SeaWorld Christmas Celebration 2011

Filed under: Orlando Theme Parks,SeaWorld |

Continuing on from yesterday’s blog post, I’m going to go a little more in depth today about what you can expect to see when you visit SeaWorld Orlando for their 2011 Christmas Celebration.

A lot of families wonder where they should go when they visit Orlando at this time of year and I can categorically say that for the last two years SeaWorld has excelled. Frankly, it’s become the MUST DO place for a Christmas theme park visit.

Sure, you can still ride the fabulous roller coasters like Manta and Kraken and yes, you can still see Shamu but at this time of year SeaWorld is transformed like no other theme park in the Central Florida area. From the time you enter you get a warm glowing feeling. It’s actually hard to describe it because the atmosphere washes over you and soaks in and before long you’re into the Christmas spirit even though it’s still the best part of 20 days away!

It doesn’t really matter which way you navigate the park because the holiday spirit soon takes over but I’d suggest turning right when you enter the park and head towards the Christmas Market and the Bayside Stadium where the Winter Wonderland on Ice show takes place.

As you stroll along the pathway you’ll come across all kinds of fun things to stop and look at… as well as try out and play with. All through the Christmas Market, and throughout the park, there are drink stations. Take a tip from me; purchase one of the SeaWorld insulated mugs that allow you to get inexpensive refills and you can warm your insides with plenty of hot chocolate or toddy’s as you wander around!

Feeling a little hungry, then one of my favorite stops along the way is the Daily Bread Bakers where you get to choose your bread, then choose your toppings, drizzles and sprinkles. Be warned, you can get real messy real quick but oh how it tastes so good!

Make sure you keep an eye on the clock as you enjoy this area as there are two shows to catch. I’ve already mentioned the Winter Wonderland on Ice show but you’ll also want to see “Miracles,” the beautifully choreographed Shamu show.

From there, take a ride on the Polar Express! This is a beautifully executed holiday joyride that takes you and your family straight to Santa’s Workshop! The entire Wild Arctic building is turned into scenes from The Polar Express, and you even get to ride on the train itself  as the previous helicopter flight from Wild Artic has been seasonally replaced.

The Polar Express ride is much more gentle and kid-friendly than the normal version and after your ride is complete you get the chance to meet Santa and get a photograph with him. Also, another nice feature is the opportunity to buy some more hot chocolate, and come face-to-face with some of the Arctic’s most iconic creatures as this is where you can see polar bears, dolphins and even a walrus!

So what’s next?  Plenty. Along your journey you will have seen the colorful Sea of Trees that debuted last year and that have been expanded this year to include 100 trees, each sparkling, lighted and choreographed to classic holiday tunes around SeaWorld’s center lake. So don’t forget to pause for a moment and take it all in… and do stop for 10 to 15 mins when the trees get to dance for you! It’s really quite spectacular.

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Next up is Happy Harbor… the place where Shamu and his crew invite kids of all ages to play the day and night away in a wintery wonderland of frosty fun. Whimsical holiday lights decorate the harbor in surprising ways sure to delight the young and young at heart, while snow flurries bring a touch of the North Pole to the games, rides, and experiences of Shamu’s Happy Harbor.

New this year is Holly Jolly Railway so it;s  Ho-Ho-Ho! Hop aboard the Holly Jolly Railway for a sea-inspired spin around Shamu’s Happy Harbor — it’s a ride that’s totally Santa-approved!

As you continue to wander you’ll really be soaking in the atmosphere and another new feature this year are acapella singers staged at various areas of the park. Lots of folks seem to miss this great entertainment so make sure you stop and appreciate the on the spot performances given by these super entertainers.

By now you’ll be approaching the O Wonderous Night – The Greatest Story Never Told show. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time as this show is going to be very popular. I’ve already said a lot about this performance on yesterday’s blog but I’ll just reiterate… it’s fantastic!

Two other shows to see are the ever popular Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas and A Sesame Street Christmas. Santa’s helpers, Clyde and Seamore,bring their own brand of comedy to Christmas this year as the loveable sea lions, along with a few mischievous otters, a comical elf, and a wintery walrus or two, invite you and yours to their fun-filled holiday celebration. Over at Sesame Street, the holidays have arrived, but Abby Cadabby doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about… as she’s never heard of Christmas. Through dance, laughter and interactive sing-a-longs, Elmo, Telly Monster and the rest of her Sesame Street friends teach Abby what Christmas means to them and you can be sure your little elves will be smiling all the way home.

Soon you’ll be wandering through the Waterfront and the Village Square … it’s here you can find some unique, holiday-themed items at the stores and whether you’re looking for cetacean ornaments or a plush polar bear to take home, SeaWorld has it all. The storefronts are beautifully decorated for the season, complete with dioramas and displays specifically showcasing the holiday merchandise.

Soon it’s time for the final show of the night; Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountain Finale where SeaWorld celebrates the season with soaring fountains, dazzling lights, and festive fireworks, choreographed to joyous holiday musical favorites. It’s here you can experience a wondrous SeaWorld Christmas connection that lights the night.

So, after you’ve enjoyed a magical evening, you’ll get one final chance to pose by the huge Christmas tree near the entrance. It’s the end of a perfect day. Happy Christmas!

More photos at

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