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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
Sea World San Diego
Sea world does however charge ten dollars for parking and we had two cars so we decided that we were not going to drive there and back, but instead take the hotel's shuttle.
As close as it was to the park it was not ideal to go back and take a nap because of the poor shuttle schedule.. basically there was no mid day shuttle service being offered to us and our kids take a midday nap. while the shuttle actually left earlier than its stated time and we therefore missed it, the hotel did summons the shuttle to pick us up and we made it to Sea World a good 10 minutes later.
Upon getting to Sea World we actually had to wait to get in because the crowds were kind of piled up. There was a crowd despite the fact thatsea world is not a cheap outing...
the regular cost of admission is
one interesting thing is that you could print tickets from home and they are doing what is becoming a trend at many theme parks like Six Flags and Universal in that they are offering season passes for a cost not that different from the general admission price. Therefore your kids could get all they want shamu throughout the year. We personally could not see going down to Sea world more than once a year given all there is to do elsewhere including los angeles, but I am sure many people buy these passes with every intention to visit more than once a year.
A few years ago we went with a school group during a weekday in June, and it was an absolutey wonderful place to visit with no crowds and plenty to do.
Well.. this time is was still a wonderful place for kids and there was plenty to do, but the park sure did attract crowds over winter break. We were able to do our few core objectives that day, but a less crowded park generally equals a less stressful day in terms of bathrooms, restaurants, snacks, and getting a good seat in shows.
There is food and beer all over the park. The reason why I mention beer is that the park is owned by Anheiser bush and while not tacky in their presentation of their ownership of the park, they sure make it very clear.
We had lunch at shipwreck rapids. For those of you familiar with other theme parks....Shipwreck Rapids is Sea World's Version of Magic Mountain's Roaring Rapids, Knott's Berry Farm's Big Foot Rapids and California Adventures...Grizzly River Run...
Basically you sit with about 6 others in a large circular raft and get soaked during a fun flume ride. My husband and I have gone in this ride at Sea World in the past with a youth group and every kid loved it. We did not go on the ride this trip given the age of our kids, but we did eat at the restaurant that shares its namesake and that is adjancent to it.
On nice thing but eating there is that the kids meals come in a shamu container that is made of a hard plastic. The container could be quite the collectible. my husband is into saving things like that, but since we already have a few shamu dolls we did discarded them after the kids were able to play with them during the two days of our trip.
The restaurant has a large outdoor eating area with many attractions to pique your kids' interest.
There are bird in cages all around that have exotic song birds.
There is also a pretend radio station playing with reggae/tropical music and references to the theme park.
From there we went to a large area where they had dolphins on display.. and my kids were literally about 8 feet from dolphins frolicing in the water and they enjoyed being fairly close to the active animals who were playing with balls
After that we did what is the highlight to most peoples trip to seaworld which is the Shamu Show. The show is now called believe.
they try to make the show inspirational with theme music etc..
Another sidenote: to get our kids interested in Shamu we did a google search and checked out the Shamu cam on the internet prior to heading south to San Diego.
About the new Shamu show, believe.
I probably prefer the old type of shows where you actually get facts about the animals and get introduced to the trainers.
in this show they tried to make it more of a choreographed number to music and with big video screens.
definitely not a classy upgrade because at the core of the show everyone is still just supposed to chant shamu shamu shamu.
After the shamu show (our kids did not last through the whole show but got the gist of it) we went to a touch tank where Logan tried to drink the water (very gross). We also took a professional group shot on a large fake shamu. Well, that's not quite true. Out of the 8 of us, it was Madison who didn't want to sit on Shamu so the 4 boys took a photo together on Shamu and the four girls took one but we stood next to shamu. Oh well, it still came out cute.
Another highlight of the day was the herb garden that was very educational and child friendly.
Our next stop after a snack was to see the manatees being fed. These enormous sea creatures were a delight to see.
Before we ended our day in the late afternoon at the park we did two things.
one: we visited an incredibly large play area located within the park. There is play equipment for all ages and it is literally like the size of a city block. I should mention that it has equipment for all ages and even seperate areas for different ages. A kid from 1 year all the way to 13 would have a good time here. Madison and Logan loved it and it was agreat way to get them out of the stroller and l;et them burn off energy. One of the areas had water running through different parts which I could se being very refreshing on hot summer days.
The second thing we did prior to heading out was check out the famous budweiser
clyesdales that they keep on site. These horses are gorgeous and the pure size and grace is an amazing site for adults and kids.
We had dinner at a restaurant called the blue pearl on site at our hotel... it was quite poorly run and the waiter was actually sweating bc the place was so disorganized.
The food was fine though after we sent some of it back for reworking.
They also had a very nice saltwater aquarium at the entrance.