SeaWorld San Diego in California is a great place to spend a day. You can definitely see the whole park in just a day if you time out all the shows just right as some are only shown one time per day. I am a veteran of Orlando SeaWorld but this park is just a much smaller version of the Orlando park. I visited this park on January 1 and January 6, 2017. Both times there was nearly no wait time for any of the attractions and the seating at the shows were easily found.
One of the first places you may need to visit is guest services inside the park. This picture shows an empty queue line which is what it looks like in the afternoon, however in the morning there were approximately 30 people waiting for guest services. Here you can purchase your speciality tickets like lunch with Shamu or animal encounters. You can also get special assistance, maps of the park or your questions answered.
I would recommend you get a park map when you arrive. It will help you find your way around the park. On the back of the map is a list of all the show times, encounter times, places to eat and places to shop. You may get a map when you park your car, otherwise you can pick up a map just outside of guest services.
The Wild Arctic
The Wild Arctic has two parts to it. The first part is a motion simulation ride to the Arctic. There is also a stationary version. The second part takes you to the arctic animals from the North. One of the highlights is the Beluga Whale. There is also an interaction with the Beluga’s but comes at a hefty price tag of $180 for a 30 minute interaction.
Journey to Atlantis
Sesame Street Bay of Play
This is a great play area for children. There is a great climbing and bouncing area and several rides. At the time, the park was basically empty so there were no lines. The water play area was shut down because this visit was in the winter and it was about 40 degrees.
I could not believe the number of people on the water ride since it was so cold. But there are a few who braved the cold and came of the ride very wet.
The Skyride is a slow loader. There was no line up for Manta, however the line up for the Skyride was nearly 30 minutes long.
Shamu’s One Ocean at Shamu Stadium
For the Shamu’s One Ocean show there was only one
performance on the days we came. People were lining up at least one hour before the show to get good seats. The show was approximately 20 minutes. The stadium was full for the show, but not “packed”. The whales were very entertaining and showing off. If you do not want to get wet, DO NOT sit in the splash zone. If you are seated in the splash zone, you WILL get wet.
These images are from the current One Ocean show. They are redesigning this show to be less “show” and more education and more natural.
Dolphin Days – Dolphin Stadium
Pet’s Rule Show
The pet’s rule show is made up of mostly house hold animals, dogs, cats a pig and then a number of birds.They have an excellent display of training talent. Many of the pets have been rescued. We were fortunate to see their Christmas display, but the show was closed for refurbishment right after the Christmas show.
Cirque de la Mer
Sea Lions Live – Sea Lion and Otter Stadium
Sea Lions Live show was a great comedy show staring 2 sealions, an otter and a guy named “Biff”. Biff actually starts out the show with the seating of the guest doing a comedy routine to music. Quite a hilarious show, but a bit cheesy.
The Penguin Encounter inside display has over 400 penguins. There is a moving sidewalk to view the penguin from or a stationary area in the back of the exhibit.
One of our highlights was speaking with the Trainer. She was extremely knowledgable. She was telling us the names of the penguins and talking about the feeding etc. She was very patient and answered all our questions. At one time there were very few people and she was able to address individual questions. One thing we found quite interesting is that the inside display penguins and the outside display penguins were different, the never interacted. Also some of the outside penguins are taken to schools and other venues for teaching purposes .. some have even flown on airplanes.
Pacific Point – Dolphin Habitat
These dolphins were just showing off and having fun. There were no expectations for them to perform when we were watching .. but boy where they playing. It was great to watch them have fun. They really enjoyed their play toys. The exhibit has a place for you to stand right by the pool and watch the fun loving creatures.
Shark Encounter Flamingos
Aquaria World of Fishes
There are 2 new areas currently in development. “ORCA Encounter” and “Ocean Explorer – Deep Sea Discovery”. Both are scheduled to open in the Summer of 2017.
Right at the entrance/exit area there are touch pools with a variety of fish.