I’ve been visiting SeaWorld San Diego my entire life. Learning about whales at the park began at an early age and my daughters have also grown up with those same experiences. While the experience has changed drastically, the value in learning about these beautiful animals with an up close experience at SeaWorld has not. SeaWorld Orca Encounter opened in San Diego last week and our family watched the stunning educational presentation over the weekend. With only a handful of public presentations prior to our Saturday experience, Orca Encounter left our family with a deep knowledge of whales in their natural environment and how research being done at SeaWorld is advancing our abilities to understand and help whales in the wild.
The first of its kind infinity screen is nearly 140 feet wide and stands three stories tall. The Pacific Northwest theme set against the gorgeous ocean views around the world provide guests with an experience like no other.
Our family has been visiting SeaWorld for many years and exactly three years ago our now eight year old daughter spent time with a whale behaviorist in the park to learn about killer whales. Many park visits later, her appreciation for whales and knowledge has matured. We also added a little sister to the family and now she shares her big sister’s love for the ocean due in part to many SeaWorld visits. Whale behaviorists like Lindy and Kristi care deeply about creating an education foundation for our next generation of ocean enthusiasts.
Orca Encounter offers a look at whales you would never experience elsewhere. The presentation shows real video footage of killer whales in the wild in addition to the many educational visuals. Hearing the size comparison of a blue whale to an orca is much different than seeing an actual blue whale above a real killer whale for comparison. The visuals are magnificent and beyond any educational opportunity you could provide in a classroom or whale watching experience.
Whale behaviors are demonstrated by orcas alongside footage of the same behaviors in the wild. Breaching, splashing, spy hopping and more teach how and why each behavior is specific to communicating, hunting and playing.
Previous presentations included many facts about whales in the wild but the infinity screen provides powerful reinforcement.
Almost eight years ago, we heard our oldest daughter identify a whale for the first time at SeaWorld. Her interest in marine animals began very early and has been fostered by our many visits to SeaWorld San Diego. Orca Encounter is another wonderful learning opportunity available to all park guests to gain a deeper appreciation for whales.
Scientific research on killer whales at SeaWorld are helping benefit whales in the wild and it’s very important for people to understand and appreciate orcas for conservation efforts to continue.
Our family saw the Orca Encounter presentation Saturday and then returned to watch again Sunday evening. Each presentation was unique and the second time we noticed additional details on the infinity screen. Orca Encounter is more than a one time experience and I look forward to our daughters appreciating it in very different ways as they continue to grow.
The SeaWorld Orca Encounter features four killer whales during each presentation with the rotation changing depending on the whales’ moods and desire to participate. Each experience is unique and the infinity screen looks different against the San Diego sky during different times of day.
What do you love most about Orca Encounter?
Currently Orca Encounter can only be viewed at SeaWorld San Diego but parks in San Antonio and Orlando will move to the new presentation by 2019.
See more about our experiences at SeaWorld San Diego and read why I still choose to support SeaWorld. A few of my favorite visits include my daughter learning that girls can be anything they want to be from Miss California and killer whales at SeaWorld.
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