“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.” - Baba Dioum
I can't recall the first time my parents took me to SeaWorld, but I do know that it sparked a lifetime of love for orcas, dolphins, belugas and pilot whales deep within me. From the moment I was able to pet a dolphin, watch a killer whale, come face to face with these incredible creatures I was hooked. I felt a instant connection with them and have ever since. I continue to bring my family to this water park because all of the good they have done and continue to do. From rescuing thousands of hurt and endangered animals to educating millions of guests about the conservation and care of these majestic creatures.
It's been awhile since we last went to SeaWorld in San Diego. We heard about the newest attraction opening at SeaWorld and we really wanted to check it out. Kaia doesn't even remember visiting SeaWorld when she was younger, so we thought this would be a great time and a great age for her. She is REALLY into science, fish, whales, dolphins, oceanography, and all things under the sea. With SeaWorld celebrating 50 years, we knew we'd be in for a Sea of Surprises!
The night before our trip, my daughter got the idea to design her own shirt. So we got out the white Hanes t-shirt, and the fabric markers and started to color. To be honest, I was reluctant at first, but once we started to color together, it was actually kind of fun.
We walked in and were pleasantly surprised with the beautiful new Explorer's Reef. It's the coolest under water petting zoo (of sorts) where kids and adults alike can get even closer to animals. Judging by the excitement of the guests and the crowds it will be one of the most popular attractions at the park. Make sure to catch it at night time too. It feels like a whole other experience at night, the ponds change colors, the magical music is playing - it's very neat. My family spent easily an hour when we were there in the morning, and another hour when we were leaving at Explorer's Reef. It was great for the kids to be able to interact with animals and get involved with wildlife within moments after entering the front gates.
Cleaner Fish - These fish nibble plant and animal matter off of solid matter like rocks (and hands!) These guys are the highlight of the exhibit, because they nibble at your hands and it really tickles. Everyone LOVED this feature! It was the hit of the day.
White-Spotted Bamboo Shark - These sharks can "walk" along the bottom with their pectoral fins.
Brown-Banded Bamboo Shark - Young bamboo sharks dwell in very shallow water, even in tide pools. They also had a pool with rays, and even horseshoe crabs.
Another thing we suggest is the All-Day Dining Deal. We bought these for our family and because we have teenagers who can EAT, this works out really well. You buy a dining pass, that allows you an all you can eat at 4 of the restaurants as much as you want. We just paid the money when we arrived at guest services, (you may be able to get a discount of you order ahead of time online) and put on the wristbands for the rest of the day. We may or may not have let our kids have an extra dessert that day.
Some of the shows we caught throughout the day were One Ocean, Blue Horizons and Pets Rule! They were great and also gave us a nice break from walking. We recharged during the shows, while we sat and watched in amazement the glorious animals. We finished up our day at Sesame Street Bay of Play, perfect for the younger crowd. Our youngest rode rides, ran around, jumped, climbed, bounced, played in the sand, and used up all of the last of her energy at the end of this very big day of fun!
Here's what Kaia (6 years old) had to say about her day at SeaWorld, "I really liked to touch the fish. The cleaner fish felt funny and made me laugh, but they only come to you if you are very still. I liked the dog and cat show. (Pets Rule!) My favorite part of the day was going to look at all of the animals."
Happy 50th Birthday SeaWorld!
*Disclaimer: I was not paid, nor compensated in any way for this post. I received free tickets for my family as part of the media preview. These opinions are 100% mine and 100% fresh*