SeaWorld San Diego

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Theme Park:Sea World San Diego (since 1964)
Address:500 Sea World Dr.
92109 San Diego
Operated by:United Parks & Resorts

SeaWorld San Diego in San Diego, California is the oldest of the American SeaWorld Parks. The park was founded in 1964 and is famous for its marine animal shows. The animal and theme park offers a great number of rides, stunning shows and numerous animal enclosures to experience.


Highlights of the Sea Mammal Amusement Park



Arctic Rescue

The awesome family launch coaster



Electric Eel

The Sky Rocket




The dive coaster



Journey to Atlantis

A great water coaster




Flying through the park



Shipwreck Rapids

A great rapids adventure


Getting Scared at Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry / Scary Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm describes itself as America’s first theme park. Over the years, the park has been home to numerous attractions that have left their mark on American theme parks – including the world’s first rollover rollercoaster, the Corkscrew.

Camp Snoopy

As in every Cedar Fair amusement park, Knott’s Berry Farm also has a Snoopy Kinderland. However, it is relatively small here and currently only has a handful of attractions, as the Timberline Twister children’s rollercoaster has had to make way for Snoopy’s Tenderpaw Twister Coaster, which is due to open next year.

Sierra Sidewinder

The biggest attraction in this area is the Sierra Sidewinder spinning coaster from Mack Rides. As the second ride of its kind, it is interestingly different from its predecessor at Europa Park. The track here consists of many bends and helices, which cause the cars to whirl around wonderfully. You won’t find any major descents on the track, but this works in its favour, as it leads steadily downhill via smaller descents and beautiful bends and finishes by racing across the ground in quite intense helices. A great ride!

The Chilling Chambers

While Camp Snoopy is a busy themed area during the day, it is deserted in the evening. Although the area is used as a large scare zone, when the rides are not in operation, it’s hard to know what to do in this part of the park.

The Best Of Maze The Chilling Chambers is located at the entrance to the area and gives an insight into the history of Knott’s Scary Farm. In principle, it’s quite cool, but the many themes from the last 50 years make it seem a bit jumbled together. It is also difficult to act in, which means that the scary element is somewhat neglected. 

Fiesta Village

In front of the Jaguar rollercoaster is a large square that is strongly reminiscent of the Spanish colonial era. Here you will find the two swings La Revolución and Dragon Swing as well as the round rides Carousel de California, Hat Dance, Los Voladores and Sol Spin.

Montezuma’s Revenge

The Fiesta Village is also home to the Shuttle Loop roller coaster Montezuma’s Revenge. Similar to Psyké Underground in Walibi Belgium, this Schwarzkopf roller coaster is also being extensively renovated to make it fit for the future.


The Jaguar! children’s rollercoaster has quite an interesting layout. The ride covers a large part of the Fiesta Village themed area and consists mainly of large helices and flat descents and ascents. Nevertheless, the ride is great fun.


The Boardwalk theme area transports us to a 1950s seaside resort, with parts of the area reminiscent of the Roaring 20s. The park’s most striking attractions are located here, as well as the theme park’s large theatre.


Passing the S&S Combo Tower Supreme Scream, we continue to the Xcelerator rollercoaster, which has unfortunately not been in operation since an incident on the Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster. Rumours of an imminent reopening were not to come true until a month after my visit. In any case, the Intamin Accelerator Coaster with its top hat and subsequent curves is very appealing, which is why I will definitely be back to ride it again.

Mesmer: Sideshow Of The Mind

The queue for Mesmer: Sideshow Of The Mind went once around the Xcelerator, so you had a pretty cool view of the coaster. The maze itself was also very strong. At first it was reminiscent of a funfair sideshow, then story-wise it dived deeper and deeper into the human soul and became more and more psychedelic. A drug trip come true, so to speak.

Cinema Slasher

The slasher maze Horror Slasher was the weakest maze of the event. Although the material offered a lot of potential, it ultimately failed in its realisation, making Maze look like a heavily edited version of an R-rated film, as all genre-typical depictions of violence were cut out.

Coast Rider

You can’t really go wrong with a Wild Mouse. The ride with its tight hairpin bends and steep descents is actually always fun. At least that’s what I thought. But Knott’s Berry Farm has turned the fun into a real ordeal. Thanks to the retrofitted shin bars, the ride only hurts. Passengers’ freedom of movement does not have to be so restricted that adults 1.78 metres tall can no longer ride without pain. In any case, the installed solution seems to be more of a quick fix for an unlikely problem than a well thought-out solution. In any case, I won’t be boarding this rollercoaster again voluntarily.


The Infinity Coaster HangTime stands on the site of the infamous Shoot the Chute Perilous Plunge, which plunged almost vertically into the water basin. So it’s no wonder that Hangtime is even steeper.

After the vertical lift, we are initially stuck in the holding brake for a little while before we take the plunge into the abyss. With plenty of pressure, we then head through the first valley and straight back up the steep ascent. Once at the top, we head straight into the negative G stall loop, which we exit to the side. We immediately continue into an oversized corkscrew. This is immediately followed by a cutback-like curve. Immediately afterwards, we are lifted out of our seats in a double down before entering a cobra roll. Interestingly, this is the last element of the ride. A short ascent later, we are already in the final brake of the rollercoaster.

HangTime is a good Infinity Coaster with a very unusual layout. The fast sequence of elements and the very compact layout speak for themselves, but the ride comfort is not the best.

Surfside Gliders und Pacific Scrambler

Opposite the HangTime rollercoaster is a small pier on which the two classic American flat rides Surfside Gliders and Pacific Scrambler are located.

Knott’s Bear-y Tales 4D

The interactive dark ride Knott’s Beary Tales: Return to the Fair takes us on a fun adventure to try and recapture as many cakes as possible from the notorious cake thief Crafty Coyote. The cute ride is based on the original Knott’s Bear-y Tales dark ride that operated in the park from 1975 to 1986 and replaces the rather short-lived attraction Journey to the Iron Reef.

Room 13

The entrance to Maze Room 13 is located right next to the Wheeler Dealer Bumper Cars, but first we head to the Blind Tiger Bar before moving through the Argive Hotel to uncover the secret of the Devil’s Elixir. The theme of the maze is set in the Prohibition era, which has been brilliantly realised here. Overall, Room 13 is a very coherent and well-staged maze.

Ghost Town

Pony Express

The Pony Express is a small roller coaster that is characterised by its flywheel launch.  In addition to the surprising start, the ride has some tight curves and hills. Unfortunately, the waiting time here is always very long, so that multiple rides are hardly possible.

Origins – The Curse of Calico

Origins: The Curse of Calico tells the story of the fog that hangs over the streets of the ghost town every year during Knott’s Scary Farm. It all began with the execution of Sarah Marshall from Calico, who was found guilty of witchcraft. But those who had convicted Sarah were also guilty and incurred the witch’s wrath. The witch cursed the inhabitants of Calico, who now roam the ghost town as the undead. The maze is still very atmospheric at the beginning, but becomes less and less so towards the end.

Calico River Rapids

The Calico River Rapids is one of the most beautiful rapids rides that Intamin has to offer. The fast-paced ride through the rapids is accompanied by numerous animatronics, and the degree of wetness is very moderate by American standards.

The Grimoire

In The Grimoire, we experience what can go wrong when you read aloud from a cursed book. As visitors to a holiday camp, we are led through numerous loosely connected scenes that illustrate the horror of the book. By mixing different styles, the Maze is unfortunately one of the weaker ones of the event.

Calico Mine Ride

The old Calico Mine Train is a must-see, even if you have to queue for a long time.  The ride through the mine offers some great scenes and surprises.

Timber Mountain Log Ride

The Timber Mountain Log Ride is one of the most beautiful log flumes in the world. The ride through the artificial mountain has a few surprises in store. While modern log flumes can only boast gimmicks, the attraction, which opened in 1969, is particularly impressive with its variety (especially in the current), detailed scenes and numerous animatronics. For me, it’s the best log flume in the world.

Wax Works

The Maze Wax Works tells the story of an abandoned wax museum from which strange noises emanate. Dr August Scratch, a former plastic surgeon, has broken into the abandoned museum to present his new, eerie figures made of burning wax and bloody flesh. As you walk through the museum, you hear screams. Then you are confronted by red-hot cauldrons into which victims are immersed and transformed into Dr Scratch’s latest wax figures. Now all that remains is to escape through this very well-made maze.

The Depths

In The Depths, we follow in the footsteps of a mining crew condemned to death, who are left to their own devices in the catacombs of a gloomy coastal town.  The deeper we go, the greater the horror becomes and by the time we explore a sunken ship, the horror takes over. All in all, The Depth is a beautifully staged maze.

Bloodline: 1842

In Bloodline: 1842, we head to the battlefields of the war-torn streets of Valdonia. There we set off in search of the other Daybreakers with whom we want to overthrow the king of the Valhymphri vampires. All in all, Bloodline: 1842 is one of the most atmospheric mazes of the event and therefore highly recommended.

Dark Entities

In Dark Entities, we beam down to a destroyed space station. Sinister forces have taken over the station and turned the crew into multidimensional mutants. We have to escape quickly, because the dark entities are planning to wipe out all life on board the station forever. All in all, a rather mediocre maze.

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider is the big wooden roller coaster in the park. The ride runs through the back of the ghost town of Calico and through an area on the other side of Grand Avenue.

The ride on the Ghost Rider begins with a sloping left-hand bend out of the station. After a wide right-hand bend, you reach the ride’s lift hill. Once at the top, it’s straight into the first drop. With plenty of shake, rattle and roll, you ride through a left-hand bend close to the bottom and immediately afterwards into a large camelback. With plenty of lateral forces, you go straight through the first turn of the layout. After a short right-hand bend, it’s downhill again. From now on, we make our way through the wooden construction of the roller coaster, following the L-shaped layout of the roller coaster. After another uphill section, we turn left a little before entering another turning curve. After a short straight section, we descend back into the wooden structure. Numerous small hills and many bends follow, in which we are pressed firmly into the side wall of the train. Still travelling at quite a high speed, we then enter a long helix. After a short hill, we reach the rollercoaster’s braking section.

Ghost Rider is a really solid wooden roller coaster, but by CCI standards it is rather unimpressive. Although the ride offers a very interesting and above all long layout, as well as the lateral forces that are so characteristic of the manufacturer’s style, it does not offer the very abrupt and pronounced airtime that can be found on Megafobia at Oakwood Theme Park, for example.

Silver Bullet

The last roller coaster in this report is also the roller coaster that dominates the entrance area with its large Cobra Roll. We are of course talking about Silver Bullet, the theme park’s large inverted coaster.

After a short right-hand bend, the ride on Silver Bullet begins directly with the roller coaster’s lift hill. Once at the top, the ride takes a right-hand bend that gets steeper and steeper. In the valley, you are immediately pulled into the rollercoaster’s large loop. This is followed by a hill that bends slightly to the left and leads into the big Cobra Roll. You then enter the large Zero-G Roll, which merges into a left-turning helix. This is followed by the first corkscrew to the left and, after a short bend, the second corkscrew to the right. With a lot of pressure, you then enter a tight helix, after which you find yourself in the braking section of the ride.

Silver Bullet is a breathtaking inverted coaster with a really beautiful layout. I particularly like the dynamic part with the two corkscrews. The rest of the ride is also very thrilling for an inverted coaster of this size, which is why I always enjoy getting back on.

Pictures Knott’s Berry Farm

Conclusion Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm is a great theme park with a really nice line-up and lots of very special attractions, my favourite of which was the Timber Mountain Log Ride. A visit in conjunction with the Knott’s Scary Farm evening event is particularly recommended.

Conclusion Knott’s Scary Farm

Knott’s Scary Farm is considered the Halloween event on the west coast. As I visited the event on a Sunday evening, the waiting times at the mazes were very limited, so I had no problems doing all the mazes, many of them without waiting. Particularly noteworthy were the Bloodline: 1842, Mesmer: Sideshow Of The Mind and Wax Works mazes.

I found it a bit of a shame that you’re always travelling in a large group in the Mazes, which means that the Mazes themselves aren’t as scary. Even if you’re lucky enough to be alone for a while, you’ll soon bump into the group in front of you again. In this respect, I have to praise the Halloween Horror Event at Movie Park Germany, as not only do they offer mazes of a similar standard to those here at Knott’s Scary Farm, but you usually only walk through the maze with very few people for a few minutes.

All in all, I had a lot of fun at Knott’s Scary Farm. Not only was I able to visit all the mazes, but I was also able to ride many of the rollercoasters at night without having to queue for a long time. A great event!


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A visit to the original SeaWorld

SeaWorld San Diego

Shipwreck Rapids

Not far from the entrance is the Shipwreck Rapids, a very nicely designed rapids ride from the manufacturer Intamin. While I was lucky not to get too wet on most of the rides on my trip to California, the Shipwreck Rapids really got me down.

Orca Encounter

For a few years now, the focus of the big orca shows at SeaWorld has shifted more towards edutainment. The main aim of the show is to splash the guests in the soak zone with as much water as possible by an orca. Apart from that, the Orca Encounter presentation is a very rewarding experience as long as you keep your expectations low.

Bayside Skyride, Sky Tower

Since 1967, SeaWorld San Diego has been home to a Von Roll cable car, which took visitors to the SeaWorld Atlantis restaurant on the other side of Mission Bay until 1988. Nowadays, there is no stop and you only enter the station on the other side briefly, only to turn round again straight away. Like the large Sky Tower observation tower, however, the ride is not included in the admission price.


The Manta roller coaster is also located in the front part of the park and is therefore also very well embedded in the gardens of the theme park. The ride on the Mack Rides Mega Coaster begins after a quick right-hand bend with a short show in the launch tunnel, which is, however, very dark. With a little momentum, we are then sent on our journey. After a steep right-hand bend, we first race over a water basin, whereupon we take an equally steep turning curve. A left-hand bend is followed by a series of smaller hills, which are repeatedly interrupted by short bends. However, as we are slowly running out of breath, we approach the second launch section, where we are slowed down briefly. After the launch, we immediately rush into a left-hand bend and then over another hill. A dip is followed by a turn into a fairly intense helix. This is followed by a fairly wide right-hand bend, which takes us into the final bend of the ride, whereupon our ride soon comes to an end.

Manta is a very nice family roller coaster. Here and there, the coaster lacks a little dynamism, which is particularly noticeable at the point before the second launch. I don’t understand why it was necessary to slow down here and not accelerate straight away. Nevertheless, a great ride.

Dolphin Adventures

As expected, the Dolphin Adventures presentation at SeaWorld San Diego was very entertaining. With the best view of the theme park’s rollercoaster skyline, the dolphins performed numerous tricks, always focussing on the edutainment character of the show.

Electric Eel

There is a Premier Rides Sky Rocket II in almost every park in the SeaWorld group, including here at SeaWorld San Diego. The name Electric Eel is reminiscent of the great Steel Eel roller coaster from SeaWorld San Antonio. As is so often the case nowadays, comfort collars are also used on this roller coaster, which are designed to simulate the use of shoulder restraints in order to offer passengers a greater sense of safety. As the Premier Rides Sky Rocket II fortunately does not offer any real curves, the ride comfort is in no way restricted by the use of the harnesses – only the entry is a little more annoying than usual.

The first launch on Electric Eel largely resembles the initial acceleration of a modern boat swing. After changing direction, the ride is admittedly much more powerful and we almost reach the apex of the non-inverted loop, where we can briefly enjoy the view of the neighbouring Journey to Atlantis roller coaster and the amusement park’s car park. With plenty of momentum, we are now accelerated a third time, whereupon we reach the top level of the ride after a 180° turn without any difficulty. After a very short breather, we enter the ride’s inversion, which is clearly visible from afar, where we experience a very pronounced hangtime. Shortly afterwards, we dive into the non-inverted loop once again. Another encounter with the apex of the element then heralds the finale of the ride, whereupon we come to a precise stop after another run through the station and our wild ride comes to an end.

Journey to Atlantis

This is the third time I have been on a Journey to Atlantis roller coaster and once again I am surprised by a completely different layout. As in Orlando, the ride here is a water coaster from Mack Rides, but instead of a dark ride section, the ride begins immediately with the first lift hill. Once at the top, we approach the ride’s big shot ride in a wide right-hand bend with a small dip, which we tackle straight away. Slightly soaked, we bob along a little through the canal, getting closer and closer to a building. This contains the large vertical lift of the rollercoaster, which transports two boats upwards at a time. After a short stop with the best view of the amusement park’s car park, we immediately descend a large steep curve and then immediately ascend again. After passing through another braking area, we descend steeply once again, initially heading slightly to the right before taking a left-hand bend that takes us directly into the next pool of water. Completely soaked, we then return to the station and our entertaining ride slowly but surely comes to an end.


The Emperor is the largest roller coaster at SeaWorld San Diego and dominates the sky-blue skyline of the theme park from afar. The 46 metre high dive coaster starts in the classic way with a turning curve at a lofty height before reaching the ride’s vertical drop, where we are held in position for several seconds in a holding brake with the best view of the abyss in front of us and the brand new Arctic Rescue roller coaster. After a successful drop, we are immediately drawn into an oversized Immelmann, where we change direction. After a turning curve – reminiscent of a cutback – we are pulled into a wonderful roll, which immediately turns into a steep curve and releases us into an oversized corkscrew. After another right-hand bend, we reach the final brake of the ride and our great ride draws to a close.

Arctic Rescue

It’s really something different to know the project manager of a rollercoaster in person. Accordingly, I was on a mission at Arctic Rescue to take the best possible pictures for him. A mission on which I unfortunately failed miserably. It doesn’t really make sense to me why they put their latest and greatest roller coaster in an area that is almost 100% protected from view (you can actually only see the roller coaster from Emperor or the Sky Tower) and don’t even set up a stage or something similar so that others can also take part in the hustle and bustle of the roller coaster. That simply makes no sense! Luckily, as a single rider, it was my turn quickly and I was immediately able to take a seat in the last row of the rollercoaster.

After a left-hand bend, we reach the ride’s first exit, whereupon we speed over the first turn at full speed. This is followed by an extremely successful sequence of rapidly alternating right and left turns before we reach the second launch and increase our consistently high speed once again. After a long left-hand bend close to the ground, we climb the second large hill of the rollercoaster – which includes three short changes of direction. Once back on the ground, we whizz through numerous tightly timed bends on the way to launch area no. 3. Once again at speed, we are then drawn over a long turning curve to the park boundaries, where we then endure two extremely daring manoeuvres. The path then takes us over a series of smaller hills, whereupon we find ourselves on the final brake of the ride.

Arctic Rescue is a bloody good rollercoaster and is reminiscent of the absolutely fantastic Juvelen rollercoaster from Djurs Sommerland in Denmark or Yukon Quad from the French theme park Le Pal, only without the slow hills towards the end of the ride. The extremely dynamic ride and the constantly high speed define the ride like no other; there is virtually not a single quiet second from start to finish.

To wind down a little at the end of the ride, it is worth visiting the neighbouring Wild Arctic area. This is home to several large enclosures for beluga whales and walruses and is very well themed and absolutely worth seeing.

Pictures SeaWorld San Diego

Conclusion SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is probably the best located SeaWorld theme park. The location on Mission Bay is impressive, as is the portfolio of the animal and theme park. Together with a visit to nearby Belmont Park, it is well worth a visit.

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