Family Travels – Seaworld San Diego
I know the colder weather is starting to arrive in most parts across the country but today as I write this it’s a sunny and clear day here at home. This day is bringing back some wonderful memories that we created this summer on our mini road trip where our stop at Seaworld in San Diego was definitely a highlight of this trip!
I met up with my husband and daughter in Las Vegas after my conference in Chicago at the end of July. My father-in-law flew in from Seattle and joined us on our mini road trip. From Las Vegas we went to what was to be our main goal of this trip to go to San Diego and spend some time at Sea World!
Both my husband and I hadn’t been to San Diego since we were kids and we’ve never taken our daughter there before. So we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to visit SeaWorld on our little road trip. Not only that but we were going to have three generations of the family there with my father-in-law, husband and my daughter so what a wonderful opportunity for all of us to enjoy it together.
We got to SeaWorld just before it opened and since my father-in-law is elderly (he’s in his 80s) we decided to spend the few extra dollars (I think it was $5) for the parking that was much closer to the entrance. Now it was a Saturday so as you might imagine it was packed. I was a little concerned at first as we had to line up for our tickets and it seemed that it might take hours. Well, I have to give the folks at SeaWorld credit they know how to get this line moving efficiently and what I thought would be an hour or more line up was significantly less time.
They had all ticket windows open, directed people quickly to the ones that were ready to take the next customer, constant announcements about the different options, if you already had a ticket directions as to where you could go next etc.. It was extremely efficient and I was very impressed, something that rarely happens when I’m in any sort of line up so kudos to Seaworld San Diego!
We decided to purchase the meal plan for all four us which allowed us to eat a variety of restaurants at SeaWorld. It’s worth it if you’re going to purchase more than two meals while you’re there and as we had headed right to SeaWorld before eating breakfast we went to one of the restaurants immediately. It was the perfect time to go as the restaurant had just opened and no one was yet eating there. all the buffet items were fresh and you could also have made to order items. One of the employees said it was the perfect time to go as it would be extremely busy she said once one of the first shows was finished. She said everyone would be coming right after the show so we were smart to go then.
However, one thing we did learn was that when those same restaurants got busy not even a few hours later that you could end up in line-ups for a long time just to get a bottle of water. So my one suggestion to SeaWorld on where they could improve would be to have lineups where people could just pick up beverages and not have to wait in the much longer line-ups for food. It turned out to be a warm day and several times we just wanted bottles of water (you could only take one per person each time). Shh don’t tell but hubby snuck in and sweet-talked an employee to handing us some bottles without having to wait 30 minutes for it :). With our bellies full we started off on our SeaWorld adventure.
We consulted our map of SeaWorld which also listed what time the shows were and where and so from there we plotted out our day. We didn’t want to be running from one end of SeaWorld to the other so we mapped out our path and stops for shows which helped immensely as there is a lot of ground to cover so you don’t want to have to walk even more than you already will.
We managed to see almost all of the shows with maybe the exception of two which weren’t on our list to see, along with stopping by all the stations we wanted to got except the Sea Otters. For some reason, we just could not find the sea otter section even though we tried several times. The shows were all very entertaining and gave us several times to sit down and rest our sore legs. My husband and father-in-law even went on a few rides, my daughter believe it or not at 12 years of age is not into rides, but she really loved the shows.
Some of the stages for the shows were amazing, they were so elaborate but did not take away from the magic of watching the Dolphins and Killer Whales and all the other wonderful creatures of the ocean. Here’s a picture of the Blue Horizon’s stage that we took a picture of, it was a fun show with our favorites dolphins of course!
Our favorite shows were the Cirque de la Mer, the Sea Lions shows (we went to 2 of them) with Clyde and Seamore and the last show of the evening Shamu Rocks followed by fireworks simply stunning.
I would have to say if you’ve never been to SeaWorld have children who have never been or it’s been a really long time it’s definitely worth a trip, stay the day or if you enjoy a slower pace go over a couple of days. I can’t see you being disappointed with a visit there between the various animal interactions, shows and rides there really is something for everyone and it’s for all ages. We were there until the park closed so it was a 12 hour day, long, exhausting but a highlight of our trip.
As you can see someone was tired (we all were) as she fell asleep as soon as we got back to the hotel with her Shamu blanket (which by the way was the best souvenir deal out of all the ones we saw). SeaWorld San Diego was definitely the highlight of our Summer vacation!