Since SeaWorld first opened in 1964, their mission has always been focused on education, conservation, research, and entertainment. I remember going to SeaWorld for the first time when I was about 6 years old. Thanks to SeaWorld San Diego for sponsoring our adventure and letting my kids create memories at SeaWorld like I did as a kid.
As you walk through SeaWorld San Diego, you’re reminded of ways to protect wild animals. My girls are animal fanatics. We love going to zoos and aquariums to learn more about animals and see animals up close. SeaWorld provides guests with experiences that let them explore the world we live in, be inspired by what they learn and take action to protect the ocean and its animals.
SeaWorld is one of the largest marine animal rescue operations in the world and with millions of guests every year, we can work together to educate people about the issues we both care about.
But don’t take our word for it alone—from the Humane Society of the United States to international animal experts and conservationists like Jack Hanna and Guy Harvey, SeaWorld is an organization that is focused on educating people about the natural world, inspiring them with up close and heartfelt animal interactions, and encouraging them to take real action to protect animals in the wild.
SeaWorld San Diego has so many great opportunities for this! Here are a few of our favorite attractions for tweens.
Okay, as an adult, the touch pools are one of my favorite attractions at SeaWorld San Diego. Whether you visit the Aquaria Touch Pool, interact with reef sharks at Explorer’s Reef (located just inside the park entrance), or want to touch a California bat ray at the pool by the Manta attraction, SeaWorld San Diego has you covered. Remember those tide pool creatures from science class? Leathery sea stars and spiky sea urchins. You can get an up-close view of them at Aquaria Touch Pool. But the rays are my personal favorite. I love feeling those smooth slippery guys swim beneath my hands.
The reef sharks are cool, but it’s wild to see some bigger sharks, too. You can experience a rare, fascinating, up-close look at pre-historic predators whose ancestors dominated the sea more than a hundred million years before dinosaurs walked the earth. There are a variety of species and sizes of sharks in the Shark Encounter exhibit and you can go through a tunnel where you can see the sharks all around you and overhead.
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SEA TURTLE • This giant Loggerhead turtle was just one of the cool animals we saw at @seaworldsandiego today. We loved learning about the animals on site as well as the animals that they rehabilitate as part of their rescue and research efforts. ………………………………………………………… #adventurethatislife #howdoyoutravel #ad #sandiego_ca #sandiego #adventure #outdoorlife #activeliving #adventuremore #liveoutdoors #livetoexplore #starttheadventure #traveldeeper #travelislife #travelwithme #traveltheworld #takeyourkidseverywhere #familytravel #bster99
We spent an enormous amount of time viewing turtles in the Turtle Reef. You can view loggerhead, hawksbill, and green sea turtles—some more than 50 years old—plus thousands of tropical fish at Turtle Reef. We were enamored with the turtles! They’re so cool!
My penguin lover would have spent all day in the Penguin Encounter exhibit despite the cooler temps. It’s a great way to see a fun species. But despite popular belief, there are actually penguins that live in warm climates, too! You can see the Magellanic Penguins that naturally live in South America in an exhibit, too!
Ocean Explorer Animals
While we spent a lot of time with the turtles, we spent the most time in this small exhibit hanging out with some of the sea’s most secretive residents, from the quick-camouflaging giant Pacific octopus to eerie moray eels to the massive Japanese spider crabs—the largest in the sea. The Pacific octopus was our favorite creature of the day. We must have watched him in his aquarium for an hour simply swimming around. He is WILD. We could have watched him all day. But SeaWorld San Diego is big and there are so many animals to see.
Dine With Orcas
For the additional price of a meal, you can enjoy a delicious chef crafted buffet meal on a private poolside patio next to Orca whales. We’ve done this twice now (once at SeaWorld Orlando and once at San Diego, and we’ll certainly do it again). It’s a perfect mid-day breaking point from the heat. Tip: get $5 off adult reservations when you book online in advance.
Thrills and Rides for All Ages at SeaWorld
DeepSEE VR: Orca 360
In this virtual reality expedition, you will dive into the world of orcas and learn more about the natural wonders of the world.
Journey to Atlantis
Inspired by one of the sea’s most epic legends, this flume ride explores a lost civilization, sending (and more often than not drenching) riders on an action adventure. This was one of our favorite rides of the day. It was a perfect way to cool down on a hot San Diego day.
Two thrilling launches send riders soaring and diving in the spirit of world’s largest ray on this multi-media coaster. This was a fun coaster! My kids wanted to go over and over again.
Enjoy stunning views up to 100 miles in every direction, from the beauty of Mission Bay to the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean to San Diego’s historic skyline. This was such a fun way to see the area.
Swing to toward the skies in this exciting, jellyfish-themed ride at Ocean Explorer. My girls LOVE a good swing ride. They did this one several times before being whisked to hang out with the Pacific octopus.
Set out on your own sea turtle rescue mission aboard a boat on this classic spinner ride. But hold on—like SeaWorld’s actual rescues, it can take quite a few turns.
Don’t forget to grab your tickets online. There are so many options with single park tickets, Multi-Park tickets, and Annual Passes. Plus, you can upgrade park visits with animal encounters and front of line passes