Friday, November 28, 2008

SeaWorld ~ San Diego, California

Today we spent the day experiencing and enjoying SeaWorld, which was part of our CityPass ticket packet we purchased (which included Disneyland, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and San Diego Zoo). This park offers marine mammal shows, sea animal exhibits and a couple theme park like water rides that are guaranteed to cool you down on a hot day. The three big shows are: Shamu and other killer whales, sea lions, and dolphins - each held in its own stadium. The Shamu show was done to music and video with very little commentary from the various trainers that participated in the tricks. Seeing these large and beautiful animals perform was great and we wouldn't have wanted to miss it, but it would have been more enjoyable to get at a little background information on each whale. The trainers for the sea lion and dolphin shows provided background information and interacted with the audience throughout the shows, so we enjoyed these more. Both these shows included comedic antics which also added to the fun of the experience.

In addition to the shows, SeaWorld offers many very nice animal exhibits that give you an up close experience with the animals, and in some cases you are able to even touch them. Our favorites include the Manatee Rescue, Penguin Encounter, Wild Arctic which includes polar bears, walruses and beluga whales, and Rocky Point Preserve where you can be very close to dolphins and sea otters. SeaWorld also offers opportunities to directly interact with an animal under a trainers supervision, like swimming with some dolphins. These activities can be arranged the day of at the Reservation Center or future dates can be reserved via or by calling (800) 25-Shamu.

The rest of the park is made up of gift shops, small aquariums and restaurants. The Calypso Smoke House offers mesquite smoked ribs, chicken and brisket. Brad had the half-rack of baby back ribs and found them and the accompaniments better than expected. Overall, we enjoyed the park and found it clean and well run. However, we were surprised to find it more on the commercial side where most of the walk through exhibits conveniently ended in the corresponding gift shop. It's also interesting to note that Anheuser-Busch owns SeaWorld, so you can enjoy one of their many beers while touring their famous Clydesdale horses.

1. It costs $12 for parking.

2. Make sure you get to the big shows at the three big stadiums at least 20 minutes prior to get the seat you want.

3. At the show, the seats in the 'soak zones' get very wet, so come prepared to protect your electronics and yourself if you choose to sit there.

4. You are not allowed to bring outside food into the park, but can go back to your car at any point, so you can always pack a picnic lunch. We were surprised that food prices cost more than Disneyland.


croissantpark said...

Great blog post. I never knew you could swim with the dolphins in Sea World San Diego. Next time I am in San Diego Sea World, I need to try their animal interaction programs.
God Bless,

Suzanne and Brad said...

Hi John,
Be sure to let us know how the Dolphin swim goes! =)

Anonymous said...

i've always wanted to go here.....happy belated thanksgiving and I hope you're feeling better, suzanne!!

miss you guys.


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