california lifestyle, travel & reviews

SeaWorld San Diego- Perfect for the Whole Family!

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Recently my family and I had the privilege of visiting SeaWorld San Diego. Not only did we get to visit the park, but we had an amazing behind the scenes tour of the park’s most loved attractions, including the penguin exhibit and the animal rehabilitation area. Growing up in San Diego, SeaWorld has always been a favorite place to visit, but it wasn’t until I was older that I realized all the excellent work SeaWorld provides to sea life up and down the west coast and across the nation. From rescuing sea lions and seals stranded and in need of medical attention, to helping a whale out of an inlet toward deeper waters; SeaWorld is a valuable resource for us all.

What I love most is the educational factor SeaWorld brings to their parks. Not only do young minds get to witness firsthand the magnitude of these amazing animals, but they also get to learn about them. When a child encounters something personally, a spark is lit and a passion has begun. We met with trainer after trainer who spoke about knowing they wanted to work with sea life from an early age. That spark, that passion was developed with the help of SeaWorld. Looking at my own daughters and seeing their eyes light up at the sight of a Macaroni Penguin, or the special feeling of feeding a dolphin only solidifies my feelings of SeaWorld doing great work for animals, and for our future veterinarians, trainers and wild life experts, our children of today.

The spot we toured first was the animal rehabilitation center. We saw animals of different varieties in need of help and medical care. SeaWorld rescues an average of 300 to 400 animals per year on the west coast. Due to various reasons, the number climbed to over 1,000 rescues in 2015 on the west coast alone! During the 50 years SeaWorld San Diego has been rescuing animals, they have saved more than 17,000 animals and birds (and that number is nearly 30,000 companywide). AMAZING! SeaWorld has veterinarians and wildlife experts ready and waiting help treat and care for these animals, with an end goal of releasing them back into the wild when well.

 

Did you know SeaWorld …

Created nutritional formulas and nursing bottles to hand-feed orphaned animals.

Saved sea turtles with cracked shells using everyday items like honey and baby ointment.

Crafted prosthetic beaks for injured birds.

Developed an “animal wetsuit” to help injured manatees stay afloat.

Next, we toured a new attraction coming late May 2017 called Ocean Explorer. My kids can hardly wait to mingle and get up close and personal with a giant Pacific octopus, Japanese spider crabs, and check out the unique aquariums and digital technology! There will be three new family-friendly rides inspired by the sea; Submarine Quest, Tentacle Twirl and Little Explorer Rides.

 

We then headed over to the Penguin Encounter to get up close and personal with a macaroni penguin. We got to pet it and learn all about the feeding patterns, and about life of the penguins at SeaWorld San Diego. We even got a special treat of stepping into the frigid penguin exhibit during feeding time. So cool — literally 26 degrees! 😊 The keeper was so knowledgeable and showed that his passion was for those beautiful animals. You could see the love the penguins had for him too; talking and letting him hold them.  To book your own Penguin Up Close Tour, go to SeaWorld San Diego Exclusive Park Attractions.

Our day was action packed! Next up on the agenda was the dolphin encounter. We met up with a trainer and learned all about those magnificent, smart animals. Who would have thought we would have been able to feed, high five and make a dolphin talk, but we did! The Dolphin Encounter is not included in the normal ticket fee, but it’s well worth the $65 dollars. It was a once in a lifetime experience for sure! If you have an animal lover at home, it would make an excellent gift.

 

 

 

Last, but certainly not least was the Dine with Shamu experience. While dining on some amazing, sustainable seafood we watched in awe of these amazing Killer Whales right beside us. Trainers would come out periodically and talk about the whales, their lifestyle and habits, then do a little showing off. Needless to say, we got wet. 😊 We had lunch with a trainer who has been with SeaWorld San Diego for years. We talked about the whales, the good SeaWorld does around the world, and of their new attraction coming late May 2017 called the Orca Encounter.  This new exhibit will let visitors connect with the ocean’s most powerful predator by witnessing how they behave up close and personal through an infinity screen that brings the killer whales to life! You will learn about their hunting techniques and complex communication codes, plus get a closer look at the role of family and the importance of play within the Orca family.

 

 

 

This post was created in partnership with WomensForum and SeaWorld San Diego. Thank you to SeaWorld San Diego for hosting my family for the day! We received tickets into the park and all tours complimentary.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.