Photos: SeaWorld San Diego Reopens Indoor Exhibits and (Some) Rides as California Restrictions Loosen

Last week we here at Laughing Place published a news post with the headline “SeaWorld San Diego Will Reopen Rides and Roller Coasters on April 12,” which was based on a press release we received that did not specify which attractions would be open on that date, so we naturally assumed all (or at least most) of them. Since then we’ve also received promotional emails from SeaWorld San Diego claiming “RIDES AND ROLLERCOASTERS ARE NOW OPEN!” with no clarifications or qualifiers.

With that in mind, I booked a reservation at the park for Monday, April 12 using my SeaWorld San Diego Fun Pass with the intention of experiencing the reopened rides and reporting on the day via LP’s social media account and right here on the Laughing Place website. I’ll admit I should definitely have done more research at that point because clicking through a few links on the official SeaWorld site reveals that only a select number of attractions (most of which are kiddie rides) have actually reopened, while the remainder of the park’s roller coasters and water rides will not welcome back guests until a couple of weeks from now.

Upon arriving at SeaWorld San Diego yesterday morning, I excitedly headed toward the first roller coaster I wanted to ride (Manta) only to find the queue entrance blocked off by ropes and a sign explaining “Sorry, this location is temporarily closed.” Disappointed, I continued to walk around the rest of the park and found similar situations with the Shipwreck Rapids, Tidal Twister, Bayside Skyride, and Atlantis.

In fact, the only thrill ride operating in the park was the 2018 steel roller coaster Electric Eel, which around noon boasted a 30-minute wait of guests who met the height requirements.

As stated above, the kid-focused rides in the Ocean Explorer and Sesame Street Bay of Play themed areas were also running, and families excitedly lined up with their children to board these attractions.

But the absolute best part of my visit yesterday was finding that all the cool indoor animal exhibits have been reopened as well, including Shark Encounter, Turtle Reef, Penguin Encounter, and my personal favorite example Wild Arctic.

So while SeaWorld San Diego won’t have all of its attractions available for at least another week and a half or so, it was worth the visit to check out the rest of what the park has to offer. And I noticed on my way out that SeaWorld’s Memorial Day / Fourth of July merchandise has been put on display in the gift shops, which means the park is indeed preparing for an exciting summer.

SeaWorld San Diego is open daily in Southern California. For more information on the park and to purchase advance tickets, be sure to visit SeaWorld’s official website.