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Sea World San Diego


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Sea World San Diego Visitor Guide
Sea World San Diego

Watching a Show at Sea World

©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

Sea World San Diego, California is a medium-sized park, easy to walk across, with rides, animal exhibits and shows. There are few thrills and the animal acts are somewhat predictable, but it's still fun.

Scenes from Sea World

Enjoy some of our best shots in this Sea World Photo Tour

Sea World San Diego Basics

Sea World San Diego is one of a chain of theme parks of the same name, focused on the ocean and its creatures.

Sea World San Diego seems to appeal to almost everyone, especially families. However, if you're looking for thrill rides, this isn't the place to find them. It seems obvious, but we'll say it anyway. If you object to animals in captivity, Sea World San Diego isn't the place for you.

Sea World San Diego is open year round, with longer hours and nightly fireworks shows in the summer. During October, they have special Halloween shows and at year's end, there's a Christmas celebration.

Sea World San Diego Review

We rate Sea World San Diego 4 stars out of 5. I always go thinking it's just the same old animal shows, but by the time I leave, I've always had a good time.

Good and Bad at Sea World San Diego

This is a summary of its good and bad characteristics, based on our visits and reading lots of online reviews.


  • One of the cleanest and best-maintained California theme parks
  • Lots of fun shows and ways to interact with the animals
  • Except for a few rides, lines are seldom extremely long


  • Can be hot-hot-hot in mid-summer, with little shade
  • Unnecessary, extra charge for Skytower and Skyride
  • If you are sensitive to seeing animals in captivity, this is not the place for you

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More Opinions About Sea World

  • Tripadvisor reviewers give it an average of 4 out of 5. A few quotes: "SeaWorld is probably the best time we had on our vacation." "The park was so clean, well organized and park staff so nice and helpful."
  • Yelp reviewers rate it lower at 3.5 out of 5. Those who rate it lower complain about small animal enclosures, say some of the rides are mediocre or think it's too commercial.
  • About.com's Theme Parks guide says: "It used to be that the most thrilling thing that guests could expect at the park was getting doused by Shamu in the show stadium's splash zone. Coasters such as Manta and Journey to Atlantis, however, now offer considerable thrills." Read the whole review.

Details About Sea World

  • Hours: Open daily
  • Reservations: Not required, except for guided tours and other extra-cost options
  • Cost: Varies. Tickets and discounts
  • Location: North of downtown, directions below
  • How Long: Six hours or more
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring or fall; busiest in summer and it can be so hot then that you'll want to jump in with Shamu to cool off

Sea World San Diego Location, Address, Directions

Sea World San Diego
500 Sea World Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
Sea World San Diego Website

Sea World San Diego is located near the intersection of I-5 and I-8, north of downtown. Exits from both freeways are well marked. Follow the signs, but be aware of a weird gotcha: Sea World Drive IS NOT the exit you need to take to get to the park. Trust the signs and they'll get you there.

If you can't drive or don't want to, you can use public transport. Metropolitan Transit runs daily bus service from the Old Town Transit Center. You can get from downtown to Old Town on the San Diego Trolley.

For the impatient, a taxi from downtown is partly offset by the money you save on parking. Call Yellow Cab at 619-234-6161 Orange Cab at 619-223-5555.

Grayline Anaheim offers transport to Sea World San Diego from the Disneyland area.

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