We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sea World and Zoo tips

Minnesota
Level Contributor
167 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
Sea World and Zoo tips

We're going to go to Sea World and the Zoo during our family vacation in July. I'm trying to figure out in advance if there are any tips as to how to plan the day at each place.

Also, we are going to do Sea World, the Zoo and the beach one day. Our kids are 8 and 5 and I thought we would stagger Sea World and the Zoo on either side of a beach day. Any suggestions as to which is better for a weekday vs. the weekend as far as crows and lines are concerned?

Thanks!

Level Contributor
36,648 posts
907 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

Go on a week day if possible to SeaWorld. Try to schedule your day to see all of the shows, the Clyde and Seymour show is halarious. We also loved the Journey To Atlantis ride. Get there early when it opens. Have fun! :)

Minnesota
Level Contributor
167 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

Has anyone tried the Quick Queue premiere at Sea World? If so, thoughts on whether it is helpful or worthwhile?

Minnesota
Level Contributor
167 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

Thanks SyrahGirl! A weekday and early was my thought as well for SeaWorld, but wanted to get the experience of someone who has been there before. Is it possible to see all the shows in a day?

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
126 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

For the Zoo, I would start with the guided bus tour, and then walk over to the skyfari, which will take you up to the polar bears, and then it's an easy walk downhill to see most of the animals. I did this with three kids in tow, on a hot summer day, and there were no complaints.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
28,864 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

in case you are also looking discounts, there are some good ones right now available for seaworld and some for the zoo,

mousesavers is a good resource for you as it will list current available discounts for you , here is their seaworld page

mousesavers.com/seaworldsd.html#admission.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
10,557 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

The zoo is best in the morning with regards to the animals. They are more active in the morning and in the warm afternoons of July many will be sleeping. So get to the zoo when it first opens in the morning. Don't forget the Children's Zoo, which is inside the zoo. After the zoo, you may want to just relax in Balboa Park. There is a miniature train ride just outside the zoo and a carousel. In the museums and gardens areas there are about 15 museums; they have admission charges, but all the gardens are free except the Japanese garden. The kids may enjoy simply splashing in the big fountain between the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and the Natural History Museum, or looking at the exotic orchids in the Botanical Building, or just relaxing in the shade somewhere and watching the world go by. There are many events at Balboa Park as well, and some of them such as organ concerts are free, see http://balbopark.org for more information.

In the summer season, Sea World stays open fairly late, until 10 or maybe 11 pm nightly. If it is a hot day and/or you don't like being in the sun all day, you might consider a late afternoon-to-evening visit. There is a short (5 minute) fireworks show every night of the summer at about 9:45 p.m. fired from a barge in the bay to the northeast of Sea World. On July 4th the fireworks show is much bigger and longer, and it might possibly be on July 2 and 3 this year as well. The disadvantage of going to Sea World in the evening is that some of the live shows may have already done their final shows of the day by then. You would have to study the show schedule carefully to decide which would be the best hours for you to be there.

Kids may enjoy the small, simple amusement park called Belmont Park which is in Mission Beach, west of Sea World. Admission and parking are free, you just pay for the rides and activities you want to do or buy wristbands. There is an historic wooden roller coaster, carnival rides, laser maze, mirror maze, indoor miniature golf under black lights, huge indoor pool, wave house with a generated wave you can try surfing on, shops and restaurants. It is also right next to the ocean at Mission Beach, though I don't think Mission Beach is San Diego's most scenic beach. The beaches along Coast Boulevard in La Jolla are much prettier.

In the summer season, you can pretty much expect crowds everywhere on all days, and the difference between weekdays and weekends is less pronounced than it is during the "off season" when weekends are decidedly more crowded than weekdays.

Level Contributor
36,648 posts
907 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

Yes, we saw all of the shows in one day, the Shamu show we saw twice we enjoyed it so much. Have fun! :)

Bethlehem...
Level Contributor
348 posts
120 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

I agree with dcrick's suggestions on the bus tour and then the sky ride at the zoo. We did that and it gave us the layout of the place so we didn't waste too much time figuring out where we wanted to go and where to spend most of our time.

We're from the East Coast, so we planned the zoo for our first full day in San Diego to take advantage of the time change. I would consider this when making up your schedule, because it was much easier to be up and out the door early on the first day then it would have been once we'd adjusted to the time difference. You'll be able to maximize your time there and the animals will be at their best.

SoCal
Level Contributor
5,660 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

You can get the show times for Seaworld online. Plan you shows out ahead of time and you can see all the shows in a day. You should arrive early for each show as the stadiums can fill on busy days. Shamu and the Sea Lions both have a day time show and a night show. Go to both, they are different and all 4 are very good.

For the zoo I agree on starting with the bus tour. It helps understand the layout of the zoo and see a good number of animals.

Minnesota
Level Contributor
167 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Sea World and Zoo tips

Thanks for all the great tips!! Has any tried the Quick Queue at Sea World? Supposedly you get reserved seating to the shows so you don't have to show up as early, but I am trying to decide if it is truly helpful and worth the cost.

IceGurlie: Great advice on the time change --- I had not thought of that but considering my kids have a strong internal clock that is a great suggestion.