I Danced with a Snowman at SeaWorld

I’m thinking about the last few weeks and pondering which things specifically have brought me the most joy. I have to say, without a doubt, that our family has enjoyed our time at SeaWorld the most. It’s quality time together where we wonder at the miracle of life, are wowed at the beauty of nature and all of God’s creatures, and sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

As season pass holders we try to visit every weekend during December. There is so much to do and see that you can’t see it all in one trip! Yes I enjoy the “big” things (O Wondrous Night is glorious, Shamu Christmas Miracles is breathtaking, The Polar Express is a wild ride, and the Ice Skating show “Winter Wonderland on Ice” is top notch), but my favorite moments are the small, simple pleasures.

My son is particularly fond of the elves who play with children near the dolphin nursery on your way to the waterfront and Seafire Inn. All children are invited to participate in their shenanigans that vary throughout the day. I’m always a little sad, though, when I hear someone rushing their child past them when the child SO wants to play for a moment. (And isn’t that the reason for visiting a theme park?) Those who do participate, get lots of giggles, a few tee hees, and an occasional oh-gee-shucks. I thought it was hilarious when Flaky tried to tell my little guy about mistletoe kisses. He wasn’t having any of that nonsense!

He also laughed at the toy soldiers who march back and forth by Christmas Village. You never know if their going to follow you, encircle you, or try to swipe a sip of your hot chocolate. If you see them, try to march along. They don’t mind. It’s actually encouraged!

After the Sea of Trees lighting, it’s a great time to stroll by the water to see what holiday baubles and goodies are available in the village, but it’s also a good spot for character spotting (and photographing!). While my husband and son took off to buy an ornament, I saw the snowman at water’s edge, just watching all the children. Gallantly he accepted my request for a dance, and we swayed to holiday music for a bit. What Christmas is complete without a dance with a snowman?!

Sure there a lot of people enjoying the parks, too, but it doesn’t seem crowded. The lines are not excessive, the shows are spectacular, and all the “little touches” SeaWorld has added this year make it even more special for us.

Come on down for a leisurely day of holiday fun. You may go inside a snowglobe, or be snowed ON along the shore. And if you’re luck, you too might get to dance with a Frosty Friend.

 

Starting tonight SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration takes place nightly through Dec. 31!  Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration. With everything from elves to Elmo, and Santa to Shamu, lifelong memories are made in a watery, wintery wonderland that only SeaWorld could create. Don’t miss out on the spectacular holiday shows, including: Winter Wonderland on Ice, Shamu Christmas – Miracles, Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, A Sesame Street Christmas, and the all-new “O Wondrous Night – the Greatest Story Never Told”, as well as the festive holiday décor and amazing Sea of Trees.

25 Days of Giveaways at SeaWorld

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment is celebrating joy of giving by giving away prizes each day during their “25 Days of Giveaways”! A different prize will be awarded each day. Maybe you’ll win the Serengeti Safari ride with Jack Hanna! Or be lucky enough to win the day for 4 at Discovery Cove.

Other prizes include:

  • a set of Panama Jack beach bicycles
  • a home and garden makeover from Costa Farms
  • VIP tickets to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game
  • VIP tickets to a high-profile concert in San Diego (artist TBD)
  • and seats to the “Live On Letterman” concert series held in New York City.

The grand prize, to be awarded on Christmas Day, is $25000.

Good luck and don’t forget to enter daily!

To enter, participants must fill out the online entry form at www.seaworldpromotions.com, www.seaworld.com or www.buschgardens.com. There is a limit of one online entry per valid e-mail address per day. The consumer promotion officially begins December 1 at 9 a.m. EST and concludes December 25 at 5 p.m. EST.

SeaWorld is one of 10 parks owned by The Blackstone Group. Other parks include SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorldSan Antonio; Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va.; Discovery Cove and Aquatica in Orlando; Sesame Place near Philadelphia, Pa.; and water parks Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg.

Holiday Magic at SeaWorld

‘Tis the season… to visit SeaWorld, Orlando weekend nights (Friday through Sunday) November 25 to December 11, then nightly December 16 through the 31st.

The halls are decked, the lights are glowing, and I for one am excited to re-visit old holiday memories as well as making some incredible new ones.

Snow is falling in Orlando. FUN!

First up on the “new and amazing” things to do: Go INSIDE a snow globe. Yes, it’s a photo op, but it’s also taking a flight of fantasy. My 4-year-old wasn’t sure about this huge domed thing when we walked up to it. It seemed rather scary looking up, up at it and he was content to let me go in and have all the fun. Later, however, he gathered his courage… and was hooked. The grin on his face was huge! He wasn’t happy we had to leave, however, and could have tossed that “snow” up in the air all day!

Next stop for us: The Polar Express Experience! What child (or adult, for that matter?!) doesn’t love trains and who is not enthralled by Chris Van Allsburg’s book come to life? The Wild Arctic attraction has been transformed into the North Pole where the sights and sounds (and the smells!) of the season immerse you. My newly height-requirement-met son enjoyed the ride, although during the first big “bump” of the simulator made sure to ask “are we really leaving SeaWorld?” “No,” I assured him. And “NO, we didn’t have to purchase an extra ticket” I thought to myself. I do love all the activities around town for the  holidays, but it’s a great bargain to buy either the SeaWorld Fun Card or a season pass and get to go on these amazing adventures over and over again…. (And, for the record, no, I don’t work for SeaWorld and we buy our own passes, LOL.)

New this year is “O Wondrous Night – The Greatest Story Never Told.” With more than 30 carols and told thorough the eyes of a menagerie of live animals, this light-hearted production is certainly going to be a must-see!

New, too (although only for the holidays we were sad to learn) is a train ride over in Shamu’s Happy Harbor called The Holly Jolly Railway. My son has long-since told me that the only thing that would make SeaWorld better would be a train you could ride on for “real.” This one should fit the bill for a while, but he’s hoping for one around the park a la Busch Gardens. We can hope!

Returning this year is Winter Wonderland on Ice. It’s a fun, festive celebration with gorgeous music, talented skaters, fountains, fireworks, and some adorable characters. The Quartet (who we affectionately call the Polar Express Singers, due to their attire) started off the show with a series of favorites. Here’s a little taste: http://youtu.be/IICRGxmUjOI  And speaking of taste, last year we made sure we had a big cup of hot chocolate before siting down to this holiday sensation of ice, music, and all-around holiday fun. (Read that blog by clicking HERE.)

Also back is Shamu Christmas… Miracles. You know Shamu Rocks, but this is something else! Always breathtaking, the killer whales are the stars in a salute to the season.  Not to be outdone, Clyde and Seamore have their own special, too. Santa? They’re looking for you. ♫

We’re big fans of the Sesame Street gang and we’re ready to learn what Christmas means to each of the fuzzy monsters. Abby Cadabby learns a lesson in holiday traditions through dance, music, and plenty of songs for the little ones in your family. My favorite singer hopes “Jingle Bells” will be played a lot. (Somehow I think this is a given….)

So, grab your coat, or sunscreen, or whatever our typically UN-typical Florida weather deems, and visit SeaWorld for the holidays. OH, and when you see the Longshoremen’s Holiday Pie routine (they can be found yucking it up along the shore most days), please tell them SeaWorld Mommy sent you. 🙂

A Winter Wonderland at SeaWorld

I think a lot of people get depressed right after the holidays. No more presents to open. No more lights twinkling all around. No cheery holiday songs to mangle. (My favorites are a friend’s daughter, Rachel, singing “Giddy up jingle horse, look at your feet” and my son’s classic misunderstanding of a certain snowman’s anthem. He kept asking what kind of cakes he bakes. We were confused until we realized he thought the words were “Frosting the Snowman!”) Thankfully, SeaWorld keeps the holidays going just a little bit longer… until January 2 at least.

I’m pretty sure we’ve enjoyed the festivities at least 10 times this year, with another one or two on the horizon. Can you blame us?

A few weeks ago we sat front and center for the Winter Wonderland on Ice show. Before the skaters dazzled us with their fancy footwork, a quartet of Polar Express engineers serenaded us barber-shop style with all the favorites. You should have seen my son’s eyes get big and his mouth drop as they crooned away. You’re never too young for music appreciation, and my 3-year-old is certainly a fan! His eyes went from singer to singer. “It sounds just like a radio!”

Skates then sliced through the ice when a troupe of dancers performed effortlessly on the stage at Bayside Stadium. Parka-clad beauties in ice-blue dresses “shooshed” and swayed with their all-in-white partners appropriately to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” followed by a high-energy solo for “Frosty the Snowman.” We especially enjoyed the graceful and elegant “Christmas Waltz” (just picture the flowing white gowns billowing in the breeze as the skaters glide past you!).  We then got jazzed up by a really top-notch soloist performing to “Cool Yule,” one of my favorite holiday songs. Big band Christmas music just does it for me and the skater nailed it! My son’s favorite number, though, was “Hot Chocolate!” And yes, we enjoyed the drink at the same time we were listening to the song! Dancing penguins?! Skating chefs with huge whisks?! AND singing about his favorite beverage. Well, as you can imagine… it was fabulous!Skaters performing to "Hot Chocolate" at SeaWorld's Winter Wonderland on Ice

Hot chocolate, the drink!, has been a fun treat this year. All through the Christmas Market, and throughout the park, there are drink stations! We purchased the insulated mugs that allow you to get inexpensive refills. I have at least a pound or two of holiday weight gain thanks to these little babies, but OH has it been fun! (My favorite photos are of my little guy with a chocolate mustache curled up his cheeks while he hugs Santa Shamu!)

Warm insides, chilly (chilly!) temperatures outside have made for a wintery wonderland this year. Sigh. It’ll be over in a few days. OK, now I’m getting depressed. Better go make some cocoa…