Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook
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SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego
Located on Mission Bay about 90 miles southwest of Disneyland, SeaWorld is San Diego’s main “theme park,” showcasing the aquatic life of the nearby Pacific and oceans around the world. There’s a great mix of hands-on experiences, detailed exhibits, and entertaining shows, but the animals take center stage at SeaWorld.
SeaWorld San Diego features three major types of attractions : interactive exhibits, shows, and rides. Popular animal exhibits include Penguin Encounter with a moving walkway, as well as a stationary viewing area inside the exhibit; Shark Encounter, where you can take a look at the sharks from above, then walk through the tank and let the sharks surround you; and Wild Arctic, where you'll meet polar bears, beluga whales, and giant walruses.
If you’d really like to get up-close and personal with sea creatures, visit Explorer's Reef and the Aquaria Touch Pools to touch rays, sea urchins, and even bamboo sharks!
SeaWorld is known for its shows, starring fan favorites orcas (killer whales), dolphins, and sea lions. The park’s most popular show, Shamu: One Ocean, features a two-story stage, dancing water fountains, underwater cameras, and four LED screens showing Shamu and friends jumping, playing, and, of course, splashing the guests in the lower rows of the huge stadium. There are two glass-enclosed walkways above both sides of the seven-million-gallon tank, as well as an underwater viewing area for a closer look at these graceful animals. For true Shamu fans, take advantage of the “Dine with Shamu” program for breakfast or dinner, where you can eat right next to the killer whale habitat yet have no worries about getting soaked! Note: Sea World has announced that they will be phasing out all killer whale performances sometime in 2016 in the wake of scrutiny from animal rights activists. The show will reportedly be replaced by a more "informative" experience.
During the Sea Lions LIVE show, watch Pinniped comedy-duo Clyde and Seamore perform in a humorous take-off of today’s popular TV shows and movies (can you say “Sea Lion S.I.?”). In the Pets Rule! show, dogs, cats, birds, and even potbellied pigs prove that land animals can do tricks, too! Dolphin Days puts the spotlight on the loveable dolphins and their acrobatic trainers. Note: Dolphin Stadium is undergoing a major rehab in 2016 and should return later this year with a fresh look.
SeaWorld’s most unique ride, Journey to Atlantis, is half roller coaster, half flume ride, and takes you through the mythical lost city of Atlantis. Because portions of the ride are outside, hop on again after dark for a completely different experience. Note that this attraction has a 42”/107 cm height restriction, and anyone between 42”/107 cm and 48”/122 cm tall must be accompanied by a supervising companion 14 or older.
Rounding out the rides in the park are Manta (a thrilling ray-themed roller coaster), Shipwreck Rapids (a river-rapids ride through the South Seas), Wild Arctic (a helicopter-simulator ride), Riptide Rescue (a raft-themed spinning ride), Elmo’s Flying Fish (a bit like “Dumbo” but with Elmo instead), Oscar’s Rocking Eel (a big rocking ride for kids), and Abby’s Sea Star Spin (similar to Mad Tea Party).
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 1992) Photo contributed by © Meggera
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