SeaWorld lifts reservation policy but was it really ever needed?

The fastest roller coaster at SeaWorld park in Orlando. Photo by Brian Miller
The fastest roller coaster at SeaWorld park in Orlando. Photo by Brian Miller /

A short while ago my inbox was filled with the news from SeaWorld that they have lifted the need for a reservation to their parks.

I am going to assume that this is also for the Aquatica water park in Orlando as well. This is good news for those who have tried to make reservations on their mobile app or on their excruciatingly slow website. Of course, my question is did we really ever need one?

The policy has been in place since SeaWorld and Aquatica reopened after shutting down for COVID-19. Disney is still requiring reservations to their four Orlando parks and two water parks. I haven’t been to Disney since 2019 so I don’t know how their policy of reservations actually works but I have been to SeaWorld and Aquatica several times in the last year.

I can honestly say that I have never once been asked to show my reservation to anyone in the park, at the gate, or at guest services. I’ve got the reservations on my phone, confirmed them the day before and morning of going but for all the hoops I jumped through to get myself and six other guests reserved for the day, it was a little disheartening to be shuffled through the gates and turnstiles with no one bothering to ask if I had one.

dark. Next. All day dining at SeaWorld

Maybe they just assumed I did since I had a ticket.

Regardless, the good news is those visiting the parks do not have to worry about getting a reservation. That being said, I would recommend purchasing your tickets online prior to arrival especially since they are not “date” specific in most cases.