If so, we’d love to read them in the comments!