SeaWorld – A Journey Through the Years

 

SeaWorld, one of San Diego’s premier adventure parks, is situated on 21 acres in Mission Bay Park, is located north of downtown San Diego. This marine zoological park first opened its gates in 1964.  It wasn’t until ten years later, as a child, I had the pleasure to walked through those gates for the very first time.

I do not remember much, except one thing: getting soaking wet from the Shamu show and wondering why in the world the water was so cold.

In college, I volunteered at San Diego State University, to help a research biologist input data from his Elephant seal study at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute(HSWRI). I loved every time I walked through those doors. I felt like I arrived, even if it was only volunteering.

My husband and I have lived in and around San Diego County for over 30 years, and we have enjoyed being SeaWorld annual pass members for at least 10 of those years. I love that my children not only had a blast on all the activities and rides, but they were also experiencing and learning many things regarding the marine ecosystem as a whole.

I would like to share with you few photos I have compiled over the years.

Hope you enjoy.

Whales and Dolphins

SeaWorld Gray Whale
.

In 1997, SeaWorld was rehabilitating JJ the Gray Whale who was found suffering off the coast of Marina del Rey, CA

Orca

One of our favorite places to go first is to see the Orcas.

1997
1997-Shamu Show
1997

Mama and baby.
Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.-Dolphin Encounter

Dolphin Encounter

For an additional fee, you can experience the dolphins up close with a trainer and can touch, feed and interact with them using hand signals – Dolphin Encounter.

There is also another program- Dolphin Interaction where you get to do all the above, but you also get to swim with dolphins! The only requirement for both activities is that you be at least ten years old and 48 inches tall. How exciting to be able to be in such close contact with these amazing creatures.

Sea Lions and Seals

A little insight on how to tell the difference between seals and sea lions.
California sea lions
Steller sea lion- notice the darker flippers compared to the body color.
Guadalupe fur seal- note the furry face
Steller sea lions
California sea lion.- I love how he is standing!
Fur Seal
Lance the Guadalupe Fur seal
California sea lions about to be fed.

Sharks

Megalodon
Sand tiger shark
These are called ‘claspers’-used by the males to attach themselves to the females to mate.
Inside look at the Shark Encounter.

Other Creatures

California Bat ray

Seeing the bat rays is always a top priority for us when visiting SeaWorld. There are certain times during the day where you have the opportunity to feed them.

By placing the food flat in your hand, they will come and snatch it up similar to what a horse does.  The feeling is unique.

Grouper

Grouper

A couple of interesting facts on Groupers include:

  • Some species can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh 1000lbs
  • All Yellowmouth groupers are born female.  As they grow larger, they can become males if needed. Not many make it long enough to turn into males; thus ensuring there is a significant population of egg-laying females.
  • They can camouflage themselves to blend into the environment.

Green Sea Turtle

Little extra info for you-You may find the Green Sea turtle swimming in the southern part of San Diego Bay; as well as offshore of the San Onofre Power Plant,  both due to warm water runoff.

Marlin
Polar Bear -Wild Arctic Exhibit
California Sea Urchin

Bayside Skyride

Our day is not complete without a going to the Bayside Skyride.  Come and join us!

Looking down at Mission Bay and Fiesta Island.
Looking back at where we started.

Heading back to the beginning.

Why We Love SeaWorld Annual Passes

The one thing I appreciate about the SeaWorld annual passes is they are only a tiny bit more than a one-day ticket. The flexibility is what we loved. We could make a day of it, or just a couple hours if we choose to. There was always something to see or do.

The children were consistently excited whenever we reached the park. Each had their favorite place to visit. The Clyde and Seamore’s sea lion show with Biff was their all time favorite! We had to go every time.

The Cirque de la Mer show was also a family favorite.

Cirque de la Mer stage.

Thank you so much for joining us on our many adventures at SeaWorld!  If you are interested in visiting anytime in the future, click here.  Please leave any questions or comments down below. I would love to hear what you like about SeaWorld and why.


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I have always had a deep-seated passion for the Ocean Environment which ultimately led me to receive a degree in Marine Biology. Living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have extensively explored the 70 miles of San Diego’s coastline, and I am here to share! Please use my website to your advantage and have a look around at all the wonders that the beaches of San Diego can offer you!

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