SeaWorld San Diego

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General Info: SeaWorld San Diego is a major marine park featuring marine life from oceans worldwide that consists of numerous exhibits, live shows, and maritime-inspired ride attractions. You can go from watching the Shamu show to petting a dolphin next door at Dolphin Point, to "Riding the Ray and Feeling the Rush" on San Diego's very own version of Manta (roller coaster) just behind Dolphin Point. Also available are upcharge tours, dining experiences, and animal interactions which generally offer a better insight and/or experience with the park's animals. SeaWorld's original park opened in 1964 and is located just north of downtown, on Mission Bay. You can get driving directions by clicking the SeaWorld San Diego link on Theme Park Insider's Google map of U.S. theme parks.

Hours: SeaWorld is open year 'round. Check online for operating hours.

Tickets: Buy online. Always try to buy your tickets in advance, to save time when you get to the park.

Reservations: SeaWorld now has "Quick Queue" ride reservations available for an additional charge, offering shortened to eliminated waiting times on Shipwreck Rapids, Wild Arctic, Manta, Skyride, and Journey to Atlantis. An upgrade to Quick Queue also grants you reserved seats at the park's major shows. Advance reservations can also be made for special dining experiences, tours, and animal interactions via the park website.

Strategy: Plan your day around the park's show schedule, which you can pick up as you enter the park. Arriving at park opening is not crucial here, as it is as most theme parks. In fact, many shows won't have the first showing until an hour or two after the park opens. Do try to avoid eating at the Shipwreck Reef Cafe right after a show lets out of the nearby Shamu Stadium, however.

What's New?: SeaWorld San Diego is doing a major revamp of their former park entrance into a themed area called Explorer's Reef, complete with an overhead wave structure, rethemed turnstiles, shops, and restaurants, and new touch pools for hands-on animal interaction. Aquatica San Diego, SeaWorld's waterpark, opened in June 2013 a few miles away from SeaWorld San Diego. Manta, SeaWorld's newest ride attraction and also their first roller coaster, opened in 2012. -- Last edited by Leo Lin on October 30, 2013

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