Published on June 19th, 2014 | by gareth0
Recently we travel to San Diego in order to take a much-needed vacation. Since we were scheduled to board a cruise ship the following day, we opted to spend our only day in town at Sea World so we could take in the newly redesigned entryway and enjoy an afternoon at the park with family. Since we literally drove straight to the park from our home, we arrived just as the park was opening. As anyone knows waiting for members of your party to arrive can be a bit tricky as your excitement often makes being patient difficult. Thankfully the park has a newly designed entry plaza that allows for plenty waiting room and benches, along with easy access to ticket windows, restrooms, and other amenities while taking in the new look which has a very impressive coral reef theme.
Being able to go through and obtain a map prior to entering the park was very nice because our family members arrived a few minutes later and this allowed us to have a good plan of action for the day.
Upon entering the park, we took in the new encounter pools which were huge hit with the younger members of our group as they were able to touch various marine creatures with two fingers while they observe and interact in their habitat. Not only was this an extremely fun attraction the one that they return to time and time again throughout the day and upon our departure from the park, we even had to accommodate request for further time.
The weather was extremely enjoyable especially after escaping the early stages of the Arizona summer, and after a visit to observe Shamu and his friends in their pool, we made our way over to Shipwreck Rapids which was just beginning to open for the day. Very impressive water attraction always brings shrieks of delight and surprise from all those who ride as with the ever present waterfall it’s pretty much impossible to avoid getting wet. I usually bring a windbreaker and a hood when I ride but this time out they did not make the trip. Fortunately for later rides, my wife did pack ponchos which are also available in the park at work exceptionally well especially on Journey to Atlantis.
Upon completion of our ride, we observed the sea turtles going from sand to water, and made our way over to Manta, for an enjoyable time zipping along the tracks in this thrilling coaster attraction. Younger members of our group were more than content to take in the Rays in their exhibit and after logging in a few rides, it was time to take in something to eat. The park still offers a very good deal on the dining plans that for just over $30 a person allow unlimited dining options at various locales throughout the park including the always impressive Calypso’s BBQ. Since we rescheduled for a family dinner that evening we did not use the pass however we did make sure to dine at Calypso’s and enjoyed the wonderful barbecue while other members the family went to the pizza route.
Since we were up late and traveled on just a few hours rest, the request to spend some time in the children’s area was an opportunity for us to take a welcome respite and enjoy watching our nieces and nephews interact with Sesame Street characters as well as the rides and other attractions in the youth play area.
It was a lot of fun and I decided to get in on the action and climbed the netting and rope tower not only to interact with them but to prove to myself that I could still manage an obstacle course despite being out of the military for a couple of decades.
We then made our way through the Shark and Turtle Reef attractions as well as the always popular Journey to Atlantis. I had wanted to take in Wild Arctic and the penguin exhibit on this trip however time was getting away from us and with an early-morning cruise check-in looming; we opted to put that off until our next visit. We did however take the time to go to the animal enclosures ranging from Flamingos to the Orcas before doing another visit to the interactive tanks near the entryway.
As before I have nothing but great things to say about our experience at the park. The shows are always entertaining and informative and the attractions are always fun and thrilling. The lines were not a problem during our visit as only time we had any real weight was for a later ride on Shipwreck Rapids when the sun was out and guest were looking for a way to cool off.
There has been a lot of unfair and inaccurate information regarding the park and its policies circulating in the media in the past year. I highly suggest that you take the time to do the research and experiences part for yourself as the amount of good work they do in the field of conservation and education is often unrecognized by those who are quick to jump to conclusions and cast disparaging marks without all the facts.
Sea World offers a very fun and entertaining as well as informative destination for people of all ages and is an ideal family locale as it offers something for everyone ranging from thrill rides to fantastic attractions and shows. I highly suggest that you check it out during your next visit to San Diego and make sure to check out their new water park Aquatica as we look forward to covering it on a future visit.