San Diego Business Journal

SeaWorld San Diego’s ‘Dine With Shamu’ program will return April 23 and will be offered on a year-round basis, the theme park announced March 21.

The program, in which visitors have meals at poolside tables as park employees demonstrate whale training techniques, had been suspended by parent firm SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, following the February 2010 death of a whale trainer at the company’s Orlando theme park.

SeaWorld San Diego spokesman David Koontz said trainers will still be interacting with the killer whales from poolside, not in the water. That has been the policy for all of the park’s whale shows since last year.

Beginning April 23, Dine With Shamu will be offered daily, with reservations required. Visitors watch a brief presentation from the trainers, then Shamu and other animals perform up-close interactions for guests, who are permitted to take photos.

Costs and other information are at

SeaWorld San Diego, celebrating its 47th birthday, opened on Mission Bay on March 21, 1964.

— Lou Hirsh