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Rhythmic drum beats punctuate the night air. Red, white and blue lights shine down from atop a 320-foot tower. Laughter can be heard as silly sea lions and mischievous otters wreak havoc on stage. Killer whales star in their own rock ’n’ roll concert featuring hot lights and cool tunes. Then, as the evening comes to a crescendo, fireworks light up the night sky over Mission Bay. It’s all part of an annual tradition called Summer Nights at SeaWorld.
With so much to see and do, guests will want to stay late and play during Summer Nights at SeaWorld Presented by Pepsi. The marine-life park’s summertime entertainment extravaganza gets under way weekends, May 23–June 7; and runs nightly, June 13–Aug. 30 and Sept. 5–7. Here’s a look at the 2009 lineup (please note opening and closing dates for various shows):
New this year!
• “Sea Lions LIVE”: SeaWorld newest sketch-based comedy show, “Sea Lions LIVE,” stars the park’s prankster-loving pinnipeds Clyde and Seamore. During “Sea Lions LIVE,” Clyde and Seamore poke fun at popular TV shows such as “American Idol,” with their own rendition known as “Sea Lion Idol.” One of the show’s highlights is “Dancing with the Pinnipeds” (a parody of “Dancing with the Stars”), during which Clyde and Seamore perform a sea lion swing to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and a flipper-tapping tango to “La Cupersita.” “Sea Lions LIVE,” which debuted in April 2009, is presented during the day year round at SeaWorld; during Summer Nights, guests can enjoy the return of the nighttime seasonal show, “Sea Lions Tonite.”Summer Nights Favorites
• “Shamu Rocks”: The world-famous killer whale takes center stage during Summer Nights in this 20-minute musical journey that transports Shamu around the globe, through awesome natural settings. Shamu’s visual experience is enhanced by images on four LED screens that move and rotate, dazzling the audience with a rockin’ show.
• “Sea Lions Tonite”: Summer Nights guests won’t want to miss “Sea Lions Tonite,” a hilarious adventure featuring famous California sea lions Clyde and Seamore. The prankster-loving pinnipeds poke fun at the stars of classic daytime SeaWorld shows, including “Dolphin Discovery,” “Believe,” “Pets Rule!” and “Cirque de la Mer.”
• “Ignight”: SeaWorld’s energetic nighttime dolphin show “Ignight” lights up Dolphin Stadium, with bottlenose dolphins performing high-flyin’ behaviors, punctuated by rock ’n’ roll music, lighting effects and pyrotechnics.
• “Riptide”: Over at the main stage in the park’s entrance plaza, amazing hip-hop dancers, gymnasts, drummers and rhythmic artists entertain audiences with their incredible talents on a multi-level stage in this award-winning show. The talented ensemble of 20 cast members combines artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, percussion and hip-hop dancing, all set to a soundtrack of rock, Latin, jazz and Broadway theater music. “Riptide” opens June 13 and runs nightly through Aug. 30 and Sept. 5–7.
• Fireworks: “Shamu’s SkySplash” fireworks take place every Summer Nights evening. Note: During the July 4th weekend, the park presents “Shamu’s SkySplash USA,” an extended display of fireworks set to patriotic music, July 3, 4 and 5.
• SeaWorld Skytower: SeaWorld’s iconic 320-foot Skytower will be decked out in thousands of red, white and blue lights starting July 4 and continuing through Sept. 7.
Attractions, rides and more:
• In addition to the special summer shows and activities, nearly all of SeaWorld’s other attractions remain open every evening during Summer Nights, including Shipwreck Rapids, Journey To Atlantis, Wild Arctic, the Penguin Encounter and Sesame Street Bay of Play, a whimsical, two-acre play area for kids with three family-friendly rides and character meet and greets.
Summer Daytime Fun
• “Cirque de la Mer”: Returning for its ninth summer, this acrobatic odyssey is performed on land, water and in the air at SeaWorld’s bayside lagoon venue, the Amphibitheater. The popular summer daytime show features acrobats, hand balancers, aerialists, trapeze artists and comic performers. “Cirque de la Mer” opens May 23 and closes Aug. 16.
• Daytime animal shows: All of SeaWorld’s favorite year-round shows can be seen during the summer, including the magnificent “Believe” killer whale show, the hilarious “Sea Lions LIVE” and the always-adorable “Pets Rule!”
Tips for making the most of your Summer Nights at SeaWorld
• Log on to the park’s Web site at www.seaworldsandiego.com and purchase tickets online using the Print Your Ticket at home option. Guests also can learn about park discounts and current operating hours online.
• During projected days of peak attendance, SeaWorld allows guests to enter the front of the park 45 minutes prior to full-park opening. Early birds can use this time to pick up a park map and check the show schedule, grab a light breakfast and plan their day.
• Arrive at animal shows at least 30 to 45 minutes before the scheduled show time to secure a good seat and enjoy interactive, crowd-pleasing, pre-show activities.
• Visit SeaWorld attractions while animal shows in the area are occurring: while thousands of guests are watching the “Dolphin Discovery” show, visit the Shark Encounter located just north of Dolphin Stadium.
• This summer, guests can take advantage of an added dining option: SeaWorld’s All-You-Care-to-Eat Picnic, Memorial Day weekend, and most Saturdays in July and August at the park’s Nautilus Pavilion. The menu includes barbecued chicken, corn-on-the-cob, ranch-style beans, hot dogs and more.
Summer Nights Dates, Hours, General Information
• Summer Nights at SeaWorld, Saturdays and Sundays May 23–June 7; nightly June 13–Aug. 30 and Sept. 5–7.
• 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 25; Aug. 17–21; Aug. 24–28; Sept. 7
• 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 31; June 7; June 14–18; June 22–25
• 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 23–24; May 30; June 6; June 13; June 19–21; June 26–30; July 1–Aug 16; Aug. 22–23; Aug. 29–30
• For more information call (800) 25-SHAMU or visit www.seaworldsandiego.com
Admission to SeaWorld
• Single-day SeaWorld admission: $65 for ages
10 and older; $55 for ages 3–9. Parking is $12 for cars and $15 for RVs and campers.
• 2009 SeaWorld Fun Card: Allows visitors to come back to the park again and again for the rest of 2009 for one great price (not valid for admission May 24, July 3–4 or Sept. 6). 2009 SeaWorld Fun Card: $65 for ages 10 and older; $55 for ages 3–9.
• “Here’s to the Heroes”: Allows active duty military, active reservists, U.S. Coast Guard, National Guardsmen and up to three of their direct dependents one free single-day admission to SeaWorld through the end of 2009.
• AAA: Now through Aug. 31, 2009, AAA members can show their card or use a promo code to get two adult Fun Cards for just $119, an $11 savings. Limit three Fun Card two-packs per purchase. Also, May 23–Sept 7, 2009, AAA members can save on single-day admission with the AAA Adults at Kid’s Price with Kids ½ Price offer. Discount available online at www.seaworldsandiego.com, by phone or at the park.
• Southern California CityPass: Admission to SeaWorld San Diego, Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, Knott’s Berry Farm and the San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park for $259 adults and $219 for children 3–9.
• Southern California 2-Park Flex Ticket: Entry to SeaWorld San Diego and Universal Studios Hollywood for up to 14 consecutive days for $104 adults and $94 for children 3–9.
• San Diego 3 for 1 Pass: Admission to SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park for $115 for ages 10 and older; $92 for ages 3–9.
SeaWorld San Diego is one of 10 Worlds of Discovery operated by Busch Entertainment Corporation, the family entertainment division of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Other Worlds of Discovery include SeaWorld parks in Orlando, Fla. and San Antonio; Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla. and Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove in Orlando; Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa. near Philadelphia; Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park in Orlando; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. Worlds of Discovery, based in Orlando, play host to more than 25 million guests each year and employ more than 21,000 people nationwide.
Leaders in conservation and education, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove care for the largest animal collection in the world and offer an education Web site especially for students and teachers at www.seaworld.org. Information on the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund is at www.swbg-conservationfund.org. General park information is found at www.seaworld.com.