Today we visited Seaworld in San Diego!
Had a good day, but both exhausted now. I just thought I’d get this down quickly as I wish I had done more research and knew a few things before I went, so if it helps anyone, I’m happy.
Arrive early, queues were big by 9.15. Buy tickets before you go, online or over the phone. That eliminates ONE queue. Also online they seem to offer deals to get your tickets slightly cheaper. To get in its $79 adult $71 child – not cheap! Now there are lots of other things they offer for you as well – animal encounters, queue jumps, reserved seating for shows etc. Now the animal encounters, I do not know how much they were but in my opinion they did not seem as good a the ones you could do in Florida, especially at places like the Dolphin Research Centre in the Keys. The queue jump tickets enable you to jump the queues for some, not all, of the rides they have. Like Disney’s Fastpass lane, but you have to pay for it. Now I purchased the reserved seating for the shows, an extra $20 each, so I paid $180 to get in. There are 6 shows running at certain times throughout the day and this pass enabled me to have a ‘premier seat’ – I wouldn’t bother buying it again, it was a compete waste. You still had to arrive early for the shows and the seats were not the best in the house, they were fine and central, but very high up.
Also at most of the shows are splash zones in which people sitting in those seat will get wet from the animals splashing. They do warn you of this, it’s written on the seats and they announce it, but people still moan and run away when the dolphins start splashing! Bring your own ponchos, like Disney they charge you a lot more in the park for them.
The disappointing thing for us with Seaworld was the height restrictions for the rides. Most had to be at least 42″, whereas Disney is 40″. The rides are pretty tame, no big drops or anything but Faye couldn’t go on any and that upset her having done splash mountain and tower of terror at Disney.
Food. Cheaper than Disney. We ate in Mamma Stella’s Kitchen – Italian. Very basic but filling and good fresh fruit and dessert. Cost $28 or Faye and I to both have a main and pudding each with a drink.
Bus #9 stops at Seaworld and its last stop there is something like 10.20pm. Car parking is plentiful, if you arrive later you can have a long walk.
I know you go to Seaworld to see whales and dolphins but Faye and I LOVED the Pet Show with the cats and dogs – very entertaining! The Madagascar show confused Faye a little as Marty and Melman, the zebra an giraffe aren’t in it and she couldn’t understand why!
All in all we had a great day, BUT, if I was in Florida I’d choose to see similar animals at places like the Keys where it is a lot cheaper and the interactions are better. I feel Seaworld are trying to grab money from you at any chance they can ($6 for 5 tiny fish to feed a Sealion). In the Keys you can see Dolphin and Sealion shows at places like the Theatre of the Sea and its only like $30 for the day and kids get invited to stroke the animals without them charging you for it.