Aquatica San Diego offers summer fun for all ages with its combination of a relaxing beachside resort atmosphere, rides for all ages (including high-speed slides), animal encounters, and various ways to upgrade your day.
This popular San Diego theme park did not open for the 2020 season, so the information below is based on the 2019 season. It appears that they may open for a 2021 season despite announcing the park’s transition to a Sesame Street Place. I will keep you posted.
Aquatica San Diego Tickets and Tips
First, let’s talk about tickets and logistics. If you buy tickets using links in this post I may be compensated.
Retail price at the gate for single day Aquatica San Diego tickets is:
- $47.99/adult (ages 10-up).
- $42.99/child (ages 3-9).
- Kids under 2 are free.
Note that the parking fee at Aquatica San Diego is currently $17 for cars.
Purchasing Aquatica San Diego tickets is rather simple, and I have outlined how to buy discount Aquatica San Diego tickets in detail. Here’s a summary:
- Single day tickets are cheaper through aRes Travel.
- You can buy a 7-day pass that allows unlimited entry to both SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica San Diego.
- Locals may want to look at the Aquatica Splash Pass, a bargain for $49.99 that allows repeat entry all summer, or one of the other season pass options that offer free parking, in-park discounts, and more.
- You can also upgrade your day with cabanas, Quick Queue front-of-line passes, and more.
Tickets through aRes Travel have a $2 per ticket service charge. Aquatica San Diego charges a $9.99 per order service fee. Buying tickets in advance allows you to go straight to the gate and skip the ticket line at the park (highly recommend). Aquatica San Diego is also subject to capacity limitations so holding a ticket for a specific date may help ensure that you can enter
Reservations for upgrades must be made through Aquatica San Diego and are not subject to the service fee.
Aquatica San Diego Hours and Open Dates
Aquatica San Diego hours are from 10 a.m. daily. Closing times vary by the dates but range from between 5–7 p.m. It’s wise to call to confirm closing times or check their online calendar.
The 2019 operational dates were:
- daily from May 24–27; June 1–September 2.
- weekends only from September 2–October 6.
Aquatica San Diego Directions
Aquatica San Diego is located in Chula Vista, about 25 minutes south from the heart of downtown San Diego and also Coronado. The address is 2052 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista, CA 91911.
Life vests are available for all guests upon entering the park. If you bring your own, a member of staff must approve it. You can also check the website in advance for height and other restrictions that may apply to Aquatica San Diego rides and attractions.
Some of the high-thrill rides require proper swimwear, which means that loose basketball shorts aren’t allowed. Bathing suits should be family-friendly (no to thongs and yes to protective swim diapers).
Major Pools and Rivers (Yes, They’re Heated)
Don’t worry about being cold at Aquatica San Diego as the big pools, lazy river and four-story Walkabout Waters attraction are all heated to between 78-82° F. Plus, Chula Vista is inland from the beach, so temperatures tend to skew higher there than at the coast, making this a good option for beating seasonal May Gray and June Gloom fog.
Big Surf Shores
This is the inland version of the beach. Enjoy one of the largest wave pools in Southern California where guests folic in waves up to 5′ tall. Cabanas and loungers surround the rather large beach area here.
Who doesn’t love a lazy river? Float in your inner tube along this 1250-foot lazy river passing lush greenery, the park’s flamingos, and a few splash fountains along the way.
This big water play area features for kid-sized stories of fun including water slides, hoses, geysers, and more. The big highlight is a 500-gallon bucket of water that soaks anyone standing below it, every five minutes.
The toddler area includes pint-sized slides only for kids under 48″ tall, a waterfall area and more fun
Aquatica San Diego Rides and Slides
Whether you like to coast or drop at high speeds, there’s a water slide for you. Note that each water slide has a height restriction of either 42″ or 48″ in height. Some also have a maximum rider or float weights.
HooRoo Run (High Thrills – Popular)
The most popular Aquatica San Diego ride is HooRoo Run, a high thrills body slide. Your decision is whether to enjoy your 80-foot drop in an enclosed air funnel or open-air (or ultimately both).
Tassie’s Twister (High Thrills)
Board a multi-person, clover-shaped raft to plunge down a 75-foot slide through thousands of gallons of swirling water. Then, your float will drop into a six-story funnel while it spins around along the way.
Walhalla Wave (High Thrills)
Get the family together and hop into a gigantic tube for a 78-foot ride on Walhalla Wave. Don’t worry. You don’t need to carry the tube as there’s a lift for that.
Woohoo Falls (High Thrills)
Choose from one of three water slides (including one in the dark) with fast twists and turns to enjoy in your single-rider inner tube.
Take a ride in an inner tube down a 60-foot slide. If you’d like extra thrills, choose the completely dark slide.
Choose between four open-air and two enclosed body slides to whoosh down (approximately 60 feet).
Race your friends down 375-feet, with one 180-degree turn and some tunnels, to see who gets to the finish line first.
Exhibits with Animals
We already mentioned the dozen or so Caribbean flamingos along the Loggerhead Lane lazy river. Look out also for the freshwater turtles exhibit to see them swimming and lounging on rocks. Some of these turtles were rescued and cared for by the San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society because their owners surrendered them or found them in dangerous situations.
Guest Conveniences Including Upgrades to Consider
In addition to the Quick Queue pass that allows guests shorter ride waits, there are a few other ways to enhance your day.
No need to worry about soaking your cash or credit cards. Take advantage of a cashless waterproof wristband that you can pre-load with cash or your credit card. The wristband itself is free to use.
You’ll want shade at Aquatica San Diego, and there’s no better way to get it than with a cabana. Premium cabanas seat up to four and are located near the Big Surf Shores wave pool or the Cabana Resort Pool. Ultimate cabanas seat up to eight people cabana and are located at the Big Surf Shores wave pool. Amenities include a welcome basket, a mini-fridge, free Wi-Fi, a locker, one bottled water per person, and more. Cabanas also enjoy food and drink service (prices for these items are not included).
Loungers and Lockers
Don’t worry about your stuff too much while at Aquatica San Diego. Valuables can be stored in electronic lockers, which come in three sizes.
If a cabana isn’t your speed, claim your space in one of the comfortable loungers for rent in semiprivate areas throughout Aquatica San Diego that also have shade options seating. Choose a Wave Lounger with a personal sunshade (starts at $19.99/each) or a Premium Lounger package that includes two chairs and an umbrella (starts at $45.99 for two chairs). Pricing varies by the day. The other upshot of renting a lounger is that food and beverage service is available.
Water Park Necessities for Purchase
It’s okay if you forgot your towel as these, sunscreen, flip-flops and more are available at Kiwi Traders or Sunnies shops.
Aquatica San Diego Dining
California flavors inspire dining throughout Aquatica San Diego. You’ll find multiple snack and restaurant outlets that serve pizza, pasta, burgers, wraps, salads, burritos, and more. Fun foods include funnel cakes, cone fries, Dippin’ Dots
Adults ages 21 and older can enjoy a variety of craft beer selections (including local favorites) and wine at Rockwater Oasis, and slushy margaritas at Taumata Cart.
Guests with cabana rentals can enjoy a food menu with adult beverages as well.
You may bring in bottled water, empty reusable beverage containers, and individual serving size snacks. Bags are inspected before entering the park. There is a picnic area in the parking lot if you’re like to bring your lunch (which would need to be kept in the car).
Enjoy this popular thing to do in San Diego with kids (and without)!
See also: Guide to Belmont Park San Diego