October 23rd, 2022
For the first time in a while, we had no definite schedule today and everything we were doing was in fairly close proximity to the Hotel. Jet lag was still an issue so we woke fairly early and were downstairs ready for breakfast at 9 am so not much of a lie-in.
We had a free breakfast included with our stay so headed down to the hotel restaurant for Huevos Rancheros and Eggs and Bacon. Was way overpriced but was free to us as gold members. We then headed out for the first part of our day.
Old Town San Diego
For the morning we really had no defined plan. We were just going to head into Old Town and see what was going on. The Dia De Muertos celebration was on the way and we knew the place would be buzzing.
The first part of the day was simply wandering around taking in the wonderful decorations and various Día de Muertos displays. We had just rewatched Disney’s Coco so it was all really relevant in our minds. We know we shouldn’t base our knowledge of Mexican culture on a Disney film, but we are from the UK and have limited exposure really.
After a while, as the temps rose we decided to sit down in the square and grab a drink. We had found a quaint little tasting room, Rose’s Tasting Room, that had a nice special on for flavored Mimosas! It was $20 for a 4 Mimosa flight. We sat sipping the various flavors, Watermelon, Raspberry, Passionfruit, and Blood Orange and Chilli!, and enjoying the morning sun in the beautiful square of Fiesta Del Reyes.
That got things off to a really great start. We then just spend the morning exploring the various shops and historic locations around the town. We did a little shopping for some really unique Christmas presents and took in some Mexican Delicacies.
We then realized we really didn’t have very good options for dinner this evening. We were heading to Sea World and the food there is not so great. So we thought the best plan was to head back to the Hotel, get ready for the day/evening at Sea World and then head back into Old Town and grab some Amazing Mexican Food that would hopefully tide us over so we could skip dinner.
Back at Fiesta Del Reyes we got a table and ordered our food…Tacos,Tamales, Enchiladas and Tostados. We also ordered a couple of Margaritas, but then the waitress pointed out the large ones were only a few dollars more, and then a pitcher was only a few dollars more again and was the equivalent of 6 drinks…we know this is upselling, but it’s upselling we can get on board with!
So with a Mexican feast, a pitcher of Margs, the sun shining and the Maricha playing we were very happy campers! Unfortunately, time refused to stand still and after a great meal and excellent drinks, it was time to head off to SeaWorld!
Sea World – Day Entry – $99 Entry
Like Knotts Berry Farm the main reason for s visiting SeaWorld this time was for the scare event later in the evening, the Howl-O-Scream. But we wanted to head to the park during the day too to try out the New Emporer ride and just enjoy the park and its great exhibits and rides.
SeaWorld is definitely past its heyday but it’s still a great park and has some really good coasters with more opening all the time.
Once again the Go San Diego Pass got us in during the day and we purchased an upgrade ticket for the evening, which cost less than we would have paid if we booked separately! We won’t add this into our costings on the pass but it was a nice little extra save!
Inside Sea World we headed over towards Electric Eel to see how the queues were, the ride was basically a walk-on which was nice. The eel really is a surprisingly good coaster, we ended up on the back row which is possibly the best position. The front is awesome, but the back gets you highest on the buildup launches and you do the barrel roll the slowest!
After this, we headed over to Emporer. This is SeaWorld’s latest ride and it’s a B&M Dive Coaster. Anything B&M makes us very happy as Emporer is a real beast. The 90° plunge is 143feet feet straight down at 60mph+ into some really large and exciting ride elements. 4 inversions and is buttery smooth! It’s a floorless coaster so your feet dangle over the edge and you then float and soar around the track. We expected a lot from this coaster and it really delivered…looking forward to hitting it again in the evening! Although what the hell it has to do with penguins we have no idea!
We then head out into the park to take in some of the Animal Exhibits. We explored the Wild Arctic with its amazing Beluga Whales and Walruses, then we hit Shark Encounter and Turtle Reef. We visited the Penguin Habitat with the real Emporer Penguins and visited the Sea Lion and Dolphin habitats.
After taking it all in it was getting time for the final Orca Encounter of the day, just as the sunset. The Orca were in fine spirits and really took it upon themselves to drown the crowds that were foolhardy enough to sit in the splash Zones. It is still really special to see the Orca and while we know the like of this attraction are doomed, and rightly so, the Park still need to keep the Animals entertained for a good few years yet while a long-term solution is sought.
As we left the encounter a boisterous lady behind us started complaining loudly about how awful it was that SeaWorld Still kept animals as Slaves and they should all be set free. We are not completely against this viewpoint, but it seems odd you queued up to give SeaWorld your money to see them. And the Whales are all now Captive bred and cannot simply be released.
We go into this at length in our SeaWorld Review as it’s a really complicated issue, one we are sad has arisen in general, but there are no easy answers. For now, we simply expect SeaWorld needs to provide the best care possible for the animals while possible solutions are found before their time is up. It may be this crop dies in captivity in a few decades and that’s that, maybe they get to see their lives out in a SeaPen somewhere, but Animals like this, who have only known Human Care, just cannot be set free.
After the wonderful show, the sun had set and it was time to head into Howl-O-Scream!
Sea World Howl-O-Scream
Sea Worlds Scare Event is pretty new, having only arrived last year following great success in Sea World San Antonio. The event takes over only part of the park and is quite small, certainly compared to the likes of Knotts Scary and Universals Horror Nights. However, these can feel overwhelming and there is so much to cram into the short nights. With only 5 Mazes and a selection of rides, The Howl-O-Scream seemed much more palatable.
There are 5 MAzes, two right at the entrance, two over near Emporer, and the final one at the far end of the Park. There are also several Scare Zones that need t be navigated to get to the various attractions. We had entered the park a little before opening and spent some time in the welcome area of the park enjoying the pretty horrifying AmBARlance.
We then joined the Queue for the first Scare Maze shortly before it opened.
The first house was really good and easily held its own with anything at Knotts Scary Farm. The premise is a medical/psychiatric ward with a psychotic and wayward doctor. The Scares come from errant patients who rock in corners before lurching at you and banging on doors and cupboards in a terrifying manner. The Maze is interesting as you are escorted through by helpful and creepy nurses and ushers leading you to your ultimate doom!
We then headed towards Electric Eel and Emporer for some nighttime roller coaster fun. This meant heading through several Scare Zones where the creepy inhabitants really did a good job of freaking you out and downright scaring you out of your skin!
After a ride on the two big coasters, we headed to the next two Mazes/Houses.
Death Water Bayou
This was a pretty average Maze with some decent theming but was largely open-air and a touch bland in places. It did have a great ending. Using Smoke and Lazer Lighting they have created an incredible water effect that feels like wading through waist-deep water. However the Monsters in this maze have worked out if they crawl on their hand and knees they are totally invisible to the Victims, meaning they can…and DO…repeatedly jump out at you from totally unexpected places…
Area 64: Alien Breakout
This alien-themed Maze is visited back to back with Death Water Bayou giving you no time to catch your breath. It’s a creepy industrial-themed zone with lots of creepy little aliens hiding around corners and burly security guards yelling at you and corraling you into another heartstopping alien jumping out from the shadows!
Note: we notice that most of these events have an Alien-themed Maze and most make use of an AreaXX moniker or theme, but they all shy away from using “Area-51”. We find this pretty funny as it’s not like Area-51 is a REAL name or a trademarked property, they could easily have called this zone Area-51 but for some reason shied away…
From here we headed back to the first zone, taking us through more Scare Zones, only to find the first Maze having a really long and unappetizing queue, most things had been walk-on up until now, instead, we thought we would try the other Maze and see if the queue dies down. This would have been fine but it would mean heading back through the scare zone gauntlet once more!
Simon Slaughter House
This one was pretty grim. The Slaughterhouse is filled with all kinds of bodies and unidentified meat items strung u from the ceiling. It’s a normal mix of jump scares and suspense. The finale is not for the fainthearted as you come face to face with Simon…and his happy Chainsaw as he chases you from the Maze!
Now at the far end of the park meant we had to head back, one last time through the various Scare Zones in the hope the queue for the last Maze was quieter. And indeed it was with only a very short wait until one last scare of the evening!
Circus Of The Damned
This was supposed to be the first Maze but as it was right by the entrance it seemed to be where all the crowds were. By leaving it until later we bagged zero queues. This one is obviously a Circus themed so expect lots of creepy clowns and Circus performers appearing out of Nowhere. It’s very bright and colorful and seriously nerve-shredding.
Honestly, I am not sure why I put myself through these things. Kate is not as bothered by the Mazes as I am, she is more able to rationalize that, in reality, it’s all fake, but these Mazes really get my nerves on edge and jump half…no fully out my asking at the slightest “boo”. I even had a full-on horror moment as we walked through some fog only to find another guest, I screamed at them, They scremed at me, and Kate laughed!
With the final maze done I had had enough and we made for the exit. We really thought SeaWorld had done a great job. The Mazes were not as complex as Knotts, but their simplicity often made for better scares. There was also loads more interaction and personal moments. I even ended up being chased by a terrifying clown girl who somehow knew my name! think Kate may have had a hand in that…I hope so anyway!
Outside the Park, the eerieness continues with spooky music and sounds, and the parking lot filled with fog. However, at least the scares had finally stopped for this year. We grabbed an Uber back to the Hotel and hit the hay ready for our last day tomorrow.
Walking Total – 17,619 Steps – 8.9 Miles
Go City San Diego Pass – Day 3
We again hit the pass pretty light today. We had a lot of time in the morning to do several things on the pass, but we wanted to spend time in Old Town so that’s what we did. We could have visited a few museums in Balboa Park, Visited The Zoo, or even hit the Bay with a Speedboat cruise. But it’s important not to let a Pass dictate your trip. It’s there to make the trip better not control you so we spent time in Old town.
We still saved a load of cash today only doing one thing. The pass got us into Seaworld and then got us a reduced price on Upgrading the ticket to include Howl-O-Scream. We have only added the regular entry into our costings below, however. We are now on the profit side of the Pass and anything we do tomorrow will be technically free!
- No Of Attractions – 2
- Cost of Attractions = $99
- No Of Attractions – 4
- Cost of Attractions = $318
- Cost of Pass – $279
- Total Savings – $39