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A Guide To SeaWorld San Diego Height Requirements

November 8, 2023 By CityPASS

Nothing is more devastating to a child than getting to a ride they've been excited for and finding out they don't meet the minimum height requirement. Before you go to a park with rides, getting to know the different height requirements is always a smart idea. That way, your perfect day isn't marred by surprises or let-down little faces. In this post, we will go over SeaWorld® San Diego's height requirements to help your family better plan your next trip.

Why Do Rides Have Height Requirements?

There are height requirements for SeaWorld rides at the animal theme park. Like most theme parks, these height restrictions are designed to ensure the safety of all their guests. The ride developers often impose height restrictions to ensure everyone is safe. If a child is too short, there's a risk that the safety harness features might not hold them in properly.

While having fun and making the most of your day at the park is essential, staying safe is also important. Let's jump into the rides and roller coasters at SeaWorld San Diego and the height requirements for each.

SeaWorld Rides by Height Category

The height restrictions below are for children riding alone. However, your child may be able to ride some of the rides listed below if they are accompanied by a riding buddy who is at least 14 years old.

Under 36 Inches

Riders need to be at least 31 inches tall to ride Octarock. Kids who are between 31 and 36 inches tall must be accompanied by a companion rider. This ride swings back and forth and is a mild ride.

If you're looking for a fun experience for your kids who are under 36 inches and therefore not tall enough for many of the rides, consider the Rescue Bay Splash Zone. The Rescue Bay Splash Zone isn't actually a ride, but a splash pad, and is great fun for kids of all ages (and heights).

36 to 48 Inches

If your kids are under 48 inches, here are some ride height restrictions worth noting:

  • Aqua Scout: Aqua Scout is a milder thrill ride, but it's perfect for smaller children. It has a 36-inch height restriction for solo riders, but if your young child can walk independently, they can ride if accompanied by a bigger ride buddy.
  • Journey to Atlantis: Journey to Atlantis is a thrill ride where riders may occasionally get wet. It requires all riders to be 42 inches tall. However, if your child wants to ride this alone, they must be 48 inches tall.
  • Tidepool Twist: Tidepool Twist is a teacup ride that moves around gently. It's another ride that requires riders to be 42 inches tall.
  • Rescue Rafter: Rescue Rafter is a laid-back family ride with a 42-inch height requirement. If you've been to SeaWorld San Diego before, you may recognize Rescue Rafter as Oscar's Rocking Eel. Several rides at SeaWorld, including Rescue Rafter, were rebranded when the Sesame Street gang opened a brand-new park, Sesame Street Bay of Play, about 20 minutes down the road.
  • Shipwreck Rapids: If you want to get really wet, Shipwreck Rapids is the ride for you. It's a water ride with a 42-inch height requirement.
  • Sea Dragon Drop: The Sea Dragon Drop is a kiddie version of a tower drop ride, requiring guests to be 42 inches tall.
  • Riptide Rescue: Lastly, Riptide Rescue, a classic spinning ride, has a height restriction of 45 inches.

48 to 54 Inches

Most of the faster rides fall within the 48-inch height requirement range. One of the latest coasters at the park that requires riders to be at least 48 inches tall is the Arctic Rescue. Arctic Rescue travels 40 miles per hour, making it the longest straddle coaster on the West Coast.

Some other rides that require a height of at least 48 inches include the following:

  • Tidal Twister
  • Tentacle Twirl
  • Rescue Riders
  • SkyTower
  • Manta

Another one of the SeaWorld roller coaster height requirements in this range is the Emperor. Riders must be 52 inches to 78 inches tall to ride, so there is a height limit too. The Emperor is a floorless dive coaster featuring a barrel roll that reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour.

54 Inches and Above

Some top-thrill rides have a 54-inch height requirement or more, including:

  • Electric Eel: Riders need to be 54 inches tall to ride the Electric Eel. This roller coaster was the tallest and fastest coaster at the park until 2022, when the Emperor took the title. With speeds of up to 62 miles per hour, this ride takes guests forward and backward in thrilling loops and inversions.
  • Bayside Skyride: Bayside Skyride, the oldest ride at the park, has both height and age requirements. Riders must be at least 54 inches tall to ride the Bayside Skyride, and riders under 56 inches must be accompanied by a companion rider. Additionally, all riders, regardless of height, must be at least three years of age.

How To Plan Your Visit Around Height Restrictions

There's something for everyone to enjoy at SeaWorld San Diego. But, to maximize the fun and ensure a smoother experience, it's a good idea to check the height restrictions before you go. That way, you can plan your trip around the rides and attractions that each member of your family or group will be able to enjoy.

After figuring out what everyone can ride, you can also keep in mind that SeaWorld offers so much more than just thrill rides. You can see animals up close and personal, watch presentations, enjoy animal education, learn about conservation efforts like their turtle rescue mission, or grab something yummy to eat. It's also a good idea to pick up a park map to find everything more easily when you arrive.

Enhance Your SeaWorld San Diego Experience With CityPASS® Tickets

While planning your next trip to SeaWorld San Diego, consider purchasing San Diego CityPASS® tickets. You can visit SeaWorld, LEGOLAND® California Resort, and three more popular attractions of your choice, all while saving up to of the retail price.

San Diego Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in San Diego, we recommend finding lodging near San Diego's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header Image ©SeaWorld Parks

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