The Top 5 was invited to a tweet up at Sea World to preview the newest things at their Christmas Celebration, and I was quite impressed. I had never attended their seasonal offerings before, and I found myself rediscovering Sea World at night, where it is a seemingly different park!
Since hubby and son were unavailable, I grabbed my mother and we headed out for a VIP greeting by Sea World’s PR staff. Swag bag and credentials in hand, we were escorted to a reception area complete with yummy cookies and two special guests: Pete and Penny Penguin!
Top 5 editor Bess Auer chatting with Pete and Penny Penguin.
The reception overlooked the beautiful lake where you could see a watery, majestic forest of brightly lit trees. Gorgeous!
Beautiful backdrop for our gathering!
We were then officially greeted by the Sea World marketing and PR department, where Michael Fletcher took time to explain the different “zones” and new highlights of the Christmas Celebration:
Clyde & Seamore’s Holiday Show – Sea World took one of my favorite shows and added a holiday twist. These funny sea lions must tidy up and complete some chores to make Santa’s “good list.” Hilarious!
Shamu Christmas… Miracles – a fabulous new show with really cool multi-media effects. Again, seeing it at night creates such a different ambience than a daytime show. I liked it! (See video at bottom of post.)
The Sea of Trees – a beautiful forest of brightly lit trees whose lights flash and change color according to the music. There are 75 trees, several tons of light bulbs, and over 8 miles of cables of lights! Yeah, it is pretty darn spectacular!
The Christmas Market – my personal favorite space, due to the unusual lighting and atmosphere. There are gorgeous white crystal ice trees surrounded by penguins and polar bears. Here you can shop for special gifts or get toasty hot chocolate. Sea World has come out with lots of new gifts and products just for the season.
Brightly lit polar bear family
Lit up penguin family
Top 5 editor Bess Auer with a new friend
Winter Wonderland on Ice – a super-cute ice skating show that features some fabulous athletes and actors! (See more in the video at the bottom of the post.)
Photo from Sea World.
Photo from Sea World
Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street – this lovable Sesame Street creature takes time to welcome little ones to Sea World’s Christmas, just like she did for Halloween. I love this pairing of Sesame Street and Sea World!
All of Sea World’s normal attractions are open during this time, including the Manta and other rides, and you can even visit the Polar Express where you will be serenaded and the transported to meet Santa Claus! (See video at bottom of post.)
And, it wouldn’t be a theme park Christmas without S-N-O-W! And, Sea World doesn’t disappoint, as it snows several times throughout the night!
Look closely for snow flurries
And, I must admit, I like the thought Sea World put into their planning and decorations. Who else would have created a snowflake design featuring whales!
Can you see the whales in the snowflake?
I did have a charming time strolling the boardwalk among the magical trees. I highly recommend going on one of the nights… it is the perfect setting for seasonal romance! (Too bad I my hubby wasn’t there!) However, it is a moving setting for anyone, young or old, to venture through the spectacularly dramatic park as trees light up and music softly plays. Truly majestic!
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I was excited to see friends and fellow bloggers Jennifer Leet from The Dirty Shirt as well as Rori Paul from RoriTravel’s Florida.
Bess Auer with Laura and Rori Paul
I also got to hang with Gabe Travers from WESH.com as well as Kevin Cantor who is one of my favorite tweeps as @FLallday. (See the Top 5 Facebook page for photos of Kevin and others.)
Final thoughts – I definitely recommend adding Sea World’s Christmas Celebration to your must-do holiday list. Unlike the other theme parks, where red and green holiday decorations abound, the colorful and iridescent variations of the watery atmosphere seem to transport you to another place. Purples, pinks, deep blues and greens, as well as penguins, polar bears, sea lions, and walruses beckon you to stay and play in the winter wonderland. The wide sidewalks provide plenty of wheelchair and stroller space and somehow seem less hectic and chaotic than other theme park celebrations.
And, yes, the Sea of Trees is mesmerizing in the most wonderful way! here’s a video overview with footage provided by Sea World:
To see all the photos from the Top 5’s trip to Sea World’s Christmas Celebration 2010, visit our Facebook Fan Page.