Spooktacular at SeaWorld… A Boo-tiful Thing

Last weekend we enjoyed the fall family fun that is SeaWorld Spooktacular! From trick-or-treating along the shore, to Halloween themed shows and entertainment, Spooktacular is a Boo-tiful thing to our family (and it’s included with park admission!). Spooktacular takes place weekends throughout the entire month of October, from 12 – 8 p.m.

Spooktacular Collage 2014The Sesame Street Countdown to Halloween show at the Seaport Theater, is a family fave. Human host Jamie interacts with the cutest monsters around for a not-scary-at-all musical good time. I especially love The Count (ahh ahh ahh!) and Transylvania 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5. It’s a play on the Big Band classic Pennsylvania 6-500. Kids of all ages will be singing along with Elmo, Telly Monster, Abby Cadabby and all their Sesame Street friends.

New this year is the Dine With Shamu Halloween Spooktacular Brunch (added item, not included in admission). Enjoy a delicious menu of seasonal items while sitting at a reserved table that brings you up close to majestic killer whales and Halloween surprises — a family photo with a Halloween Spooktacular frame, a free cookie decorating kit and a trick-or-treat bag with goodies. Pass members, buy your tickets through the pass member portal for discount admission.

PumpkinGuts2014Every year we enjoy The Longshoremen doing their “Pumpkin Guts” routine. Set just outside the SeaFire Inn restaurant, the performance staring an amazing and talented comedic trio will have you busting a gut (pun intended) as they try to scoop out the pumpkin guts to carve them. Spoiler Alert: They don’t have much success at anything but making a MESS!

Down at Penelope’s Party Zone, kids can get creative at the Jo-Ann CraftZone or dance to the live DJ’s family-friendly tunes. Though my son HAS the Turtle Trek app at home, he enjoyed playing on the huge screen, while his little friend made a picture at the coloring desks. Walking down and up from the party zone, big AND little kids couldn’t help but stop and push the buttons that make water dance out in the bay. Every detail has been thought of, and guests will be amazed at how much they’re immersed into the sea-themed magic all around.

Make sure to have your child’s photo taken with the myriad under-water creatures who grace Spooktacular while you trick-or-treat or partake in the games and goodies available for purchase along the bay. Because there is such a wide variety of creatures, there are usually not very long lines. Insider tip: Parents can trick-or-treat, too! (We’re kind of partial to the Junior Mints and Lemonheads!)

Whether you’re there for the treats or entertainment, you’ll have a boo-tiful experience at SeaWorld Spooktacular. See you there this weekend! And the next. And EVERY weekend in October!

Ticket deal: For a limited time, parents can get 50% off an Annual Pass for kids 9 and under with the purchase of a full-paid Annual Pass.  For more details and to purchase, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.

Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando is Coming Soon

I love Halloween. I love dressing up. I love getting the house all “decked out” for a night of family-friendly fun. I’m not much into getting scared. For me, SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is right up my alley, and is one of the most fun events of the year. It seems to get better and better all the time.

Starting October 4, SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place from 12 to 8 p.m. October: 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26.

spooktacular2013bNew this year is a Dine With Shamu Halloween Spooktacular Brunch. In what’s being called “an immersive and memorable brunch experience,” families will enjoy a seasonal menu while being up close and personal with SeaWorld’s majestic killer whales. Plus, Halloween surprises are promised including a family photo with a Spooktacular frame, a free cookie decorating kit (something my 7-year-old loves!), and a trick-or-treat bag with goodies.

This year’s candy line-up in “Waves of Trick-or-Treat Fun” includes Tootsie Rolls, jelly beans, Airheads… just to name a few. The great fun is not only in getting to indulge in lots of yummy treats (aka “sometimes foods in our house, LOL), but stopping by all the themed characters and stop points. There is SO much to see.

Insider tip: Most guests enter the trick-or-treat line from the entrance closest to the
park entrance. To get in with less waiting, position yourself near the “other” end of
the trick-or-treat pathway, on the other side of the park… past the arcade, area
near the underwater viewing side of Shamu Stadium.

Make sure you check out Penelope’s Party Zone over in the Bayside area. There you’ll find craft stations, bubbles galore, fun music including a live DJ, and the most adorable sea-themed characters you can imagine!

Keep that dancing idea going into the night at an hour before closing. Princess Penelope and all her undersea friends can “get down” in the Village Square at the front of the park. It’s always a blast.

Admission to SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is included with SeaWorld admission, whether you have a day pass, fun card, or annual pass!

Add-ons include: Sweet Treat Decorating, and the Dine with Shamu Spooktacular Brunch.

See you there. (I’ll be the one in costume!)

Last Weekend For Spooktacular

A DOG fish at SeaWorld Spooktacular

It’s a RUFF life! LOL Fun Dogfish at SeaWorld Spooktacular

I can’t wait for tomorrow! We’ll be at SeaWorld Orlando for Spooktacular… the last weekend of the year!

New to this year is Penelope’s Party Zone. It’s a fun nighttime event that is included with admission each weekend evening. (It’s the reason I LOVE getting annual passes at SeaWorld… all this fun is part of it).

I’m especially excited to see Kristen Cumings, the JellyBelly® artist in residence who will be making a rockhopper penguin portrait during this final weekend. Her mural will be made with more than 10,000 JellyBelly jelly beans! Kids will be able to create their own Spooktacular Jelly Belly artwork, too! Sounds beautiful. (And delicious if I sneak a few… which I will!)

See you and all my silly and spooky fun friends this weekend!

Spooktacular 2013—Starfish “Star” Treatment

We’re huge Spooktacular fans. We usually attend every weekend its held (as you may have read here… or here!). Sometimes TWICE in one weekend. It’s that much fun!

Spooktacular2013

There you’ll see whimsical witches, jazzy jellyfish, exotic creatures from the deep and in the air, and friendly starfish galore! It may be called “Spook”tacular, but there’s nothing spooky about it. It’s lots of not-scary, no-spooking, just plain fun!

Brought back again this year is the very fun Super Starfish of the Day contest! To enter, when you get to the park, post a photo of your kids (or YOU) in costumes at SeaWorld Orlando by noon (weekends only) on their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages using the  #SeaWorldSpooktacular hashtag. They announce the winner shortly after 12:15 p.m. on the various outlets. That lucky family then gets Quick Queue passes, all day dining passes for the day, complimentary cookie decorating session at Penelope’s Party Zone, reserved seating at shows, and a complimentary merchandise photo at any location in the park to always remember their Spooktacular day!

Spooktacular 2013 SeaWorldNew this year is the Spooktacular Dance Party.

Princess Penelope and her undersea friends (including a dancing Shamu in costume and Daisy Dolphin in HER finest!) dance to such favorites as Monster Mash and the popular dance party fave Gangham Style, LOL. My little man did NOT want to leave, even though he told us more than once he was “soooo tired.” Once he got to the party, though, he got a sudden second wind and was rocking out with the gang amid a cloud of bubbles and characters galore. The rockin’ fun kicks off at 7 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. (although the “soooo tired” kicked in for him FINALLY at 8, so we didn’t quite make last call. Ha!).

In the past my little guy had a different costume for every weekend. He’s a little older and this year we’re “saving” the big one for the final weekend and dressing in fall colors or Halloween-type clothing. That’s one of the cool things about trick-or-treating there… you don’t have to have a costume (and you don’t have to be a kid… or even HAVE a kid). Best yet, all this fun is included in regular admission. There are no extra fees to attend any of these events (although you can go to to Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast (with awesome photo opportunities with the characters) for an additional fee of $24 for adults and $14 for children (ages 2-9).

Starry Night, a Jelly Belly® creation by Kristen Cumings

Starry Night, a Jelly Belly® creation by Kristen Cumings

I’m especially excited to watch Jelly Belly® artist in residence Kristen Cumings as she creates a portrait of a rockhopper penguin from thousands of Jelly Belly jelly beans October 26-27 from 12–8 p.m. inside the craft zone (on the last weekend of Spooktacular) as a tribute to the opening of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins. During that time, kids can decorate a Jelly Bean Spooktacular mural as well!

Today we’ll head over there in time to trick or treat (again) and watch our favorite street performers The Longshoremen. (Showtime for Sunday, October 13 are 2:25 & 3:55.) They

What would SeaWorld Spooktacular be without some Pumpkin Guts!?

What would SeaWorld Spooktacular be without some Pumpkin Guts!?

perform Along the Shore and do the routine Pumpkin Guts this time of year. It’s one of our favorite parts of the season, as the guys truly crack us up. Check them out if you can, and have a great time on your next visit to SeaWorld Orlando! We’ll be the people sitting in front so close to the pumpkin guts that we have “real” guts on us! (Think of it as an orange SPLASH Zone!)

One Weekend Left for Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Spooktacular is a tradition for our family. Since it’s held every weekend in October, we try to make it out a few times. This year we’ve been every single weekend and there’s one more to go!

To add to the festivities this year, we decided to go to the “Count Von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast” (which is an additional charge). If you love the Sesame Street gang, this is a fantastic opportunity to get character photos! If you’re expecting a big show… not so much. There was a short dance number, but we missed it standing in line for food. Yes, I was bummed about missing it, but I did feel pretty special getting a hug from Cookie Monster himself. The food was typical theme-park fare, and the quantities were generous.

It’s hard to decide what we enjoy most, but live comedy has to be up there… especially the Longshoremen. They put on quite the show! (And this year’s pumpkin performance was the “gutsiest” ever, ha ha.)

The pumpkin guts are flying now!

People watching is another favorite pastime. I especially enjoy seeing how creative people can be with their costumes. I’m particularly fond of homemade costumes, and “family costumes.” The prettiest little Shamu smiled at us this past weekend. Her mom shared how she insisted on being the adorable orca. Mom, ya done good!

Families even get into the act, like the Toy Story gang. There was another little one in costume (a lamb) but, shhh, she’s sleeping!

I consider myself a really creative person, and I think that’s another reason I appreciate all that’s done for Spooktacular. The characters who greet the children are wildly imaginative… And there are so many of them! Yes, it is crowded at times, but if you’re patient and either get their first or wait for a few hours to enter the Spooktacular walkway, you’ll have a great time.

Theme Park Insider Tip: Don’t enter Spooktacular candy lane at the front entrance by the geese and Dolphin Nursery. Walk around to the other side of the park and enter from the opposite end of “Candy Lane.” The lines will be a LOT shorter!

A sure-fire hit with the kids is “Countdown to Halloween,” in the Pets Ahoy Theater. Abby, Elmo, and of course The Count will dance and sing to seasonal favorites like “Monster Mash.” It’s a graveyard smash!

So grab your cutest costume, or wear plain clothes… they don’t mind… and get to the last weekend of Spooktacular 2011. Even big kids with no kids of their own are welcome to dress up, trick-or-treat, watch shows and pretend they haven’t grown up… not yet, anyway! I know I haven’t!