Monday, May 3, 2010

Sea World

This past weekend was rather busy. On Sunday, I went to Sea World with a friend of friend who was visiting from China. I think I went once before, right when we moved to the US so I don't really remember it all that much. Overall, it was much smaller than I thought... definitely much smaller than Disneyland or Universal Studios but they charge almost as much for admissions ($50/person for one-day tickets after AAA discount).

We were there for only 5 hours but got to see most of the shows: Shamu, sea lions, and some pets thing (dogs and cats). There were also some aquariums and other exhibits but I wasn't too impressed. It feels like they're trying to do too much to justify their high admissions cost; their core competence seems to be training sea mammals to do tricks. "Real" aquariums (Long Beach, Monterey Bay) do a much better job at presenting sea creatures (I almost typed seafood), while amusement parks have better rides.

Anyway... here are some pictures:

There weren't that many people at the park. We got there at 12:40pm and was able to get decent seats for the 1pm Shamu show.


There were three killer whales in the show. I think they're all called Shamu.

I wonder how long it takes to train them to do these tricks for fish. Since most are born and raised in captivity, they'll probably starve if released back in the ocean.

Sea lion show

At the "arctic" display building, they installed a motion-base ride, kind of like Star Tours at Disneyland. In front of us there as a family with small children and a pregnant woman. I think the ride attendant was a bit nervous but I think the woman insisted that she wanted to go on the ride. In return, the park worker made the kid stand against the wall to measure his height with a clipboard.

Beluga whales. There were several in the tank. I think they cooled the water since it was freezing standing next to the tank.

Penguin feeding time

After a long day Saturday at the Korean concert then driving to San Diego and walking around Sea World for 5 hours, I wanted to nap too. :(

Hmm, I thought that Anheuser-Busch owned Sea World and that was why I only saw Budwiser beer for sale. However, it appears that Blackstone Group purchased Sea World from Busch last year. Maybe they signed exclusive beer rights as part of the deal.

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