Last Updated: March 4, 2021
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With the mess of other parks in San Diego, it’s sometimes easy to miss enjoying SeaWorld San Diego. If you find yourself with enough time, spend a day here to know more about these aquatic animals. To learn how to prepare for your trip and visit the park, start with step one, below.
Part 1 of 3: Preparing
- 1 Purchase your SeaWorld tickets online (or over the phone) before visiting the park, particularly if you are visiting from outside the US. This will save you time when you arrive at the park – you won’t have to wait in any queues at the ticket offices!
- 2 Preview the attractions in the park before your visit. Try previewing each attraction or show on YouTube, or take a peek at the ride through photos from others. Learn from what others see. This can help decide which rides and attractions will take priority during your visit.
- 3 Pack water, snacks, money, and most importantly, your park tickets before you leave for the park that day! Advertisement
Part 2 of 3: Entering the Park
- 1 Drive and park to the parking lot at SeaWorld San Diego. The address to SeaWorld is 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA  X Research source The cost to park your car at the SeaWorld San Diego resort will run you about $16 for cars and upwards from there (depending on the complexity of vehicle).  X Research source .
- 2 Look at the set up of SeaWorld San Diego as you enter through the turnstiles. SeaWorld San Diego doesn’t have “lands” in how some theme parks do, but it has many prominent attractions to help you navigate through the park.
- Follow the park outline by taking a left and follow clockwise around the park.
Part 3 of 3: Visiting Specific Attractions
- 1 Take in the Explorer’s Reef section of the park, just in front of you as you enter the park. If you’d like to touch stingrays and other aquatic animals, this is the place to go. This attraction was also built to commemorate SeaWorld’s 50th Anniversary.
- 2 Watch Shamu (the icon of SeaWorld) at the Shamu Show (in One Ocean) at Shamu Stadium. Get to know a lot more about his habit and a little more information about how powerful his fins really are.
- Find out what times the Shamu show is showing on that particular day. It normally only has a few shows per day.
- Be careful of the Splash Zone at the Shamu zone. Sit back in the upper deck if you don’t want to get super soaked. If you’re game to get soaked, you can try out the bottom row of seats.
- 3 Exit out of the stadium and head towards Dolphin Point and Otter Outlook (what you’ll see in the back of the Shamu screen several yards away). You’ll be able to see dolphins and otters in these two little areas.
- 4 Head towards Shipwreck Rapids if you like whitewater rafting rides. It’s a wild ride, much like Grizzly Peak White Water Raft Ride at Disney’s California Adventure park, Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Lake Buena Vista, FL), or Rio Loco at SeaWorld San Antonio.
- 5 Pass in back and over top Aquaria: World of Fishes exhibit. Here you’ll see a whole bunch of types of fishes in an aquarium-like setting.
- 6 Look at some of the Washed Ashore Sculptures. Some of these are truly interesting and highlight some elegant recycling projects.
- 7 Take a right outside of the Washed Ashore Sculptures and head towards Manta and the Bat Ray Feeding area if sky rides don’t thrill you.
- 8 Catch feeding time at the Bat Ray exhibit if you find yourself there at the right time.
- 9 Ride the Manta roller coaster.
- 10 Look at the park from the SkyTower. To get there from the Manta roller coaster, you need to take a left. It’s a little way up, but the ride is cool and relatively easy and can definitely take a load off of any tired feet that may exist.
- 11 Pass by the Sea Lion feeding. If you’ve caught the Bat Ray feeding and have taken in SkyTower as well, you’ll most likely have missed the Sea Lion’s feeding. But if your timing is just right, you can catch them in the act!
- 12 Head up towards the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium. You can catch the Otter show here.
- 13 Watch the flamingoes at the Flamingo exhibit just outside of the Mission Bay Theater. You’ll learn a lot about the solitary life of a flamingo and its biome.
- There are two places you can see flamingoes. The other one is to the one side of Animal connections near the Dippin Dot’s Sundae Shop on the other side of the Arctic Plaza. (Arctic Plaza is a special events-only area across from Pets Stadium down a small pathway).
- 14 Take in a few minutes of the theatrical performance (if one is showing) at the Mission Bay Theater.
- 15 Ride the Bayside Skyride at this point. This Skyride is an out-and-back Skyride that takes you out over the Bay and back around and back to the entrance house.
- 16 Take a look into the Freshwater Aquarium. Look at how these clean fish and aquatic creatures live in such a secluded place.
- 17 Walk through the Shark Encounter exhibit. Young children might be afraid of the sharks, but for most, this is an interesting stop.
- 18 Take a look at the Turtle Reef just around the corner from the Shark Encounter. It’s definitely a less scary exhibit!
- 19 Watch SeaWorld’s dolphin show called Dolphin Days at Dolphin Stadium.
- 20 Check out the turtles in the Turtle Trek exhibit. You’ll be able to see many different turtles up close.
- 21 Head towards Riptide Rescue if you like “Scrambler-like” rides. Although the ride vehicles look like life-boats, and the center column has an aquatic feel and a blue painted floor, it’s actually not a boat. If possible, take in at least one preview, as there are some differences between other Scrambler rides and this ride.
- 22 Skip the Nautilus Pavilion area unless you’re attending a special event. It is only open as a special events venue seating area.
- 23 View the Penguin Encounter area of SeaWorld San Diego. Get a good glimpse of the habitat of a penguin. This exhibit is a walk-through and is exactly like the former Penguin Encounter at SeaWorld Orlando.
- 24 See the polar bears up close in the Wild Arctic exhibit. This is one area that is not to be missed.
- 25 Take in the funny show at Pets Stadium. Much like Universal’s Animal Actors at Universal Studios Hollywood, this show is super funny and a good time for all.
- 26 Head down towards the Journey into the Atlantis area near the tip of the bottom of the park. Ride the Journey to Atlantis log-flume for an out-of-this-world experience.
- 27 Connect with several different types of animals at the Animal Connections building. This building offers a walk-through exhibit, so no need to fear you’ll be taken quickly through this – it’s completely at your pace, and you can take your time.
- 28 Have your kids play with Sesame Street and the gang in the Sesame Street Bay of Play. Its official entrance is near Dolphin Treasures and directly across from Pineapple Pete’s Island Eats and nearby Dolphin Stadium.
- Take in SeaWorld’s version of the teacup ride at Abby’s Sea Star Spin in the Sesame Street Bay of Play area.
- Ride the hub-and-spoke ride styled to Elmo’s world at Elmo’s Flying Fish ride. Push the lever up to raise the fish high and release it down to descend downwards again.
- Ride the rather tame version of a pirate ship-like ride at Oscar’s Rockin Eel ride.
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- Have a look at different ticket websites to see who offers the best deal for SeaWorld San Diego tickets. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Make sure the tickets you are buying are physical tickets and not e-tickets. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- What time of the year you are planning to visit is also important. Summer months, such as June through September, will be a lot busier than most of the other months.
- Many websites have crowd predictions for each day of the year as well. This is definitely worth checking before you decide what day to go!
- If you have made a good plan for the day, the rest should be easy. Some changes may have to be made if rides are closed or break down for various reasons, but this shouldn’t cause too many problems. All that’s left for you is to enjoy your day! Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- This park opened to the public was March 21, 1964  X Research source . Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Food and beverage options are available throughout the park. You can find concession stands open sporadically around the park. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Decide if you truly want to visit SeaWorld San Diego. Discuss some of your other options that exist in San Diego. Between the Legoland nearby (in Carlsbad, CA) and the mess of other attractions in the nearby Los Angeles and Anaheim areas (Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure theme park) as well as Universal Studios Hollywood and even Six Flags Magic Mountain in the nearby Hollywood and Los Angeles area (just about an hour and a half drive away), there’s always something nearby that can give you thrills in and around San Diego. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- When 4 to 8-year-old kids get antsy in the park, and it seems like your day is lagging behind, give these kids some options. If you haul around a double-seat stroller and warnings don’t work, give them time in the stroller. If they don’t, you’ll need to find some other way to draw out their energy. They will thank you for helping them “take a load off their feet.” These youngsters tend to draw energy out more quickly and become cranky quicker. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Keep kids (under age 5) on “leashes” (arm straps) at all times. Don’t allow your kids to remove them at any time. It’s hard to see your kids leashed up like a pet, but with the 30,000+ guests in the park at any time, security is of utmost importance, and their leashes will help immensely. Don’t even remove them when your kids are in their stroller, as it can take only a few seconds for the kid to get out and become missing (the leashes only would allow the child to go so far as you’d allow them to go). Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- Be prepared if a sudden rainstorm impacts the area. Rain is common, and your best bet is to run/walk into the nearest attraction and seek shelter. Be careful if you hear any rumbles of thunder. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- Everybody’s tastes are different. Skip the rides that don’t appeal to you. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- Identification is sometimes required when entering the park with your ticket; bring some form of identification for each party member. Thanks! Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
- For those attractions that are ride-vehicles, always ride the ride with safety in mind. Heed all advice the ride operator instructs you on, including wearing your safety harness/seat belt and not eating, taking pictures, etc. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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