Disclaimer: My family and I were invited to experience SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. I received park admission, a parking voucher and Shamu bucks as compensation for my honest review. The opinions shared are my own.
Recently, SeaWorld has received a bit of bad press regarding the film, Black Fish. Even if SeaWorld removed Shamu, its famous killer whale and star attraction in response to the public outcry, my family and I would still visit the park regularly. SeaWorld educates millions of visitors about conservation and has the means to help countless of sea creatures, like Winter.
When SeaWorld invited my family and me to visit SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, we focused on the beauty of the season, Sea of Trees and my kids’ favorite Christmas ride, The Polar Express Experience.
Upon our arrival in the early evening, we decided to eat first and after dinner we would start our SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration at The Polar Express Experience. Typically, when we visit the park, we pack plenty of snacks and grab a light meal. For a change of pace, we chose to dine at Voyager’s Smokehouse. Voyager’s Smokehouse claims to have the best barbecue in Orlando and after our dining experience, it is a title well-deserved.
The slow-smoked meats over genuine hickory wood produced the most juicy, flavorful barbecue. The sauce had just the right sweetness and heat which finished the meat off perfectly. For our family of five, Allan, Allana and I split the oversized, generous portions three meat combo platter. I ordered two kids meals (hot dog with fries and chicken nuggets with fries) for the two younger kids. Between the three meals and mountains of fries, we had plenty of food
After dinner, we quickly headed over to The Polar Express Experience and the line had 50-minute wait. Thankfully with Quick Queue passes, our wait time dropped to less than five minutes and we boarded the ride almost immediately. Liam was thrilled to board the real Polar Express.
During SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, the Wild Arctic transforms into a magical train ride bound for the North Pole. As this beloved holiday film comes to life, guests become immersed in the heart-warming story of a young boy’s thrilling ride into an enchanted world.
With steam puffing from the locomotive and radiator, bells jingling in the distance, the joyful boisterous laughter of Santa Claus, all the sights, sounds, and scents of the season surrounded us. Enthralled with it all, my three year old said it was the most amazing train ride ever.
Once The Polar Express arrived at the North Pole, my children pressed their hands on the walls of ice. While we waited to visit with Santa, our Christmas t-shirts and shorts seemed like strange attire for the North Pole, however, Santa appreciated the sentiment printed on my shirt: Believe. Since the magic of Christmas embraces all The Polar Express passengers, it’s hard not to believe.
After our visit with Santa, we took advantage of the relatively short lines for the rides throughout the park. Liam wanted to ride another train as his sisters rode the Jazzy Jellies and The Flying Fiddler.
On our way to Manta, we admired the Sea of Trees, a glistening forest with over 100 massive trees that glisten and sparkle over the water as the lights dance to holiday classics. From the boardwalk to Bayside Stadium around the center lake, a remarkable choreographed magical Christmas light show wows the crowd every evening beginning at 6:00 during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.
As we enjoyed the sounds and sights of the Sea of Trees, Allan and I treated ourselves to some cider and spiced rum at The Christmas Market. I preferred the Hard Winter Cider over the Cranberry Hot Tottie with dark spiced rum. The cold cider was perfect for a warm evening.
While sipping on our cider by a blazing fire, we also enjoyed the acapella tunes of Pop Fusion. Their beatbox, hip-hop harmony put a new spin to our favorite holiday songs.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration truly captures the spirit of the season and my family and I are thrilled to make it part of our Christmas traditions.
Make SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration part of your family’s holiday tradition this season. All of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration attractions take place on select dates November 23 through December 31, 2013 and are included with park admission or annual pass. To purchase tickets, visit seaworldparks.com