Sea World San Diego: Things To Do & Shows To See!

Planning a trip to San Diego Sea World? Read about the things that you should do, shows to see, including our favorite shows. I also included savings tips and how to make the most of your day at Sea World San Diego!
Sea World is still one of my favorite places to visit.

We recently returned to SeaWorld in San Diego with our boys. We haven’t been to the west coast SeaWorld since our twins were mere tots of 18-months. In-between now and then we have visited the SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida a few times. But the SeaWorld in sunny San Diego still holds a special place in our hearts because it was our first, and you know how nostalgia works.

Planning a trip to San Diego Sea World? Read about the things that you should do, shows to see, including our favorite shows. I also included savings tips and how to make the most of your day at Sea World San Diego!
Sea World is still one of my favorite places to visit.

Sea World San Diego: Things To Do & Shows To See!

We started our day off with a good breakfast at The Mission in San Diego. If you like good food (who doesn’t), then this is a wonderful spot to fill up at because you’re going to need plenty of fuel for a day at SeaWorld. I also recommend you pack a lunch and bring plenty of water if you can. To cut cost it is always best to bring along snacks and bottles of water because the kids will get hungry and thirsty while walking around in the SoCal sun all day.

Also, remember to factor in money for parking. we paid $16 for all-day parking. But check SeaWorld’s official website for current parking prices, and you know prices are subject to change without notice. {savings tip: You will pay a $1.00 less if you buy your parking pass online}

Let The Show Begin

We started with the shows because they adhere to a specific schedule, but remember they can fill up pretty quickly so make sure to get seats at least 15-30 minutes prior to show start time.

things to do at Sea World

The first show we took in was the Clyde & Seamore show, and let me tell you right now the guy who plays Biff killed it. He kept the audience entertained with his funny and unpredictable antics. He danced and shimmied his way around the floor, which kept us all laughing. I don’t know where they got him but they better keep him that’s for sure. What a talented actor!

Clyde at Sea World

Curtains up!

When show started it evolved into a series of skits based on a myriad of familiar television shows from CSI, Survivor and Dancing With the Stars and a few more. The kids loved it and there was lots of audience interaction too. The pinnipedes, I mean sea lions were awesome! I had no idea they are so trainable. Some of things the SeaWorld trainors taught them to do were just amazing. The two sea lions (Clyde and Seamore) in this show were both smart, cute and surprisingly quick on their flippers. And the otter OP was super cute as well. Our youngest Zayd’n could really relate to him. I think it has to do with OP being sneaky, aka “spy like”, something Zayd’n aspires to do very well.

Verdict: We highly recommend this show. You cannot go to Sea World and miss this show!

Educational tip: The Trainers provided educational information concerning injured and stranded  Sea Lions. I didn’t know this was such a common issue here in SoCal.

Dolphin Show

Who Doesn’t Like Dolphins?

Next ,we took in the Dolphin show and if you enjoy dolphins you will definitely like this show. We know dolphins are very intelligent and beautiful, but it is a whole other level when you witness them in person. Up close they look a lot bigger than they do on television. It was so cool watching then do all the tricks the trainers taught them and when they take to the air as they jump out of the water it is breathtaking. Yep, dolphins rock!

Trainer on Dolphin at Sea World Show

Verdict: Yes, definitely a must-do. The boys loved all of the dolphin tricks. Just keep in mind, if you plan to sit down front you will get wet!

Educational Tip: It was great to hear about all of the rescue programs Sea World has going on that involves rescuing dolphins and caring from them.

After the dolphins we headed over to the Pet Show. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show because it is the only show at SeaWorld which doesn’t include any aquatic mammals. This show centered mainly around dogs and cats, but it also included doves, parrots, a kangaroo, an emu, a couple of pot-bellied pigs, a gaggle of ducks and maybe a few other animals I am forgetting. It’s a good show, especially if you’re a dog or cat lover. I was amazed by the cats mainly because I didn’t know that they were so trainable.  The boys really liked this show.

ZZZBoys at The Clyde and Seymour Show

Verdict: Great show. If you’re short on time, this is one to skip. However, if you’re kids are into animals, then they will love this one.

Educational Tip: I loved that many of the animals in the show came from local shelters. It was a great reminder to the audience about vising their local shelter and giving homes to those adorable and abandoned animals.

Dad and Boys at Sea World

After three consecutive shows we took a short break and grabbed some lunch. I didn’t take my own advice and pack anything. Part of this poor planning happened due to our packing and heading back to LAX that night to head home the next morning.  However, I remembered the bread and Nutella packed in one of the bags, so the boys were able to have a few sandwiches. We also grabbed some sweets and Starbucks.

Savings tip: As with any theme park, eating in the park is going to be expensive. I highly recommend that you bring your own lunch, water bottles and snacks. It’s helpful to stop by the dollar store and pick up a portable fan that squirts out water. Or you can buy one HERE. If you buy it in the park you will pay twice the cost.

Shamu Show at Sea World

The Shamu show was our last show of the day. My husband and two of the boys sat in the splash zone and I and the other twin sat up in the bleachers. Now, there is a big difference between the Shamu shows presently from the shows just a few years ago. Nowadays the trainers do not get in the water with the Orcas and there is little interaction between trainers and the killer whales asides from them giving them cues and feeding them fish. But still these orcas are pretty graceful and amazing. And OMG these babies are BIG! When they come out of the water and make a splash water goes everywhere. Some people who sat in the splash zone got absolutely drenched! Some, even though they were warned looked so surprised when they realized they were wet from head to toe with salt water. My hubby and boys didn’t get it too bad but they still got wet.

I am thankful that my Mom took us to Sea World when we were kids. It was the coolest thing to see a killer whale hold a human being on its nose while speeding around the water. THAT was the show that I absolutely loved.

Verdict: The Shamu Show is always a must-see show. Just seeing a killer whale that close is a beautiful thing.

Twins at Sea World

We also took to the sky and enjoyed a fast ride on the Manta. Just remember all kids must be at least 48″ to ride on this mini-rollercoaster.  Zayd’n was so happy that he is tall enough to ride all of the rides now! The good thing about this ride is it isn’t too extreme, there are no loop-de-loops and at no point does it seem like your barreling out of control . This ride is perfect for anyone who doesn’t like a lot of jarring, plus it is over before you know it. We got in line for the Skytower ride but unfortunately due to mechanical issues it was being shutdown for maintenance. sad face.

The last ride we went on was the Wild Artic Ride . The premise here is your boarding a helicopter and flying over Artic terrain. If was okay but nothing to write home about. After the ride though you can walk through the rest of the Artic Exhibit and see Beluga whales, giant walruses and Polar bears.

Information at Sea World

If you’re planning a trip to sunny California and are looking for something to do with the kids this is definitely a must stop. It is fun, educational and exciting.

Worthey Family at Sea World

Savings Tip: If you live in or around the Sea World or planning to visit more than just one day, then it’s best to buy the fun card. Pay for one day and come back for the rest of the year! Find out more information about how that works HERE.

P.S. It was hard to narrow down pictures for this post. You can find more pictures and some videos from Sea World on my Instagram account. Come follow me and check out more of our #awortheytravel #awortheytrip in Southern California!

Be sure to visit Sea World’s website to find out more information on the animals, ticket prices and more!

How does Sea World work for kids on the spectrum and other kids with disabilities? Be sure to stay tuned for a follow-up post giving my tips on how to conquer Sea World with kids on the Autism Spectrum!

Is there other ways to save on Sea World tickets? Yes! Be sure to stay tuned for a follow-up post on A Mitten Full Of Savings on ways you can save on tickets!

Until then, let me know what you think about Sea World! If you have visited Sea World, what are some of your favorite rides or shows?


Love to travel? Looking for tips on what to do in  California? Be sure to check out the travel section of the blog!

A Worthey Read  will cover my travel adventures and will offer travel and destination tips!

You can also head over to A Mitten Full Of Savings where I cover lots of different ways to save on all kinds of things from shopping and travel advice to budget-friendly hotel ideas, and all kinds of other stuff as well.

Two blogs which cover all of your saving, shopping and travel needs.

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  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    May 11, 2015

    We were there a few years ago and my boys loved it. It was such a fun day.

  2. May 11, 2015

    I have always wanted to take my ocean loving boys to Sea World, but after learning about their training practices, I’m not so sure anymore. They are such beautiful animals, as your photos show.

  3. May 11, 2015

    We used to have SeaWorld here in Ohio, but it has been closed for many years. That is just the saddest thing! We went to the one in Orlando last May and had a blast! Thanks for sharing about the one in San Diego. If I ever get out there, I will be visiting!

  4. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to go to Sea World! I’ve never had the opportunity to so it’s nice getting to see these pictures and have you share your experiences with us. Thank you for this great post! 🙂

  5. Elizabeth O.
    May 12, 2015

    We’ve never been there. Your photos look very inviting. We’d love to go in the near future.

  6. May 12, 2015

    It sure would be fun to watch at Sea world. Dolphins and seals are like the entertainers in the animal kingdom. They are so smart.

  7. May 12, 2015

    That’s really budget friendly, my kids would love it. I’m so glad that you had a great experienced.

  8. May 12, 2015

    I have been to San Diego but never Sea World, I have that on a long list of things I still want to do.

  9. May 12, 2015

    We visited it few years ago. My son loved it and enjoyed the Shamu show. It was amazing

  10. May 12, 2015

    gorgeous photos this looks like so much fun

  11. May 12, 2015

    I have never been to a Sea World anywhere. It does seem like something I would probably enjoy doing.

  12. May 12, 2015

    We used to sing at Sea World every year and have great memories of seeing all of the attractions (and skipping school). 🙂

  13. CourtneyLynne
    May 12, 2015

    Sea world is seriously the best!!! I lived in Orlando for years and had an annual pass to the sea world there!

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