SeaWorld San Diego’s Explorer’s Reef
Explorer’s Reef, SeaWorld San Diego’s new “hands-in” exhibit is now open! I took a visit to SeaWorld the morning that they first opened it to the public to check it out. As a long time passholder, I’d been anticipating the day that they would debut the over year-long renovation.
Just as I imagined, Explorer’s Reef is gorgeous, and very true to the illustrations that portrayed the exhibit. The entire front of the Park, including ticketing and entry have all been completely redone. The changes are part of SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, marking their half century anniversary in San Diego.
I absolutely love the coral-like features incorporated with the architecture. It’s both colorful and lively. It makes you feel like you’re on an underwater adventure, and is the perfect enhancement to the Park. Even parts of the walkway have a shimmering surface like glistening water.
Beautiful plants and flowers have been placed just right. The new additions included with Explorer’s Reef compliment the gorgeous garden-like feel of the Park. Super pretty ornamental fish trail up vines, and many succulents and drought resistant botanicals have been planted. I love that they’ve used tiny shells as ground cover in some places. SeaWorld has always had awesome gardeners!
Explorer’s Reef provides ample shade for both the aquatic life, and those observing it. The touch-pools include a deeper area for the animals to have a quiet time if they choose. We actually watched a horseshoe conch make it’s way over to the deeper side of the pool after being in the shallow water for hours. It was cool observing it.
Inside the four touch-pools of Explorer’s Reef you’ll find juvenile brown-banded bamboo sharks, white-spotted bamboo sharks, horseshoe crabs, round rays, cleaner fish, and horseshoe conch. Each of the aquatic life are native salt water species, except the cleaner fish, which are found in fresh water.
It’s nice that there kids, even toddlers like our own son, can reach into parts of the touch-pools of Explorer’s Reef. It’s fun to have the cleaner fish come up and tickle your fingers as they clean, clean, clean!
It’s super cool to touch the bamboo sharks and horseshoe crabs, too. I have yet to touch one of the round rays, but plan to on our next trip to the Park. I observed them for a while and was surprised how fast they swim across the pool.
If you’re a SeaWorld San Diego Premium Member, like myself, you get exclusive early entry to Explorer’s Reef from March 22nd – April 6, 2014. You can enter at 8:45am each day in that time period, with the exception of 3/29 & 4/5, which allow entrance at 7:45am. Details can be found in your FunTracker mailer. Lost your mailer? Click HERE, and navigate to the View All Benefitss link toward the middle of the page. If all else fails, call SeaWorld for details.
The official unvieling of Explorer’s Reef is on Friday, March 21st, 2014, to coincide with SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, but you can visit the exhibit now. More information can be found on the SeaWorld San Diego Website. As long-time passholders, we’ll be spending lots of time there this year enjoying the new exhibit. Perhaps we’ll see you there!