SeaWorld opened its doors on the same date in 1964 with 22 acres, 45 employees, two aquariums and a few dolphins and sea lions. The first year drew more than 400,000 visitors. In the years since, SeaWorld has become San Diego’s No. 1 tourist attraction and the largest employer of youth in the county. Now sprawled over 189 acres on Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld features more than three dozen animal shows, interactive attractions, aquariums, rides and dining facilities.
Each year, an estimated four million guests visit SeaWorld, pushing the total number of visitors to more than 145 million since the park opened 48 years ago.
SeaWorld San Diego was founded in 1964 by four fraternity brothers from the University of California Los Angeles and was planned as an underwater restaurant. But the concept grew into the idea of a marine zoological park.
Over the years, the park has grown from a small display of marine animals into one of the largest and most respected marine zoological facilities in the world. The highest standards of animal husbandry, education and marine-life display have earned SeaWorld San Diego accreditation from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
It is now home to more than 10,000 animals, including 20 species of marine mammals, more than 430 species of fishes and more than 75 species of birds. The world-famous killer whale Shamu has been thrilling guests from around the world since 1965.
SeaWorld is one of 10 parks owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
SeaWorld remains involved in groundbreaking scientific research, wildlife preservation, marine-life education, environmental stewardship and rescue and rehabilitation programs.
For more information, visit www.seaworldparks.com.