Sunday, July 08, 2012

Two From SeaWorld

SeaWorld in San Diego is still going strong after 48 years of operation. It's the original! You can still visit other "SeaWorlds" in Orlando, San Antonio, and Dubai (!) - one in Ohio closed back in 2001. But for me, there is only one. Because I don't get out much. Here's a picture of the original entrance, with the "tiki-moderne" (my term) building. 

If you like leaping sea mammals, than this is the place for you. Dolphins, porpoises, seals, and of course, lovable Killer Whales. They're like pandas that live in the ocean. Here's "Shamu" (I assume). You may remember him (her?) from "The Shamu Prime-time Comedy Hour" back in the 70's. It was clobbered in the ratings by "The Flip Wilson Show", but is still legendary for its cutting edge political humor combined with biting (get it?) social commentary. Shamu really told it like it was, man.

I wish I could find a photo showing what the view below looks like today. Something tells me that the acres of empty land are not so empty any more.


K. Martinez said...

I visited Sea World San Diego only once as a small child during it's opening year in 1964. I have vague memories of my mom buying a pearl at a pearl diver exhibit and an underweater theater mermaid show. The rest I don't remember.

I always wanted to return, but haven't to this day.

TokyoMagic! said...

I've never been to Sea World, but I'm assuming that cool entrance no longer exists? I wonder if they eventually expanded the park onto that undeveloped property?

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I last visited SW in the late 1980's, and had a "just OK" time. I probably wished I was at Disneyland!

TokyoMagic!, I am pretty sure that the entrance has changed. Sure, I could do research, but that would involve effort! Also, I should look at Google maps for a satellite image of Sea World, and see if I can figure out where that Shamu stadium is (if it is even still there).

Hrundi V. Bakshi said...

I think you can just make out the overpass in the background of your photo in the upper left of the link above

Melissa said...

Love the entrance. The pitch and angle of the roof suggest the front half of a dolphin leaping out of the water.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks Hrundi! Man, if that is the same general angle, things have really changed! That Atlantis ride looks pretty fun, by the way.

Melissa, it looks more like a porpoise to me!

Nancy said...

made several visits to Sea World in Aurora, Ohio, over the years, which is only about 3 hours from here.

I miss it a lot :(

Rosie said...

I remember the tanks with the mermaids and the underwater show where we sat on metal benches to watch. Also the VERY cool Tiki Restaurant with hawaiian music and pineapples. As a child, I felt it must be exactly like being in the islands. As a teenager, we used to sneak in after closing and slap the water at the whale and dolphin tanks and, sure enough, up they'd come and let us PET them! CRAZY! Where was my MOTHER!?

Rosie said...

If you look in the top lefthand corner you can see the very tall bldg that was just 3 blocks from my home!

Douglas McEwan said...

Count me among those who have never been to Sea World. I've lived in So Cal for over 6 decades, been to Disneyland times beyond counting, been to the San Diego Zoo a few times, often visited such long-gone attractions as Pacific Ocean Park, Santa's Village and Lion Country Safari. Spent my childhood living 3 miles from Marineland and went there many, many times, yet have never visited Sea world. Is it fun? Should I go?

drew said...

That entrance really is the last sort fo thing I would have expected to be at the park. It has been years since I have been to SeaWorld San Diego, but I have been to SeaWorld Orlando a few time recently.

Just a note, SeaWorld Dubai was announced but never actually opened. It was supposed to be built on a man made island shaped like a whale along with an Aquatica water park, a Busch Gardens park and a Discovery Cove boutique park.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, I had (might still have) some slides of the Ohio Sea World. If I can find them, I'll post 'em for you.

Rosie, they had mermaids at Sea World? I never knew. Very cool that you got to pet the whales and dolphins!! Since you are so close to the park still, do you know if that vacant land in photo #2 is all developed?

Doug, my last visit to Sea World was underwhelming, but perhaps it has changed and improved; it's been a long time! I'll have to let some more knowledgeable person chime in and say whether it is worth going to these days.

drew, thanks for the correction on SeaWorld Dubai. I could have sworn that Wikipedia mentioned it as if it was an open/operating park. But I sometimes write these things in a hurry, and I might have just screwed up. Yep, that's probably it!

Rick West said...

SeaWorld is a park that I have been going to since I was about three. It is now a Merlin park, and like their other properties, it is immaculate throughout - perhaps even more so than Disney parks.

The entrance has of course, changed over time, and I believe the image above shows what is now the updated dolphin stadium that currently features the Blue Horizons show (not particularly great). The area that is in the background is where Wild Arctic and Penguin Encounter now reside.

SeaWorld CAN be a day-long park, but we never stay more than a few hours. It is not a "theme park" nor is it strictly a sea life park; it has components of both, the newest being the family coaster Manta, which is kind of like "Cheetah Hunt Lite" for those Busch Gardens Tampa fans reading.

If you've never been, I definitely recommend it. Make a day of it with the evening belonging to seeing perhaps the old Mission Beach Boardwalk area nearby and taking a spin on the classic wooden coaster there.

Take sunscreen - one thing we really dislike is that the shows/stadiums at SeaWorld San Diego have NO SHADE and when it's summer or warm spring days - it's a special type of torture.

SeaWorld is absolutely something to been experienced, however. It's beautiful and educational as well.

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the input Rick! I know that my niece really wants to go to Sea World... in fact she would rather go there than "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter", and she loves Harry Potter! Maybe we'll have to take her to San Diego finally.