Sea World is a must-visit place in San Diego and that was on the top of my list of things to do in San Diego. And after spending 4 days in the San Diego City, I can say that the Sea World is the best place and one should not miss it. We had kept second day of our trip for Sea World. You heard it right, at least one day is required to explore it well. In fact, it demands more than a day if you want to explore it properly. This post shares about Sea World, the associated facts and what were some of the most interesting experiences. And when you read through, you will find some subtle tips about planning your visit to the Sea World and how to make the best of your time & money spent there.
Let's talk about ticketing and how to save money when you plan to explore San Diego. Go Card is the most popular option. You get good discount when you buy tickets for multiple places in San Diego. We bought Go Card for the Sea World and San Diego Zoo. Please note an important fact that there are 2 zoo options - San Diego Zoo and Zoo Safari. Zoo Safari is a little far away and we made this mistake of opting for the safari and at the end couldn't go there. So finally we ended up paying more as we had to pay for Zoo separately. But if you choose carefully Go-Card is always beneficial. We also included USS Marine Museum on Go Card and got a 20% discount.
Above photograph shows dolphin on a huge water pond surrounded by glass wall.
It's highly recommended to spend 10 minutes with map before you start walking and exploring the places. Prioritize the place you want to see and which route you want to take.
It's extremely important to reach Sea World early in morning and explore places which open early. Most of the rides start at 11am and that's the time when you see lot of crowd coming in. So reach early, explore some of the places, aquariums before 11am and then start moving towards the rides and shows. You need to be really quick and chose your next destination carefully. It's important to skip queues and attend shows which are accessible without wasting time.
During my visit to Sea World, a special show Lunar was happening and some acrobats from China performed brilliantly. This was a phenomenal performance. Please do check out the video in the end of this post. There were multiple performances as part of this Lunar show. This girl, who looks like a spring when she moves different parts of her body, was on the stage for good amount of time and performed various things. Just check out the photograph below where she is handling 5 huge light lamps while lying down on the stage.
It's hard to tell about the performance through words & photographs. It was mind blowing. There was another girl who lying down on the floor by keeping her legs up and she was juggling huge drums with her legs for about 10 minutes. All the shows I saw in US were very high standard in terms of quality and excellence of performers. But usually these shows are quite expensive as well. This was included in Sea World ticket, but shows in cities like Las Vegas have separate tickets and range from $30 to $180.
This was another part of the show where the boy in white kept putting chairs one over the other and climbed till the top. And not only climbing, he performed lot of tricks on this high stack of chairs. It was scary but this guy did fantastic job.
There is one huge section in Sea World dedicated for flamingos. And just above this space you can see roller coaster of the Sea World. If you want to have a ride, there are lockers available to put your stuff and go for the ride. Each locker charge is $1.
Dolphin show was the highlight for me, as this was first time I saw such a brilliant Dolphin show. More than the performance of Dolphins, I loved their relationships with their coaches. It was amazing to see their coaches interact with Dolphins and how beautifully they react to different commands and emotions.
In above photograph, a dolphin is greeting everyone in the stadium. There are huge stadiums where you can sit enjoy such shows. Wale show was closed when we were there, and that looked like the biggest stadium in the Sea World but I am not very very. And if you take first 10 rows in this stadium, Dolphins will ensure that you take another bath, so by the end of the show you will be all wet & dripping.
Here is my favourite photograph where one of the coach riding on a Dolphin. Imagine how special it would be ride on a Dolphin and have multiple rounds of this water pool.
In this photograph you can clearing see one of the Sea World employee riding over Dolphin. This was one of the simplistic trick. Some of these coaches were standing on Dolphins while they were swimming very fast.
There are various aquariums in Sea World. It's highly recommended to grab a map of Sea World and decide on your route. Also prfioritize what you want to do and is anything that you want to skip to give most of the time at your favourite places.
Their are various kinds of Turtles at Sea World and they look amazing when swimming with these colourful bunches of fish. These glass walls make the overall experience very good.
There are various places to eat but we aware that opening time is around 11am, so if you are coming in early make sure you have your breakfast outside and then enter. We did this mistake. We entered into the Sea World and then started searching a place to eat and got to know that most of the outlets or restaurants open after 11am. And I found it costly w.r.t. portion size served.
Turtle Reef at Sea World in San Diego is an attraction housing over 60 sea turtles in an aquarium with a variety of fish and other creatures.
At Sea World, there are 26+ animal habitats, approximately 10 rides, 20 odd shows, 2 play areas, 4 special limited-time events, and 10+ distinctive experiences. Note that some of the shows may vary during dayparts or seasons, but are counted as separate shows.
There is another huge stadium for Sea Lion Show and it was very funny. 3-4 Sea World employees run the show with a small set of Sea Lions. They communicate with these sea lions, challenge them to do few tricks, play games, dance, kiss, hug and show lot of emotional acts.
In above photograph race is happening between 2 popular Sea Lions at Sea World. The condition is that they need to carry a ball and take it till end without dropping. And there are hurdles on the way. In above photograph Sea lion is balancing the ball while jumping over the bamboo stick placed in the middle of the water pool.
This is a unique aquarium with a crossway under the water. You can see variety of fish around you including sharks. Sea World has smartly put an escalator so that people can't stop in this crossway, but still everyone tries to click photographs which is not that difficult a challenge.
Sea World is certainly a very special experience. There are various shows. Like Killer Whale Presentation, which was closed when we visited Sea World. Dolphin Days (Dolphin Stadium) is a show where guests can meet the Whale & Dolphin family and find out what inspires their trainers. Sea Lions LIVE (Sea Lion & Otter Stadium) is another show that spoofs TV shows and music featuring California sea lions and Asian small-clawed otters.
There is this beautiful section which is frozen for Penguins and there are multiple varieties of Penguins at Sea World.
The Sky Tower is a 320 feet Gyro tower that was built in 1969 designed by Intamin. The ride was refurbished in 2007 with a new capsule. The ride gives passengers a six-minute view of SeaWorld and San Diego. It rises up slowly while spinning slowly .
Beluga Whale at Sea World. It's part of Wild Arctic. Wild Arctic is a simulator ride through the Arctic set in a giant helicopter. It features both a simulator or the option to go straight to the exhibits of the wild arctic. After the ride, guests can view animals of the Arctic from both underwater and above. The first exhibit features three adult beluga whales and two adolescent beluga whales.
The second exhibit features two female polar bears, but it was closed at the time we visited Sea World and that was very disappointing part.
There is a ropeway installation within Sea World, which take you to other part of the bay and takes you back. This ride offers great views of places around Sea World and a harbour.
Bayside Skyride is gondola ride located in the northwest corner of the park near the 'Cirque Electrique' show. It travels over part of Mission Bay for a few minutes ride on two 80 feet towers and lands on the other side before returning for a full loop.
Overall Sea World was the best experience in San Diego and I missed by Nephew & Niece a lot. Both of them would have loved spending a day here. I intend to plan to plan few trips with them in future, provided they are equally interested in accompanying me :)
Dolphin Show -
Penguins at Sea World, San Diego -
Sea Lion show at Sea World, San Diego -
Beluga Whales at San Diego -