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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 Disney Very Merriest After Hours 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 now through January 2. 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.
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.
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale
What’s a celebration without fireworks?
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale is an excellent way to end your day at the park. Enjoy fireworks, lights, and fountains, all set to favorite holiday songs.
SeaWorld has a number of recommended viewing locations for watching the fireworks show:
From the front of the park, you’ll go left to get to Bayside Stadium. The pathway that you take is along the central lake and is known as Bayside Pathway. (On off-peak days, the pathway is sometimes blocked off.) For the fireworks, standing viewing and grass seating is available at Bayside Pathway.
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!
Culinary & Beverage Locations
There are plenty of delicious food and drinks available during the Christmas celebration!
There are 20 stations throughout the park where you can get scrumptious goodies and treats. This includes seafood dishes, mac & cheese bowls, flavored hot chocolate, seasonal craft beers, sliders, s’mores, baked goods, cheesecake waffle cones, and so much more.
We go over it all in a full review of SeaWorld Christmas Celebration Food.
Alongside Bayside Pathway, you can find the Christmas Market. Here, you can get some of the snacks and drinks we mentioned earlier. You can also find some special gifts, a model train village, playful elves, and more!
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.
If you’d like, you can purchase reserved seating for Elmo’s Christmas Wish. This also includes a Meet & Greet with some of the characters after the show! Just make sure to arrive at the theater at least 15 minutes prior to showtime.
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!
If a meet and greet with Santa Claus is one of your top priorities, consider getting the Priority Access Meet-and-Greet Santa Claus + Rudolph and Friends Photo Package. For a fee, you and up to 4 other people can get priority access to meeting Santa, as well as meeting Rudolph and friends (we’ll go over that next). And you’ll get two 6×8 photos (one at each location).
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! Note that there is limited capacity to promote social distancing.
As we mentioned earlier, for an additional fee you can get a Priority Access Photo Package that includes Rudolph and friends as well as Santa Claus. You’ll get priority access to meeting Rudolph (and friends) plus priority access to meeting Santa. And at each place, you’ll get a 6×8 photo.
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.
- Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Corn Tortillas
- Assorted Chef Crafted Salads
- Slow Roasted Rosemary Infused Prime Rib with Horseradish Demi
- Traditional Sage Rubbed Turkey with Pan Gravy and Citrus Cranberry Relish
- Mac and Cheese
- Herbed Butter Roasted Red Potatoes
- Smokey Bacon & Maple Brussels Sprouts
- Green Bean Casserole
- Assorted Freshly Baked Holiday Desserts
- Pecan Crusted Sweet Potato Flan
Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast
What a great way to start the day! At the Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast (which takes place from December 17 through January 2), 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:
- Chef-carved, brown sugar glazed ham served with bacon and turkey sausage links
- 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 milk, juice, and coffee
Rudolph’s Movie Experience
At Rudolph’s Movie Experience, you can enjoy a 10-minute long, warm-hearted Rudolph movie while you eat. This takes place at Seafire Grill, and starts every 30 minutes. (This makes it convenient – no matter when you sit down to eat, you won’t have to wait too long until the movie starts from the beginning.) In between showings, a fireplace display creates a cozy, happy atmosphere.
Now, you may have noticed that the word “Experience” is included in the title. That’s because it’s not just a movie. At one point, you get to experience snow, just like the characters in the movie! And if that doesn’t sound appetizing to you, don’t worry. Some tables are marked “Snow Zone” – not unlike the Splash Zones at SeaWorld shows – so you can avoid sitting there if you don’t want “snow” to fall on your meal.
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 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 4:00 PM to approximately 9:15 PM.
As a VIP, here’s what you can enjoy:
- Dinner with Santa
- Priority photo opportunities with Santa, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and their friends
- 1 complimentary Photo Key per party with additional holiday photo opportunities
- VIP seating at Orca Encounter and Winter Wonderland on Ice
- Special viewing of the Sea of Trees, along with holiday desserts
- 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.
Sounds of the Season Performance Series
Enjoy live concerts and theatrical performances inside the Nautilus Theater! The full schedule has not yet been announced (you can check here for updates). So far, O-Town Motown and Steven Curtis Chapman are scheduled to perform in November.
Happy Holidays in Sesame Street Land
In addition to the Christmas parade, there are other holiday celebrations in Sesame Street Land.
From November 28 through December 6, 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!