Happy Birthday to San Diego's Coaster Capital

March 21, 2023, 4:44 PM · Happy 59th birthday today to SeaWorld San Diego.

The first park in the SeaWorld chain opened March 21, 1964 on San Diego's Mission Bay. Long known for its marine mammal shows, today SeaWorld is promoting itself as San Diego's roller coaster capital. Five coasters have opened at the park, with a sixth on its way.

According to our annual reader survey, here are the top three current coasters at SeaWorld San Diego:

1. Manta: A 2,800-foot Mack Rides launch coaster with a 54-foot drop and top speed of 43 mph.

2. Emperor: The first Bolliger & Mabillard dive coaster on the west coast has a 143-foot drop and a top speed of 60 mph on its 2,411 feet of track.

3. Electric Eel: A 863-foot long, 150-foot tall Premier Rides Sky Rocket II with a multi-pass launch, top speed of 62 mph and one inversion.

The park's next coaster, Arctic Rescue, debuts later this spring. Featuring snowmobile-style seats, this triple-launch Intamin terrain coaster will run on 2,800 feet of track, with a top speed of 40 mph.

For discounted tickets to the park, with savings up to $42 as well as a kids-free offer, please visit our partner's SeaWorld San Diego tickets page.

Replies (2)

March 22, 2023 at 11:50 AM

Man that's crazy. I remember in my early days, SWSD was just Wild Arctic, Shipwreck Rapids, and the Skyride/Skytower. Along with the animal attractions of course. That old Coastal Commission height rule held it back it seems. Journey to Atlantis in '04 finessed its way around it and now they seem to open up a new coaster often. That's great.

Manta from 2012 is an absolute joy, while Emperor and Electric Eel are some thrillers. Arctic Rescue seems like it's going to be a winner in the mold of Manta. I just hope that they attempt another family-friendly attraction soon. For example, Universal Studios Singapore has an excellent Sesame Street dark ride for the whole family.

But anyway happy birthday to this park. One of the first parks I consistently visited in my childhood and continue to do so to this day. Its location in Mission Bay is a win and its relaxed vibe is always welcomed.

March 22, 2023 at 12:52 PM

I love Emperor — first dive coaster for me and hoping to get on more as a result.

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