Disclosure: I partnered with WomensForum and SeaWorld for this post, however all opinions are my own.

One of the best things about living in San Diego is having all these world class theme parks practically in our backyard! And many visitors have come to know SeaWorld as one of the greatest of them all, but what many of them don’t realize is how much work and commitment it takes from the staff in order to create such an unforgettable experience. A few weeks back, my family and I got to take full advantage of our location when we were invited to visit SeaWorld San Diego. Read on to learn more about the park’s behind the scenes operations along with its many amenities as well as a few other great reasons why you should visit this great place sooner rather than later.

Hands On Exhibits

In addition to the expected rides and shows, SeaWorld offers a variety of Hands On Exhibits. The Explorer’s Reef was one of my children’s favorites. This exhibit greets you as soon as you enter the park, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the day by letting you get to know smaller marine animals (the ones who typically inhabit coral reefs and shores). Our kids were a little hesitant at first, but they caught on pretty quickly, running from each area of the exhibit to the next, touching the animals and gaining a better understanding of their habitat. Plus listening to the friendly staff share facts about each animal made the visit much more engaging.

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Another exhibit we loved was the Shark Encounter. Having visited this exhibit many times as a child myself, I have to say that it’s much more meaningful as an adult! We were educated with plenty of fun facts about these creatures and learned things that we tend to overlook; for instance, reef sharks have a longer upper tail and a shorter bottom tail, meaning their tails don’t move as fast. On the other hand, there’s the great white shark which has a proportionally shorter tail, which in turn makes them swim faster than other types of sharks (and their prey!). Sharks also have three different types of teeth; the first is fork teeth, second is knife teeth and lastly they have can opener teeth which sharks use when they eat turtles, because of their hard shell.

Shark EncounterWe then headed over to the Penguin Encounter to get up close and personal with a macaroni penguin. We got to pet it and learn all about their feeding patterns and how penguins live in general. To top things off, we got the special treat of stepping into the penguin exhibit during feeding time. That’s something I can mark off in my books—it was literally 26 degrees! We all put on our jackets and headed into the exhibit to get a first look at what life is like for these penguins. The keeper was so knowledgeable and her passion for these beautiful animals was obvious. You could see the love the penguins had for her too.  To book your own Penguin Up Close Tour, head over to SeaWorld San Diego – Exclusive Park Attractions.penguins seaworld san diego 1

Seaworld Rescue Rehabilitation Center

During our visit to SeaWorld, we got to go behind the scenes and see day to day operations take place. Our day began by meeting our guide, Dave, who started things off by taking us over to preview the Animal Rescue Center, state of the art labs as well as the veterinary hospital.  We experienced how the park carefully treated and tenderly handled the many animals that are brought in daily needing nourishment, medical treatment and help with their general survival.

We witnessed many different kinds of animals in need of help and medical care. One awesome thing that we learned during our visit was how SeaWorld rescues an average of 300 to 400 animals per year on the West Coast alone!

SeaWorld San Diego has saved more than 17,000 animals and birds during the 50 years they’ve been rescuing animals, with the number only continuing to increase. It’s really amazing to know the staff are hard at work  24/7, ready and willing to care for these animals. In fact, SeaWorld has veterinarians and wildlife experts ready and waiting to help treat and care for any animal in need of a rescue, with an end goal of releasing them back into the wild after they are well enough. The staff are in demand 24 hours a day with the call line open in order to take in rescue missions.SeaLion 1

One of the coolest things we learned is SeaWorld’s policy to never turn away any animal that is brought in for help needing aid. This is one of the many reasons why I love SeaWorld; the organization is constantly helping animals in need! Once the animals are treated and deemed safe to return to the ocean, they are released locally. We walked through the hospital and were able to greet the various marine patients in their living quarters.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We had a really great visit to SeaWorld. Not only did we have fun, but we learned so much, and entertaining education is always the best! Our kids were so exhausted from all the fun that we left the park in the early evening, even though closing hours are not until 9pm. The main thing was that we left happy and with some amazing memories. We highly recommend SeaWorld San Diego for your next family trip!  I hope this post was helpful and helps you understand SeaWorld and their mission even better!

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