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“Better than expected”
Review of SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego
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San Diego Round-Trip Theme Park Transport: SeaWorld San Diego
Ranked #15 of 445 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Only at SeaWorld can you get close to dolphins, penguins, sharks and more. See awe-inspiring shows with magnificent killer whales, playful dolphins, humorous sea lions plus an amazing pet show featuring adopted animals. Dive under the sea at Explorer's Reef and touch a crab, shark, or playful cleaner fish. Experience exhilarating rides, roller coasters and water rides. See dozens of amazing attractions. Enjoy fresh California cuisine. Experience this beautiful park located on scenic Mission Bay. SeaWorld is a top-rated, all-age attraction and a must-see for any visit to San Diego. Have unforgettable fun that sparks a passion for wild animals and wild places.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed January 24, 2013

First of all I highly recommend if you will be doing many SD attractions (zoo, etc....) look into the GO San Diego card. This card gives free admission and sometimes other benefits for a certain number of days (we bought 3 day cards, but there are longer and shorter options).
Considering that the regular adult admission to Sea World is $78, paying $155 at Costco for this card was easily covered by also going to the zoo, Safari Park and some other activities.
I was prepared to be a little disappointed in this park as it seems equal parts animal park and amusement park. However, with our 9 & 11 year olds, we all had a great time dividing it between rides, shows and the up close time with certain animals.
I would suggest arriving shortly before opening time. You will get close parking ($15) and will get to enter the park to a certain point before opening. We did this and were located close to the new Manta roller coaster. My kids and husband were able to ride it 4 times in a row with almost no waiting and this set the day well as the kids got their fill and then we could enjoy looking at animals. The up close/touching of the rays, and star fish was a treat. The kids also enjoyed the dophins who would tease and splash just out of reach of their hands. We were all laughing at the seals who do the funniest antics to try to get fish.
A highlight was the Shamu show. Although it may seem like quite a production with music and dancing, we couldn't help but be impressed with these animals and their tricks. FYI - we sat in the last row of the "soak zone" (it's labeled so you'll know!) and we didn't get wet at all. My kids were disappointed and ran up to the front to get wet. The whales seemed to repeat the exact same spot when they did their splashes. However, sit in that spot and you will get soaked as did the family literally sitting right next to me.
If we had paid $300 regular admission price I'm not sure I'd be glowing as much or perhaps we literally would have stayed from open to close. Using the GO card was perfect for us - we saw Sea World and so many other places. Enough to enjoy and know for future where we would really want to spend our time.

1  Thank JCJake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,143 - 5,147 of 8,380 reviews

Reviewed January 24, 2013

For the price of a 2 day ticket, you can get a 2 year pass. Great if you live in San Diego..... bummer if you are just visiting.

Thank skiguysd101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

It was a wonderful day. there was so much to see. the shows were fabulous.
the rollercoasters were awesome too.
the best part...no long lines.
On top of all that --educational too.

Thank seaduck777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We visited the park the day before Christmas Eve and the most magical moment was when we saw the white wales. the give such a magic and overnatural impression. Would have stayed for hours was it not for the rather unharmonic setting for us watchers (with sounds bouncing around the watching rooms). Sea World has such a great opportunity of making their park a great attraction with the fantastic San Diego site, the southern California weather, the large amounts of beautiful and fantastic animals and still they fail. The Shamu and Dolphin shows had toned down the presence of the killer whales and dolphins and added to many people to it playing princes and princesses doing circus stunts. The circus stunts where good but we brought our family to learn more about the sea animals. And while waiting for the show typical circus peddlers where roaming the audience selling toys, sweets and sweet drinks such as hot choclate. Actually there where very few places in the park that offered even food. alltogether we passed one restaurant with food, else one could find churros and pretzel type of snacks.
I would have wished for a more serious but playful learning experience at the shows and mayby show rooms by some of the animal penns that where not to crowded (as they where now). I would also have wished for park peddlers not to come after our kids with toys and unhealthy foods when sitting waiting for the shows and even the park offering more healthy snacks such as nice fruits (as they do at Disney). I would not recommend Sea World San Diego. If you have a day to spend in San Diego I would rather recommend San Diego Zoo.

2  Thank AnnVixen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We bought a 3 for 1 pass and were able to visit Sea World, the zoo and the Safari Park multiple times during the seven days we were in town. Since we visited on weekdays in January, it was not crowded at all. Parking was $15 each day but we were able to get close to the entrance/exit and access to the park was easy and well marked.

We really enjoyed all the shows - we saw them all except for the Pet Show. If you sit in the soak zone in any of the arenas you will get wet. If you are a photographer, anything longer than a 70mm lens is too much for the orca shows unless you sit way back in the stands. Having up to a 400mm zoom was handy for the other shows and displays.

What we enjoyed most were two of the areas where you could interact with the animals. The first was the ray pool near the entrance to the Manta ride. The pool had many, many bat rays and one sturgeon and they all swam close to the end of the pool and you could actually pet them without much effort - very cool! Even better was the dolphin pool - our first day there, they were very active and very friendly and we were able to pet them and interact with them; they really enjoyed us splashing water at them and they would splash back. The second day, we got to watch one of their training sessions and saw several dolphins do jumps and other behaviors all from very close range.

We took rides on the space needle (or whatever they call it) and the cross-bay sky tram. Both provided some very nice views of the park and surrounding areas but be warned it gets breezy and cool on the sky tram.

As with the other parks, prices of food and beverages were way too high and they do not allow you to bring your own. Otherwise, the park is a lot of fun.

Thank NV_Travelers_77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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