Living in Arizona my family frequently visits water parks during the summer. With experience from several different local parks, we were impressed by all the features of Aquatica San Diego. The water park is located just half an hour from SeaWorld® San Diego and is designed for family fun with a tropical resort atmosphere. During our visit, my daughter had a great time learning from the animal exhibits, riding water slides, playing in the wave pool, and relaxing. Our dining experience was unexpected and delicious while our cabana rental definitely added to our day. As a guest kid blogger at the Inside SeaWorld blog, my daughter had a fantastic day to add to the many reasons why she loves being part of the SeaWorld family.
When you first enter Aquatica San Diego you’ll immediately notice a unique feature. The flock of Caribbean Flamingos are welcoming guests and showing off their pink feathers. My daughter enjoyed watching the flamingos bathe, eat, and interact with each other. The flamingos stay out during the day and are returned to their barn at night for safety and privacy.
The park also features a freshwater turtle habitat. Some of the turtles in the habitat were rescued prior to calling Aquatica San Diego their home.
Taumata Racer® is the newest addition to the park this year. The 375 foot slide starts in a tunnel with a turn before guests can see each other zooming down the slides. Guests must be 42″ tall to ride and cannot exceed 300 pounds. My daughter had so much fun racing down the slide and declaring herself the winner. She tried out several colors and has decided her favorite is blue.
Several other rides are designed for group fun including Walhalla Wave® and Tassie’s Twister with guests sharing a large tube.
Loggerhead Lane is the lazy river with several access points throughout the park. The river flows directly next to the flamingos and has different places with surprise splashing and waterfalls. Take a break to relax or ride the river for a great view of the flamingos and plan to be splashed!
Big Surf Shores is a huge wave pool with five-foot waves every 15 minutes. The big countdown to waves timer at the front of the pool alleviated hearing my daughter ask many times when the waves were coming. The children in the pool were so excited as the timer counted down. The last 10 seconds were welcomed with a countdown yell from everyone, us included, in the pool.
Walkabout Waters is where you’ll find a huge climbing structure for exploration. The area features a giant bucket that dumps 500 gallons of water on guests below. The hands-on play area has shallow pools, water slides, and splashes around every corner. Guests must be 42″ tall to ride the slides.
Slippity Dippity® is a great place for your children to splash and play too. There are multiple slides designed for smaller guests not exceeding 48″.
If you’re looking for a thrill, be sure to ride the HooRoo Run®. You must be 48 ” tall to ride. My husband and I weren’t brave enough to ride the 80 foot drop but I’m working on building up my courage for our next visit.
With many sandy beach areas, taking a break to build sand castles or bury yourself like a mermaid is fun.
Aquatica San Diego has many areas with beach chairs and shade but because they are filled quickly I suggest finding a seat with shade upon entering the park.
The dining options are fabulous and not what you would expect at a water park. While the traditional burger and hot dog is available, you can also experience new favorites with salads, fry cones, and pasta dishes. The cones are easy to carry in the park and have amazing flavor combinations like the chili verde pulled pork cone with pico de gallo. Snacks like corn dog bites, tater tots, jalapeno cheese poppers, and chicken tenders will have you forgetting you’re spending the day in your swimsuit.
You won’t see traditional kids menus listed either. Without forcing children to select from a small menu gives more options and the ability to try new foods. My daughter asked for a side salad and french fries for lunch.
The budget friendly All You Care to Eat Banana Beach Cook-out offers a great selection of all American picnic items at a low price. Food items include burgers, mac & cheese, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, picnic greens with dressing, and watermelon. Fountain drinks are also included. The All You Care to Eat option is available daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm at Banana Beach near the park entrance. No reservations are required. Children 10+ and adults eat for $11.99 and children 3-9 years just $6.99.
Lockers, Complimentary Life Vests, and Tubes
Lockers are available at an additional cost. Guests have access to tubes for all attractions requiring tubes and Loggerhead Lane. Guests under 42 inches are recommended to wear a life vest and must be accompanied by an adult. Life vests are complimentary and located all throughout the park.
Be sure to bring your water park bag essentials for kids but don’t worry if you forget something. Aquatica San Diego has two shops with essentials including everything you would need for a fun day at the water park including shoes, clothes, sunglasses, sand toys, and more!
We were provided a premium cabana during our day at the water park. We planned to stay the entire day at the park and having access to the cabana made a great day even better. Our cabana was located on a sandy beach facing the wave pool. My daughter loved playing in the sand and having quick access to one of her favorite attractions.
Each cabana has a small refrigerator stocked with water. You have plenty of storage room and a locker with key.
Cabana guest are welcomed with a basket full of snacks and a menu for food service. The flexible service includes the option of ordering other food items available in the park.
Our friendly cabana server happily delivered our lunch and provided drinks throughout the day.
The cabana curtains easily velcro closed for privacy. We closed the curtains for my daughter to change out of her swimsuit before we left the park.
You can reserve an Aquatica San Diego cabana online or at the guest services counter. Cabana reservation pricing starts at $139.00. Ultimate cabanas can accommodate up to 12 people and are a great option when attending the park with friends and family.
We finished our day at Aquatica San Diego with funnel cakes!
Our favorite part of the day was the family fun we shared. While we visit water parks frequently in Arizona, the memories made during our vacation spent at Aquatica San Diego will be cherished. My daughter can’t stop talking about planning our next visit and Taumata Racer family race.
I had the opportunity to chat with the Aquatica San Diego Vice President, David Cromwell. His enthusiasm for the park is obvious and he explained he believes Aquatica San Diego is unique because of the focus on a family experience. He said he has had the opportunity to enjoy the park with his own family and has been down the HooRoo Run. As for what we can expect next summer in Aquatica San Diego’s third year, he says the focus is always on updating and improving the experiences. The amenities and services can only get better and my family is looking forward to another great Aquatica experience soon!
Aquatica San Diego is located about half an hour south of SeaWorld. The park is open during summer months daily at 10:00 am. Closing hours vary 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Be sure to visit the Aquatica San Diego website when planning your visit for the most current information.
For a child’s perspective, visit my daughter’s post Waterpark Fun at Aquatica San Diego to read what she thought of our family day at the park.
What is your favorite way to spend a family day at Aquatica?
Disclosure: Our family received complimentary tickets to Aquatica San Diego and cabana rental with amenities and services included. All opinions are my own.