Last update: 5/18/08.
The Sea World Information Guide is not owned or operated by Sea World. Questions or requests sent to The SWIG will never be forwarded to nor answered by Sea World personnel. They are read by me, and I answer them to the best of my ability. I can usually point you to the proper information source if I cannot answer your question.
Note: This site is not my life. I check the site's inbox at least once a week, and sometimes more often, provided I have internet access (I travel a lot). Do not expect (or demand!) an immediate answer to your question; I will respond as soon as I am able.
Sea World of Ohio was sold in early 2001. It is now a water park with no animals. You can see more details here.
Try contacting Sea World at one of the addresses shown below. I don't know anything about how liberal they are with dispensing comps, but I strongly recommend that you make your request sound as professional as possible to increase your chance of it being granted.
Go ahead, I don't mind. It will be a terrific learning experience for you. I've read dozens of posts around the internet from people with big plans until they find out just how much work and how expensive it really is, then they disappear.
I stopped publishing Sea World park hours in 2003. Park hours can be found Sea World's website.
Sea World of California
1720 South Shores Road
San Diego, CA 92109-7995
Sea World of Florida
7007 SeaWorld Drive
Orlando, FL 32821
Sea World of Texas
10500 SeaWorld Drive
San Antonio, TX 78251
No, I cannot as I am not an official source of Sea World literature. Contact the park you wish to visit at the above address or telephone number.
You can purchase tickets in advance. The most convenient ways are to use Sea World's online order form, or charge your tickets by phone. Call the park you wish to vist at the number listed above.
I don't represent Sea World nor any other company related to them or the travel industry, so I don't have any coupon or discount offers. That being said, I know that Sea World has group discounts. They usually require a minimum of 15 people to get a discount, so if your group is smaller (I suspect it may be), you'll need to seek out alternatives.
Since I'm in California and don't get to the other parks very often, I don't know what specific types of discounts are available in their market. Two things I know for sure are that AAA members get a discount, and that there are tourist information magazines in hotels and restauants all over with Sea World discount coupons. Both will save you about $6 per ticket.
You might also check to see if a package is available through your hotel (usually at a very moderate savings) or find out if a multi-park ticket is available. For example in California you can buy a ticket that is good at Sea World, Universal Studios, Disneyland, and several other area attractions. It's a really good deal if you are in California specifically to go to theme parks. The ticket is only valid for a short period of time, so you will be pretty exhausted at the end of your trip.
The most expensive option is the Trainer for a Day program. For about $350, you spend a day shadowing a Sea World trainer. You are guaranteed several interactions with a variety of animals (I got to give signals to, feed, and touch killer whales!), plus some time in the water with a dolphin. It's a lot of fun, and in my opinion worth one month's car payment. Advance reservations are MANDATORY as they send you a package in the mail including forms that must be returned before your experience.
Sea World San Diego and San Antonio have a Dolphin Interaction Program (DIP for short). It lasts about 2 hours total, with 20 minutes of that time spent in the water with the dolphins. You do NOT get to swim with them; you are waist deep in the pool. You do get to touch them, feed them, and command them to perform behaviors. The cost for this program is around $135.
They used to have a DIP in Florida as well, but it appears that it is gone. That is because they opened up a brand new theme park called Discovery Cove right next door. Here, you actually DO get to swim with the dolphins (up to 30 minutes). It costs $229 for this experience, and you have to make reservations in advance. For more information visit the Discovery Cove website.
Sea World Ohio and Texas have Sea Lion Interaction Programs (SLIP). Texas also has a Beluga Whale Interaction Program (BLIP). As far as I have been able to learn, they are pretty similar to the DIP. Ohio also has a Falconers Interaction Program that looks pretty spiffy.
I don't have much information on the DIP on my site for two reasons: 1) I've not done it myself. 2) I'm not really a big fan of the program since they reworked it a few years ago.
You may wish to check the official SeaWorld site for more DIP, SLIP, or BLIP information.
This is my second most Frequently Asked Question next to "How can I swim with the dolphins?". Camp SeaWorld is an immersive experience with programs that last from one day to one week and are targeted to a variety of age groups. Newly added for those of us who are children at heart but haven't been a child for several decades is a program for adults (19+). Generally, the Camp programs include meals and a T-shirt. The programs typically include visits to the Animal Care area and may include the opportunity to feed and/or interact with a variety of animals including sharks and dolphins. Because the program details and costs are varied, a complete description is beyond the scope of this guide. Please contact Sea World San Antonio directly at (210) 523-3606 or (800) 700-7786 for more information regaring Camp SeaWorld or check the official SeaWorld site.
I can't give you any specific information at this time, but maybe I can give you enough to get you started. Information on field trips is available by phoning the park of interest at their main number and asking for the Education department. Identify yourself as an educator (only if you are!) and they'll send you a plethora of printed matter.
Sea World can help arrange an educational experience for your students. At a minimum, be sure to get a behind-the-scenes tour, which will teach all of you a little bit about what is needed to keep a marine park of this calibre running
From Lisa Parnell (Shesdopey@aol.com):
"A few years back my kids and I and several other scouts got involved in the Sea World overnighter it was a blast we spent the night in the shark encounter..I tell you it was an amazing experience...Although they still have these overnighters not many people know about it and are missing out on the wonderful experience...My son and I want to do it again...Please let others know about this amazing adventure and let them in on the action too. The overnighter sleepover includes dinner, educational films, games, admission to the park next day and alot of other things that I will leave up to guests to experience for themselves...Let them know I have done this and am very glad that I did and plan to do it again really soon."
Lisa says she is happy to chat with anyone who would like to ask her more questions about her experience.
The Sleepovers cost about $80 per person, a little less off season. For the most part, adults are only allowed as chaperones (which means I can't do my Wild Arctic Sleepover).
For $2500, you and 24 of your friends can have a private sleepover. This, obviously, must be scheduled in advance. (Maybe I can do the WA Sleepover!).
Note: The prices listed above are for the San Diego park. I suspect that the other parks will be in a similar price range. Phone the park of interest for more information.
I don't know if Sea World accepts volunteers, but they do have a lot of job openings all year round. For specific listings, check out their employment website.
Also, see the next question.
Obviously, you're going to need to be enrolled in a science program, either Marine Science or Marine Biology. Marine Science, while a fair amount of work to get through, will not adequately prepare you for a career working with animals. Most Marine Science majors end up on oceanographic missions such as charting marine weather patterns, currents, tides, etc. Marine Biology would be best for those wishing to work as a trainer or with animals in general. In addition to learning about the marine environment and its inhabitants, expect to take a lot of math classes, as well as Physics and Chemistry.
The requirements to be a Sea World trainer include a friendly, outgoing personality, the ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds, SCUBA certification, and STRONG swimming skills.
In general, you will not hire in as a trainer. When a position opens on the training staff, Sea World prefers to promote or transfer from its existing pool of employees. That means that today's popcorn vendor can be next year's Shamu trainer. Well, assistant anyway. Being a trainer is more than just wanting the job. You will start off by slinging fish and cleaning the facilities. It can be as long as two years before you are actually in the water with the animals. Although they are cute and seem friendly, they are wild and can react instinctively at any time. Even a 4-foot long common dolphin can readily kill a human.
Oh, and one final thing. There are no rich marine scientists or marine biologists out there. The pay at Sea World is not far above minimum wage. You will work, long, hard hours. You may not get to be a trainer, even after several years on the job, or you may end up working with animals you'd rather not.
Did I scare you off yet? If not, then may you have what it takes: An undying love of animals that is foremost to everything else in your life. It's not a financially rewarding career, but the emotional payoff can be incredible.
Sea World, on one of their lesser known sites, has a pretty good outline for those thinking of working with marine animals. The URLs I recommend are (note the .org instead of .com):
I am not going to personally answer any questions relating to school projects. If you cannot find the information you need on this page or elsewhere on the site, then you should try restating your web search query.
If you need the information right away, its reallllly urgent!!1!! - You should have started you project earlier.
Obviously, you're going to need to be enrolled in a science program, either Marine Science or Marine Biology. Most Marine Science majors end up on oceanographic missions such as charting marine weather patterns, currents, tides, etc. Marine Biologists work with animals, not just dolphins and sea lions but fish, copepods, kelp, and anything else living in the sea. Marine Biology will give you most of the framework you need to work as a trainer and/or in animal care. In addition to learning about the marine environment and its inhabitants, expect to take a lot of math classes, as well as Physics and Chemistry.
Remember, there are no rich marine scientists or marine biologists out there. The pay is dismal. You will work, long, hard hours. It's not a financially rewarding career, but the emotional payoff is incredible. At one of the few social events that you may actually attend, you can tell them how you were able to accurately predict the intensity of the next El Nino.
Here's an essay written by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory on working with marine mammals.
I can answer this question most directly if you're visiting to the San Diego park. The other parks have similar prices and policies. This information is taken directly from my California page:
"Wheelchairs are available for rent for $8 per day plus a $3 refundable deposit. Electric Convenience Vehicles are a somewhat steep $35 for the day. The rental center shares the building with the Reservations Center, and is to your right as you enter the turnstiles."
Either the Rental Center or Guest Relations can provide you with a guide for those with disabilities. There's not a lot of good information in it, to be honest. However, the parks are fairly accessible. I do recommend that you get to the shows at least 30 minutes before scheduled showtime as disabled seating is very limited and fills quickly. the pathways are fairly wide, but get clogged after the shows let out. Your best to hang back a couple of minutes rather than trying to race ahead.
I've experienced the San Diego park with a disabled friend several times. It helps to keep a sense of humor. Also, bring a hat and some bottled water as there are few places to go to get away from the sun if you're in a wheelchair or ECV.
I admit that there is some negative bias in some of my reporting. For the most part, I try to keep the really negative stuff out of the main content and instead place it on my Politics page. I do try to consider what others will think and try to adjust my commentary appropriately, but at the same time if something is really not worth your while to see, I want you to know. I am the one who authors the site, so you will not be reading the official company line. Many others have echoed the ‘negative’ opinions you read here. Of course there will be those who disagree with these opinions, and that is fine. Write me a note and perhaps I will include your commentary next to mine.
Even though there are some things that bug me, I still very much enjoy visiting the park. Hey, if I didn't love it, why would I take the time to create and maintain this website?