SeaWorld San Diego is the original park of this brand, and a standard setter that would later be copied by similar aquatic theme parks all over the world. It has grown from a tiny facility in the 1960s to one of the largest and busiest theme parks in the world, and was one of the first aquatic facilities anywhere to encorporate an environment for killer whales. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Diego.
The first SeaWorld park began as a plan by four college students for an underwater restaurant. Instead they opened a small marine life park in 1964. Hugely popular, the park expanded significantly in the 1970s. The park’s signature attraction, the killer whales, was added as early as 1965, and to this day is still the most popular exhibit and show. Since then it has expanded into over a dozen environments and shows as well as major sea-life themed attractions.
SeaWorld is first and foremost about the live marine animal shows. The main one with the killer whales features Shamu, the park’s mascot, and is seen by almost every visitor to the park. There are also shows featuring bottle nose dolphins and sea lions. Other exhibits include a wide variety of species from sea turtles to polar bears to walruses.
Sea World San Diego is located on a peninsula by Mission Bay, approximately five miles northwest of San Diego. It is open year round, with hours varying daily and seasonally. The cost of admission is $84.00. Web: http://seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-sandiego (official website).