Beluga whales, California sea otters, sharks, octopus, eels—these are just some of the many marine animals you’ll find at SeaWorld San Diego, an ocean theme park that sits just one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the Pacific Coast of the United States.
Bypass the ticket lines by pre-purchasing admission tickets, and consider a package that includes transportation to avoid the hassle of navigating the city and parking. Park admission gives you access to the many rides, including high, medium, and low thrills across a variety of roller coasters, drops, swings, and water rides such as Shipwreck Rapids. Twenty- to 25-minute dolphin and sea lion shows presented by trained professionals are family favorites, and in between, you can check out the aquariums and habitats to see penguins, turtles, and more. Animal encounters or interactions are done under the supervision of trained professionals; these add-on activities require additional fees.
Things to Know Before You Go
All bags are subject to search when entering; lockers are available to rent.
Wheelchair access is provided at all attractions and shows, and they can be rented at the park.
Water bottles may be taken inside, but hard and soft coolers, glass, outside food, and flavored drinks are not allowed; restaurants and concession stands can be found throughout the park.
Upgrades such as front-of-the-line passes are available for an extra fee at the park.
How to Get There
SeaWorld is in Mission Bay Park, located behind Mission Beach, a popular area with both visitors and locals. Drive to Mission Bay Park (it’s hard to miss SeaWorld, as it’s located on SeaWorld Drive), or hop on the 8, 9, or 10 bus. Paid parking is available at the park with different prices for general parking, up-close parking, and VIP parking. For the most worry-free option, book round-trip transportation (with or without admission) from San Diego or Anaheim accommodations.
When to Get There
SeaWorld is open daily; hours vary depending on the day of the week and holidays. For shows and presentations, it’s recommended that you arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to start time (or even earlier on busy days) to get a good seat.
Animal Rescue and Care At SeaWorld
Don’t just gawk at the animals on display at SeaWorld—learn about them, too, by checking out the park’s shows and tours dedicated to animal care and rescue. Head to the Mission Bay Theater for a screening of Sea Rescue, a TV series about SeaWorld’s rescue team and its experience rescuing more than 28,000 dolphins, whales, penguins, turtles, and birds. Or book the park’s behind-the-scenes tour (extra fee) to explore the park with a tour guide, visiting the Animal Care Center and Aquarium Lab.