View Full Version : SeaWorld - what not to miss??

Boo Mc
04-04-2006, 06:41 PM
We're going to SeaWorld (San Diego) during Easter break. We've never been before and I'd like to know the "must see" rides and attractions. It's me, DH, DS 9 and DD 7. We all like just about anything and DD is exactly 48" (in case there are height restrictions). Can we fit everything in in one day? Is there anything we can skip? How bad will the crowds be during Easter week? Thanks so much! :fish: :thanks:

04-04-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi! Sea World is great! I am not sure about spring break because I am sure it is really busy, but we went in October and definitely fit everything in with a little time to go back to some favorites and the hours were only 10-6. We saw every show, and the only thing we didn't see was the Haunted Lighthouse movie.

Must do's for us are:

Atlantis, we love all the exhibits, the kids love, love, love the play area and the water play area, and we didn't get to see the cirque show there but I hear it is fabulous.

Have a great time!


04-04-2006, 10:22 PM
We just went to Sea World this past weekend; we went both Sat and Sun. It was my kids' (DD's 12, 8 and 4) first time there and they loved it. Their favorites were the Atlantis ride (really neat), Shipwreck rapids ride, the Shamu show, the dolphin/whale show, the sea lion show, and the pet (dog and cat) show. They also loved the arctic attraction that has the magic motion helicopter ride beforehand. Oh, and feeding the dolphins those trays of fish is fun too, cause they are able to pet the dolphins. If you don't buy fish you won't be able to pet the dolphins. My girls enjoyed petting the bat rays and picking starfish out of the starfish pond to hold. The play area for kids is so much fun!

My stepmom did the dolphin experience, where you don a wetsuit and get in the water to interact with the dolphins. That is $150 for about 30 minutes. She said it is worth it though.

Your daughter will be able to ride the rides, cause the height requirement is 42". My 4-year-old was able to ride everything.

We were there 2 days and we did not have time to see the Cirque show or the Haunted Lighthouse. But that is because we did a few things more than once.

Make sure that if you don't want to get SOAKED, bring/buy ponchos. When we were too lazy to put them on, we got doused with weater, but ponchos kept us pretty dry when we wore them. At the dolphin and whale shows, they aren't kidding when they call the first 16 rows the "soak zone".

We are so sunburned though! Even our scalps are sunburned and it is hard to brush our hair! Make sure you bring sunscreen!

Hope that helps.

Boo Mc
04-05-2006, 02:30 PM
Thanks for the responses - I'm taking notes! Any idea what time we should arrive at the park if they open at 9:00? Not sure how long it takes to park, get tickets etc.

Also, was it hard to time the shows? It looks like there are hardly any in the morning and then they're all grouped together in the early-mid afternoon. I don't think the Cirque show will be showing until summer so I don't have to worry about that one. I feel like I'm going to be running (and backtracking)from one show to get to the next. Or am I worrying too much? :worried:

Thanks again!!

04-05-2006, 03:07 PM
If you have it in the budget, do the dining with Shamu. You sit next to the observation pool and have a meal. It is a buffet meal and everythng but the gratuity is included.

You can find it on the website under the "In-Park dining Options".

The food is wonderful. You get to interact with the trainers and have a great view of a mini show that they do for you. Our 2 year old daughter loved it.

04-05-2006, 04:21 PM
We're getting ready for our 1st trip to San Diego and Sea World so I love the tips! Keep 'em coming.

How much is the tray of fish to feed/pet the dolphins?

04-06-2006, 12:06 AM
When we were there 18 months ago a tray of fish for the dolphins was $4 or two for $7. Photos are $15 but if you position yourself on the opposite side if the pool you should be able to take your own pictures (we did both)

It's the same price and deal if you want to feed the rays.

If it's busy there can be a time limit of a minute or so on the feeding and picture, but if not, it goes for 15 minutes and our kids spent the entire 15 minutes feeding and patting dolphins.

In a full day it's not hard to do just about everything in Seaworld, as there are not that many rides.

But things you should not miss are:
- Dolphin show (there's one in the morning and another in the afternoon)
- Shamu show (of course!) - also morning and afternoon.
- Their raft river ride (not as good as DCA's GRR, but still fun and a lot wetter).
- The Arctic experience. Begins with a simulated helicopter ride to the Arctic, and at the end of the ride you walk past polar bears, a walrus, seals, beluga whales. Brilliantly done and you see amazing animals up very close. If you are worried by the simulator, you can do a non-simulator film at the start.
- Penguin enclosure - moving footpath takes you past a wonderful display of penguins.
- The kids wet play and rope climb area - a fantastic space to just let the kids off the leash and let them go wild - ours loved it.

The shows are superb, but our favourite was the dolphin feed and pat - an awesome experience.

04-06-2006, 01:22 AM
bring an extra set of clothes for the kids if they plan to play in the kids zone where there's water fountain playground.

darph nader
04-07-2006, 12:33 AM
DO NOT miss the Semore(sp?) and Clyde show! My wife and I were there a yr 1/2 ago for our 20th anniv. and was shut down for rennovations(bummer).
The Artic Adventure is also very cool.(think Star Tours on earth). :cool1:

04-07-2006, 12:41 PM
Let the kids wear a bathing suit under their clothes thay have a great place to take pictures with a plastic life size Shamu, and it looks really cute if the kids are in bathing suits instead of street clothes. They will also be able to play in Shamus happy harbor.

I'm not sure if it's still available burt they had a special going where you paid for a day and got the rest of 2006 free. You can buy it on line and the turn in the vaoucher when you get there. Have fun ! They only sell the fish to feed the dolphins at certain times and the line can be long, but it's so worth it., my DD had one dolphin in front of her for at least 10 minutes. Her favorite show was the Pets Rule show. DH might be interested in the free beer sampler and the Anheiser Busch gardens.

04-08-2006, 04:08 PM
We went to Sea World yesterday, April 7th - Spring Break in this area.

We arrived at the park about 10:45 am. We had purchased our tickets on-line so went right to the kiosk, scanned our paper and had tickets in 1 minute. The lines were long to purchase tickets so I would plan on pre-purchasing online.

We went straight to the Atlantis ride. The sign had a 30 minute wait. The ride broke when we were about to get on and we were escorted out of line after about 50 minutes of waiting. No front of line passes were offered even after a request.

We went straight to the Shamu stadium for the 12:00 pm show. There was a crane in/near the stadium so they didn't open the stadium until about 11:52 am for seating. The show started about 10 minutes late. We were happy that there were vendors selling snacks and drinks before the show began.

DD12 went to the extreme zone and did the bungie trampoline and rock climbing wall. It was $5 per attraction or $8 if you did both. No one was in the area, so they let my DD have an extra long time on the bungie. She attracted 7 people to try it out. I told the staff that they could keep her all day as a salesperson. ;)

After a stop in the Dolphin store, we headed to feed the sea lions and seals. Food was $5 per tray. The sea lions stand right up on their back flippers so they get about 6 inches from you and your fish. There was a staff member there during feeding that answered questions and gave some information about the pinnipeds.

By this time we were hungry, so went across the park to Shipwreck Cafe. I thought the food was great for theme park food. I had the glazed salmon and DD had the ribs (both grilled on an outdoor mesquite barbeque). Our meals included grilled vegetables and french fries. The carrot cake we had for dessert was yummy. We sat outside in our own palapa hut next to a waterfall. There were also sea turtles, aquariums and macaws.

Since we were right next to Shipwreck Rapids, we waited in the 20 minute line. Everyone in our raft was soaked. Luckily it was a nice day and the sun helped dry us out.

We made it to the dolphin feeding area about 5 minutes before the food was being sold. The line was at least 50 people long. Again, $5 for a tray of food. We went to the very end of the feeding area and had one dolphin all to ourselves. They take pictures of you feeding and petting the dolphins.

A short walk to the forbidden reef, and we were petting the sting rays. I tapped the water with a flat hand and about 8 sting rays came right over. There were no more feeding opportunities for the day at 3:30 pm.

Our second and last show was Clyde and Seamore. We found a seat about 5 minutes before the show started in the top section. I noticed we were sitting in a splash zone, but I couldn't figure out how the water would get up that high. About 15 minutes in, I figured it out, there were sprinklers up there. The show is funny and we loved the little otter.

The last exhibit we did was the Shark Encounter. Sharks must like pink, because when we were in the shark tube there was a shark following me. I noticed it at first and told DD and the kids behind me confirmed that the shark had his eyes on me.

I was surprised that we didn't see too many shows and didn't get into all the exhibits in the 6+ hours that we were there. We did purchase a fun card so that we can go back the rest of the year for the price of a single day admission.

04-09-2006, 12:29 PM
Tink, I was there on the 7th, too. Unlike you, though, I did see all the shows (no rides other than Wild Arctic--I thought it was too cold for water rides).

First thing we did was buy my ticket (my friend had a silver pass already). Then we wandered near the dolphin pool, but there were just too many people there so we went to the stingrays. We spent about 10 minutes petting them, then went to look at the Moray eals.

Our first show was the Dolphins. We got there about 20 minutes before show time and were a couple of sections off center above the soak zone (again, to me it was too cold to get wet--it was cloudy at the time). After that, we went to the smokehouse for the chicken. My friend loves playing the carnival games, so we went over there for a few minutes. Didn't win anything. Our next show was Pets Rule. Very cute (missed this when I was there last summer). Next was the Sea Lions. Deep Trouble is a major improvement over Fools with Tools (which I hated), but the sea lions weren't too into the show (another sea lion was cruising around in the pool and they were more interested in what it was doing than performing).

We went through some of the aquariums, then saw RL Stine's Haunted Lighthouse. It was pretty good, though scary for the younger set. 3D hurts my eyes and though my friend suggested seeing it again later, I vetoed that (one 3D film per day is my limit--my eyes were burning). We went into the Wild Artctic and toured all the exibits. We saw the last Shamu show at 6:30. It was very breezy and getting really cold to me at that time, but the show was good.

04-20-2006, 07:17 AM
Going in July '06 and am loving these posts. Helps me to plan our family's one day trip there. Keep the ideas coming.

04-20-2006, 05:21 PM
Good tips everyone- I went to SeaWorld Orlando 3 years ago, but without the kids. We are taking them to SD SeaWorld in June via free military passes, and I think they will REALLY like it.

Off hand, about how much is a counter service lunch at SeaWorld for 2 adults, 3 kids? About the same as Disney? I feel like when I went to the Orlando one, I thought it was pricier than even Disney! Like a slice of pizza and a soda was near $10. TIA!

04-20-2006, 07:32 PM
The 2 places I like are Mango Joes (which is often not open in off season) and the Smokehouse. Considering the meals at the second are large enough to share (and SW has, IMO, the best food of all the S CA theme parks), it's pretty reasonable (I think 1/2 BBQ chicken, fries and corn on the cob (a small one) was $10.99). The first has really good fajitas.

04-20-2006, 07:38 PM
stay away from momma stellas . . we used to have AP and the crew inside this food place were just nonchalant about the fact there were roaches crawling all on the trays, drinks food, etc. . . and were shocked we left. .

it is pricey, however if you have AAA you can get some discounts on the food . .

have fun!

04-20-2006, 11:13 PM
stay away from momma stellas . . we used to have AP and the crew inside this food place were just nonchalant about the fact there were roaches crawling all on the trays, drinks food, etc. . . and were shocked we left. .

it is pricey, however if you have AAA you can get some discounts on the food . .

have fun!

Good to know- anyone know which restaurants give a AAA discount?