SeaWorld has entered into a strategic alliance with Marriott International to offer packages at twelve nearby Marriott properties that combine a hotel stay with length-of-stay theme park tickets and a suite of additional perks, making them especially attractive choices for those looking for an all-in-one option. You can build your own package on the SeaWorld web site, but I find the choices a bit confusing, so I’ll try to unravel them for you.
If you are traveling with kids nine or under, the Kids Free packages offer two adult length-of-stay tickets and a free child’s ticket for each paying adult, up to two. You also get one day at Aquatica. The regular “Build Your Own Vacation” option does not include the free kids’ tickets, but does include a free plush toy at check in if you have kids in tow. A third option gives you length-of-stay admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica (Discovery Cove is not included in any of these packages).
The problem is, it’s not easy to comparison shop on the web site to compare one option to another and, computers being what they are, you may not always get the best pricing available. For that reason, you may want to call SeaWorld at (800) 55-SHAMU and go over your options with a reservationist to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Or you may just want to have your travel agent take care of the details.
Every package comes with a Guest Value Book, a booklet of coupons that cover up to four guests. The perks currently provided by these coupons are a free upgrade to preferred parking, ride again privileges on Kraken, Wild Arctic and Journey to Atlantis, a free Sky Tower ride, $10 off admission to the Makahiki Luau and the Sharks Deep Dive, 50% off a child’s meal at Dine With Shamu, and $1 off the Saving A Species tour. All subject to change, of course.
The twelve Marriott properties are all relatively near to the parks, ranging from walking distance to six miles away. They also cover a fairly wide range of configurations and amenities. For convenience, I group them into three categories.
Moderate and Budget Choices
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