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Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events Through 2024

by Mommy Frog on February 23, 2024 San Diego

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events in 2023 and BeyondWhenever you visit SeaWorld San Diego, chances are there is a fun event hoppening in the park! The SeaWorld San Diego events bring special entertainment, splashing good fun and seasonal food and drink to the aquatic theme park. We frogs love that SeaWorld always gives us a reason to celebrate. We have the scoop on SeaWorld San Diego events through 2023 and the returning events and new offerings for 2024!

Most of the events are included in the cost of admission (except for Howl-O-Scream), although food and beverages (and sometimes special offerings) are extra. (Psst ... you can save money when you purchase discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets and passes through Undercover Tourist.) If you happen to have a Fun Card or annual pass, the events are included.

SeaWorld San Diego has confirmed the return or dates for some Frog Family favorite events through 2024. It’s frogciting to see SeaWorld continue these events, keeping the entertainment and food new and fresh. Keep hopping back as each event gets closer for the fin-tastic details, specific dates and even menus!

Did you hear the news? SeaWorld San Diego went cashless as of Feb. 22, 2023. Guests can swipe or tap their credit card, debit card, or smart device with Apple Pay or Google Pay everywhere you typically use cash. If one does not have a payment card, there are easy-to-use Cash-to-Card kiosks located throughout the park to transfer your cash (free of charge) onto a Visa prepaid debit card.

In another hoppy update, SeaWorld San Diego has implemented a great weather policy for extreme weather conditions at the park. Guests adversely affected by severe weather on the day of their visit — whether it be rain, lightning, extreme heat, wind, snow, hail or other weather conditions — can redeem their paid admission tickets for nontransferable, nonrefundable re-admit tickets. The new re-admit ticket is valid for a single-day admission and must be redeemed one year from the date of your visit. Re-admit tickets must be processed on the day of your visit at Guest Services near the main entrance before leaving the park.

SeaWorld San Diego Events in 2023

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Girls meet a mermaid in summer

It's a big year for Sea World! SeaWorld is celebrating its 60th anniversary from March 21 through December 31, 2024! That brings a new exhibit, a new summer parade, a new character show and more! The Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience opens in spring.

We have the dates for events for early 2024 and the confirmed events and openings for 2024 (dates TBD). Here's what's in store for the rest of this year and next. Be sure to hop back as dates can change or more specific details may change.

"Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience" — Spring 2024

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events- Jellyfish

The first of its kind at Seaworld Parks, this immersive experience displays the beauty and wonder of jellies. This exciting and educational Jellyfish Experience will be the newest immersive and interactive aquarium at the park.

Nestled within the Ocean's Explorer area, the Jewels of the Sea offers a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes in three unique galleries. Watch Moon Jellyfish, Pacific Sea Nettles, Upside-Down Jellyfish, and Comb Jellies gracefully glide through the water. The experience features an 18-foot-tall cylinder — among the tallest jellyfish cylinder tanks in the country — and a 10-foot-tall acrylic living arch tank of jellyfish for guests to walk through to get views from multiple angles. The exhibit also has a vivid display that shows virtual oceanic moments, ranging from calm waters to dynamic, energetic crescendos. Guests can upgrade the experience with a behind-the-scenes tour, led by an aquarist, to learn more about jellyfish propagation and have a hands-on experience.

Inside Look —  Early 2024

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - People meet a penguin

This event gives you the chance to meet the SeaWorld team and listen to their first-hand accounts of caring for the animals, as well as their life-saving work. Animals, caregivers and activities can vary each day.

Mardi Gras — Select dates late Jan. through Feb. 2024, (mostly weekends and holidays)

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events in 2023 and Beyond - Mardi Gras entertainment

Get your beads on and celebrate New Orleans style. Enjoy live music, a DJ, colorful costumes and Creole or Cajun favorite foods. Keep an eye out for a procession, circus performers, a music-activated tunnel of lights and a new Louisiana Bayou laser light show on select nights.

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events in 2023 and Beyond - hush puppies

Seven Seas Food Festival — Select dates March 1 through April 28, 2024

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Sampler with lamb slider and beverage

During select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the spring, sample your way around the world with 125 exciting flavors and local and international craft beers. You can even catch live musical performances and Polynesian fire dancing presentations on select days. You can purchase items individually or buy a Food & Beverage Sampler Lanyard.

The lanyards offer 10 food or beverage tastings for a flat fee. The pass can help you save money. Pass members can buy an 18-item card. You can it buy online or in the park. Each punch is good for one food item, brew, wine, cocktail or nonalcoholic beverage. Cocktails are small, but you can get a larger drink at some locations for two punches. You can share a lanyard with a friend.

Keep in mind that some booths may be closed on Fridays. The full event and its entertainment take place on Saturday and Sunday. But Fridays still have plenty of tastes and the lowest crowd levels.

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Drinks at FestivalEnjoy flavors from:

  • SoCal
  • Mexico
  • Polynesia
  • Italy
  • The Mediterranean
  • France
  • The Caribbean
  • Asia
  • Germany
  • Craft beers from local breweries
  • Beers from featured domestic and international breweries
  • Cocktails from around the world

Pick up the SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival event guide and map when you arrive. You can identify gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan items there. Festival foods are available at food booths and some dining or beverage locations in the park.

The festival brings a lot of foodies into the park, which can increase crowds. You'll want to arrive for shows about 30 minutes early to get a seat. If you are visiting during spring break, you may catch fireworks on the weekends!

St. Patrick's Day Celebration — March 15-17, 2024

During the Seven Seas Festival, keep an eye out for additional activities, entertainment, tastes and drinks for St. Patrick's Day. Shamrock margarita or green beer anyone?

60 Years of Seaworld — March 31 through Dec. 31, 2024, with a special 4-day celebration March 21- 24, 2024

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - 60th art

To kick off the year-long 60th Anniversary celebration, all of the SeaWorld parks pay homage to the first SeaWorld park with a four-day celebration March 21-24 at park open. At SeaWorld San Diego, join Chief Park Operations Officer, Byron Surrett, each morning as he welcomes SeaWorld guests at the front of the park with the ultimate anniversary celebration, filled with live entertainment, commemorative décor, photo ops and more!

The celebration continues throughout the year with the Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience opening in spring and a new live performance character show: Shamu and Crew - "Together Again" opening soon. An all-new character parade debuts in summer. Guests can purchase exclusive 60th Anniversary merch and culinary additions.

Viva La Música — Select dates May 3-19, 2024

This festive, family-friendly celebration will have you dancing to the hottest Latin music and sampling fiery flavors.

SeaWorld Summer Spectacular — Returning late May 26 through early September 2024

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Character parade


Come summer, this family-friendly event will immerse you in the exciting worlds of light and music with special family entertainment, music and decor. Enjoy nightly fireworks from mid-June through mid-August as well as on some weekends in early and late summer. This year brings a new character parade and a new character show.

SeaWorld Spooktacular — Weekends mid-September through late October

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Painted pumpkin

SeaWorld Spooktacular takes place on weekends in September and October. All guests may wear costumes and eat fall treats. Plus tadpoles 12 and under can trick or treat for candy, boogie at special dance parties, meet characters, and decorate Halloween and fall treats. Hop over to our post on the Spooktacular fun at SeaWorld San Diego to learn more. The Sesame Street characters have hopped over to Sesame Place, where they have their own Spooktacular celebration.

SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream — Separately ticketed event select nights usually late September through Oct. 31, 2024

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Scare actor from Howl-O-Scream

Bring the tadpoles to Halloween Spooktacular during the day! And if you have teen frogs, take them to Howl-O-Scream at night. As huge horror fans of Knott's Scary Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights, Leap and I enjoyed hopping through this newish (it lunged out in 2021) SoCal Halloween event.

Here are the scary details for this gory nighttime new event. With five haunted houses and multiple scare zones, there is no place to hide! Even the rides are thrilling! You'll also encounter a terrifying dance show, vampire DJs and party zones with sinister cocktails and concoctions at haunted bars. These spirits are restless! The event kicks off at 7 p.m. Hop over to our Sinister Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Howl-O-Scream for the scary details.

Paying too much for tickets is super scary. Get your discount SeaWorld San Diego Howl-O-Scream tickets from Undercover Tourist instead. The 2024 Tickets are available starting in summer! The earlier you purchase the cheaper the deal.

Día de los Muertos — Early November

Celebrate this Mexican holiday with Folklorico dancers, a mariachi band and more.

Red, White & Blue Salute — Usually around Veterans Day 

This patriotic event honors our military. Active Duty and veterans and up to three dependents may enjoy complimentary admission to SeaWorld during this limited-time promotion. SeaWorld honors members of the military and veterans during a pre-presentation before the Orca Encounter and Dolphin Adventures show. Veterans must visit by Nov. 13, 2023, to receive free admission. Active duty members may get admission through Dec. 31, 2023.

On select days around Veterans Day, pick up a free Heroes Trail sticker map at one of several booths located in the park. Explore all of the booths to collect up to nine Armed Forces (and other heroes) stickers! Mark each location on your map with the correct hero sticker. Once you’ve found them all, bring your completed Heroes Trail map to the SeaWorld Store to collect a special prize! Catch Veterans Day fireworks on Nov. 11, 2023.

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration — Daily mid November through early January

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Rudolph

Ring in the holiday season at SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas celebration. The park is decorated merrily and “otterly” bright. There are plenty of opportunities for photo-ops, especially in the Tunnel of Light. Meet characters and Santa from a safe distance, enjoy holiday treats and beverages and watch special holiday shows with dolphins and sea lions.

Our ∼Fin-tastic∼ Guide to SeaWorld San Diego Events - Carolers in snow

Here's what to expect (based on the 2023 event):

  • Rudolph's Christmastown — Meet Rudolph and his friends
  • Santa's Village — Meet Santa and some of his live reindeer!
  • A Stocking Full of Soul — Join “America’s Got Talent” finalist Bryan Cheatham, as he and his friends sing and dance the night away. It's located at Mission Bay Theater on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. Experience a soulful celebration of Holiday classics with appearances by some of your favorite SeaWorld characters.
  • Snowfall throughout the park
  • Mrs. Claus' Christmas Cavalcade (New!) — Mrs. Claus and a band of elves make their way throughout the park several times daily.
  • Donner and Blitzen's Lazer Light Show — Twice a night, experience a canopy of laser beams set to a festive soundtrack.
  • Animal Presentations with a Holiday Twist
  • Tunnel of Lights
  • A 30-foot Christmas tree (lighting at 5 p.m.)
  • Tunnel of Lights with over 5,000 music-activated lights
  • Hanukkah Celebration menorah lighting
  • Kwanzaa Festivities
  • Holiday shopping at the Christmas Shoppe, Holly Jolly Marketplace and other stores
  • Amazing animal exhibits
  • Christmas Wish Fireworks on select nights SeaWorld San Diego Events - Holiday fireworks

Activities with an additional cost include:

  • Reindeer Round-Up Scavenger Hunt — Purchase a scavenger hunt map and embark on a merry quest to find Santa's gifts for all eight reindeer. Bring your completed map to the SeaWorld Store to collect a gift of your own!
  • Photos with Santa or Rudolph
  • Holiday cocktails, craft beer, hot chocolate and more
  • Festive entrees and desserts
  • You'll also find more holiday fun at Sesame Place. Consider getting a two-park ticket to visit both parks.

Keep hopping back for specific dates, details and updates as these events approach. If you are looking to get discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets, passes or Fun Cards (for multi-day fun), your favorite froggies are here to help! We also can help you decide where to stay in San Diego and help you hop on a good San Diego hotel deal.

Related: 15 Tips to Maximize Your Time at SeaWorld San Diego

Related: Our Guide to Visiting San Diego with Kids

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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