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SeaWorld San Diego – tickets, prices, timings, what to expect, shows & rides

SeaWorld San Diego is an aquatic theme park with many animal interactions, exciting shows, and some of the world’s most thrilling rides. 

This family-friendly attraction gets around five million visitors annually. 

This article shares everything you must know before booking your SeaWorld San Diego tickets. 

Top SeaWorld San Diego Tickets

# Regular San Diego SeaWorld tickets

What to expect

SeaWorld San Diego is known for its diverse marine life exhibits. Visitors can observe and learn about various sea creatures, including dolphins, sea lions, penguins, sharks, and more.

There are interactive touch pools where you can touch and feel certain marine animals under the supervision of park staff.

The theme park is famous for its entertaining and educational shows featuring marine animals.

SeaWorld offers a mix of rides and attractions suitable for different age groups. Some popular rides may include roller coasters, water rides, and themed attractions.

The park has various dining options, ranging from casual to more upscale restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines.

Gift shops are scattered throughout the park, where visitors can purchase souvenirs, apparel, and marine-themed merchandise.

Where to book tickets

Tickets for SeaWorld San Diego are available online and at the attraction box office.

Online ticket prices tend to be cheaper than tickets at the venue.

When you buy online, you can avoid the long queues at the attraction’s ticket counters.

Because the theme park sells limited tickets, they may sell out during peak days. Booking early helps avoid last-minute disappointments.

How do online tickets work

Once you purchase SeaWorld San Diego tickets, they get delivered to your email address.

There is no need to get printouts of the ticket.

You can show the e-ticket on your smartphone when you visit the attraction.

SeaWorld San Diego ticket prices

The San Diego SeaWorld’s regular ticket for all visitors above three years of age costs US$92 (Monday to Thursday).

Any day SeaWorld Single Day ticket for visitors above three years is priced at US$98.

Any day with a dining bundle, a SeaWorld Single Day ticket costs US$128 for all visitors above three years.

SeaWorld and Sesame Place 2 park tickets are priced at US$139 for 3+ visitors.

Infants up to two years do not require a ticket.

The Go San Diego Pass is another fantastic way to reduce ticket costs. The all-inclusive attraction pass offers free admission to the SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and 35 other attractions. 

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SeaWorld San Diego tickets

This popular skip-the-line SeaWorld San Diego ticket gets you access to all the animal exhibits, all the shows (except Rescue Tail), and all the rides.

You can meet creatures of the deep, like orcas, sea lions, dolphins, and more, via live interactive shows with their trainers.

Enjoy thrilling rollercoasters, flumes, sky-high gondolas, and more. There are loads of rides here for kids and adults.

Touch and feel the starfish, urchins, and other creatures in the touch pool, and learn about animal rehab.

The SeaWorld Rescue team has given over 30,000 animals a second lease on life!

Animal Encounters are paid activities and aren’t included with this ticket.

Ticket Prices

Regular Ticket(3+ years Monday to Thursday): US$92

Any Day Ticket (3+ years): US$98

Any Day – All Day Dine Bundle (3+ years): US$128

SeaWorld & Sesame Place Ticket (3+ years): US$139

Infants up to two years can get in for free.

SeaWorld San Diego `Eat Free’ tickets

The SeaWorld `Eat Free’ ticket is also known as the ‘Drink and Dine’ bundle and helps you reserve your food, brews, and cocktails at the attraction. 

Besides entry into SeaWorld, the ‘Eat Free’ tickets also include – 

For adults: Six food and drink items of your choice (including beer, wine, and cocktails)
For kids: Four kids food and drink items of your choice

Ticket price (3+ years): US$103

Kids below three years can enter for free. 

This ticket costs US$134 at the attraction’s entrance, and by booking it in advance, you save US$31 per person.

*On the ticket booking page, select ‘Eat Free Ticket’

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How to reach SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is a theme park in Mission Bay Park, San Diego.

Address: 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109, United States. Get Directions

It is 15 minutes northwest of downtown San Diego and San Diego International Airport (SAN).

You can reach the theme park by car or public transport.

By Train

San Diego Santa Fe depot is the most important transportation center in Downtown San Diego.

You can board the Pacific Surfliner train or the Coaster from San Diego Santa Fe to get to Old Town Center, the closest transit stop to SeaWorld San Diego. 

By Bus

You can board Bus No 8 or 9 to get to San Diego SeaWorld from just outside the bus stop (SeaWorld

SeaWorld is approximately 4-minutes walk from the theme park.

By Car

Turn on Google Maps and get started to reach the park.

SeaWorld San Diego has enough parking slots and offers three-car parking packages. 

General Parking costs US$32, and Up-Close Parking, where you can park your car in the first six rows near the park entrance, costs US$53.

For US$74, you can enjoy a reserved parking spot in the closest parking section near the park entrance.

You can decide which slot you prefer on the day of your visit. 

Parking for RVs and campers is US$40, and parking for motorcycles is US$20.

There are numerous parking garages around the theme park.

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SeaWorld San Diego hours

SeaWorld San Diego opens at 10 am every day of the year. 

From Monday to Thursday it closes at 7 pm and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday it remains open till 9 pm. 

The closing hours change; please check your ticket details before booking.

How long does the tour take

Most families spend six to seven hours at SeaWorld San Diego. Staying longer helps you see the shows, animal exhibits, encounters, and rides.

Best time to visit SeaWorld

The best time to visit SeaWorld San Diego is when they open at 10 am. 

Early in the day, the animals are fresh and active, and the crowd is yet to come in, resulting in shorter queues. 

If you purchase your tickets in advance, you don’t need to stand at the ticket counter and can start visiting the animals as soon as you arrive. 

Crowd at SeaWorld San Diego
There are only two ways to avoid the crowd at San Diego Seaworld – purchase your tickets in advance and arrive early. Image: Yathin S Krishnappa

The summer months and school holidays are the busiest at the San Diego attraction. 

However, during the crowded days, SeaWorld has extra shows and stays open longer. 

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SeaWorld San Diego animals

SeaWorld San Diego is home to about 13,000 animals, including mammals, fishes, birds, and reptiles.

You can explore these animals through interactive animal exhibits, animal attractions, and animal encounters.

Interactive animal exhibits 

There are three animal exhibits where you can touch the marine life forms. 

The regular Seaworld San Diego tickets get you access to all interactive exhibits.

Explorer’s Reef

Explorer’s Reef is just inside the park entrance and is the first opportunity to interact with sea life.

It is a series of touch pools where you can see and touch several reef shark species, horseshoe crabs, stingrays, etc.

Feel free to ask for insights from the Animal Care Ambassadors nearby. 

Bat Ray Shallows

Kids can interact with touch-friendly bat rays at Bat Ray Shallows.

Visitors can also go downstairs (beneath the touch pool) for an underground aquarium with white sturgeons and shovelnose guitarfish.

Sea Lion Point

At the Sea Lion Point of SeaWorld, kids and adults can feed and enjoy the antics of seals and sea lions. 

Sea Lions Live at SeaWorld, San Diego
Image: Seaworld.com

These animals are always active, so expect a crowd. 

Animal Attractions

Like the interactive animal displays, access to the animal attractions is also included with the regular SeaWorld ticket

Attractions are animal exhibits that visitors can see and enjoy, but they can’t interact with them. 

The most popular animal attractions are – Dolphin Point, Orca Underwater, 

Bat Rays, Flamingos, Sea Lion Point, Otter Outlook, Moray Eels, Magellanic Penguins, Macaws, Sea Turtles, Sloths, Sting Rays, Tide Pools, etc. 

Animal Encounters

SeaWorld San Diego has four animal encounters – with Dolphins, Sloths, Flamingoes, and Sea Otters.

All encounters are paid activities; all participants under 18 need a paying parent or guardian present. 

Dolphin Encounter

Dolphin encounter at San Diego

This 15-minute tour is an exclusive trainer-guided, poolside opportunity to meet, feed, and learn to communicate with Bottlenose Dolphins.

Image: Seaworld.com

For this encounter at Dolphin Point, a paid parent or guardian must accompany participants under 122 cm (48 inches) tall.

For a group of up to six members, the encounter costs US$79, and you must reserve in advance. 

Sloth Encounter

Sloth Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego

During the Sloth Encounter, you go behind the scenes at Dolphin Amphitheater for an up-close experience with a two-toed sloth.

Image: Seaworld.com

A #Slothie (Sloth selfie) is one of the highlights of the 15-20 minute session.

Participants must be at least six years old (and accompanied by a paid adult participant) if they are below 18.

The Sloth Encounter costs US$89 for one person, and reservation is a must.

Flamingo Encounter

Flamingo Encounter at San Diego Seaworld

Flamingo Encounter is a 20-minute session inside the Flamingo’s habitat, where an Aviculturist shares unique facts about the birds.

Image: Seaworld.com

It costs US$24 for one person, and reservation in advance is mandatory. 

Sea Otter Encounter

Sea Otter Encounter at San Diego

The Sea Otter Encounter is a 30-minute session where you will feed the Sea Otter and learn about the fascinating animal. 

Image: Seaworld.com

This session with the curious and playful sea otters happens at the ‘Otter Outlook’, you must reserve it in advance. 

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SeaWorld San Diego shows

Five shows at SeaWorld San Diego Sea Lions Live, Dolphin Days, Orca Encounter, Magellanic Penguin, and Sesame Street Meet‑and‑Greets are free for all ticketholders. 

The sixth show, Rescue Tails, is paid. 

Tip: Ask for the day’s show schedule and times at the attraction’s entrance. It will come in handy to plan your day’s itinerary. 

Sea Lions Live

The Sea Lions Live is a free show at the Sea Lion Amphitheater. 

Visitors join Sea Lions Clyde, Seamore, and their buddy O.P. Otter for some splashy action.

This San Diego SeaWorld show is funny and educational and a favorite among most families. 

Dolphin Days

During this show, visitors see the SeaWorld aquarium’s family of Bottlenose Dolphins and their incredible athleticism.

This free show happens at the Dolphin Amphitheatre. 

If you sit close to the Dolphins, be ready for some splashing.

Orca Encounter

This show is a fantastic opportunity to meet Orca, the ocean’s most powerful predator.

Spectators learn about orcas’ masterful hunting techniques and complex communication codes. 

This free show at the Orca Encounter venue can get very splashy. 

Sesame Street Meet‑and‑Greets

The Sesame Street Meet and Greet at SeaWorld San Diego is highly popular with younger kids.

During this free activity, kids and adults meet their favorite Sesame Street characters, such as Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Zoe, Rosita, Telly, Bert, and Ernie. 

Magellanic Penguin show

Visitors get to see the keepers feed the penguins during this free show at the outdoor Magellanic penguin exhibit.

The keepers also tell stories and answer questions about the penguins. 

Ask for the park schedule to know the feeding times.

Rescue Tails

Visitors learn about SeaWorld’s commitment to animal care and rescue at the Rescue Tails show at Nautilus Amphitheater. 

Visitors meet many of the park’s rescued animals, such as birds of prey, primates, and reptiles, and learn about their unique stories.

Besides meeting the animals, you also get to take photos of the fantastic animals. 

Entry to this show is paid and costs $14.99 per person. 

Reserved Seating at shows

Visitors who prefer front-row action at the SeaWorld San Diego shows can reserve seats.

Unlimited single-day reserved seating at all participating shows costs US$30 per person. 

Reserved seating upgrades guarantee front-row action at Orca Encounter, Dolphin Amphitheater, and Sea Lion & Otter Amphitheater.

It won’t be valid at Cirque Electrique, Nautilus Amphitheater, or Mission Bay Theater shows. 

Seating is reserved only until the show starts, after which unused seats are opened for general seating.

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SeaWorld San Diego rides

Most visitors check out the animals, attend shows, and then head out to SeaWorld San Diego’s rides for their adrenalin rush. 

SeaWorld has five high thrill rides, four of which are roller coasters. 

Manta Seaworld ride
Manta ride at SeaWorld San Diego. Image: Undercovertourist.com

Emperor, the fifth roller coaster of the attraction, is now open. 

SeaWorld also has two water rides and nine rides for smaller kids.

Some of SeaWorld San Diego’s most popular rides are Electric Eel, Journey to Atlantis, Manta, Tidal Twister, etc.  

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SeaWorld San Diego map

Spread over nearly 200 acres in Mission Bay, SeaWorld San Diego is a significantly large tourist attraction. 

Carrying a map and being aware of the location of the exhibits helps save time and energy.  

Besides the animal enclosures, a map helps you identify rides and visitor services such as restaurants, restrooms, souvenir shops, etc.

San Diego SeaWorld’s layout is even more necessary for visiting with kids.

The SeaWorld app for Android and iPhone has an interactive map to help you find your way during your visit.

FAQs about the SeaWorld San Diego

Here are some frequently asked questions about the SeaWorld San Diego:

How can I purchase tickets for SeaWorld San Diego?

Tickets can be purchased online, or you can buy them at the park’s entrance. Online purchases often come with discounts, and it’s a convenient way to skip the ticket line.

Can I bring outside food and drinks into SeaWorld San Diego?

No outside food, drinks, or coolers can be brought into SeaWorld San Diego, except you may bring a water bottle. Exceptions may be made for Guests with special dietary needs, including food allergies and baby food/formula. You may contact Park Security or Guest Relations when you arrive at the Park for approval to bring in special dietary foods.

Are strollers and wheelchairs available for rent at the park?

Both strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent at SeaWorld San Diego. Rentals can be made at the park entrance.

Wheelchairs and strollers are also available to rent online.

What types of marine animals can be found at SeaWorld San Diego?

SeaWorld San Diego is home to many marine animals, including dolphins, killer whales (orcas), sea lions, penguins, sharks, and many more. The park is dedicated to the conservation and welfare of these animals.

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Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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