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Many families planning San Diego vacations center them around visiting SeaWorld San Diego. It is the San Diego theme park that I am asked about the most because it’s one of the best activities in San Diego for kids from toddlers to teens. The good news is that there are various ways to buy discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets from authorized sellers.

Which method you choose depends on how long you intend to spend in the park, your itinerary once inside, and which other San Diego attractions are on your to-do list. Rest assured that you’ll easily be able to choose the right SeaWorld ticket based on the information below.

Please note: SeaWorld San Diego is open for SeaWorld Spooktacular! SeaWorld Spooktacular tickets are the only ones currently accepted, and they require a reservation. I have included more details about the event below. Residents should consider the new annual pass, which is available for a limited time (details on this are also below). If you purchase tickets using the links in this post, I may be compensated.

SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular KIDS FREE Tickets!
Go Straight to the Gate.

SeaWorld San Diego Reopening Guidelines

Jump to: SeaWorld San Diego Tickets

When you buy SeaWorld San Diego tickets, you acknowledge the below.

  • Reservations will be required to help manage capacity.
  • Guests and employees must agree to a temperature check before entering the park.
  • Guests ages 2 and older must wear face coverings except when eating, drinking, or in designated relaxation areas.
  • Increased sanitation and hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the park.
  • Contactless payment such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet is encouraged.

Similar measures are already in place at sister parks SeaWorld San Antonio and SeaWorld Orlando. And, you can rest assured that safe and fun SeaWorld Spooktacular Halloween and Christmas festivities are still on tap in 2020.

Important General SeaWorld Ticket Tips

Jump to: SeaWorld San Diego Tickets

You will save money by purchasing tickets and experiences online, in advance. For reference, normal retail price at the gate for single entrance SeaWorld San Diego tickets is $93.99 for ages 3 and older. Kids ages 2 and under are free.

The general parking fee at SeaWorld San Diego is currently $25 but you can upgrade to up-close and VIP parking. You may purchase parking in advance.

Spending a half-day at the park is completely doable if you are pressed for time. A full day is most common and I believe it’s doable during SeaWorld Spooktacular due to the open animal exhibits and food offerings.

It’s important to read all terms and conditions before purchasing SeaWorld tickets. Be sure that they do not expire before your visit and check refund or transfer policies.


SeaWorld San Diego has a variety of Quick Queue passes that provide guests with express entry to the best SeaWorld San Diego rides like (Manta roller coaster and Electric Eel) and priority seating at shows. I would recommend this for older kids who will primarily be interested in the thrill rides which tend to have long lines.

1. Direct From SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego offers numerous different admission ticket options via its website. Keep in mind that they charge a $9.99 service fee for online orders but they are open for SeaWorld Spooktacular.

On weekends (Friday – Sunday) between October 2 and November 1, guests will be able to safely trick-or-treat, see the all-new Sesame Street Halloween Dance Party and capture photos with their furry friends. Kids can also dress up in costume and there will be plenty of festive Halloween treats to enjoy. The Spooktacular is the only way to visit SeaWorld San Diego right now. The rides are still closed.

SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular Tickets

You can also purchase the SeaWorld Spooktacular tickets directly through SeaWorld San Diego right now. This limited-time ticket includes park admission. Price: $73.99/ages 10+ and $63.99/ages 3-9

SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular KIDS FREE Tickets

October is the annual Kids Free San Diego promotion where kids go free to select attractions with a paid adult. You can add a Kids Free SeaWorld ticket to your cart with a full-price, park-only adult ticket. You can then purchase a Dine and Drink add-on if you like. Price: $93.99/ages 10+ and $0/ages 3-9

SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular Ticket & Eat + Drink Bundle

This limited-time ticket includes park admission and six food and/or drink items of your choice for adults and four food and/or drink items of your choice for kids. It’s valid at participating park locations. Price: $93.99/ages 10+ and $78.99/ages 3-9

SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular Dine + Drink Add-On

This limited-time ticket includes park admission and six food and/or drink items of your choice for adults and four food and/or drink items of your choice for kids. It’s valid at participating park locations. Price: $93.99/ages 10+ and $78.99/ages 3-9

Upgrade to Enjoy Special Experiences and Rentals

Through SeaWorld San Diego, it’s possible to upgrade your day to include not only the Quick Queue pass but also a variety of animal experiences ranging from penguins up-close to a behind-the-scenes visit with otters. Right now, Dolphin Encounters is the only animal encounter available. You can also still rent strollers and the like if you need them.

2. Discounted SeaWorld Spooktacular and Multi-Park Tickets

I offer discount SeaWorld tickets right here, powered by aRes Travel who is a San Diego-based, authorized ticket seller to major California attractions. These SeaWorld tickets are print-at-home or in a mobile format so that you can head straight to the gate without the need to redeem a ticket voucher. There is a $2 convenience fee per ticket but you will still likely come out ahead.

Their discounted SeaWorld San Diego tickets for Spooktacular also require reservations. After purchasing the tickets, you’ll receive a voucher that will have a link on it to make reservations.

SeaWorld San Diego Single-Day Ticket — Kids Free San Diego

If you are looking to save during the month of October during the Kids Free San Diego promotion, this is the ticket for you. It includes SeaWorld Spooktacular. Add the adult ticket to the cart and a free kids’ ticket. You can add one free kids’ ticket per adult ticket. (Price: $91.99/adults ages 10+ and $0 for kids ages 3–9)

SeaWorld San Diego Any Day Ticket

This ticket is good for Single Day Admission to SeaWorld San Diego, during normal operating hours, for visits between 10/2/2020 and 1/3/2021. It makes the most sense for those not taking advantage of Kids Free San Diego and for those who do not want the food and drink add-on. You may use it for SeaWorld Spooktacular. (Price: $74.99/adults ages 10+ and $64.99 for kids ages 3–9)

SeaWorld San Diego Manta roller coaster


Definitely consider a Fun Card, Annual Pass, or 7 Days for the Price of 1 ticket.

3. SeaWorld San Diego Fun Card

Fun Card holders receive unlimited visits through Dec. 31, 2021 to SeaWorld San Diego. This SeaWorld San Diego ticket does have some limited blockout dates, but it’s popular with residents and people who may visit more than once in a year and don’t plan to park a car in the lot.

It doesn’t provide parking and dining discounts, but it’s still a great deal seeing that it’s nearly the same price as 1-Day SeaWorld tickets. Price: $93.99/adults and $88.99/ages 3-9


Fun Card holders receive admission to SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular and Christmas festivities!

4. SeaWorld San Diego Annual Passes (Limited Time Pricing Deal)

For a bit more than the Fun Card, a SeaWorld San Diego Annual Pass can add more value. And, they’ve revised the passes to include even more for a limited time.

If you buy an annual pass now, you’ll receive the rest of 2020 free and all of 2021. Your annual pass includes the new Spooktacular and Christmas festivities that are on tap in the coming months. This is the best deal I’ve seen on SeaWorld San Diego annual passes in a long time. I’ve listed some of the pass highlights below but the list is long for each.

Silver Annual Pass

These annual passes include unlimited admission throughout the year with:

  • unlimited admission in 2020
  • unlimited admission in 2021 with no blockout dates
  • two free passes for friends
  • free general parking
  • 10% discount on dining
  • 20% off merchandise
  • and more

(Price: $108/person)

Gold Annual Pass

The Gold Annual Pass also includes:

  • unlimited admission in 2020
  • unlimited admission in 2021 with no blockout dates
  • four free passes for friends
  • free up-close parking
  • priority Fast Lane entrance
  • 30% off daily and all-Season Discounted Quick Queue
  • 30% off merchandise
  • 15% off dining
  • and more

(Price: $129.99/person)

SeaWorld Platinum Pass

SeaWorld Platinum Pass holders receive:

  • unlimited admission in 2020
  • unlimited admission in 2021 with no blockout dates
  • six free passes for friends
  • free up-close parking
  • priority Fast Lane entrance
  • free reserved show seating
  • free animal experience
  • free single-ride quick queue per day
  • free-up-close parade viewing
  • 50% off merchandise
  • 20% off dining
  • and more

Plus, you’ll also get access to SeaWorld San Diego, Orlando, and San Antonio; Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Williamsburg; Aquatica San Diego, Orlando, and San Antonio; Adventure Island; Water Country USA; and Sesame Place with no blockout dates in addition to a number of other VIP benefits and discounts for the rest of 2020 and all of 2021 with a Platinum Pass. (Price: $192/person)


Annual Pass holders receive free admission to Spooktacular and Christmas events.
Penguins in their exhibit, which you can see with discounted tickets to SeaWorld San Diego
Penguin Encounter is a popular exhibit.

5. Go San Diego (Most Popular San Diego Attractions Pass)

The Go San Diego pass saves up to 55% off of admission to 55 top San Diego attractions, including SeaWorld San Diego, in three simple steps:

  1. Choose the pass option that best suits you (you can buy an All-Inclusive pass, Explorer pass, or a Build-Your-Own pass) and buy your pass in advance.
  2. Get your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
  3. Show the pass at any eligible attraction and you’re in for free.

The All-Inclusive passes are available in 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7-day options, each at different prices. Add only the attractions and tours you know you’ll see to the Build Your Own pass, which you can use over 60 days from first activation. With the Explorer pass, you’ll buy the option to see 3, 4, 5, or 7 attractions and tours that you can choose as you go, over the course of 60 days from first use.

Make sure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy. This by far the most popular San Diego sightseeing pass.

Note: Spooktacular is included! However, Go San Diego does not qualify for the kids free promotion.

See also: 10 Benefits of the Go San Diego Discounted Attractions Pass


Click to apply an extra 10% off
All-Inclusive Go San Diego sightseeing passes
The discount stacks on top of sale rates!

6. California Explorer Pass (Includes Los Angeles and San Francisco Attractions)

The California Explorer Pass offers an excellent solution for those on a California road trip. Explore 3, 4, or 5 major California attractions over 60 days. Participating attractions include:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • LEGOLAND California
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Warner Brothers Studio Tour
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Knott’s Soak City
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Belmont Park
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • California’s Great America
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Note: Spooktacular is included! California Explorer Pass does not qualify for the Kids Free promotion.

7. Bundle a Hotel with SeaWorld San Diego Tickets

You can often save even more with a SeaWorld San Diego vacation package that includes your hotel and cost of admission.

Hotel + 7 Days at SeaWorld San Diego

Bundle a 7 Days for the Price of 1 ticket with a nearby hotel to enjoy exclusive savings on a SeaWorld San Diego Vacation.

The Best of San Diego Package

Customize your own San Diego vacation package! Package includes your choice of tickets to 5 popular San Diego theme parks: SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, LEGOLAND California, and SEA LIFE Aquarium and hotel accommodations.

For hotel advice, you can read my list of favorite hotels near SeaWorld San Diego.

8. AAA Discounts (None Available at This Time)

Members of AAA can receive various SeaWorld San Diego discount ticket options throughout the year. None are available in California at the time of this writing, but you can check with your regional office.

However, be mindful that it is often less expensive to buy directly through SeaWorld San Diego or aRes Travel than it is to use AAA.

9. Free Military Tickets

Active duty military members and veterans receive special SeaWorld San Diego discounts through the Waves of Honor program. Military personnel and three direct dependents will each receive one complimentary admission that is valid through December 31, 2020.

Former military personnel and up to three guests may enjoy one complimentary admission to SeaWorld San Diego through November 15, 2020.

A little girl looks at a beluga whale through glass at SeaWorld San Diego.
Don’t miss the beluga whales in the Wild Arctic exhibit.

10. Teacher Fun Card

SeaWorld San Diego offers unlimited free park admission (plus two free single-day tickets) to certified California and Arizona K-12 teachers via its complimentary Teacher Fun Card. Teachers must have registered by June 30, 2020 for a 2020 Fun Card but keep an eye out for revised or 2021 dates.

SeaWorld San Diego Tickets FAQs

These are the most frequently asked questions that land in my inbox. Or, consider this your TL;DR (too long; didn’t read).

How much are tickets to SeaWorld in San Diego?

The gate price for general admission SeaWorld San Diego tickets is currently $93.99 for ages 3 and older.

How can I get discounted tickets to the park?

I offer up-to-date tips for finding discounted tickets through trusted vendors. The theme park also offers Black Friday sales and limited-time offers throughout the year.

I have tickets for when the park was closed. What happens?

Unused SeaWorld San Diego tickets that were to be used when the park was closed in 2020, automatically have an extended expiration date. These tickets will be valid through December 31, 2021. Unused internationally-purchased tickets will be valid through the first week of January 2022.

You do not need to do anything to receive the expiration extension. You can also reschedule unused park experiences through December 31, 2021.

Do children get into the park for free?

Children under the age of two can enter the park for free year-round. However, SeaWorld San Diego participates in the annual Kids Free San Diego promotion in October. This is a county-wide promotion where kids receive free admission when accompanied by an adult who holds a qualifying ticket. Details for 2020 have not yet been released, but SeaWorld San Diego always participates.

How many days do I need at SeaWorld San Diego?

If you are pressed for time, you can enjoy the park in a half-day. However, most families spend a full day unless they’re splitting visits into multiple days.

Believe it or not, multi-day visits are common, especially for families staying in nearby Mission Bay hotels. They’ll buy the 7 Days for the Price of 1 ticket (temporarily unavailable) and spend a few or more half-days in the park. This is especially convenient when traveling with children who need to nap or don’t have the stamina for a full theme park day.

Can you buy packages that include SeaWorld and San Diego Zoo?

Yes, you can purchase several multi-park passes that include both theme parks.

  • Seaworld and San Diego Zoo Combo Package includes one-day general admission to the San Diego Zoo and seven consecutive days of SeaWorld San Diego general admission.
  • The San Diego 3-For-1 ticket gets you admission into SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park within seven days of your visit to the first park.
  • The Go San Diego® 3-Day Pass grants you access to more than 55 attractions in the area, including both parks, but you must visit them within three consecutive days.

How much is SeaWorld San Diego parking?

General parking for a single car costs $25. Up-close parking costs $28 and VIP parking starts at $35. Annual pass holders receive free general parking. 

Does the park offer annual passes?

Yes, the park offers three versions of the SeaWorld annual pass: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each pass has its own unique perks, but all passes offer unlimited admission, free guest tickets, discounts on dining, free general parking, and more. The Platinum pass provides unlimited visits to 11 other parks across the country. 

What kind of ticket upgrades are available? 

The park offers a number of different upgrades you can purchase, from animal encounters and reserved seating at shows to Quick Queue front-of-the-line access (we recommend this upgrade) and dining specials. These experiences are additional add-ons to your general admission ticket.

Are all the rides included with admission?

All the rides are included with your ticket, except for Bayside Skyride gondola and Skytower. Both rides cost an additional $6 for ages 3 and older.

What is your personal experience with the park?

I live on Mount Soledad in La Jolla and I can see SeaWorld San Diego from my backyard. Having grown up in Orange County, I’ve been visiting the park since I was a kid. And, I get to visit now as a parent. Sesame Street Bay of Play appeals to toddlers, the new roller coasters thrill teens, and there’s plenty to do for ages in between.

When marine mammals are in danger along the San Diego coastline, it’s SeaWorld San Diego who rescues them. I’ve called their rescue hotline when I’ve seen La Jolla seals and sea lions hurt or malnourished. They’ve always responded and have even followed up with me to let me know what happened to the animals.

How do you buy discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets?

See also: Top 10 Things to Do in San Diego and Best Things to Do at Mission Bay

Learn also how to buy discount:

Photo credits: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld® San Diego

Find the best ways to buy discounted SeaWorld San Diego tickets.

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6 thoughts on “How to Buy Discounted Tickets to SeaWorld San Diego

  1. I was thinking about getting annual passes for my daughter and myself – we live in AZ but come over a few times a year. Would it make sense to buy one regular annual pass for the free parking and other benefits, and one Fun Card for the small savings, or is there something I am not considering? Thanks!

    1. I’ve never purchased that combo but I don’t see why it couldn’t work! I just updated the Fun Card link in this post as I clicked on the link I originally had and didn’t see it with the annual pass options. You’ll see it there now.

    1. I do not see the SoCal pass offered in 2018. It seems that the $109.99 pass is the best value because it includes parking.

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