Rides, Shows and Marine Life – Photos of our Day at SeaWorld
On our recent trip down to San Diego, we decided to spend our last day at SeaWorld San Diego which is currently celebrating its 50th year anniversary. This beautiful animal theme park is located on Mission Bay which is just a short drive from Paradise Point Resort & Spa (our hotel) and hotel circle.
Our previous visit to SeaWorld was when our daughter was much younger and we had spent most of our day showing her all of the marine animals. Now that our daughter is 9 years old, our current visit to the park changed a bit with the addition of roller coaster rides and more shows.
The 50th year celebration sculpture at the entrance. | Photo Courtesy of Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego
Laura and Madison at the base of the Skytower which takes guests high above SeaWorld and looks out to Mission Bay and the San Diego skyline. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
In addition to the animal exhibits and shows, SeaWorld has some great rides that you would expect from a major theme park. For the younger park guests there are three family-friendly rides located in the Sesame Street Bay of Play area. The older kids and adults will love the roller coasters, river rafting and flight simulator rides. Below are the three rides we enjoyed on our day at the park.
Manta Roller Coaster
Manta is a steel roller coaster that features two launches during your ride, one at the start and one midway through the ride. While the ride is not very tall, it is very smooth, fast and twisty which makes it especially fun for the smaller kids. My daughter absolutely loves this ride and we rode it at least six times throughout the day.
The first curving bank after being launched out of the tunnel of Manta. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Manta banking and diving around a tight corner to start off your ride. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Manta roller coaster banking around a wide curve while flying through at up to 43mph. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Here is our POV as Manta was curving around the turns at blazing speeds. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Journey to Atlantis
As the ride name implies, you are taken on a wild trip to the mythical land of Atlantis in a Greek fishing boat. The Journey to Atlantis ride combines a water boat ride with a roller coaster to make a quite unique ride experience. Don’t let the roller coaster portion fool you into thinking you might not get wet; you will get pretty wet or even soaked.
A boat/coaster flying down the big 60-foot plunge. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Here is our POV as we are getting ready to take our own Journey and it was the last time we were dry. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Shipwreck Rapids takes riders on a tube-style raft that winds its way through a river of white water. In addition to getting hit with the white water waves, there are water cannons and waterfalls to make sure you don’t escape without getting wet. Fun, crazy and a relief on a sunny California day.
The Shipwreck Rapids tube rafts spin, splash and bump their way down the rapids with guests not on the rides able to water cannon the riders as well. Get ready to get wet! | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
After spending most of the day dodging the direct sunlight, it surely felt nice on the way up to the exit after getting drenched on the rapids. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
SeaWorld has a mix of shows that range from animal acts to people performances. On our visit, we really enjoyed three of the four shows we took in. Sea Lions Live and Pet’s Rule were both comedy animal shows with the adorable animals performing tricks with their trainers. Madagascar Live was not a hit with us or our daughter while Cirque de la Mer, the acrobatic circus like show, was definitely our top choice for the day.
The Sea Lions Live Show is great fun for the family as it is entertaining, funny and the animals are so cute. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The Pet’s Rule show features domestic animals like dogs, cats and a pig performing entertaining tricks and stunts. | Photo Courtesy of Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego
Cirque De La Mer
By far our favorite show at SeaWorld was Cirque de la Mer which is a funny, energetic and acrobatic performance that will have both kids and adults entertained throughout the show. The avant-garde show features trapeze, trampoline, aerial silk and Chinese poles acts mixed with some comedy, dancing and diving. Very Fun!
The Cirque De La Mer performance stage prior to the show. | Photo by FamilyVacatiionHub
Madi is excited but patiently waiting for the start of the Cirque De La Mer show. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The two funny Cirque performers engaging the crowd with a contest between two audience members. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The Cirque De La Mer crew performing acrobatic pole stunts. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
A trio of performers wowing the crowd with in sync acrobatic stunts. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
They make it look so easy! | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Yup, they even made this look effortless. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
These two trapeze artists worked perfectly together to pull off some impressive stunts. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The finale with performers jumping off the stage and diving into the water below. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
SeaWorld’s Marine Life
The beautiful warm water tropical fish at Aquaria: World of Fishes exhibit. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The Red-bellied Piranha of the Amazon River were also at the Aquaria: World of Fishes exhibit. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The Fly River turtle, also known as a pig-nosed turtle was one of our favorites at the Freshwater Aquarium. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Laura and Madison enjoying some dipping dots while viewing the fish of the Freshwater Aquarium. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Laura and Madison standing outside Aquaria in front of this beautiful and tropical cascading water. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
For our family, the dolphins are the hands down favorite of the park animals. We spent quite a while at Dolphin Point watching these playful animals having a blast swimming around and interacting with the guests at their open water pool.
The open water exhibit showcasing the playful and beautiful dolphins. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
What a face! Almost looks the dolphin was posing for me. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
The dolphins were playful and very fun the whole time we were there and one did a fin flip that soaked a half a dozen guests along the tank. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
This dolphin was playing with the ball for a while which had the onlookers enjoying the show. | FamilyVacationHub
SeaWorld has a number of freshwater and saltwater touch pools throughout the park. After you enter the park, the first thing you walk up to is Explorer’s Reef which has four beach style touch pools that offer you to interact with brown-banded bamboo sharks, horseshoe crabs, rays and cleaner fish. The two other touch pools we enjoyed was the bat ray touch pool next to the Manta roller coaster and the tide pool touch pool featuring sea stars and sea urchins.
As you exit Manta there is a wonderful Bat Ray touch pool just a few steps away. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Madison bravely reaches in to touch one of the Bat Rays swimming close by the touch pool edge. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
This was one of the many touch pools at Explorer’s Reef. It is a bit tougher to get your kids to touch anything with shark in its name, but they are so small and cute that Madi gave it a go. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Guests reach in the Explorer’s Reef touch pool with two fingers to touch Brown-Banded Bamboo Sharks. | Photo Courtesy of Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego
At the tide pool area, guests can touch sea stars and sea urchins while viewing other creatures, like a huge lobster, cruising around the pool. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Probably the most intimidating exhibit at the park is the Shark Encounter which takes guests under a 280,000-gallon tank that is filled with large sharks swimming all around you as you pass through. Fun, amazing and scary all at the same time.
As you enter the Shark Encounter there are large sharks in an open water pool that is a few feet below you. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
As you go through the 57-foot underwater viewing tunnel you will be surrounded by whitetip, blacktip, sand tiger and bonnethead sharks swimming all around you. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
After exiting the underwater viewing tunnel you can view the sharks through a large viewing window. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
Around the Park
This fun band marched and danced through the park playing New Orleans type jazz music. | Photo by FamilyvacationHub
Here is the flamingo home with the Manta roller coaster in the background. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
This Trigger Fish sculpture was made from trash collected from the beach. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
This Sea Turtle sculpture is another sculpture from the WashedAshore.org project where they turn beach trash into wonderful art. | Photo by FamilyVacation
The Sesame Street Bay of Play gives the younger kids a place to let loose by climbing, jumping and running. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub
We had a great day viewing and interacting with the amazing animals, riding the top notch roller coasters and relaxing while taking in an entertaining show.
Visit the SeaWorld San Diego website for more information. See our interactive San Diego Tourist Map for more family friendly points of interest.
We were provided media passes to SeaWorld for the purpose of reviewing it on our blog.