SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld's original theme park opened in San Diego on March 21, 1964, boosted by the popularity of marine mammals due to the film and TV show Flipper. As the park rents the land it sits on, and is limited in its development by the California Coastal Commission, SeaWorld San Diego traditionally has focused more on public education and animal care than thrill rides. But in recent years the park has expanded its roller coaster line-up.

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Roller Coasters

New for 2022

  • 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. Height requirement: 52 inches
    Read Robert Niles' review of Emperor.

New for 2023

  • Arctic Rescue
    A triple-launch Intamin terrain coaster, with "snowmobile" seats. Opening late spring 2023. Height requirement: 48 inches


  1. Manta
    A 2,800-foot Mack Rides launch coaster with a 54-foot drop and top speed of 43 mph. Height requirement: 48 inches
    Read Robert Niles' review of Manta.
  2. 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. Height requirement: 54 inches
    Read Robert Niles' Electric Eel review.
  3. Journey to Atlantis
    A Mack Rides water coaster with a 60-foot drop and top speed of 42 mph. Height requirement: 42 inches
  4. Tidal Twister
    A Skyline Skywarp Horizon with a top speed of 30 mph and an inversion. Height requirement: 48 inches
    Read Robert Niles' Tidal Twister review.

Shows and Other Attractions

Other rides at the park include the Shipwreck Rapids river rapids ride, Skytower observation tower, and Bayside Skyride in gondolas above Mission Bay. There's a Sesame Street Bay of Play children's play area, too.

But the park is best known for its animal habitats and shows, including Dolphin Days, Sea Lions Live, Penguin Encounter, Pets Rule, Shark Encounter, Explorer's Reef, and Orca Encounter.


Notable restaurants include Calypso Bay Smokehouse, Shipwreck Reef Cafe, and the Dine with Shamu experience.


SeaWorld San Diego is located on Mission Bay, about five miles from the San Diego airport.