How American is Budweiser Beer? As American as Apple Pie and Baseball According to Sea World
So I piled the kids into the Buick (American made and duty free baby) this past weekend and drove down to San Diego. On the itinerary were the San Diego Zoo as well as Sea World.
Sea World is an interesting place. I went there once when I was a kid — I think I was seven — and haven’t been back since.
One thing that’s different about Sea World than the zoo or other theme parks like Disneyland is that there is beer everywhere. This is probably due in part to the fact that Anheuser Busch owns them. (I think — if not they’ve got one hell of a cross marketing thing going on). Seriously. You cannot escape Budweiser at Sea World. Everywhere you turn. Clothing, neon signs, brochures, exhibits, and yes, even above the men’s urinal (see the photo above). Apparently the American pastime of sitting on your front lawn and enjoying a Miller High Life, is, well, pretty damn unAmerican. Who would have thought? Wouldn’t want those South Africans getting any of our hard earned money now.
So what did I think of Sea World? Ehhh, not so great. First off it’s expensive — they donkey kong punch you everywhere. Let’s see. $10 to park. $198 for tickets for a family of six (that’s with a supposed substantial AAA discount). Another $15 to feed the dolphins. $30 for two double strollers. $10 for ice cream. Another $40 or so for lunch. $3 for water. Etc. Not to mention the $50 or so to get loaded up on all that American beer.
I think all in we spent around $325. Which seemed like a lot. And the marketing at Sea World just seemed excessive. Forget about telling me how unAmerican I am for having the occasional Heinekin or Corona, it just seemed everywhere you turned at Sea World that you were being set up to spend, spend, spend. All of the major attractions seemed to dump you off into a maze of gift shops, food courts and photo stations hawking $9.95 5x7s of that look of delight on your face as you feed a dolphin.
I think I liked the San Diego Zoo a lot better where parking was free, the cost of the tour and skyway were included in our Best Price Value package, the strollers were cheaper, etc.
To see a preliminary set of photos of Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, etc. (I’m planning on adding more later) you can click through here.