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San Diego is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to do there. Our family recently went on vacation to San Diego, we have been many times before and every time I visit, I am reminded of what a great place it is for families to vacation. There are a ton of beaches, amusement parks and so many things to do.

While in San Diego we visited Sea World, this was our second time taking our kids to Sea World and I loved it. Exploring Sea World is a top thing to do in San Diego, with thrilling rides, amazing animals and special events. The thing I love most about Sea World is there are a variety of things to do for all ages. You can enjoy the shows, which are very educational; there are hands on experiences, the rides of course and Sesame Street Bay of Play for the little ones.

When you first enter Sea World you will see Explorer’s Reef, small pond areas where you can touch and feel different types of fish. My boys loved this and so did I.

The thrill rides my boys loved were Manta, Journey to Atlantis and Shipwreck Rapids. We were surprised on Journey to Atlantis when you make the first big drop you think the ride is over, but it’s not, you get to go back up again for some more coaster fun.

Sky Tower is a neat attraction that the entire family can enjoy, you go very high up so you get to enjoy some 360 degree views of San Diego, the ride moves in a slow circular motion, it is kind of like a vertical monorail.

Ocean Explorer opened this summer in 2017. Featuring five new children’s rides and three new animal encounters to help unlock the ocean’s deepest mysteries. The new rides are Submarine Quest, Tentacle Twirl, Octarock, Aqua Scout, and Sea Dragon Drop.

With a toddler I am always grateful for smaller play areas and rides that they can enjoy, but my older boys enjoyed the Sesame Street Bay of Play area as well. They would have stayed there longer if I would have let them. They have a rope climbing playground area, they have two bounce play areas, one is for toddlers only and the other for the older kids. This is a great shady place for the adults to rest while the kids run off more of that energy. The Bay of Play also has three rides, Elmo’s Flying Fish which is similar to the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, Abby’s Sea Star Span which is like spinning tea cups, and Oscar’s Rocking Eel which is a boat ride that rocks back and forth and also spins around. As long as your little one can walk they can ride these rides with you, to ride alone they must be between 42-48 inches.

Sea World has quite a few exhibits to explore. Our favorite and probably their most popular is the Shark Encounter. You enter into an amazing underwater viewing tunnel and watch as sharks of all shapes, colors, and sizes pass by you. They also have Turtle Reef; view loggerhead, hawksbill and Green Sea turtles—some more than 50 years old—plus thousands of tropical fish. Penguin Encounter, and Wild Artic.

We ate breakfast before we entered the park and then enjoyed a big lunch at Mama Stella’s Pizza Kitchen. The pizza was great and they also had other options, pasta, chicken, they had fresh fruit and salads available as well. They have a dining pass available which is great if you live near by and go often.

Shortly after visiting we saw a Sea World Sea Rescue on TV, we loved learning about Sea World’s involvement in rescuing and rehabilitating animals while we were at the park, but it was nice to come home and see the behind the scenes view of how they rescued a sea lion, and watching the release of the sea lion back into the ocean, so neat.

Our family loved our visit to Sea World and hope you can enjoy the park soon. Here are some tips we hope will help you.

Tips when visiting Sea World:

Sea World is located at: 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA

Always check Sea World’s website for current park hours and show schedules.

Check for deals on Tickets! Many times they have offers on their website, check out the San Diego Go City Pass Card if you are visiting multiple tourist spots.

Arrive early.

Take a picture of where you park, so you remember at the end of the day.

Purchase the Souvenir Refill cup.

Bring Sun Screen – even though San Diego weather can be cooler and overcast at times, you still need sunscreen and reapply it or you will get sunburnt.

If it is during the summer bring swim clothes, you will get drenched on Shipwreck Rapids, Journey to Atlantis and many of the shows as well as the splash play areas in Sesame Street Bay. They do have drying stations for $5; our family fit in one of them after we got soaked on Shipwreck Rapids.

Stay Hydrated! You can bring in water bottles.

Use their map and app and know the show times of the shows you want to see. Arrive early to the show’s to get good seating, at least 20 minutes or more before the show starts.

Plan your day around the shows. Sea World has great shows with the new Orca Encounter, Dolphin Days, Sea Lion’s Live and Pet’s Rule.

You will get SOAKED in the Splash Zone seating at the shows. If you are skipping a show, that would be a great time to ride the more popular rides like Journey to Atlantis and Manta.

Have a plan with your kids in case someone gets lost. A meeting spot is great with older children; make sure they know to ask a staff member for help or where guest-relations is.

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