Where the Christmas season meets the sea! You don’t want to miss a single moment of this spectacular holiday seasonal event. From meeting Rudolph and friends to watching fantastic shows, there is something for everyone at Christmas Celebration. SeaWorld is your place in Orlando to experience the sights, sounds, and memories of Christmases from years gone by. Be sure to plan to arrive at the park by 3 o’clock in the afternoon because you will want to get to all the events–and the shows FILL UP early. With so much to do, you will benefit from downloading the SeaWorld app because you can easily keep up with the various showtimes. While the shows are the biggest draw at Christmas Celebration, don’t forget to checkout the coasters. Coasters in the dark! Since SeaWorld typically closes before or just at nightfall during most of the year, this is a perfect opportunity to ride your favorite coasters in the dark with little to no wait.
Before setting out into the park, I chose to dine at Shark’s Underwater Grill. Shark’s is a restaurant that I typically dine at when at SeaWorld because the food is delicious and the service is great. And since I am usually a party of one, I often get a table quickly. In fact, when I walked up to the host stand, they told me that they could accommodate me within 5-10mins. Well, nearly 30mins went by before they asked me if I had been called yet. Obviously, I had not been called. Turns out, they forgot about me. I could have checked with them earlier, but given I was a walkup, I thought that they were simply running behind. Once they discovered the unintentional mistake, they worked diligently to get me sat. As soon as I was sitting and placed my drink order, the manager on duty came over to me to apologize for being overlooked. My server told him that I was in a hurry because the seating delay was going to cause me to be late to the Clyde and Seamore Countdown to Christmas show. In an effort to recover me as a valued guest, the manager expedited my meal and arranged for VIP seats at the show! My server was quite attentive to my every need and successfully turned a negative start to an exemplary finish. That is the kind of service you get at Shark’s, it is a wonderful dining experience every time.
It’s a good thing I had a VIP seat because the Clyde and Seamore Countdown to Christmas show was packed, and I arrived 2mins to showtime. The hosts at the show were already expecting me and showed me to my seat in an expeditious manner. Largely unchanged, this show is pretty much the same as it was last year, but it is still such a fun show and will have you laughing the whole time. One of my favorite parts of the show is actually the pre-show when the audience all joins together to sing familiar Christmas songs and carols. Although it is a show geared towards the younger members of the audience, there are jokes and references for us adults to chuckle as well.
By far, THE most popular show at Christmas Celebration is O Wonderous Night. This returning show tells the story of Jesus’ birth from the perspective of the animals that were in the stable. As this show is also largely unchanged, here is my review from last year: Not your typical nativity story, O Wonderous Night centers around the animals located in the stable where Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus more than two thousand years ago. We get to hear the nativity story from the perspective of the animals who each played a special part in that wonderous night. If you plan to watch that show, you need to know that it is important to queue up at least an hour before showtime. It consistently fills up prior to curtain.
Winter Wonderland on Ice returns this year! Instead of opening with the Straight No Chaser-like pre-show, a violinist plays beautiful music as you wait for the show to begin. Much like the Christmas ice show at Busch Gardens, this show features many talented figure skaters in beautifully choreographed skating numbers to your favorite Christmas songs. To be honest, I still prefer the Busch Gardens show, but those skaters are at the park year-round so they can put more time into the show design. That being said, with SeaWorld placing the show on the water’s edge, the exquisite Sea of Trees can be seen behind the ice stage. Since the show is outdoors, SeaWorld is able to integrate some lite pyrotechnics in the show!
The Christmas Village at Port of Entry is always a treat! With special acapella groups, the Christmas village train set, and of course, you can meet Rudolph and Friends! This is the area where you can also enjoy hot chocolate, eggnog, craft beer, and cookies! Located near the Christmas Village is Santa’s Base Camp where you can meet the big man himself. With many places to sit down and relax, this is a great place to slow down and take in the smells and songs that make this “the most wonderful time of the year.”
While there are many amazing shows at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, the most spectacularly amazing show that you do not want to miss–even if to miss the crowd in the parking lot–is Shamu’s Christmas Miracles! Watching the daytime One Ocean show is incredible to behold, but nothing compares to the Christmas overlay the show receives each year. that captures your imagination! Much like with the other shows, the pre-show features special instrumentalists and sing-alongs. This year, there is a phenomenal saxophone player who is simply delightful and packs a powerful punch. In addition to the instrumentalist, there is a time for a Christmas carol sing-along. I just love singing familiar Christmas songs along with more than a thousand other park guests. SeaWorld pulls out all the stops at this nighttime spectacular as the iconic orcas put on a phenomenal show to close out the night.
Don’t miss SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration going on now through December 31st. And yes, it is included with your daytime park admission!