SeaWorld San Diego

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SeaWorld San Diego

Spread over 189 tropically landscaped bay-front acres, SeaWorld is one of the world’s largest marine-life amusement parks. The majority of it's exhibits are walk-through marine environments like Shark Encounter, where guests walk through a 57-foot acrylic tube and come face to face with a variety of sharks that call the 280,000-gallon habitat home. Turtle Reef offers an incredible up-close encounter with the green sea turtle, while the moving sidewalk at Penguin Encounter whisks you through a colony of nearly 300 penguins. The park also wows with its adventure rides like Journey to Atlantis, with a heart-stopping 60-foot plunge, and Manta, a thrilling double-launch coaster. Younger children will enjoy the rides, climbing structures and splash pads at the Sesame Street Bay of Play.

SeaWorld is most famous for its large-arena entertainments, but this is an area in transition. A new orca experience debuted in the summer of 2017 that features a nature-inspired backdrop and demonstrates orca behaviors in the wild. This change is part of SeaWorld's efforts to refocus it's orca program toward education and conservation. Other live-entertainment shows feature dolphins, sea otters, and even household pets. Several upgraded animal encounters are available including the Dolphin Interaction Program, which gives guests the chance to interact with SeaWorld's bottlenose dolphins in the water. The hour-long program (20 minutes in the water), during which visitors can feed, touch, and give behavior signals, costs $215.

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