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SeaWorld Live Performances & Activities in San Diego ...

Save up to 35% on single-day tickets to visit SeaWorld San Diego and enjoy all the park has to offer. 2022 Fun Card 2022 Fun Card. For a Limited-Time, Buy a 2022 Fun Card, Get the Rest of 2021 FREE! Annual Passes Annual Passes. Unlimited visits, unbeatable benefits including FREE parking, FREE guest tickets, and up to 50% savings on in-park ...

The CDPH has recently updated its requirements regarding COVID-19. See here.

Per the California Department of Public Health, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors.

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Dolphin Days
  • Sea Lions Live at SeaWorld San Diego

    Sea Lions Clyde and Seamore, and their mischievous co-host, OP Otter, are together again to create a family favorite presentation filled with laugh-out-loud and educational fun!

  • Dolphin Days

    Get introduced to our family of high-flying Bottlenose Dolphins and the amazing team that care for them as they show off their incredible athleticism and celebrate life.

  • Orca encounter

    Connect in a whole new way with the ocean's most powerful predator.

  • Count von Count at SeaWorld San Diego

    Enjoy physically distant photo opportunities with everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends.

  • Otters

    Learn about the physical and behavioral characteristics of Southern Otters, and the important role they play in our ecosystem.

  • Turtles at SeaWorld San Diego

    Watch our amazing animal trainers feed Sea Turtles while they answer some of your questions about these amazing animals

seaworld.com

Dates and times of park operating schedule and presentation schedules are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. SeaWorld San Diego is open 365 days a year. For the safety of our guests and animals, attractions and exhibits occasionally close for improvements and scheduled maintenance. SeaWorld San Diego is open 365 days a year.

The CDPH has recently updated its requirements regarding COVID-19. See here.

Per the California Department of Public Health, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors.

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Dates and times of park operating schedule and presentation schedules are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.

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SeaWorld San Diego is open 365 days a year. For the safety of our guests and animals, attractions and exhibits occasionally close for improvements and scheduled maintenance.

SeaWorld San Diego is open 365 days a year. For the safety of our guests, attractions occasionally close for improvements and scheduled maintenance.
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    Closed until Spring

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    Closed through Spring

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    Closed through Spring

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    Closed for annual maintenance

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SeaWorld Events - San Diego Event Calendar

SeaWorld’s Craft Beer Festival features an unbeatable mix of domestic, international and local craft beers plus chef-created culinary favorites. Sept. - Oct. 2022 Halloween is back with candy, costumes, your favorite Sesame Street® friends, and plenty of spooky surprises.

The CDPH has recently updated its requirements regarding COVID-19. See here.

Per the California Department of Public Health, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors.

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SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld Christmas Celebration Logo
Daily

Where holiday traditions are made, with delicious food, stunning live shows, delightful holiday shopping and joyous entertainment.

SeaWorld Inside Look
Weekends

Meet the SeaWorld® team and hear their personal stories about caring for our animals and learn more about their life-saving work.

SeaWorld Mardi Gras
Weekends

Grab your beads and celebrate this New Orleans-style carnival event complete with live music, extravagant costumes, and Mardi Gras-infused Creole and Cajun food favorites. “Laissez le bon temps rouler!"

Emperor Dive Roller Coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

Emperor, the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in all of California, will open in March 2022 – just in time for Spring Break.

Sesame Place San Diego

Sesame Place San Diego will feature 7 Sesame Street-themed rides, an interactive musical play area, and 11 water attractions including a 500,000 gallon wave pool – one of the largest in Southern California.

SeaWorld San Diego Seven Seas Food Festival
Select Dates

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, sip and sample your way around the world of international flavors, craft beers and wines, and enjoy live musical performances along the way.

Viva la Musica event at SeaWorld San Diego
Weekends

Experience this festive, family-friendly Latin celebration in a new way as you dance to the hottest music, sample fiery flavors, shop for authentic souvenirs, and much more.

SeaWorld's Electric Ocean Summer Event
Daily

Stay late all summer to immerse yourself in exotic worlds of light and music and experience your favorite SeaWorld attractions in a whole new way.

SeaWorld Craft Beer Festival
Weekends

SeaWorld’s Craft Beer Festival features an unbeatable mix of domestic, international and local craft beers plus chef-created culinary favorites.

SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream
Select Dates

There’s a new terror in town, with a killer smile. Brave terror after dark as haunted houses, scare zones, monstrous coasters, and more take over.
Separately Ticketed Nighttime Event

SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular
Weekends

Halloween is back with candy, costumes, your favorite Sesame Street® friends, and plenty of spooky surprises.

Red, White & Blue Salute
Daily

We hold the men and women that have served in our armed forces in the highest regard, and are honored to host them at our parks as our guests.

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration Logo
Daily

Where holiday traditions are made, with delicious food, stunning live shows, delightful holiday shopping and joyous entertainment.

  • Events are subject to change.

People also ask
  • What time does SeaWorld open?

    SeaWorld is open: Sun - Sun 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM. Mon - Thu 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Fri - Fri 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM. Sat - Sat 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM. Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
    What Time Does SeaWorld Open & Close?
  • How much is parking at SeaWorld San Diego?

    SeaWorld San Diego is an animal theme park, oceanarium, outside aquarium, and marine mammal park. It is in San Diego, California, United States, inside the city’s Mission Bay Park. You can save time by purchasing your parking online before you visit. Parking for a single car is for General Parking.
    How much is parking at SeaWorld San Diego?
  • How to get to SeaWorld San Diego?

    ReservationsReservations and Ticket, Fun Card or Annual Pass are required for park entry.Please empty your cart and have barcodes ready before proceeding.Fun Card and SoCal Pass Holders, please check blockout dates before making reservation.
    San Diego Airport (SAN) to SeaWorld San Diego
  • Is SeaWorld closing down?

    Seaworld Closing Down. Some corporate mergers sail by with hardly a whimper from consumers. Add theme parks with a devoted fan base into the equation, though, and you've got the makings of a high drama. Such is the case with the purchase of Anheuser-Busch by Belgian beer giant InBev and speculation over what will become of Orlando -based Busch ...
    Seaworld Closing Down - Orlando Forum - Tripadvisor
SeaWorld Theme Park - California ...

Opening March 2022. Dangle and drop more than 90 degrees into a dive plunge with California’s first floorless dive coaster. Soaring more than 60 mph, SeaWorld San Diego’s all-new coaster, Emperor, is the tallest and fastest floorless dive coaster in the state and …

The CDPH has recently updated its requirements regarding COVID-19. See here.

Per the California Department of Public Health, all guests are required to wear a mask indoors.

Close Alert

Holiday Sale 2021

SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration is the fan-favorite experience that brings families together with priceless traditions and fun-filled surprises.
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SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Celebration

This unique event will take you behind the scenes and give you an inside look into what it takes to maintain a premier zoological institution like SeaWorld San Diego. Saturdays & Sundays, Jan. 8 - 30.
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Inside Look event at SeaWorld San Diego

Sesame Place San Diego will feature 7 Sesame Street-themed dry rides, an interactive musical play area, and 11 reimagined water attractions. Sign up for email and stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook and Instagram.
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Sesame Place San Diego Key Art

Dangle and drop more than 90 degrees into a dive plunge with California’s first floorless dive coaster. Soaring more than 60 mph, SeaWorld San Diego’s all-new coaster, Emperor, is the tallest and fastest floorless dive coaster in the state and one of USA TODAY’s Most Anticipated Coasters.
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Emperor, the all new dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego
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You no longer need a reservation to visit Seaworld!

Get your tickets now!
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Emperor Roller Coaster SeaWorld San Diego
All-New Coaster

Emperor is coming in March 2022!

Soon you'll enjoy California's tallest and fastest floorless dive coaster at SeaWorld San Diego. Dangle and drop more than 150 ft as you dive 90 degrees into thrilling twists!

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Sesame Place San Diego Concept Visual
Opening March 2022

Sesame Place San Diego will feature seven Sesame Street-themed dry rides, an interactive musical play area, and eleven water attractions including a 500,000 gallon wave pool – one of the largest in Southern California. Stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Rescue
SeaWorld

For more than five decades, the SeaWorld Rescue team has provided a second chance at life to more than 39,000 animals, always with the goal of rehabilitating them and returning them to the wild.

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Your Visit Makes a Difference:
A portion of every visit goes to animal conservation & rescue.

A portion of every visit goes towards the rescue, rehabilitation and return of thousands of animals that need our help.
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    Over the past 50 years, SeaWorld has rescued more than 39,000 animals.
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    Our SeaWorld Rescue Team is available 24/7, 365 days a year.
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    We are the worldwide leader in animal research. Our experts have published more than 350 scientific studies.
    Learn More

  • Family Friendly

    We are proud partners with renowned organizations like Humane Society of the United States.
    Learn More

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SeaWorld San Diego Dolphin EncounterTurtle Reef at SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego tickets, prices, discounts, animals ...

15-12-2021 · SeaWorld San Diego shows. Five shows at SeaWorld San Diego Sea Lions Live, Dolphin Days, Orca Encounter, Magellanic Penguin, and Sesame Street Meet‑and‑Greets are free for all ticketholders. The sixth show, Rescue Tails, is paid. Tip: Ask for the day’s show schedule and times at the attraction’s entrance. It will come in handy to plan ...

15-12-2021

SeaWorld San Diego is an aquatic theme park with lots of animal interactions, exciting shows, and some of the world’s most thrilling rides. 

This family-friendly attraction gets around five million visitors annually. 

In this article, we share everything you must know before booking your SeaWorld San Diego tickets. 

Table of contents

SeaWorld San Diego is at 500, SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109, near Interstate 5 and Interstate 8. 

It is around 15 minutes north-west of downtown San Diego and San Diego International Airport (SAN).

Public Transport

San Diego Santa Fe depot is the most important transportation center in Downtown San Diego.

From San Diego Santa Fe, you can board the Sycuan Green Line train or the Coaster to get to Old Town Center, the closest transit stop to SeaWorld San Diego. 

You can board Bus No 8 or 9 to get to San Diego SeaWorld from just outside the station. 

SeaWorld is approximately 6.5 km (4 miles), and it takes 15 minutes to travel the distance.

Car parking

SeaWorld San Diego has enough parking slots and also offers three types of car parking packages. 

General Parking costs , and Up-Close Parking, where you can park your car in the first six rows near the park entrance, costs .

For , you can enjoy a reserved parking spot in the closest parking section near the park entrance.

You can decide which slot you prefer on the day of your visit. 

Parking for RVs and campers is , and parking for motorcycles is .

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SeaWorld San Diego hours

SeaWorld San Diego opens at 10 am every day of the year. 

From Monday to Thursday it closes at 7 pm and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday it remains open till 9 pm. 

SeaWorld San Diego reopening

After being closed for the Covid pandemic, SeaWorld opened to the public on 8 Feb 2021. 

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Best time to visit SeaWorld

The best time to visit SeaWorld San Diego is as soon as they open at 10 am. 

Early in the day, the animals are fresh and active, and the crowd is yet to come in, resulting in shorter queues. 

If you purchase your tickets in advance, you don’t need to stand at the ticket counter and can start visiting the animals off as soon as you arrive. 

The summer months and school holidays are the busiest at the San Diego attraction. 

However, during the crowded days, SeaWorld has extra shows and stays open for longer. 

Tour duration

Most families spend six to seven hours at SeaWorld San Diego. Staying longer helps you see all of the shows, animal exhibits and encounters, and rides.

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SeaWorld San Diego ticket price

SeaWorld San Diego prices depend on where you purchase your tickets. 

The San Diego SeaWorld’s regular ticket for all visitors above three years of age costs when bought online. At the gate, the same ticket gets sold for . 

The SeaWorld Drink and Dine bundle, which besides entry, also includes six food and drink items for adults (including beer & wine) and four food and drink items for kids, costs 3 when bought online. 

The Drink and Dine bundle, also known as the ‘Eat Free’ ticket, is priced at 4 at the attraction’s entrance.

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Discounts at SeaWorld San Diego

The best way to get San Diego SeaWorld discount tickets is to purchase them online. 

When you buy San Diego SeaWorld’s regular ticket online, you get a discount of per person on the gate price. 

The Drink and Dine bundle, when bought online, helps you score a discount of per person.

Kids below two years get the best deal at SeaWorld San Diego – they can enter for free. 

The Go San Diego Pass is yet another fantastic way to reduce your ticket costs. The all-inclusive attraction pass gets you free admission to the SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and 35 other attractions. 

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SeaWorld San Diego tickets

Purchasing your tickets for SeaWorld San Diego online is a better option for three reasons:

  • Online tickets are cheaper than the price you will pay at the entrance
  • You don’t wait in the ticket counter queue and waste your time and energy
  • Tickets on-site get sold on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Booking your tickets online (and in advance) ensures a guaranteed entry

Mobile tickets: The tickets get emailed to you, and on the day of the visit, you can show them on your mobile and walk in. You don’t have to take print outs. 

There are two types of San Diego SeaWorld tickets you can choose from – the regular ticket and the ‘Eat Free’ tickets. 

We explain them below. 

Regular San Diego SeaWorld tickets

This skip-the-line SeaWorld San Diego ticket gets you access to all the animal exhibits, all the shows (except Rescue Tail), and all the rides. 

Animal Encounters are paid activities and aren’t included with this ticket. 

Ticket price (3 years):

Kids below three years can enter for free. 

This ticket costs at the attraction’s entrance, and by booking it in advance, you save per person.

The SeaWorld `Eat Free’ ticket is also known as the ‘Drink and Dine’ bundle and helps you reserve your food, brews, and cocktails at the attraction. 

Besides entry into SeaWorld, the ‘Eat Free’ tickets also include – 

For adults: Six food and/or drink items of your choice (including beer, wine, and cocktails)
For kids: Four kids food and/or drink items of your choice

Ticket price (3 years): 3

Kids below three years can enter for free. 

This ticket costs 4 at the attraction’s entrance, and by booking it in advance, you save per person.

*On the ticket booking page, select ‘Eat Free Ticket’

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SeaWorld San Diego animals

SeaWorld San Diego is home to about 13,000 animals, including mammals, fishes, birds, and reptiles.

There are three ways you can explore these animals – the interactive animal exhibits, animal attractions and the animal encounters.

Interactive animal exhibits

There are three animal exhibits where you can touch the marine lifeforms. 

The regular Seaworld San Diego tickets get you access to all interactive exhibits.

Explorer’s Reef

Explorer’s Reef is just inside the park entrance and is the first opportunity to interact with sea life.

It is a series of touch pools, where you get to see and touch several reef sharks species, horseshoe crabs, stingrays, etc. 

Feel free to ask for insights from the Animal Care Ambassadors nearby. 

Bat Ray Shallows

Kids get an opportunity to interact with touch-friendly bat rays at Bat Ray Shallows.

Visitors can also go downstairs (beneath the touch pool) for an underground aquarium that includes white sturgeons and shovelnose guitarfish.

Sea Lion Point

At the Sea Lion Point of SeaWorld, both kids and adults can feed and enjoy the antics of seals and sea lions. 

These animals are always active, so expect a crowd. 

Animal Attractions

Like the interactive animal displays, access to the animal attractions is also included with the regular SeaWorld ticket. 

Attractions are animal exhibits that visitors can see and enjoy, but they can’t interact with them. 

The most popular animal attractions are – Dolphin Point, Orca Underwater, 

Bat Rays, Flamingos, Sea Lion Point, Otter Outlook, Moray Eels, Magellanic Penguins, Macaws, Sea Turtles, Sloths, Sting Rays, Tide Pools, etc. 

Animal Encounters

SeaWorld San Diego has four animal encounters – with Dolphins, Sloths, Flamingoes, and Sea Otter.

All encounters are paid activities, and all participants under 18 will need a paying parent or guardian present. 

Dolphin Encounter

This 15-minute tour is an exclusive trainer-guided, poolside opportunity to meet, feed, and learn to communicate with Bottlenose Dolphins.

Image: Seaworld.com

For this encounter at Dolphin Point, a paid parent or guardian must accompany participants under 122 cms (48 inches) tall.

For a group of up to six members, the encounter costs , and you must reserve in advance. 

Sloth Encounter

During the Sloth Encounter, you go behind the scenes at Dolphin Amphitheater for an up-close experience with a two-toed sloth.

Image: Seaworld.com

A #Slothie (Sloth selfie) is one of the highlights of the 15-20 minute session.

Participants must be at least six years old (and accompanied by a paid adult participant) if they are below 18.

The Sloth Encounter costs for one person, and reservation in advance is a must.

Flamingo Encounter

Flamingo Encounter is a 20 minutes session inside the Flamingoes habitat, where an Aviculturist shares unique facts about the birds. 

Image: Seaworld.com

It costs for one person, and reservation in advance is mandatory. 

Sea Otter Encounter

The Sea Otter Encounter is a 30 minutes session during which you will feed the Sea Otter and learn about the fascinating animal. 

Image: Seaworld.com

This session with the curious and playful sea otters happens at the ‘Otter Outlook’, and you must reserve it in advance. 

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SeaWorld San Diego shows

Five shows at SeaWorld San Diego Sea Lions Live, Dolphin Days, Orca Encounter, Magellanic Penguin, and Sesame Street Meet‑and‑Greets are free for all ticketholders. 

The sixth show, Rescue Tails, is paid. 

Tip: Ask for the day’s show schedule and times at the attraction’s entrance. It will come in handy to plan your day’s itinerary. 

Sea Lions Live

Located at the Sea Lion Amphitheater, the Sea Lions Live is a free show. 

Visitors get to join Sea Lions Clyde and Seamore and their buddy O.P. Otter for some splashy action. 

This San Diego SeaWorld show is both funny and educational and a favorite amongst most families. 

Dolphin Days

During this show visitors get to see the SeaWorld aquarium’s family of Bottlenose Dolphins and their incredible athleticism.

This free show happens at the Dolphin Amphitheatre. 

If you take up a seat close to the Dolphins, be ready for some splashing. 

Orca Encounter

This show is a fantastic opportunity to meet Orca, the ocean’s most powerful predator.

Spectators get to learn about orcas masterful hunting techniques and complex communication codes. 

This free show at the Orca Encounter venue can get very splashy. 

Sesame Street Meet‑and‑Greets

The Sesame Street Meet and Greet at SeaWorld San Diego is highly popular with younger kids.

During this free activity, kids and adults meet their favorite Sesame Street characters such as Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Zoe, Rosita, Telly, Bert, and Ernie. 

Magellanic Penguin show

Visitors get to see the keepers feed the penguins during this free show at the outdoor Magellanic penguin exhibit.

The keepers also tell stories and answer questions about the penguins. 

Ask for the park schedule to know the feeding times.

Rescue Tails

At the Rescue Tails show at Nautilus Amphitheater, visitors learn about SeaWorld’s commitment to animal care and rescue. 

Visitors meet many of the park’s rescued animals, such as birds of prey, primates, and reptiles, and learn about their unique stories.

Besides meeting the animals, you also get to take photos with the fantastic animals. 

Entry to this show is paid and costs .99 per person. 

Reserved Seating at shows

Visitors who prefer to get front row action at the SeaWorld San Diego shows can reserve their seats.

Unlimited single-day reserved seating at all participating shows costs .99 per person. 

Reserved seating upgrade will guarantee you front row action at Orca Encounter, Dolphin Amphitheater, and Sea Lion & Otter Amphitheater.

It won’t be valid at Cirque Electrique, Nautilus Amphitheater, or Mission Bay Theater shows. 

Seating is reserved only till the show starts, after which unused seats get opened for general seating.

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SeaWorld San Diego rides

Most visitors check out the animals, attend shows, then head out to SeaWorld San Diego’s rides for their adrenalin rush. 

SeaWorld has five high thrill rides, out of which four are roller coasters. 

Emperor, the fifth roller coaster of the attraction, is expected to be unveiled in 2021. 

SeaWorld also has two water rides and nine rides for smaller kids.

Some of SeaWorld San Diego’s most popular rides are Electric Eel, Journey to Atlantis, Manta, Tidal Twister, etc. 

In 2021, SeaWorld San Diego’s latest ride called Emperor is expected to be unveiled. 

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SeaWorld San Diego map

Spread over nearly 200 acres in Mission Bay, SeaWorld San Diego is a significantly large tourist attraction. 

Carrying a map and being aware of the location of the exhibits helps save time and energy.  

Besides the animal enclosures, a map also helps you identify rides and visitor services such as restaurants, restrooms, souvenir shops, etc.

San Diego SeaWorld’s layout is even more necessary if you are visiting with kids.

The SeaWorld app for Android and iPhone has an interactive map to help you find your way during your visit.

# San Diego Zoo
# San Diego Zoo Safari Park
# Legoland California
# USS Midway
# San Diego Cruise

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seaworld.com

The San Diego 3-For-1 Ticket is valid for (1) visit at each participating park, which includes SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park. Ticket is valid on regularly scheduled operating days within 7 consecutive days, beginning the first day of your first park visit.

Save up to 55% online ● 3-Day admission to top attractions and activities in San Diego

● Pay nothing at the gate

The Go San Diego® all-inclusive pass is valid for admission to participating San Diego attractions for 3 consecutive days, starting on the day the pass is scanned at the first attraction. The Go San Diego Pass includes admission to over 55 top attractions and activities, including SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum, Safari Park, and more. Guidebooks for participating attractions will be distributed at SeaWorld San Diego upon redemption of eVoucher. You can visit an attraction once per day, unless otherwise noted. Go San Diego Pass is valid for same-day entry only, and cannot be exchanged for a ticket to enter an attraction on a future date. The Go San Diego Pass purchased on SeaWorld’s website must be redeemed at SeaWorld San Diego first in order to receive your Go San Diego Pass for admission to the other attractions. Your pass will be automatically activated when you visit SeaWorld San Diego after you redeem your eVoucher at Tickets & Reservations. The original credit card used during the purchase and a valid government-issued photo ID will be verified upon redemption of eVoucher. Valid for the person listed on the eVoucher only. Children ages 2 and younger are admitted free and do not require an admission ticket to visit SeaWorld San Diego. Offer, park products, hours and services are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. This ticket is non-transferable, non-refundable, not for resale, void if altered, will not be replaced if lost or stolen and may be confiscated without restitution for misuse. Ticket may not be duplicated and photocopies will not be accepted. This offer is not to be combined with any other special offers or discounts. Parking, taxes, shipping and service fees not included in price. Your visit to SeaWorld helps support animal rescue efforts, with over 39,000 and counting.

Please note that some attractions may require reservations.  In order to make reservations at specific attractions, you must physically pick up the pass from the front gate after making your purchase online.  

Leisure Pass Group is not responsible for traffic conditions, weather, attraction-capacity constraints, or other unforeseeable circumstances that may affect a customers ability to use Leisure Pass Group products. Attraction offerings are subject to change. By using this card, you agree to Leisure Pass Group terms and conditions, which are available at smartdestinations.com/terms-and-conditions.html. 

citypass.com

500 Sea World Drive. San Diego, CA 92109. View Map. (800) 257-4268. seaworldsandiego.com. Open 365 Days. Hours vary; check here for current park hours. For more than 55 years, SeaWorld has been educating the public about the importance of animal rescue and conservation to inspire curiosity, care, and action. SeaWorld is proud to be world leader ...

Enjoy exciting and educational attractions, shows and exhibits at SeaWorld® San Diego. Create fun and meaningful experiences, and become inspired to care about animals and wild wonders of the world.

Save up to 40% on admission to SeaWorld® San Diego plus other must-see attractions with San Diego CityPASS tickets.

  • One simple purchase gives you admission to multiple attractions. And with 9 days to use your tickets, you’ll have plenty of time to spend at each attraction.
  • Save time researching. Only the best attractions, like SeaWorld® San Diego, are included in CityPASS tickets. Rest assured you’re going to see the best San Diego has to offer.
  • Admission to SeaWorld® San Diego:
    San Diego CityPASS: SeaWorld® San Diego Single Day Ticket
  • Start your adventure at Explorer's Reef, where you’ll enter the park under a massive wave sculpture and encounter a beautiful, underwater-themed realm of animal attractions, buildings and shade structures.
  • Dive into the world of sea turtles in a way you never thought possible. Get an up-close look at these fascinating creatures, then get even closer by experiencing their journey first-hand.
  • Journey through an amazing underwater viewing tunnel in Shark Encounter and experience a rare, fascinating, up-close look at predators whose prehistoric ancestors dominated the sea more than a hundred million years before dinosaurs walked the earth.
  • Share in SeaWorld's 55-year knowledge of orca behavior and care and hear how scientific research on orca at SeaWorld is benefiting wild populations in Orca Encounter, a unique and engaging combination of live and digital presentations.
  • Experience Electric Eel, San Diego’s tallest and fastest roller coaster! Featuring astounding loops, twists and airtime, Electric Eel will propel you to more than 60 miles per hour in seconds, then rocket you skyward nearly 150 feet to an adrenaline-pumping inverted “heartline” roll and a twisting loop!
  • Buckle up for Manta, a multi-media family launch coaster that lives up to its name. Two thrilling launches send riders soaring and diving in the spirit of world’s largest ray.
  • Stay late all summer to immerse yourself in exotic worlds of light and music at Electric Ocean! Join playful, glowing sea creatures and world-class DJs at a family-friendly dance party, then end the night with Ignite, a fireworks spectacular that brings the brilliance of the sea to the sky above. (Summer only)
  • Make a visit to Sea Lion Point and say hello to the adorable harbor seals and sea lions. You can even get a chance to feed these famously fun animals.
  • With The New Seaworld App, get real-time information about the park, with all sorts of helpful and valuable features to help you make the most of your day, like exclusive offers and deals, up-to-the-minute ride wait times and daily show times. You’ll also find an interactive map, fun photo frames, insider park tips, and more. Available now in the App Store and Google Play.
  • For everything you need to know to plan your visit, click here.
  • SeaWorld® San Diego has safety protocols in place to ensure a safe environment for its guests and staff; learn more on their website.
  • Click here for directions. Click here to find parking information.

For more than 55 years, SeaWorld has been educating the public about the importance of animal rescue and conservation to inspire curiosity, care, and action. SeaWorld is proud to be world leader in marine animal rescue, coming to the aid of more than 36,000 animals...and counting!

San Diego CityPASS is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 5.
Rated 4 out of 5 by MAIK from Great Deal! Really good deal to have Legoland & SEAWORLD together and also included the San Diego Zoo and the USS MIDWAY
Rated 5 out of 5 by Family Of 7 :) from Great time in San Diego! Everything went flawless with the tickets. We ended up going to Sea World, San Diego Zoo, USS Midway and the Old Town Trolley Tour. I ended up loading the tickets on my phone and showed every place we went to upon entry... a quick scan and we were in the park. No need to wait in the ticket line. We will definitely be taking advantage of the savings during our next city trip.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Adouthit from Good package for the price It was great to have a variety of choices available. Customer support was helpful and was easy to use. Using city pass we were able to see San Diego.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ann-Ann from Absolutely Amazing It was the easiest transactions. My family used this with no hassle. I wish my family had more time.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Momof4boys from So much fun Was so glad to have CityPass while there for my son's graduation from the Marine Corps. We will definitely get one when we come out for the next one

The CityPASS Travel Guide has all of the details you need for a great experience, including reservation and entry information, attraction details, safety measures, an interactive map, and extra offers and discounts from our partners.

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions

San Diego is home to the world's very first SeaWorld. The park was founded in 1964 as a marine zoological park along Mission Bay. Today, the park is as much a theme park as it is a marine park, with…

San Diego is home to the world's very first SeaWorld. The park was founded in 1964 as a marine zoological park along Mission Bay. Today, the park is as much a theme park as it is a marine park, with fantastic shows, animal exhibits, aquariums and, yes, a growing list of hang-onto-your-hat thrill rides. Plus the Sesame Street Bay of Play keeps the tadpoles hoppin’. There is plenty to see and do in a day at SeaWorld, and we definitely recommend you plan in advance so that you don't miss out on anything. Here are our favorite SeaWorld San Diego shows and attractions.

You'll want to check the showtimes for your visit online or in the SeaWorld San Diego app and plan your day around the show schedule. Keep in mind that you may even get to experience additional seasonal shows, depending on when you visit. Our post on SeaWorld San Diego events will fill you in on special entertainment that may be hoppening when you visit.

10 Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions

1. Sesame Street Bay of Play

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Entrance to Bay of Play

Your tadpoles will have some splish-splashin' fun with the water play area, air bounce, toddler mat and rides that are just their speed. Plus you can meet all of your favorite Sesame Street pals and enjoy age-appropriate entertainment. Sadly, the climbing area is closed temporarily due to COVID-19. The water play area is a bit smaller than usual so dance parties can take place around the ship.

2. Sea Lions Live

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Sea Lion flipping in show

Those crazy, clever sea lions, Clyde and Seamore, are up to their usual hijinks. Joined by their buddy, OP, an Asian small-clawed otter, they perform live-action TV and music spoofs in this 20-minute show.

3. Journey to Atlantis

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Boat makes a Splash on Atlantis

While it shares the same name as the SeaWorld Orlando water flume ride, the San Diego version is more of a coaster than a water ride — although you will get wet! If you ride early in the day when it's cooler, you may need your poncho. The tadpoles love standing in the splash zone and watching the boats come down on a hot day. They don't even have to ride to get wet!

4. Turtle Reef

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Guests watch turtles pass by

Head below to watch the turtles swim above you while you stay dry. Come face to face with peaceful green sea turtles, loggerheads or hawksbill turtles (along with tropical fish). As you exit, you'll be in the perfect spot to hop in line to visit the sharks at Shark Encounter.

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Shark passes overhead5. Shark Encounter

You’ll start out this exhibit by looking at the sharks from above, but then you’ll enter a glass tunnel that allows you to view them from below. The tunnel sends you through the middle of the prehistoric creatures’ water (keeping you dry, but surrounding you with sharks). Enjoy every heart-pounding minute of watching white shark bellies gliding over your head and being able to get up close and personal with hundreds of pointy teeth that are safely on the other side of the glass.

6. Manta

Like Journey to Atlantis, Manta also shares its name with a coaster at SeaWorld Orlando. Again, the two are very different. SeaWorld Orlando's Manta is the smoothest coaster I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing, but its thrills scare off plenty of would-be riders. The San Diego version is a fun family coaster (for those 48 inches and up) and a must-do, but it's nowhere near the scare level of its Orlando counterpart. It has a thrilling and surprising launch. Say "Cheese!" as you scream during takeoff because that moment will be captured by a camera.

SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions - Manta

Do you love thrill rides? Us, too! Another fun coaster for younger froglets 48 inches and up who want to ride the tide is the dueling Tidal Twister. But before boarding, note the Zero-G roll!

For those taller (54 inches) family members who really crave thrills, also add Electric Eel to your must-ride list. It’s the tallest and fastest roller coaster at SeaWorld. Did we forget to mention the twists and rolls, and that you’ll be moving forward AND backward? It’s shocking!

7. Beluga Whales and Walruses

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Kid and walrus look at each other

Explore a frozen exhibit where you can come face-to-face with walruses, beluga whales and harbor seals. Run your hands along a frozen ice wall and let the tadpoles crawl through a frozen den. We love to take our time in this exhibit and spend time looking at the animals.

While you are in the area, hop next door to visit nearly 400 penguins! SeaWorld San Diego is the only place in North America to see an Emperor Penguin. And soon you'll be able to dive like one, too, on the new Emperor dive coaster (opening March 2022)! This looping coaster is California's first floorless dive coaster. With top speeds over 60 mph and a dive plunge over 150 feet (and over 90 degrees), this is the tallest and fastest dive coaster in California.

8. Dolphin Days

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Dolphins leaping out of water in show

Watch bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales leap high out of the water and interact with their trainers. If you are a dolphin lover — and who doesn’t love dolphins? — then spend some time at Dolphin Point after the show. They like to watch you almost as much as you like watching them! The dolphins love to keep their audience guessing, so hop by for a second show if you have the time. You just might get to see some different tricks.

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Guest interact with dolphin during a dolphin encounter

If you cannot get enough of dolphins, your family will flip for exclusive face-to-face Dolphin Encounter and Dolphin Interaction experiences. These interactions do cost extra, but the memories are priceless.

Dolphin does tricks on command during an encounter with guests.

9. Orca Encounter

The majesty of the orcas and their amazing size and strength are the focal points of this show. Learn about how orcas hunt, communicate and play. You can witness their behaviors, learn about the role of family and find out what people can learn from these orcas to help whales survive in the wild.

Even if you do not catch a show, hop by to visit the beautiful orcas. There is an underwater viewing area to help you get a better look. If you bring props, such as a small ball or toy, you just might capture — and keep— their attention!

Best SeaWorld San Diego Shows and Attractions-Kids at touch pool10. Explorer's Reef

As soon as you enter the park, you can immediately immerse your hands in the water and your mind in the world of various sea animals at Explorer’s Reef. While this experience isn't a show or a ride, it’s still exciting to start your visit by touching a reef shark and getting educated about the animals from the people who work with them. At Explorer's Reef, guests can go under the wave sculpture and get up close to a number of underwater sea creatures. If your little ones are anything like Tad and Lily, putting their hands in the water and touching the animals will be the highlight of their trip!

We hope our look at our favorite SeaWorld San Diego shows and attractions has you ready for your visit! If you're looking for more help in planning your San Diego vacation, look no further than our San Diego Planning Guide. 

Related: Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Height Requirements

Related:  15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
SeaWorld San Diego Guide: Plan Your Day with Insider Tips ...

SeaWorld San Diego tips and tricks for how to save money, maximize time, and visit sanely with kids for an easy day. How to Buy Discounted Tickets to SeaWorld San Diego. Discounted SeaWorld San Diego tickets are easy to find. Which to choose is based on how many times you’ll visit the popular theme park, memberships, more.

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12 Essential SeaWorld San Diego Tips for Families

20-02-2020 · Check out our 12 essential SeaWorld San Diego tips to make the most out of your next visit to one of San Diego's best theme parks.

20-02-2020

Visiting San Diego soon? If so, SeaWorld is most likely at the top of your vacation itinerary.

As the premier aquatic park on the West Coast, it welcomes millions of visitors each year. Not only can you get up close and personal with amazing marine life, but you can also experience incredible shows and attractions designed with families in mind.  To make the most of your day at the park, be sure to use these SeaWorld San Diego tips.

SeaWorld San Diego Tips: An Insider's Secrets

1. Buy your tickets in advance

Not only will get to save (Tripster currently has discounts up to !) but you can skip the will-call lines and go straight to the turnstiles. Instant access to the park guaranteed!

family with dophin at seaworld

2. Make Time for Feedings and Shows

One of the most helpful SeaWorld San Diego tips is to schedule your activities around the shows. After all, these are some of the best ways to discover more about the marine life at the park. Pick up a show schedule when you arrive at the park or browse the offerings before you arrive. I also recommend stopping by Pacific Point and Manta to get a feedings schedule, so you can feed sea lions and bat rays by hand during your day at the park.

3. Bring a Waterproof Camera

Let’s face it – you’re at an aquatic park and might get splashed a time or two.  Especially at live shows at Shamu Stadium, where the Splash Zone makes the performance even more fun.  Watching the reactions of your kids is a better memory than trying to keep a fancy camera dry. Even at other aquatic attractions a waterproof camera, disposable or otherwise, comes in handy.  You never know when the animals you’re viewing might make a splash! Note:  The splash zone of shows is the first 13 rows at Shamu Stadium.

4. Meet and Greet the Shamu and Crew Characters

They are easiest to catch between 9am-Noon near the front entrance of the park. In addition, you can meet the Sesame Street characters in the Bay of Play after each Sunny Days show. Be sure to grab a park map to get a full list of the park's character encounter times during the day of your visit.

5. Prepare Properly for Water Rides

Riding Journey of Atlantis?  Choose your seats carefully as the front seat of the ride will get you soaked! You'll also get wet on Shipwrecked Rapids, but that should come as no surprise considering the name. I suggest bringing some expensive ponchos with you as you'll fork over a lot for the plastic protectors at the park.

family standing in front of aquarium at seaworld san diego

6. Beat the Heat at Cool Zones

It can get hot during sunny California days.  Cool off at attractions like Wild Arctic, Penguin Encounter, Turtle Reef, Shark Encounter and one of three indoor aquariums.

7. Eat Breakfast Before You Arrive

There are delicious breakfast spots located in neighboring Mission Beach.  The Mission Café is a bustling, friendly option with exceptional French toast.   With a full belly, you can start your day off right and save lunch for later in the day.

8. Slather on the Sunscreen

SeaWorld San Diego tips aren't just about saving money or skipping lines. They're also about keeping you safe! Be sure to pack sunscreen in your bag so you can reapply as needed throughout the day.  There are shade spots at the park, but most of it is open and sunny.  This means you’ll want to avoid a sunburn – the worst vacation companion!

9. Save on Drinks

SeaWorld doesn’t allow outside food, but you can bring in outside water bottles.  Freeze some the night before to drink throughout the day.  If you’re a soda drinker, invest in a .99 cup you can refill throughout the day for free.

sea lion show at seaworld in san diego

10. Arrive Early for the Shows

To get the best seats, arrive 30 minutes early for the shows.  Especially at productions like Sea Lions Live, where Clyde and Seamore perform hilarious pre-show antics.

11. Get your Hand Stamped

Do this when you arrive at the park to ensure you can come and go from the park as you please.  The more flexibility you have with your day, the more enjoyable it will be.

12. Purchase a Quick Queue Pass

If you're visiting the park during its peak times, such as summer or the holiday season, purchasing a Quick Queue pass is a good idea. Why? Because it allows you front-of-the-line access to Journey to Atlantis, Electric Eel, Wild Arctic, Shipwreck Rapids, and Manta. Upgrade to the Premier Pass for reserved seating at SeaWorld shows (excluding Cirque Electrique).

Make the Most of Your Day

Keep these SeaWorld San Diego tips in mind to have the best day ever at this amazing aquatic park. With these helpful hints and tricks, you can stay focused on the fun at SeaWorld San Diego CA, knowing you've got the inside track on what to do, where to go and what to see.

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is one of the premier attractions in San Diego and a must-do for any visit to Southern California. The marine park offers incredible views of sea life and other animals through up…

Maximize Time at SeaWorld San Diego - PinterestSeaWorld San Diego is one of the premier attractions in San Diego and a must-do for any visit to Southern California. The marine park offers incredible views of sea life and other animals through up-close and even hands-on encounters, shows and exhibits. Alongside the animals, there are some incredible attractions that can make it hard to decide what to do first. With a little planning and these SeaWorld San Diego tips, you can maximize your time and have a splashin' good time!

Our Top SeaWorld San Diego Tips to Maximize Your Time

1. Buy your tickets in advance.

You will save money and time if you purchase your tickets in advance, since you can find great discounts and you won't have to stand in line at Will Call. You can purchase a pass, Fun Card or a discount ticket from Undercover Tourist. You can even purchase parking in advance to save a few dollars and some time when entering the lot!

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - Dolphin lookin at people at Dolphin Reef

2. Pick the best times to visit. 

The summer months and days around major holidays are when SeaWorld San Diego is busiest. Basically, whenever kids are out of school, you can expect major crowds. But this is also when SeaWorld San Diego's hours of operation are the longest. You'll find more shows and more showtimes, so you have to decide whether you want to visit with fewer crowds or fewer shows. There are a number of fun SeaWorld San Diego events and holiday celebrations that may make it extra fun to visit at certain times. Many of the events take place on weekends. We were excited to see an in-park sign detailing some hoppin' park events to come — there are lots of family-fun events heading our way!

3. Consider purchasing Quick Queue and Quick Queue Premier if you are visiting during the busiest times. 

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - Manta Ride

Quick Queue allows you unlimited single-day access to the express entrances at Electric Eel, Shipwreck Rapids and Manta. Quick Queue Premier includes all of the benefits of Quick Queue, PLUS reserved seating at most SeaWorld shows, including Orca Encounter, Dolphin Amphitheater and Sea Lion & Otter Amphitheater. This is the easiest way to maximize your time at SeaWorld San Diego. If shows are more important to you than rides, you can purchase reserved seating for just shows and presentations. At times, you may purchase smaller or seasonal select shows individually.

You may purchase Quick Queue online in advance or at kiosks in the park. It does sell out on busy days.

4. Eat breakfast before you get to the park.

You'll save time and money if you fuel up before you head to the park. While there are great dining options at SeaWorld San Diego, we think your money is better saved for lunch. When your tadpoles enter the park, they will want to visit the animals and are not going to want to wait in long food lines or take time to sit and eat. Plus you'll encounter low crowds in the morning, so you'll want to take advantage of the less-crowded times.

Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - Animal Exhibits5. Arrive ahead of park opening. 

That old saying, "the early frog gets the fly" is especially true at SeaWorld San Diego. We're not sure if it's just San Diego's laid-back vibes, but the crowds really start building around lunchtime. Therefore, arriving just before park opening gives you plenty of touring time. We like to get a jump on the rides, animal encounters and exhibits at this time. Personally, we like to tour the park counterclockwise, visiting Journey to Atlantis, Wild Arctic and the penguin exhibits first since they are closer to the park entrance and then head to the other side of the park.

Connect with various marine life at Explorers Reef Interactive Touch Pools, see orcas up close at Underwater Viewing, visit with dolphins at Dolphin Point and learn about otters at Otter Outlook. Trainers are available to share information about the animals.

6. Prepare for the water rides and Soak Zones. 

Bring along inexpensive ponchos so that you can ride the water rides without getting drenched (unless you want to get wet). This is especially hopful if you decide to ride Journey to Atlantis first thing! You can decide when you get to the shows whether you want to sit in the splash zone or stay dry. Know that you're also liable to get a good soaking on Shipwreck Rapids, although the name should be a good giveaway!

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - People getting splashed in Soak Zone

Our tadpoles love to sit close to the front of shows and enjoy getting wet, as many frogs do. Mommy Frog? Not so much. The compromise is to wear a poncho or to sit toward the back of the Soak Zone rows.

7. Bring your own water. 

Water bottles and baby food are the only food and drink items that SeaWorld San Diego allows you to bring into the park. Coolers, straws and glass containers are also prohibited within the park, although guests are welcome to leave those in cars and use the picnic areas near the park entrance plaza. SeaWorld's official policy on guests with medical diets and baby formula is to seek a park representative for assistance before entering.

8. Eat lunch at off-peak times. 

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - Family Eating Lunch

Especially during the busiest times of the year, you will maximize your time at SeaWorld San Diego if you eat lunch earlier or later than the standard lunch hour.

9. Visit Sesame Street Bay of Play with tadpoles before shows to get the wiggles out.

Sesame Street Bay of Play is full of pint-sized rides that are perfect for toddlers and young children. Lines don't get as long for these attractions as they do for the bigger rides. Children must be 42 inches tall to ride by themselves. There is a smaller splash pad if your tadpoles need to cool off and plenty of opportunities to climb and jump around to get the wiggles out. Plus you can meet Sesame Street pals. After running free, your small children just might be willing to sit still for a show, with a snack and beverage, of course.

10. Travel light to save time and money.

The downside of bringing a bag is that you cannot bring a bag or loose items on thrill rides such as Manta or Electric Eel. You can either leave your belongings with a family member who is not riding or rent a locker. The ride lockers have a fee. It's for three hours. You might see if you can get two rides in before you retrieve your belongings to save money. Wearing clothes with a pocket that zips or snaps shut can save you from having to store your stuff.

11. Research height requirements in advance.

You don’t want to get your tadpoles hyped for a ride only to have them turned away because they aren’t tall enough or because you cannot accompany them due to a baby in your arms. Know the height restrictions in advance so you can schedule rides that meet your family’s interests and needs. Some rides require a supervising companion who is at least 14 years old or do not allow a hand-held infant.

Here are the height requirements for each attraction at SeaWorld San Diego:

  • Abby's Sea Star Spin - 42 inches (107 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor. No hand-held infants.
  • Aqua Scout - 36 inches (91 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Bayside Skyride - 56 inches (142 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Electric Eel - 54 inches (137 cm) or taller.
  • Elmo's Flying Fish - 48 inches (122 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor. No hand-held infants.
  • Emperor (opening March 2022) - 52 inches (132 cm).
  • Journey to Atlantis - 42 inches (107 cm) or taller. Guests between 42 inches (107 cm) and 48 inches (122 cm) in height must be accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Manta - 48 inches (122 cm) or taller.
  • Octarock - 31 inches (79 cm) or taller.
  • Oscar's Rocking Eel - 42 inches (107 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor. No hand-held infants.
  • Riptide Rescue - 45 inches (114 cm) or taller. Guests between 45 inches (114 cm) and 50 inches (127 cm) must be accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Sea Dragon Drop - 36 inches (91 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Shipwreck Rapids - 42 inches (107 cm) or taller. Guests between 42 inches (107 cm) and 48 inches (122 cm) in height must be accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Skytower - 48 inches (122 cm) or accompanied by a supervisor.
  • Tentacle Twirl - 40 inches (106 cm) or taller.
  • Wild Arctic - 42 inches (107 cm) or taller.

12. Download a park map and the app. 

The SeaWorld park map has gone digital. Download the latest version of the SeaWorld app for the best experience and cool new features. The SeaWorld Discovery Guide is the official app. Use the app or your phone's camera to scan the map code in the park. There are also large park maps located throughout the park. The app lists hours for the park, rides, restaurants, characters and showtimes.

13. Schedule your day around the shows. 

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - Dolphins leap out of water in unison

You can do this before you leave home by checking the date on the calendar to see the show schedule a week or so ahead of your visit. Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes ahead of the shows (and even earlier during peak times) to get seats in the best viewing area. In between the shows, we ride the rides and experience the animal encounters. (Tad and Lily both especially love Dolphin Days and Sea Lions Live!)

14. Take advantage of festivals and special events.

If any SeaWorld San Diego special events are taking place during your visit, you can attend them for a nice bonus in addition to all of the regularly scheduled shows and activities. During certain weekends in spring, you can enjoy unique flavors from around the world at the Seven Seas Craft Beer & Food Festival. Bring the tadpoles to Kids' Weekends in May and June.

On summer nights, you can immerse yourself in family-friendly, exotic worlds of music and light for Electric Ocean. Each summer night ends with a bang with nightly fireworks! Enjoy BBQ & Brews during the late summer. Dress the tadpoles up in costumes and prepare to trick or treat park-wide at Halloween Spooktacular during select weekends in September and October. Come back at night without the kids for the new Howl-O-Scream event. SeaWorld salutes veterans on and around Veterans Day. Then, come Thanksgiving through early January, you can join Rudolph and friends for a Christmas event with games, photo-ops, decorations, festive foods and drinks, live shows, the Merry Manta ride overlay and a visit with the big guy himself — Santa!

15. Book a tour or animal interaction program.

15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego - person feeding sea lion

There are a lot of shows, rides and animal interaction opportunities that come included in your park ticket, but if you really want to get up close and personal with some of the animals, you can book toadally special encounters for an additional fee.

These tours are sure to make lasting, hoppy memories for your tadpoles. If you are early risers, you can take a Family Adventure Tour to meet some dolphins and bat rays before the park even opens — getting an extra early start is a great way to maximize your time at SeaWorld San Diego! Some of the animals you can meet up close, or maybe even feed, on other tours include penguins, flamingos, belugas and walruses, dolphins, seals and sea lions, whales or sea otters. Check out the new sloth encounter (it's on the backside of the Dolphin Days amphitheater where the Dolphin Interaction Program takes place). You can even dine with the orcas, but you need to reserve online in advance!

Another fun thing to do is feed the rays or the sea lions. Those sea lions will do anything for the fish. They vocalize, wave fins and some even steal fish being thrown to other sea lions. The entertainment is toadally worth the small cost — and having to wash fish slime off your hands! Bring gloves if you wish to avoid touching fish. There are sinks nearby for hand washing.

Now you are set to maximize your time with these SeaWorld San Diego tips! The only thing better than visiting SeaWorld is getting a great deal on SeaWorld San Diego tickets. Hop over to check out the deals on SeaWorld San Diego tickets from Undercover Tourist, including tickets with all-day dining. If you have a few days to spend in San Diego, you might consider a Go San Diego Multi Attraction Pass, which includes Sea World admission and other major attractions such as the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, LEGOLAND and many more!

Related: Tips for Taking Toddlers and Children to SeaWorld San Diego

Related: When to Visit San Diego

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25 SeaWorld San Diego Tips and Tricks for a Fun Day Out ...

23-08-2020 · SeaWorld San Diego tips and tricks from a long-time guest for how to save money, maximize time, and visit sanely with kids for an easy day.

23-08-2020

With the park open now on select days, you’ll want to read my best SeaWorld San Diego tips and tricks. As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, it’s the theme park that I’m asked about the most. The reason is that there are rides and play areas for toddlers, roller coasters for teens, and lots to do for ages in between.

I’ve been visiting since I was a kid and can actually see the entire park from my backyard. Therefore, information is based on multiple visits, not a one-time experience.

Park operations are temporarily modified. I’ll give you tips here as if things were running normally so that you can plan future visits.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make purchases through them, I may be compensated. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Understand New Health and Safety Measures

With the reopening comes some enhanced health and safety measures guests need to agree to prior to entering the park. These include masks for everyone over the age of 2, mandatory temperature screenings, and proper distancing while in the park. You’ll also need to make an online reservation in advance of arriving at the park.

2. Buy Tickets in Advance

Right now, the only way to purchase tickets is online and in advance. I have advice for buying discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets that I’ll summarize here.

Tip: Right now, the only way to enjoy the park is by attending SeaWorld San Diego Zoo Days. You’ll need to buy a Zoo Days ticket in advance for a specific date.

Even in normal times, there isn’t a need to pay gate prices. If you use just one of these SeaWorld San Diego tips, make it this one — do what it takes to secure admission in advance. Even if you buy directly through SeaWorld, their online promotions will cost less what you’d pay at the gate.

Compare pricing offered by SeaWorld to authorized tickets sellers like aRes Travel which is often lower. Both also offer combo tickets with other San Diego theme parks for deeper savings.

The other alternative when the park is up and running normally is to purchase a Go San Diego sightseeing pass if you are going to visit multiple attractions and take some tours.

3. Buy Parking in Advance

A little known secret is that you can buy parking in advance. Not only is this appropriate in a world that needs to minimize contact, but it also saves time.

You’ll have the choice of General Parking, Up-Close Parking (first six rows), and VIP Parking (closest section to the entrance). They do have space to park RVs or campers, but you’ll need to purchase these parking passes at the park.

No kids that I’ve taken to the park have complained about the walk from General Parking, so that’s what we choose.

REMEMBER WHERE YOU PARKED

The SeaWorld San Diego app will mark where you parked to make it easy to find your car.

4. Arrive Before the Park Opens

Plan to arrive so that you’re at the gate when the park opens for the day. Not only will you secure a parking space that is closer to the gate, but you’ll also be able to go straight to your favorite rides. Rides can have minimal wait times first thing in the morning.

You’ll need to plan for about 15-20 minutes to enter the parking lot, park your car, exit the car, and walk to the gate from General Parking.

It’s also a long-standing tradition for the park to open while the National Anthem plays in the background.

5. Save the Touch Pools at the Entrance for Later

Guests touch white-spotted bamboo sharks in an Explorer's Reef pool.
White-spotted bamboo sharks (Photo credit:  Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego)

Just after entering the park, you’ll see the Explorer’s Reef touch pools that are supervised by Animal Ambassadors. Here, kids love gently touching reef sharks, rays, and other tide pool animals. Cleaner fish also “clean” your fingers. Not to worry, there are washing stations nearby.

I’m not certain that these touch pools will initially reopen with the park. If they are open, visit them later in the day. The reason to delay this activity is that it’s always available, so why not head to the exhibits, rides, and attractions that get crowded first?

6. Go to Sesame Street Bay of Play First

If you’re wondering what to do at SeaWorld San Diego first, the answer is Sesame Street Bay of Play when you are visiting with small children. The rides here do not participate in Quick Queue, the ticket upgrade that allows you to enter an expedited line. So, you’ll want to ride them while the lines are short. Plus, what do small kids NOT like to do? Wait in line.

My daughter’s favorite ride during the toddler years was Elmo’s Flying Fish. But, you can also choose the teacup-style Abby’s Sea Star Spin and Oscar’s Rockin’ Eel. (Send older kids over to the roller coasters.) Note: Rides are closed at reopening.

7. Save Water Rides for the Hottest Part of the Day

A group in a Shipwreck Rapids raft at SeaWorld San Diego.
Shipwreck Rapids (Photo credit:  Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego)

You won’t be the only one with this idea, but it’s a good one. SeaWorld San Diego’s coastal location keeps the weather at the park relatively temperate. However, you won’t find a lot of shade covering its walkways. It can still get very hot during the summer season.

So, what better way to cool down than by boarding Shipwreck Rapids or Journey to Atlantis? You are likely to get wet on these fun water rides, which brings me to the next of my SeaWorld San Diego tips and tricks.

Some of the 400 penguins stand on ice at SeaWorld San Diego.
Penguin Encounter (Photo credit:  Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego)

One of the not-to-be missed exhibits, in my opinion, is Penguin Encounter. It’s chilly inside, because over 400 cold-weather penguins live there. You’ll see emperor, gentoo, chinstrap, Adélie, macaroni and king penguins waddle about and swim in their 148,000-gallon pool.

9. Be Prepared to Get Wet

There are a variety of ways one might get wet at SeaWorld San Diego: water rides, show splash zones at Shamu Stadium, splash pads, touch pools, and near water rides (like the overflow splash onto the walkway from Journey to Atlantis).

You’ll find that most riders are okay with getting wet on the water rides. Our year-round temperature of 70˚ F means that you’re likely to dry off quickly.

The exceptions are soaking wet socks and shoes that take much longer to dry out than your T-shirt. And, for some people, the feeling of sloshing around the park in wet shoes isn’t great. So, it’s not unheard of for people to pack a pair of flip flops to wear on the water rides.

I’d recommend packing a change of clothes for small kids, just in case. Kids can also get a little wet at the touch pools and there’s a splash pad play area inside Sesame Street Bay of Play. They may want to wear bathing suits to enjoy the latter during the summer months.

If anyone in your group isn’t keen on getting clothes wet during shows (in splash zones only) and rides, you can bring a theme park poncho.

10. Check Show Times and the Calendar in Advance

Clyde is one of the hilarious sea lions in Sea Lions Live (Photo credit: Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego)

If you want to see a show like Sea Lions Live or Orca Encounters, check the show schedule in advance on the app. You’ll need to play your day around shows. The rides will always be running but shows happen only at certain times of the day.

You’ll also want to see if any must-ride rides are closed for annual maintenance. This happens during off-peak season, usually between winter break and the start of summer.

Plus, the park offers quite a few seasonal events such as Halloween Spooktacular and SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration.

11. Bring Quarters and Cash for Sea Lion and Flamingo Food

Feed sea lions at SeaWorld San Diego
We go through a few trays of fish per visit.

This is another SeaWorld activity that I’m not sure will be open, but for a few dollars you can purchase a tray of fish and feed sea lions. I can’t remember the exact cost, maybe around -5.

You can also purchase flamingo food using a machine that takes quarters. It’s helpful to have a few with you. The other point of mentioning this as a SeaWorld San Diego tip is to be prepared for your kids to ask for a few little upgrades here and there.

12. Skip Some Lines with Quick Queue

SeaWorld San Diego Manta roller coaster
The Manta roller coaster.

Quick Queue is the ticket upgrade that provides unlimited access to shorter queues for a handful of rides. Participating SeaWorld San Diego rides include:

  • Electric Eel
  • Manta
  • Shipwreck Rapids
  • Journey to Atlantis

The cost per person depends on the date. I’ve seen it as low as .99 and as high as .99. You can also combine Quick Queue with Reserved Seating (the latter can also be purchased separately). Reserved seating means that your seats at the following shows and presentations are in the reserved section:

  • Orca Encounter
  • Dolphin Amphitheater
  • Sea Lion & Otter Amphitheater

I recommend both of these upgrades during winter and spring break (the week of Easter primarily) in addition to during the summer season. It might be worth it also on weekends with good weather during any time of the year. During off-peak weekdays while school is in session, there is less of a need for these upgrades (though the price for them will be low).

13. Arrive Early to Shows

When the park is back to running at full capacity, you’ll want to arrive early to shows (15-30 minutes) to snag the best seats and to avoid disappointment. During peak season, it’s not uncommon for seating to completely fill leaving some guests disappointed.

If you happen to know a show is ending, avoid the area in front of Shamu Stadium so you don’t get stuck trying to weave through the crowds.

14. Book Upgraded Experiences and Animal Encounters

Guests come face-to-face with a dolphin at SeaWorld San Diego
Dolphin Encounter (Photo credit:  Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego)

There’s a lot to be learned at SeaWorld San Diego, especially if you go behind the scenes. The best way to do this is via a VIP Private Tour tailored to your group’s interests for 2, 4, or 6 hours. It’s also the most expensive. However, rest assured that other worthwhile upgraded experiences take much less time and money.

I like that you can get closer to the animals without taking a big chunk of time out of your day. You can take 20 minutes to learn about and take a selfie with a sloth or visit with sea otters and their caretakers. This would be easy to do if your visit to SeaWorld San Diego can only be for a half-day.

Or, you can put on a wetsuit and get in the water with a beluga whale or dolphins (the entire experience takes an hour from start to finish).

15. Save with a Game Pass

If you have kids who insist on playing carnival-style midway games of skill to win prizes, a good SeaWorld San Diego tip that not many people know is that you can buy Game Passes in advance. The cost per game can add up. And, when you’re so close to exchanging that smaller stuffed animal for a bigger one, you’ll likely fork over another or more for the chance.

The way Game Passes work is that you buy a certain dollar amount for less. This includes paying for , for , and 0 for 0. These midway games cost about each.

16. Purchase All-Day Dining

Another question that I receive is whether the All-Day Dining upgrade is worthwhile. The answer is it depends. If you plan to eat two full meals and rely on purchased snacks and drinks in between, it probably is.

You’re entitled to three items once per hour at Shipwreck Reef Café®, Calypso Bay Smokehouse, Mama Stella’s® Pizza Kitchen, Pineapple Pete’s Island Eats and Flatbreads & Fry Cones. That’s a lot of food and drinks. Only children ages 3 and under may share meals and snacks with the All-Day Dining ticket holder. You’ll need to wear a wristband and some other restrictions apply.

17. Trade Pins with Ambassadors

Pin trading is a big deal at SeaWorld San Diego. You can find an Ambassador with a pin-filled lanyard to see if he or she has pins that you’re willing to trade one of your pins for (up to three times per day). You can also trade with other willing guests.

SeaWorld releases pins throughout the year that can be purchased at The SeaWorld Store. Annual passholders receive access to special pin promotions.

18. You May Need a Locker

If you’re planning to ride, be prepared to keep loose items in the stroller or with a nonrider Electric Eel, Journey To Atlantis, Manta and Shipwreck Rapids

19. Use Child Swap

Here’s a great SeaWorld San Diego tip for parents of small children. While there isn’t an official Child Swap or Rider Switch program, like Disneyland or Universal Studios has, you can speak to a staff member about switching off. What does this mean?

You’d use this service if you have a child or group member that is too small or doesn’t want to ride a certain ride. If you’re a family of four, for example, you’d wait in line together for a particular ride. When it comes time to board, one adult waits on/near the platform with the non-riding child while the other adult rides with the other child. When the ride is finished the adults switch places so both adults get to ride (and a lucky child gets to ride two times in a row).

20. Rent Your Stroller

If you’re traveling and need a stroller for your visit to SeaWorld San Diego, you can rent one for . You can decide at the park but I recommend booking online.

21. Bring Your Own Water

The cost of bottled water inside of the park is pricey. You can save money and be eco-friendly by bringing your own water bottle. I’d recommend an insulated bottle like a Hydro Flask, especially if you have kids who don’t like drinking warm water.

Speaking of drinks, water, breast milk, and liquids for dietary needs are the only beverages permitted to be brought inside the park. Refer to their food policy for more details.

22. Leave a Cooler with Food in the Car

Outside food, aside from food needed for specific dietary requirements, isn’t permitted inside of the park. But, if you’d like to save money, you can leave a cooler with food in your car to eat at a designated picnic area just outside of the gate.

Be sure to have your hand stamped for re-entry before exiting the park. Make sure to put food in a cooler so that it doesn’t bake in Southern California sunshine.

23. Bring Sun Protection Even on Cloudy Days

Rest assured that you can still get sunburned in San Diego on a cloudy day in December. Wear sunscreen. Bring a hat and sunglasses.

24. Pack an External Battery to Keep Your Phone Charged

If you’re using the SeaWorld San Diego app and taking photos, you’ll likely suffer from battery drainage on your smartphone. Bring your own external battery or Fuel Rod.

Fuel Rod is a reusable battery system that you can use to charge devices. When the Fule Rod in your possession is out of juice, you can head to a Fuel Rod kiosk to swap it for a new one. Several kiosks are located throughout SeaWorld San Diego. (In my experience, one Fuel Rod is worth one full phone charge and no more.)

Both rides cost an extra for ages 3 and up, but they give you bird’s eye views of San Diego from high in the sky.

Bayside Skyride is a cable car ride from the park to over Mission Bay and back. Skytower is an observation tower that takes guests about 320 feet into the sky for views of over 100 miles in every direction.

What are your favorite SeaWorld San Diego tips and tricks?

See also: Best Hotels Near SeaWorld San Diego and Guide to Belmont Park San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego with Kids ~ 12 Tips to Make the …

06-07-2017 · 1. Schedule your day around SeaWorld San Diego’s shows. Grab a park map at the entrance and plan your day around the show times listed on the back. There are many different shows to choose from so decide which shows are must-sees for your family. I recommend getting to the shows a little early to nab a good seat.

06-07-2017

Travel Mamas sometimes receives compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases. Be sure to check with businesses and locations regarding travel restrictions and safety precautions before visiting.

As a mom of two, former San Diego resident and multi-year SeaWorld San Diego annual pass holder, I have been to this amusing and educational park more times than I can count. Before you go, be sure to check out my 12 tips to make the most of your visit to SeaWorld San Diego with kids.

Save on your SeaWorld visit with ticket discounts and San Diego hotel discounts now!

12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

1. Schedule your day around SeaWorld San Diego’s shows.

Grab a park map at the entrance and plan your day around the show times listed on the back. There are many different shows to choose from so decide which shows are must-sees for your family. I recommend getting to the shows a little early to nab a good seat. Doors to shows close promptly and they do sometimes fill to capacity, especially during high tourist seasons like spring break and summer weekends.

Dolphin Days will wow the whole family ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego

Dolphin Days will wow the whole family (Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego)

SeaWorld’s shows have evolved to focus more on education than they did in the past. View some spectacular water acrobatics and learn about dolphins and pilot whales in Dolphin Days. Orca Encounter is a documentary-style presentation about killer whales. (Worry not – the Orca Encounter pool has a special floor which will raise as needed for the safety of trainers and the animals.) Sea Lions LIVE is a slapstick show for all ages, starring sea lions Clyde and Seamore, plus O.P. Otter. My family’s favorite is Pet’s Rule!, a humorous show filled with adopted land animals like dogs, cats, ducks, and pigs performing tricks galore. At night, the glitzy Circue Electrique features aerial human performers in glowing LED suits that fly in and over the waters of Mission Bay.

Kids will learn and laugh at Sea Lions LIVE at SeaWorld San Diego ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Kids will learn and laugh at Sea Lions LIVE at SeaWorld San Diego (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. Remember where you park at SeaWorld San Diego.

I have lost my car more at SeaWorld San Diego than anywhere else. Rows are marked but the signs are widespread so take note of exactly how close you are to the row letter and number.

Healthy foods from the buffet at Dine with Orcas ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Healthy foods from the buffet at Dine with Orcas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. Budget meal money and calories.

You can bring small kid-sized snacks into the park, but not full meals. Yes, they will check your bags at the entrance and make you return forbidden food to the car, pack the items into a rentable locker, or dump it out. As at most amusement parks, the food is not cheap. There are plenty of deep-fried and sugary temptations, but you can also find healthier options like salads, barbecue-smoked chicken (at the Calypso Bay Smokehouse), and fresh fruits.

For a special treat, splurge on Dine with Orcas, an exclusive and entertaining dining experience. Load up your plates from the buffet and then settle in for a fascinating presentation featuring killer whales.

Dine with Orcas is a meal your family will always remember ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Dine with Orcas is a meal your family will always remember (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Get in line for popular rides first thing.

If you want to ride the thrilling Manta roller coaster, Journey to Atlantis water coaster, Riptide Rescue spinning ride, or the very wet Shipwreck Rapids—get in line first thing when the park opens in the morning. Queues can get quite long (an hour ) as the day goes on. These rides are located quite a distance from each other, so you’ll have to prioritize.

Mellower rides with more manageable wait times include Bayside Skyride’s gondola ride over San Diego Bay, the needle-shaped Skytower Ride in the center of the park, and the educational Wild Arctic. Young children will get a kick out of the three sweet rides in the Sesame Street Bay of Play area of the park.

Manta is a VERY thrilling and popular ride at SeaWorld San Diego ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Manta is a VERY thrilling and popular ride at SeaWorld San Diego (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. Prepare for the weather at SeaWorld San Diego.

If ever you were going to pack sun hats and slather on the sunscreen, do it at SeaWorld San Diego. There is no shade for the shows and when sitting on the aluminum benches under the beating Southern California sun in summer, the park can feel like the hottest place on the planet. San Diego winters are chillier, though, than you might expect. Dress in layers so you can warm up or chill out as needed. Here’s what to do if it rains during your SeaWorld visit.

SeaWorld San Diego's Skytower Ride gives 360 views of the park and San Diego Bay ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

SeaWorld San Diego’s Skytower Ride gives 360 views of the park and San Diego Bay (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. Cool down and bring swim gear.

There are plenty of watery opportunities to cool down at SeaWorld San Diego. Find the fountains at the Sesame Street Bay of Play for young children. Be sure to bring along swimsuits and towels for little ones who will get soaked at this splash area. If you forget, you can buy Elmo, Zoe, and other Sesame Street character-themed gear there.

Big kids and adults can ride the Shipwreck Rapids and Journey to Atlantis water rides. Of course, there’s always the option to sit in the splash zone at the park’s many shows. You can also walk through the chilly Penguin Encounter or Wild Arctic attraction, which features polar bears, beluga whales, and walruses.

When it's hot outside, cool down at the Penguin Encounter ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

When it’s hot outside, cool down at the Penguin Encounter (Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego)

7. Keep kids busy while waiting for SeaWorld San Diego shows.

Kids can get antsy waiting for shows to start, so use toys and snacks as entertainment while you wait. Pack a few little distractions in your day bag or purse like mini bubbles or toy cars. Food is allowed into shows and peddled by SeaWorld employees inside, so this is a good time to use snacks to busy the kids.

Sea Turtle Reef ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Sea Turtle Reef (Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego)

8. Stay hydrated.

You will be doing a lot of walking at SeaWorld San Diego with kids, probably in the sun. Don’t get so busy that you forget to stay hydrated. There are plenty of beverage carts throughout the park. The Frozen Lemonades are deeeeelicious!

Oscar's Rockin' Eel is one of three rides for little kids at the Sesame Street Bay of Play ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Oscar’s Rockin’ Eel is one of three rides for little kids at the Sesame Street Bay of Play (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

9. Keep it fun by alternating activities at SeaWorld San Diego.

Especially with children, it’s important to alternate mellow activities and busy fun. After climbing the giant rope structure in Sesame Street Bay of Play and walking through the park’s numerous aquariums, rest your feet at one of the animal shows. Try to keep your visit educational, but fun too!

SeaWorld San Diego offers many educational, interactive animal attractions and experiences. You can pet sea creatures like rays and horseshoe crabs at Explorer’s Reef. Park goers can even touch, feed and help train bottlenose dolphins with the Dolphin Interaction. During the Beluga Interaction Program, guests don wet suits and get into 55 degree water to play with and learn about beluga whales. Advanced registration and additional fees are required for Dolphin Encounter, Beluga Interaction Program, and other up-close guided activities.

Kids and adults get a chance to feed dolphins during a Dolphin Encounter ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

Kids and adults get a chance to feed dolphins during a Dolphin Encounter (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

10. Tell children what to do if they get lost.

During one visit to SeaWorld, my family found a little boy all by himself with tears in his eyes. I asked him if he was lost and indeed he was. When we couldn’t find his family, we walked back with him to Guest Relations/Lost & Found and stayed with him until his aunt was located. Before exploring any large tourist attraction, discuss safety precautions with your kids. If traveling with older children, choose a meeting place should you get separated and make sure their cell phone batteries are fully charged. If traveling with young children, tell them to stay where they are if they get separated so their grown-ups can find them. Or they should approach a MOM with kids and ask her for help. Additionally, parents should keep eyes open for children who could use a little help finding their families!

SeaWorld San Diego saves hundreds of distressed animals each year ~ 12 Tips for SeaWorld San Diego with Kids

SeaWorld San Diego saves hundreds of distressed animals each year (Photo credit: SeaWorld San Diego)

11. Feel good about visiting SeaWorld San Diego with kids.

Look, I know that SeaWorld has gotten some bad press recently. Do you know who typically does NOT have a problem with SeaWorld San Diego? San Diego County residents. That’s because the people who live in this community see SeaWorld on the local news rescuing sea life all the time. In fact, SeaWorld San Diego has rescued more than 17,000 animals since it opened in 1965, including whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, seals, and marine birds. What’s more, 60 to 70 percent of the rescued animals are rehabilitated and returned to the wild. When kids visit SeaWorld, not only do they learn about a wide variety of animals, but also they gain an appreciation of the Earth’s ocean life and our need to conserve and protect it.

12. Save on your SeaWorld San Diego visit.

Why pay full price when you can save on your San Diego visit? Purchase discounted SeaWorld San Diego tickets and book discounted San Diego hotel stays! Use discount code TravelMamas to get off any two-night or longer Southern California package (hotel and two ticket minimum) when you book through Get Away Today.

Do you have a tip for visiting SeaWorld San Diego with kids or a SeaWorld memory to share? Tell us in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I have received free entrance to SeaWorld San Diego a few times over the years but I have paid for my entrance more than not. All opinions are my own. This story first went live in 2011 and was updated in 2017.

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From whales and walruses to dolphins, penguins, sharks, and exotic fish, SeaWorld® San Diego celebrates the beauty of life under the sea. The Aquaria Touch Pool gives you a hands-on view of sea stars and urchins. The Explorer’s Reef lets you check out and interact with sea life. In the aquarium, you’ll find fish, sharks, octopus, and Japanese spider crabs.

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SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego Halloween Events Review (2021 ...

05-09-2021 · SeaWorld San Diego Halloween fun transforms into a terrifying playland, intended for mature audiences. There are a number of special elements that will be introduced this year with the all-new Howl-O-Scream event. Howl-O-Scream happens on select nights between September 17 – October 31, starting at 7:00 p.m. You may enter the park starting at ...

05-09-2021

Halloween is just around the corner and SeaWorld promises to make this year the most frightening one yet! SeaWorld San Diego Halloween events include the all-new Howl-O-Scream, an “intense horror-filled haunt” that will be the nighttime version of the family-friendly Spooktacular offered during daylight hours.

I’ll tell you about both.

  • Reservations are not required to enter SeaWorld San Diego.

Family-Friendly SeaWorld Spooktacular

A little girl in a witch costume wearing a mask views a dolphin through glass at SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular
Photo courtesy of SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is offering its ever-popular Halloween Spooktacular with family-friendly activities and excitement that are guaranteed to bring lots of fun for guests of all ages.

  • SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular dates include Saturdays and Sundays from September 18 – October 31.

Costume Party

Show off your Halloween costumes when you take part in the Spooktacular Costume Party. If you are age 13 and older, leave the masks and hoods at home. Face paint for any age can only be done by SeaWorld artists.

Safe Trick-or-Treating

If your kids are understandably wondering how and where to go trick-or-treating in 2021, SeaWorld San Diego is one answer. They’ll be able to follow the colorful Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat Trail to collect candy and other assorted treats.

Reusable bags will be available for purchase at the entrance of the ocean-themed candy trail (and is required).

Pumpkin Hunt

The Spooktacular will also host a Pumpkin Hunt. Guests will be able to purchase a special map that allows you to search for SeaWorld animal-themed pumpkins for an exclusive Halloween prize.

Halloween Dance Party

Kids can join some costumed silly characters for a Halloween Dance Party set to family-friendly music along the Trick-or-Treat Trail.

A highlight of any seasonal theme park event is, no doubt, the food. Guests will be able to enjoy sweet treats like candy corn, cotton candy, pumpkin cheesecake, and more.

TIP

You’ll want to think about how much you’ll eat during your visit because that may determine which ticket or ticket upgrades you buy. You can buy tickets with all-day dining.

Kids Ages 3–9 Are Free

Thanks to our annual Kids Free San Diego event in October, one child ages 3–9 enters free with an adult holding a paid, full-price ticket. This is a substantial savings and is valid now through October 31, 2021!

You will need to purchase a qualifying adult ticket, which you can do through SeaWorld San Diego or my discount ticket site. At that time, you’ll also add a free child’s ticket to your cart. (Note: Sightseeing passes like Go San Diego Card do not qualify for Kids Free promotions.)

Annual Pass Members and Fun Card Holders Are Free

Annual Pass Members and Fun Card holders receive free admission to Spooktacular. If you don’t have either of these passes, you’ll need to purchase admission.

You can also read my advice on buying discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets that I keep up-to-date year-round.

SeaWorld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream

But beware, once the sun goes down. SeaWorld San Diego Halloween fun transforms into a terrifying playland, intended for mature audiences.

There are a number of special elements that will be introduced this year with the all-new Howl-O-Scream event. 

  • Howl-O-Scream happens on select nights between September 17 – October 31, starting at 7:00 p.m. You may enter the park starting at 5:00 p.m.

You’ll Need a Separate Ticket

Tickets are priced separately from your regular admission and currently start at .99. You can buy Howl-O-Scream tickets through SeaWorld or my discount ticket site.

Annual Pass Holders and Fun Card holders can buy discounted Howl-O-Scream tickets through their membership portal.

SKIP THE LINES

You can buy front of the line upgrades to the haunted houses and select rides. Or, opt for a VIP tour guide.

Haunted Houses

Follow dark passageways around dimly lit corners as you explore three SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream haunted houses. They are sure to make even the bravest guest shriek with fright. 

Haunted House themes include Nightmare Experiment, Death Water Bayou, and Simon’s Slaughterhouse.

Scare Zones and Roaming Haunts

Scares are everywhere when you take part in Howl-O-Scream. There is no place to hide, as you walk through the park after dark. You will be fully immersed in the terror.

Stay alert and prepared for anything to jump out, or creepily lurk amongst the shadows. Remember not only should you beware of what’s up ahead, but also what may creep up behind you throughout six Scare Zones and 4 Roaming Haunts.

Frightful Shows

Howl-O-Scream will also provide the excitement of a less-terrifying variety with their indoor musical dance show. There will also be outdoor shows with fantastically frightful special effects.

There will be DJs and party zones with dance breaks between scares, to offer some levity and balance. You can’t be scared ALL the time!

Monster Coasters in the Dark and Haunting Experiences

Guests are invited to ride their favorite attractions in the dark for an ultimate thrill.

As if the thrill rides offered at SeaWorld weren’t adrenaline-inducing enough, imagine riding them in complete darkness.

Once you have had your fill of action, you may want to quench your thirst with Howl-O-Scream’s creepy cocktails and restless spirits at one of several uniquely themed haunted bars.

SeaWorld San Diego Halloween events are fun for everyone, of all ages, and fright levels. You have the opportunity to select whichever best suits your level of excitement; daylight’s Spooktacular or Howl-O-Scream in the dark of night.

SeaWorld San Diego Tickets - San Diego, CA

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What are the food and beverage policies at SeaWorld San Diego?

Hard and soft coolers, glass containers, food such as sandwiches, meals, snacks, etc., and flavored drinks may not be taken into the park. Water bottles may be taken into the park. For your convenience, picnic areas are available outside the park adjacent to the entrance/exit plaza. If leaving the park to enjoy your food, please have your hand stamped for re-admittance. Guests with medical diets or baby formula should speak with a park representative for assistance before entering the park.


Are strollers and/or wheelchairs available to rent at SeaWorld?

Wheelchair access is provided at all shows and attractions. For safety reasons all strollers must be parked outside of most exhibits and attractions. SeaWorld is not responsible for strollers or their contents left unattended in the park. Guest must be 18 years or older to rent strollers and wheelchairs for a fee.


What is SeaWorld’s pet policy?

Pets are not allowed at the park. However, service animals are welcome at SeaWorld. Service animals are limited to dogs and miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals must remain on a leash or in a harness at all times.


Does the park offer kennel services?

Yes. SeaWorld provides a pet facility for a nominal fee, on a first-come, first-serve basis. SeaWorld is not responsible for the pet. Kennels are approximately 4ft by 8ft and are outside under some coverage. You must bring your own bowls and food. The pet owner may use the water available onsite and may visit their pet throughout the day, as they desire.


Are lockers available?

All Day Lockers are located adjacent to the Reservation Center and available for a nominal fee.


How much is parking?

Parking fees are as follows:

  • for cars
  • for RVs and campers
  • for Motorcycles
  • for Up-Close Parking (when available)
  • for VIP Parking

What is SeaWorld’s smoking policy?

For the convenience of guests who wish to smoke, SeaWorld provides Designated Smoking Areas (this includes Electronic Cigarettes). Please refer to the park map for directions to these areas.


What is the policy for inclement weather?

SeaWorld remains open during inclement weather, although some of the parks outdoor shows, rides and attractions may be temporarily affected. Refunds and rain checks will not be issued due to inclement weather. 


Does SeaWorld have ATMs within the park?

Yes. Welch ATMs are located throughout the park.

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Seaworld® San Antonio Discount Tickets

Opened in 1988, SeaWorld® San Antonio is one of the three parks in the SeaWorld® chain. It currently holds the crown for the largest aquatic theme park in the world.

A host of interaction programs, animal shows, and attractions are available at SeaWorld® San Antonio, making for a vacation filled with more excitement than you could ever imagine!

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Through SeaWorld® San Antonio’s interaction programs, guests can slip on a wetsuit and train sea lions or meet the majestic beluga whales. They can also experience a once-in-a-lifetime swim with friendly bottlenose dolphins at Discovery Point.

Otherwise, sit back and tune in to educational shows such as Sea Lions and Otters at Play, Pets Ahoy! or Ocean Discovery: Dolphins & Beluga Whales.

Apart from marine mammals, SeaWorld® San Antonio is home to beautiful birds like flamingos and penguins, over 100 species of tropical fish, and the once-endangered American alligator.

In the Animal Connections Conservation Center, guests can learn fascinating facts about animals from the Burmese python to the speckled mousebird.

Need more adrenaline? Then hop on the Great White, an inverted roller coaster which speeds along 2,500 feet of track. Then continue your screaming on board the Steel Eel, which features a 150-foot drop and hair-raising camelbacks.

Cool down at Rio Loco, a ride on a circular raft with dips, turns, and twists. Before heading home, don’t forget to let the little ones have their fun at the Sesame Street Bay of Play, where they can meet Elmo, Big Bird, and all their favorite characters.

For giant discounts on SeaWorld® San Antonio tickets, exclusive deals on packages and hotels, and amazing savings on travel, call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use 1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.