Christmas is a time of year that could either be frantic or magical. With SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration, it’s quite possibly the most magical Christmas event at any theme park. With five shows, The Polar Express, The Christmas Market, tons of roaming characters, a kids Christmas train and a Sea of Trees, it ranks as one of the must see Christmas events of the season. While the number of parks charging for an upcharge Christmas event, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is free with paid admission. We took a walk around the park to get into the holiday spirit, of which there is plenty at SeaWorld.
This year SeaWorld brings back the very popular Sea of Trees for their Christmas Celebration. The Sea of Trees uses over 100 LED Christmas trees all throughout their lake. The show takes those trees and makes them “dance” to music.
The best place to see the Sea of Trees is of course from the bridge connecting to Shamu Stadium. You will get right in the middle of the action, and be able to see more trees than anywhere else in the park. However the down side is that with being the best place to see the trees from, it’s also very crowded. To avoid the crowds, try viewing from near the SkyTower.
The other big returning favorite is of course the Polar Express. The Polar Express turns the park’s Wild Arctic exhibit into the North Pole, and transforms the ride into an actual ride from the film. A lot of detail has gone into taking guests into the movie, and while quite a few parks recreate the ride, no one recreates the Polar Express experience like SeaWorld. From the moment you step into the ride queue, you’re in the house from the movie. Once you go through the preshow, you are outside waiting for the Polar Express. After your ride you step out to the North Pole where the smells of cookies and hot chocolate hit you. Waiting for you is Santa himself! There’s also plenty of Hot Chocolate to be had. Unlike the watered down powder stuff you may find elsewhere, this stuff is like melted candy bars.
If the North Pole, and hot chocolate doesn’t do it for you, there are five shows that are different from the regular daytime shows.
- Clyde and Seamores Countdown to Christmas
- Shamu’s Christmas-Miracles
- Holiday Wonderland on Ice
- A Sesame Street Christmas
- O Wondrous Night
Each of the shows are unique and offer a different take on the Christmas season. Clyde and Seamore is light and whimsical, while O Wondrous Night explores the untold story of the true meaning of Christmas.
New this year is Wondrous Gifts. While the rest of the park has cute ornaments with whales and penguins, Wondrous Gifts is more of a “faith based” store, offering very detailed religious gifts.
We got a quick chance to talk to Entertainment Vice President Michael Fletcher about all the new things the park is offering for Christmas. We also put together a really fun video showcasing some of the fun that you can expect from SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration
In addition to the five main shows, you can find all manner of wandering Christmas carolers, performers and more throughout the park. It’s one of the great details that we just loved about the park.
On the bayfront pathway, guests can browse tons of shops, get great food and even gifts. Where other parks are charging for a special celebration, SeaWorld Christmas Celebration is included with park admission. The park comes to life around five p.m. for the festivities and each night ends with Reflections, the nighttime spectacular.
SeaWorld’s Christmas celebration happens on weekends until just before Christmas. For more information, visit the official SeaWorld website!