SeaWorld San Diego Guide

I’ve been visiting SeaWorld San Diego since I was a child and it’s still fun to go now as a mom. This theme park does the best job of catering to kids of all ages from toddlers to teens because you can see Elmo, but also ride multiple high-speed roller coasters (that I can see from my backyard over Mission Bay).

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Top Reasons to Visit

  • SeaWorld San Diego is one of our parks that has fun for the whole family, between rides for toddlers and hairy roller coasters for teens.
  • It’s independently accredited, reviewed, audited, and certified by premier zoological and animal welfare organizations.
  • SeaWorld is one of the largest marine animal rescue organizations in the world. They are who we call when our La Jolla sea lions and seals are in danger.
  • You can upgrade your day from shorter line waits to behind-the-scenes tours that include up-close animal encounters.
  • Season Passes and Fun Cards make two visits or more per year cost-effective.

Must-See Highlights

  • Rescue Jr. toddler area with tame rides and climbing structure.
  • Explorers Reef touch pools with reef sharks and more overseen by Animal Ambassadors.
  • Sea Lion Point where you can buy fish to feed to these chatty residents.
  • Multiple roller coasters — Electric Eel is a favorite among teens.
  • Journey to Atlantis water ride.
  • Sea Lion and Otter Spotlight show that is funny and educational.
Craft Beer, Fried Green Tomato, Brisket, Bratwurst Sliders that will be served at SeaWorld San Diego Zoo Days.

SeaWorld San Diego Dining

Honestly, outside of the Seven Seas Food Festival and special events like the winter holiday season (where the food is great), dining is just okay at this theme park. Lines can be long at the counter-service restaurants, so plan your meals before you are starving.

You’ll find plenty of fun food like ice cream and cotton candy. Starbucks drinks like Frappucinos and lattes are made to order at Coral Market. BBQ from Calypso Bay Smokehouse is one of the most popular meal items. Healthier grab-and-go snacks await at Discoveries Fresh Market. Find tacos and bowls at the new Hibiscus Tacos.

Plenty of adult beverages from carts and restaurants can be found across the theme park. And did you know that you can add All-Day Dining to your ticket?

Get All-Day Dining
It’s on Mission Bay


  • 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
Pay to Park


  • VIP Parking: $70
  • Up-Close Parking: $50
  • General Parking: $30
Hours Vary by Season


SeaWorld San Diego usually opens at 10 a.m., but park hours can range from closing at 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

SeaWorld San Diego Map and Directions


  • Our MTS bus stops at SeaWorld San Diego. You can check their trip planner for possible routes.

SeaWorld San Diego DIRECTIONS

  • From I-5 South (Orange County, Carlsbad, La Jolla): Get off on SeaWorld Drive/Tecolote Road (exit 21). Use the right two lanes to turn slightly right onto Oceangate Way. You’ll see the parking lot.
  • From I-5 North (Chula Vista, Coronado, Mexico): Get off on SeaWorld Drive/Tecolote Road (exit 21). Use the right two lanes to turn slightly right onto Oceangate Way. You’ll see the parking lot.

Dropping off kids and not staying? No problem. I do it all the time. The parking lot attendant will let you enter the lot and show you the drop-off point.

SeaWorld San Diego Guide