SeaWorld in San Diego is a mixture of aquarium and amusement park, it both brings you interesting facts about the underwater environment together with exciting attractions for lots of fun and variety.
Fascinating sea life
Immerge into the unique world of orcas, dolphins or sea-lions and experience them up close. In the Explorer’s Reef close to the entrance of the park you will discover the underwater environment and get to know many of its inhabitants. Besides fish, you will be able to see rays or sea turtles too. The latter you will be able to see at Turtle Reef more closely. At Dolphin Point you will be able to touch real dolphins. Apart from just stroking the dolphins head you can get the chance of swimming with them as well. Numerous underwater tunnels allow a much closer look onto sharks and other unusual marine life. A lot more quirky and fun are the penguins at Penguin Encounter.
You will be able to see all of the following animals: Sea lions, polar bears, sea cows, sea turtles, rays, penguins, otters, dolphins, orcas, wales and all kinds of small and big fish.
Orcas, dolphins and sea lions – live shows at SeaWorld
The main attraction at SeaWorld are the live shows. Apart from shows with dolphins and sea lions there is one show that truly stands out: the orca show. It takes place a couple of times a day and is the most popular show at SeaWorld. Ever since 2011 it became known as “OneOcean” and millions of people travel to San Diego every year to see it. The giant orcas are the main part of the show and fascinate the viewers with all sorts of amazing stunts.
Action and fun for the whole family
In addition to the sea life, the park has many other amusement park attractions to offer. From the Sky Tower, which is nearly 100 meters (328 ft) high, you get a view over the entire SeaWorld Park and even parts of the city of San Diego. The water roller coaster Journey to Atlantis provides a nice cool refreshment on a really hot day. Other rides include the Manta Coaster, Bayside Skyride, Shipwreck Rapids and Riptide Rescue. Many of those attractions are combined with the wildlife in the park, for example the Wild Arctic Ride. You first get a simulated helicopter tour of what the arctic looks like from above and afterwards you can admire the majestic polar bears, walruses and beluga wales in and out of water, not animated this time. An absolute highlight for the little kids would be Sesame Street’s Bay of Play, which is an interactive playground with smaller rides for great family fun.
Upbringing and research
At SeaWorld there are many different upbringing programs and research institutes to help reduce the amount of endangered species. They gather loads of information about the animals to pass along to interested visitors.
Four graduates of the University of California founded the first SeaWorld Park in San Diego. The original plan was to build an underwater restaurant with an integrated animal show. In the end they changed their plan and the idea for a theme park was born. The park was opened on March 21st 1964. All the way in the beginning there were mostly dolphins, sea lions and other animals. After some time and with steadily rising success the park was expanded more and more. In the late 1960s SeaWorld got its first orca called Shamu and was thereby the first park to ever host a show featuring orcas.
How to get there
SeaWorld is located alongside Mission Bay in the middle of the city.
From northern Los Angeles take Highway 5 to San Diego. Exit at Tecolote Creek and take Sea World Drive, which leads directly to the huge parking area.
The international airport of San Diego lies about ten kilometers (6.4 mi) away from SeaWorld. From there, but also from other parts of the city, are busses which drive directly to the theme park. Also many hotels provide a shuttle services. In addition there is a train to San Diego train station which lies in the city center and is only a couple of miles from SeaWorld.