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If you’re looking for a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season in Orlando, you should visit SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration!
You can enjoy shows, a parade, character meet and greets, and more. And unlike Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream, this is NOT a separate ticketed event. The fun is included with your regular SeaWorld admission! (There are a few extra add ons, which can make for an extra special experience – but you don’t need them to have an amazing time.)
The Christmas Celebration takes place on select days between November 10, 2023, through January 2, 2024. But even if you don’t go on a day it’s officially taking place, you may be able to enjoy some of the festivities. Check the park calendar to get a daily schedule for the date you plan on visiting SeaWorld.
Right now, we’re going to go over the different activities you can enjoy during the holidays at SeaWorld Orlando. And then we’ll let you know how you can save money on a trip there with a SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Vacation package!
Winter Wonderland On Ice
Do you like watching ice skating? Then you definitely do not want to miss this show!
Winter Wonderland on Ice is a fantastic show that features excellent ice skating. And that’s not all! Much of the choreography and music is also matched perfectly with the fountains and the beautiful Christmas lights on the trees in the background. Our family has always enjoyed holiday ice skating shows at the Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks, but this year’s is our favorite yet.
You can see a video of the performance here:
Sesame Street Christmas Parade
This Christmas parade is a must see! It’s a fun, upbeat holiday parade that goes through Sesame Street Land. You’ll be able to see favorite characters like Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, Count von Count, and more. And there are colorful floats and engaging dancers as well.
This parade is a night parade, but times vary. Like with all of the activities and events, make sure to check the park calendar on the SeaWorld website for the date of your visit. There are sometimes multiple parades during the day, so you could be able to watch it during the day and at night.
In fact, seeing it twice in one day is what we did. If you’re a fan of Christmas parades, then I believe the parade is that enjoyable. Also, seeing the lights on the floats looks a bit different at night. Plus, you could consider watching from a different location the second time around. The parade stops partway through, and the characters get off the floats to dance and move around. Watching from a different vantage point will help you see more characters.
Here are videos of the daytime and nighttime versions of the parade:
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks Finale
What’s a celebration without fireworks?
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks Finale is an excellent way to end your day at the park. Enjoy fireworks and lights, all set to favorite holiday songs.
SeaWorld has a number of recommended viewing locations for watching the fireworks show:
Limited seating is available between the Wild Arctic attraction and Bayside Pathway. (Note that there is generally a performance of Winter Wonderland on Ice at Bayside Stadium preceding the fireworks.)
There is tiered-level and wheelchair-accessible viewing around this restaurant.
Orca Encounter Pathway
This is the pathway between Orca Encounter and the lake (it’s on the opposite side of the stadium from Infinity Falls).
Park Entrance Plaza
The benefit of standing near the front of the park is that you’ll be among the first to exit after the fireworks are over. That head start to the parking lot can make a big difference in how long it takes you to leave!
You can stand between Seafire Grill and Voyager’s Smokehouse.
Wild Arctic Plaza
There is standing viewing available next to Wild Arctic and the Glacier Bar.
Sea of Trees
At the Sea of Trees showtimes, you’ll be able to see a gorgeous light display on the trees in the lagoon, all synced to classic holiday songs! Because of the lagoon’s central location in SeaWorld, you can view these trees from many locations throughout the park.
As for the trees themselves, they range in heights of 10 feet up to over 70 feet. They are planted in up to 14 feet of water. And they are certainly impressive to view!
O Wondrous Night
This fan favorite Christmas show uses animals – puppet animals and live animals! – to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. As the use of animals might suggest, the story is told from a unique perspective. There’s also fantastic singing, 30+ carols, and a little humor as well. You can watch this wonderful holiday show at Nautilus Theater, which is located between Mako and Infinity Falls. Please note that the theater is indoors, so it’s also a good way to get out of the cold (or heat!).
Elmo’s Christmas Wish
This family friendly show starring Elmo can be viewed in Seaport Theater. As the title may have suggested, Elmo is trying to find his Christmas wish. He’ll get help from his friends Cookie Monster, Zoe, Rosita, and Grover.
Meet Santa at Wild Arctic
If you’d like to meet Santa, you can appropriately find him in the Arctic… the Wild Arctic attraction, to be exact!
Fans of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will definitely want to visit Rudolph’s ChristmasTown! You can see life-sized storybook vignettes featuring Rudolph’s story. And you can meet beloved characters like Bumble and even Rudolph himself!
Dinner with Santa
If you love meeting characters, there’s another opportunity to meet Santa Claus. And that’s by having Dinner with Santa! This is a special dining event that includes a delicious holiday meal as well as the chance to meet Santa.
This all-you-care-to-eat meal includes some classic holiday favorites.
- Fall Salad
- Baby spinach, candies walnuts, poached pears, Frisée & tangy poppy seed vinaigrette
- Green Beans Almondine
- Seasonal artisan cheeses, cured meats & marinated olives
- Roasted Pork Loin
- Achiote garlic confit rubbed with pink peppercorn tamarind Au Ju
- Sausage Stuffing Fried Turkey Breast
- Served with crispy sage, cornbread & cranberry gastrique
- Yukon Gold Whipped Mashed Potatoes Andoullie
- Cheesy Macaroni
- Wisconsin sharp cheddar with scallions
- Root Vegetable Casserole
- Warm Bread Pudding
- Petit Fours
- Chicken Tenders and Fries
- Corn Dog
- Mac ‘n Cheese
This character dining experience is offered on select dates. Click here to book your holiday meal.
Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast
What a great way to start the day! At the Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast (which takes place on Saturdays from November 26 through December 24), you can tasty breakfast favorites – all while some of your favorite Sesame Street characters dance and mingle with guests. You’ll be sure to have a lot of great photo opportunities!
Menu options include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Biscuits and sausage gravy
- French toast sticks
- Potato tots
- Freshly baked pastries
- Freshly cut seasonal fruit
- Western omelet eggs
- Yogurt with topping bar
- Assorted cereals
- Assorted beverages like coffee, juice, and milk
If you have any concerns related to allergies or diet, you are asked to notify the hostess. And gluten free options will be available.
Holiday Menu at Sharks Underwater Grill
Sharks Underwater Grill is a wonderful table service restaurant that’s open year round. This holiday season, though, in addition to the usual menu, you can order off a special holiday menu! The limited time offerings include fried turkey breast, smoked ham, a delicious bread pudding dessert, and more. For more information, check out our guide and review of the holiday dining options at Sharks Underwater Grill.
Culinary & Beverage Locations
Not looking for a sit down dining experience, but still want to enjoy some holiday food?
Well, not to worry – there are plenty of delicious food and drinks available during the Christmas celebration!
There are 14 stations throughout the park where you can get scrumptious goodies and treats. This includes seafood dishes, mac & cheese bowls, frozen hot chocolate, s’mores, baked goods, cheesecake, waffles, and so much more.
If you’d like to save money on these seasonal treats and brews, consider getting a Christmas Celebration Tasting and Brew Sampler. This will give you access to either 5 or 10 food and brew samples, depending on which Sample Lanyard you purchase. It can be any combination of food and brew samples – choose your favorites from the 40+ food and drink options.
You can use the Sampler on more than one day, as long as it’s during the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration. This makes it an especially good idea if you’ll be visiting multiple days. It expires on January 3, 2023.
Here’s a full review of SeaWorld Christmas Celebration Food from last year.
Public Ice Skating
Enjoy a special winter experience with you and your family – ice skating!
You can go ice skating at Bayside Stadium at select times during the day. You can schedule a time beforehand. Please note that the fee that includes ice skate rental. (You are not allowed to bring your own ice skates to the park.)
Also, you will need to wear crew length socks and gloves. You can purchase those when you check-in if needed.
Speaking of check in, you’re asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time.
Guests as young as 3 years old can participate, as long as they can fit into the smallest size skates available for renting. And guests younger than 14 must be accompanied by a paying adult. A liability waiver must be signed, so if a guest is younger than 18, they need to have a guardian or parent present to sign it for them.
This is a great way to make special memories with your family!
Christmas Movies at Seafire Grill
Seafire Grill is a great place to eat anytime of the year, as we discuss in our review. But now during the Christmas Celebration, classic, heartwarming movies will be playing throughout the day. It really adds to the experience!
An Elf’s Story
Listen to an entertaining elf tell classic Christmas stories. And watch as they perform some impressive feats! A younger guest may also be invited to help tell a holiday tale. This takes place at Sharks Plaza.
Big Bird’s Christmas Storytime
Kids can gather around Big Bird’s Nest at various times during the day to hear seasonal stories told by everyone’s favorite big yellow bird.
In addition to all of the scheduled shows and performance, you might come across some live entertainment at the Christmas Celebration. For example, on our last visit, the Reindeer Horns were performing near Wild Arctic and Altitude Burgers.
Christmas Celebration VIP Tour
If you’re looking for the ultimate way to enjoy SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, this might be it!
The VIP Tour runs from 3:30 PM to park close.
As a VIP, here’s what you can enjoy:
- Dinner with Santa
- A festive holiday souvenir
- Priority photo opportunities with Santa and other holiday friends
- 1 complimentary Photo Key per party
- Reserved show seating (includes Signature Holiday Shows)
- Unlimited front-of-line access to rides
- Hot Chocolate Souvenir Mug, along with complimentary refills
The tour does not include park admission, but it is required, so you’ll need to purchase that separately. You’ll need to check in 15 minutes before your tour starts. You can do that at the Tours Welcome Center, which is located at the base of the Sky Tower.
Happy Holidays in Sesame Street Land
In addition to the Christmas parade, there are other holiday celebrations in Sesame Street Land.
From December 7 through December 15, there will be a traditional lighting of the menorah for Hanukkah.
And from December 26 through January 1, Kwanzaa will be celebrated with the nightly lighting of the kinara.
Even if you can enjoy snow in your hometown during the winter – and especially if you can’t! – there is something extra special about seeing snow flurries inside a Florida theme park. You can catch the snow flurries at the Shoppes at Waterfront.
Holiday Vacation Package for SeaWorld Orlando
Now that you’ve heard about all the fun things to do during the Christmas season, you’re going to want to travel to Orlando to visit SeaWorld, right?
Well, you can save money by taking advantage of this great SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Vacation Package! The package includes hotel, park admission, reserved seating at all of the Christmas & Signature Shows, and more!