Sea World San Diego

Posted on July 15th, 2011 by Jean

On the second day of our San Diego vacation, we visited Sea World. Sweet ticket deals are available on their website.
We entered the park at 9am and made our way to the Dolphin Encounter. The trainers were whistling, making arm movements, and sending the dolphins from one side of the tank to the other. We enjoyed watching the dolphins, and felt such joy just being in the park.

As we left the dolphins, we ran into some Sea World mascots. It took a lot of coaxing before our youngest agreed to stand near the penguin with the creepy eyes. Too bad we didn’t see the super-cuddly & cute Shamu mascot.

Making our way to the park’s Sesame Street Play Zone, and we rode all three kiddie rides.

Now we were ready for a thrill, and headed to Atlantis, the water roller coaster. It turned out to be a little too intense for our oldest daughter. There’s an elevator that the roller coaster cars enter to be brought up the tower for another drop. It was very loud and dark in there, which sent our daughter into a panic. With tears streaming, she finished the ride, only to find out the ride broke down. We were stuck in our seats for about ten minutes until employees made their way to us and released the seat-bars holding us in.
Finally free, we sat on a nearby bench. Hubby and youngest went in search of cotton candy to bring the smile back to our oldest’s face. We sat, enjoyed the candy, and people-watched before entering the Arctic Zone. We passed the ride & movie portion, and went directly to the animals. The belugas had a baby one year ago, and it was just darling! The walrus now had 2 short tusks (3 years ago it had one long & one short).

Just found out some facts about the baby beluga. Her name is Pearl! Her adoptive mother is Allua.
Next stop, the Calypso Smoke House for lunch! The kids had chicken & fries on commemorative Shamu plates, while hubby and I split a sampler plate. It was all delicious and worth every penny.
Now you’d think we’d be refreshed and energized after stopping for lunch, but quite the opposite happened. The kids started complaining that their feet hurt. Not wanting to leave the park just yet, we noticed a show was underway, and climbed the stairs to available seats. The show was called Blue Horizons, combining “sea & sky”. We watched as costumed performers bounced like yo-yo’s on wires. Tropical birds flew across the stadium, pilot whales and dolphins swam and leapt.

Trying to fit in one more experience prior to leaving, hubby took youngest on the Rip Tide ride while oldest daughter and I shopped for last minute souvenirs.

As we made our way to the exit, we heard barking – sea lions and seals. You can buy fish to feed to them. Some lay around, some swam, and others begged (barked) for food.

We were really dragging now, after just 3.5 hours in the park. We got our hands stamped just in case we wanted to return that evening, but for now we wanted to relax in our hotel room.
To be continued.
• How long do you typically last at a theme park?
• Have you ever been stuck on a ride?
• What is your favorite animal at Sea World?

San Diego Vacation – Day 2 – Sea World

Posted on July 15th, 2008 by Jean

After grabbing a bit of breakfast at the hotel, we headed over to Sea World. I had purchased our tickets over the internet, and Tom paid an extra $5.00 for premium parking, so we were literally in the park within 15 minutes of leaving our hotel.
There’s a new area in the park called Sesame Street Bay Of Play. There was 1 ride tame enough that the whole family wanted to tackle it: spinning teacups!

Anheuser-Busch owns Sea World, which means you can visit the famous Clydesdale horses,…

… the donkey from the 2004 campaign, I Was Born A Donkey,…

… and drink beer from aluminum bottles.

Insider Tip: If you see something you like at any of the shops throughout the park, buy it. The Gift Shop at the park’s exit has limited/general items that pale in comparison to the souveniers offered throughout the park.
Doesn’t this little fellow look like a baby orca? It’s actually a dolphin!

Insider Tip: The Commerson’s Dolphins can be found near the Journey To Atlantis water ride. Even if you don’t want to go on the ride, be sure to walk over to view these adorable mammals.

Journey To Atlantis
The kids tried Cotton Candy for the 1st time.

I got bug-eyed in the shark tunnel.

Never again.
Here’s a duck that has spent too much time with the flamingos.

Would you believe me if I said she stood that way for hours? 
Here a Bat Ray approaches to be pet.

By far, the most fun was watching the orcas from the glass-enclosed walkways behind Shamu Stadium. Here I’ve photoshopped 2 pictures together to give you an idea of this prime viewing area.

From the walkway, we were able to watch the graceful whales interacting with their trainers.

Whales 3 & 4 were swimming, then being fed handfuls of fish by their trainers. Soon our attention was drawn to the Shamu Stadium audience which was applauding and encouraging splashing from Shamu. Whales 3 & 4 entered the show, giving the audience a thorough soaking!

Tidbit: Shamu was the name of the first Orca brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s. Seven Orcas live in the San Diego park: Corky, Kasatka, Ulises, Orkid, Sumar, Nakai, and Kalia.
Although we didn’t take any photos, I have to give the Calypso Bay Smokehouse high marks for the delicious bbq ribs & chicken lunch!
One of the low-lights of the day was standing in line to get our pictures taken with Cookie Monster, only to be told he was taking his last picture. The kids and I posed anyway, and I photoshopped him in.

This was the first vacation that we didn’t bring the kids carseat/strollers. Since they had to do their own walking, they ran out of steam around 3pm. Prior to leaving the park, we visited the orcas one last time. I snapped these odd but somehow intriguing photos of a trainer at work.

Another day at the office!
I hope you enjoyed seeing this day at Sea World as much as I enjoyed showing you! I’ll try to post our final day of vacation soon.