Zoo vs. Seaworld

Welcome to the first joint blog post by the two moms behind the Mom’s Guide. We’re always asked, “Which is the better annual pass, Seaworld or the Zoo?” Here are our thoughts AND your chance to win your choice of a Seaworld or San Diego Zoo annual membership!

Chelsea says: 

If you are having a tough time deciding whether or not a zoo membership is the right investment for your family, read on to see why we feel that the money is WELL worth it! Starting at around $100, the San Diego Zoo offers several membership options that can meet almost any budget. And in case you didn’t know, not only do you receive unlimited admission to the zoo, but you also get full access to the Safari Park…so essentially, it’s a two-for-one deal!

Any membership will include extra discount admission coupons, which are great for your out of town visitors. And with the Diamond pass, you can bring in ANY guest for free (bonus, kids under 3 get in free!).  The zoo offers great playground equipment, and the safari park even has a water pad for kids to splash in during the summer months.

And if you’re thinking that after a few visits you’ll get bored, think again! You can take a new route almost every time and focus on different areas with different animals.  Plus, the zoo always seems to be working on a new exhibit, and allows visitors to ooh and awe at the zoos newest animal babies.

zoo babies

Just a few of Chelsea’s Moms of 2014 babies enjoying the zoo!

Unlike other attractions, your family can bring in their own food and snacks, so you don’t have to spend extra money if you don’t have to.  However, if you do end up making a purchase or two, you’ll feel good knowing that your dollars help support the conservation of many endangered species!

Jennifer says:

When Mal and Gage were little, we had both the zoo and Seaworld passes. Of course the zoo and safari park are great, but hands down our family has enjoyed Seaworld the most over the years.


seaworld family

Because of its flatter terrain, I found it much easier to get around Seaworld with a double stroller and toddlers who wanted to walk by themselves much of the time. Plus, there is always something going on at Seaworld, whereas quite often the animals at the zoo are sleeping or camouflaged in their habitats, making it hard for the little ones to see.

A first favorite - Mallory and her dad at Seaworld's "Pet's Rule" show in 2006

A first favorite – Mallory and her dad at Seaworld’s “Pet’s Rule” show in 2006. We still love this show!

Over the years we have enjoyed it all — “petting” sea stars, cheering dolphins as they jump and dive, giggling through the Pets Rule show, watching amazing Cirque du Soleil-like water shows, eating breakfast with Sesame Street characters and, of course, enjoying the rides, playgrounds and splash pads. Manta is seriously one of my favorite roller coasters of all time!

A grown up Mallory enjoys Seaworld's aquatic petting zoo.

A grown up Mallory petting Horseshoe Crabs at Seaworld’s aquatic petting zoo.

Children three and younger are free at Seaworld, and for the past several years a free “preschool pass” has been available for children between 3 and 5 years old. You can get an adult annual pass with complimentary parking on the Seaworld website now for just $155, but you can often find it for less at Costco.


For our family, Seaworld is the place to go for a fun outing with rides, animals, shows, characters and educational opportunities!

Which would you choose?

This month we will randomly select one Mom’s Guide newsletter subscriber to win her choice of either a zoo / safari park family membership or a Seaworld adult annual membership. Entering for your chance to win is easy! Just comment below with your choice of Seaworld or San Diego Zoo & Safari Park, then read our next newsletter to see if you’re the winner. Not a subscriber?  Join here!

96 thoughts on “Zoo vs. Seaworld

  1. momsguide says:

    Congratulations to our winner, Stevie Z! Please check your email for instructions on how to claim your prize!

  2. Lynn says:

    I would pick Seaworld to round out our pass collection. We love the Zoo, but we are ready to see something new!

  3. jeanny says:

    I would choose the Zoo. I been living here in San Diego for 4 years now but i’ve never been to the Zoo. My husband haven’t been to the zoo for years now and would love to go there with him with our son. I been to SeaWorld few times its fun specially this summer its great to go.

  4. Renata Pawluk says:

    I can’t remember if I already commented but we would love a Seaworld pass. My little one love fish so it would blow her mind to see them live.

  5. Aryn says:

    I would choose sea world. I used to take my two big kids all the time and let them play on the mat with the blocks. I never take my youngest and an adult pass would motivate me to make memories with him.

  6. Enriqueta says:


  7. Celeste says:

    We choose Zoo!!

  8. Virginia says:

    We would choose the Zoo!

  9. Carrie says:

    Zoo – as my daughter says. “I like the world of land!”

  10. Sandra Appling says:

    I’d go for the zoo!

  11. Dorothy Arteaga says:

    Lions, tigers and bears! Oh my! I would pick the zoo/safari park. My 3 girls absolutely love animals! Especially the wild ones.

  12. Alisha says:

    Zoo and Safari Park!

  13. Marie walczak says:

    I would choose the zoo! I want to do the safari tour!

  14. Marie says:

    Sea World! The Bay of Play would be perfect right now!

  15. Sarah says:

    Seaworld – only because I already have zoo. Why not have both?

  16. Tasha McCalicher says:

    Sea World ! The sea life is great and all they do for local animals in need.

  17. Anna Valdez says:

    San Diego Zoo is awesome, I love walking around and seeing all the animals, free parking you can’t beat that. However my family would enjoy Sea World passes so we can explore their location. It’s been a while since we have been there and I would love to have the opportunity to take my children there.

  18. Jill Boyle says:

    We love the zoo and Safari park so much!

  19. Meagan Silvernale says:

    We love the zoo but I would love to take Collin to sea world now that he is walking and able to interact with all the Sesame Street stuff!

  20. CeCe says:

    My daughter has been begging to go to Sea World ever since we were able to take her as part of a school program. Would love to be able to take her!

  21. Lisa Galyean says:

    Would love a seaworld pass!! We already use our zoo passes frequently and Miss E is getting to the age where I think she’d really love SW!

  22. abby says:

    Oh, the zoo pass would be amazing! We have so much fun exploring and learning.

  23. Guadalupe Patino says:

    I would the Seaworld pass! Thank u

  24. christina says:

    Would love a pass to Sea World. I haven’t been able to take my kids and it would be so fun to go!

  25. Hali Anderson says:

    SeaWorld! I already have zoo passes!

  26. Sally Rubi says:


  27. Amanda says:

    We love both but the zoo is still our favorite!

  28. Rosa F says:

    Zoo…. We love the safari park!

  29. Paulette Garbowski says:

    Sea World

  30. Danielle Holmes says:

    We love the zoo and have had a famy membership for the last couple of years. My son is 2 & a 1/2 and has never been to SeaWorld so winning an adult pass so that I can take him would be awesome!

  31. Elizabeth S says:


  32. Michelle says:

    Sea world!!

  33. Stacey Fiske says:

    We love the zoo! So much to do and see!

  34. R Dudley says:


  35. Jennie C. says:

    Man, that is a hard call. I think Sea world would be the one.

  36. Maggie says:

    Our family thoroughly enjoys the zoo, I mean come on, it has a playground, so no matter what we always start there and then work our way around the zoo choosing different animals to go visit. The mostly visited animal would be the elephants and lions because of the huge elephant statues that my son loves running around and playing under.

  37. Donelle Anderson says:

    I think the zoo is what my family would LOVE. 🙂 Thank you!

  38. Jenny says:

    I prefer the zoo, although Sea World is fun too!

  39. Annie says:

    Would love Zoo passes for the family! 🙂

  40. Rachael Garrison says:

    We’d love zoo passes! Seaworld’s fun but my first job was at the zoo so it’ll always have my heart.

  41. Heather says:

    My kids LOVE Seaworld and our passes expired awhile ago, so I’d love Seaworld passes again! 🙂

  42. Maria Jones says:


  43. San Diego Zoo & Safari Park for us please!!

  44. Kim Bradley says:

    I have 3 young children one of which has special needs and they enjoy animals very much. I’d have to say I’d prefer the zoo though. The San Diego zoo is not only awesome but so educational. Every animal has a story behind it and most have such playful personalities. You can not only learn about the arm span of a gorilla but you can see how the group cares for their young and how the babies play like children. The zoo is constantly upgrading animal enclosures and adding something new and exciting. Not to mention their partnered with the Safari Park 2 parks 1 pass, can’t get much better. We enjoy Sea World but I feel it’s become more of a tourist attraction than anything, it gets overwhelming at times. The Zoo and Safari Park you can enjoy all year long with out it getting boring or too cold.

  45. Hillary U says:

    Oh my kids would LOVE the ZOO!!!!

  46. Trisha says:

    We love the zoo! Never been but we want to start going because of our little one and it’s so close to go and get some fun and education too!!

  47. Linda says:

    Thanks for the comparison. I didn’t know Seaworld had a splash pad/water park or hands on tide pool. We’ll have to check it out. Right now, we’re enjoying our zoo pass!

  48. Megan G. says:

    Love the zoo!! Had a membership ages ago with my oldest and still remember memories from that year going to the Safari Park. I would love to do this with my youngest!

  49. lisa says:

    Sea World!!! Sesame Bay of Play and hopefully the Madagascar Live show too! Scenic skyride and soaking tourists on the water rides

  50. Rachel emens says:

    Sea world please please please

  51. Dawn says:

    It’s a tie for me… they both are fun

  52. Olivia DeMoray says:

    We love the zoo, but would love a membership to Seaworld because we only get to go once a year. Especially with the water play area and it being summer, it would be so much fun!

  53. Vikki Herrera says:

    We have had season passes for both previously, but I’d have to give the nod to the zoo/wild animal park “twofer.” The kids love the immersive experience at the wild animal park, especially the lorikeets!

  54. Lizzy Cabrera says:

    We could definitely use another zoo membership since ours expired! They are awesome for mommy meetups!

  55. Laura vitela says:

    san Diego zoo

  56. Dana Crake says:

    I love both for different reasons. I feel the zoo is a better time spent. Watching the animals. Walking around. Good exercise. Can see a different section every time you go. Can also bring in a friend for free. And don’t have to pay for parking. I love the early morning meetups. 😉

  57. Autumn Jojola says:

    Seaworld for sure! This would be amazing to win!

  58. Chris Dowd says:

    I would love SeaWorld passes. 🙂

  59. Melissa Nassraway says:


  60. Christi says:

    I would certainly prefer Sea World. Aside from the obvious (being more expensive), I would be more likely to visit there more often due to the flatter terrain, proximity to the off-shore breeze and the greater variety of themed attractions.

  61. Siobhan says:

    I would choose the zoo. My kids loved it when we had passes last year.

  62. Amy Ausderan says:

    Sea world would be awesome! My son loves that place!!!!

  63. Tasha says:

    Would LOVE to win a zoo membership! Best zoo in the world here in SD 🙂

  64. Katy Siebert says:

    Seaworld please!

  65. Melissa perez says:

    I would love to go to the zoo/safari that be so awesome

  66. love the mommy meet ups at the zoo

  67. Ashley says:


  68. Dena says:

    Seaworld! It’s so much fun in the summer, my daughter loves the splash pad!

  69. Shawna enriquez says:

    Sea world please

  70. Shannon McDonald says:

    Sea World! Thanks for the opportunity. 🙂

  71. Ying-Ju says:

    Zoo membership! We have been thinking about it. Now that LO is close to one year old. It might be a good time to have the zoo membership!

  72. Shannon Davis says:


  73. maryLou says:

    Sea World!!!

  74. Cyndi Wirth says:

    Seaworld please! We love all the shows and exhibits. One of our favorites is The Pet Show 🙂 Thank you!!

  75. Lory beck says:

    We love seaworld. It’s so interactive and easy to maneuver around. Fun place for the littles.

  76. Tracy J. says:

    My family would absolutely love having an annual pass to the San Diego Zoo. We just can’t get enough of those adorable zoo animals.

  77. Renata Pawluk says:

    Seaworld please. Grandma get us a Zoo pass for Christmas every year 🙂

  78. Krysti Ruddle says:

    Zoo/safari park please!!! My daughter loves getting out to see animals, and I want to be able to have my son experience seeing the amazing work the conservation park dors. Thank you so much for your blogs!

  79. Julia Miller says:

    Sea world!

  80. brittany foreman says:


  81. Nancy Hamilton says:

    Sea World please! My 2 year old was 6 months last time we went. He would love it now that he’s a big boy!

  82. Stevie Zech says:

    Sea World! My son absolutely loves it there!

  83. Monique says:

    SeaWorld please! My kids just love the shark exhibit! And the turtle one! And the….yeah, definitely SeaWorld! lol

  84. Susan Shapiro says:

    I love ethe Zoo pass. The zoo is an amazing place, winter or summer, to just walk thorugh. My grandkids have always enjoyed the kiddie zoo and the play equipment there as well as the animals and it never bothered them if an animal was asleep.

    Zoo, please!!

  85. we would love to win zoo passes. We haven’t been there in a very long time and my 6 year old knows and loves so much about animals from watching wild krats and would jump for joy if we won zoo passes

  86. Nicole Cosby says:

    We would love the sea world membership!!! We have a set of twins and a seven year old! Sea world seems be more little people friendly!! This is way exciting

  87. Ruth McCallister says:

    SeaWorld would be wonderful. We have always had a ball when we’ve gone would love to do it more often:), thanks for chance.

  88. Ivette Robles says:

    My boys would love their mommy to have a seaworld pass. They love anything that has to do with water and sea animals! Thank you!

  89. Mackenzie Ann Quintal says:

    As a child, I loved both SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo/safari park. Though I do feel that SeaWorld seemed to keep my children’s attention more than when we visited the Zoo. We would love either. I have little 3 boys who are full of energy and having a pass to either locations would be a huge blessing.

  90. Heather savin says:

    Just had this conversation with my husband this weekend! We were going to get the zoo pass for the girls birthdays (1 and 3) but I saw the two annual membership deal for sea world which includes parking. My 2 year old really likes sea world with the shows and the events like snow days. She seemed bored when we went to the zoo, so I think sea world is a better option. The only thing stopping me from the sea world pass was the parking, but since it’s included, I think that’s way we will go

  91. Cara hinchman says:

    We would love a family zoo membership, thank you!

  92. Sharyn Buksbaum says:

    I would love Sea World.. My daughter was a baby last time she was there and now she is 7 and would love to go.

  93. Karen Wain says:

    We got a lot of use out of our zoo membership and it’s less than a mile away but are interested in a. sea World pass this year to switch it up a little. This is a great article. Thanks.

  94. Beverly Coe says:

    I would love a SeaWorld pass. I’ve only taken my girls once and they fell in love with it. Your blog keeps me sane while in the process of a divorce.

  95. Melissa Philpott says:

    Zoo/safari Park please! You’re about to make someone really happy! You are awesome.

  96. Brandi Smith says:

    I love th stuff you do on your blog. We don’t have zoo right now so that would be awesome.

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