This post is part of the series USA Road Trip
Other posts in this series:
The primary reason to put San Diego on our USA road trip map was “fortunately” the world’s most famous marine mammal park called SeaWorld. There are three of those theme parks and Oceanariums in the USA, located in San Diego, San Antonio and Florida. The first park opened here in San Diego in 1964 and since then the park offers a wide program including Ocean Shows (Killer Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, etc. shows as well as other attractions like a roller coaster, Journey to Atlantis, Fireworks Spectacular and others). Thinking about my childhood and the TV shows back in the ‘90s, there were many heartbreaking stories (about saving whales or dolphins), and many of them took place at the Sea theme parks. And my nostalgia for the movie industry from the ‘90s took me to my new favourite and beloved city – San Diego.
My advice about planning any trip to any attraction or park which involve buying tickets – buy them Online if you can! You’re going to save not only your money but also a precious time with NO-waiting-in-the-line-for-hours! Especially when you have a restricted time. So I bought the tickets online (maybe in April) and the best things about buying online (as well as booking e.g. rooms) is that you are not supposed to print and carry your paper stuff wherever you go. So I downloaded and saved all tickets on my phone, as well as in my online drop box. Anyhow, buying the tickets online I even saved about 20 $ p.p. which is in total 40 $!
The second advice before visiting the SeaWorld theme park or whatever Zoo, Park, Museum etc. – go and check about some great Apps for Android or iOS and download them before visiting the attraction! For example, the App delivers all theme park hours, show schedules and a park map (see above). The map has the option “navigate to” and “where am I?” and works of course with GPS tracker on every smartphone. The Park is not as tiny as it seems to be on the map below so that the GPS park tracker was the perfect solution in order to find the right location or show On-Time!
Online Ticket ca. 70 $ (at SeaWorld ca. 90 $)
Parking Ticket ca. 10 $ (whole day parking ticket)
Inc. all Shows and Attractions!!!
Opening hours 10:00 to 17:00
Average visiting time is ca. 5h
Let’s talk about something that has been a subject of last years: the wild animal shows and adequate animal housing and welfare. As someone who is definitely against animal cruelty and violation, I went through many websites and reviews about the theme park and their wild animal programs and housing and I was definitely relieved while reading about their animal rescue and rehabilitation programs in cooperation with the National Marine Fisheries Service. The SeaWorld theme parks have saved more than 26 000 (ill, orphaned, injured, etc.) ocean animals during the years among which whales, dolphins, birds, turtles and many others! Anyhow there are still many questions about the animal welfare and housing in terms of wild mammals’ shows. As result, the theme park will ban the killer whale shows with the end of 2016, as well as the in-park orcas captive breeding programs. In the future, SeaWorld will offer more educational programs about e.g. orca’s wild and natural behaviour instead of traditional shows with tricks.
We spent about 5 hours in the park and we enjoyed every minute. We visited quite everything and saw 4 shows including the orca show, sea lions show, dolphin show and one educational show. I went speechless by the variety of animals, not only the dolphins and orcas, but also the penguins, white bears, sharks, belugas, turtles, mantas and many, many others! In the theme park I saw the best giant aquariums, lovely animal mentors, healthy and well-fed animals and probably the best animal housing outside the wild nature. Although SeaWorld has the best quality and perfect environment outside the wilderness, I still believe that the wild animals belong to the wild nature.
Enjoy the day!
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Balboa Park ~ San Diego