During our vacation in Carlsbad, we went on two day-trips to San Diego. SeaWorld was just a little over 30 miles away from the inn, so we spent a day out there. And believe me, it took us a full day to see everything... and we still missed one of the amusement park-type rides.
My other ride is Shamu! Heh.
Tickets at the gate are not cheap at $73 per person. However, you can get discounts by buying them online, searching for coupons, or buying them as a packaged deal with tickets to other San Diego attractions. I found a coupon for $20 off each ticket. It is a full day of entertainment, and they have to feed, house, and care for the animals somehow. We felt better knowing they also use their revenue to fund conservation efforts.
Seaworld houses a variety of penguins. The ones below can survive outside in the San Diego weather, although they did enjoy swimming around a lot. They had an amazing penguin exhibit indoors under controlled lighting and heating conditions, featuring Emperor penguins. We learned that Emperor penguins only exist in three places in the world - one of those being in the wild. Seaworld has also aided conservation of the species by successfully hatching several Emperor penguins (no easy feat, apparently). I would definitely recommend stopping by that exhibit during one of the "show" times, when they feed and talk about the various penguin species.
Polar bears are epic. I mean, look at this dude.
And the only tank pictures that did not look atrocious were of the friendly turtle! Man, turtles are cool. Especially this one. Ever since Finding Nemo, turtles always remind me of Crush and Squirt.