Wordless Wednesday – December 25, 2013
We want to wish everyone celebrating today a very Merry Christmas!
We hope that you all have a day full of family, fun, and love!
Merry Christmas from Orlando!!!
Recently I participated in my second non-Disney race at SeaWorld with the Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run. This three mile fun run was a great Christmas themed race through SeaWorld Orlando. It was a nice morning to start the Reindeer Run at 7:15am with a temp in the low 60s and slightly overcast skies. Not really knowing how this was going to be organized in comparison to most of my other races, I decided to get to the race at 6:30 so I could find my way around and meet up with my friend Doug. We found each other about half an hour before start time and got in the corral for joggers. There was also a corral for walkers scheduled to start about 15 minutes after the jogging participants.
Tons of people dressed up for this race, possibly a greater percentage of runners than for any other race in which I’ve participated. There were especially a lot of reindeer antler headbands for the Reindeer Run. This made for a fun atmosphere at the start of the race, which was a bit quieter than I was used to without a DJ to warm up the crowd and play music.
The first mile of the Reindeer Run was in the SeaWorld parking lot, then the rest of the three mile run was almost entirely in the park itself. There were so many cool things to see throughout the park like the Sea of Tree lights and the fountains, Santa Claus was there for pictures and there were decorations and lights on the course.
Race registration is only $25 and a portion goes to charity. There is no medal for this race, but you do get a long sleeve shirt with the Reindeer Run logo. I would definitely do this race again. It was a lot of fun and there were a lot of great things to see along the way. This was a great way to see SeaWorld and to get in the holiday spirit while contributing to charity. There were also costume contests after the race as well as a free kids run. I highly recommend this race if you’re looking for something fun to do next December. Have you done the Reindeer Run before? What were your thoughts?Follow us for more updates:
SeaWorld Orlando plays host to my favorite Christmas Celebration at any of the area theme parks and I’m so excited it returns this weekend! I attended this special event for the first time last year and loved it! It is included in regular park admission and takes place each weekend through the end of the year, and some weeknights the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve (always double check dates and times on the website before heading out).
Most of the events during SeaWorld’s Christmas take place during the afternoon and evening. Special offerings include music from a capella singers, to Christmas carols played on a classical guitar to Elmo’s Christmas Wish featuring many of your favorite Sesame Street characters. I loved the whole vibe of the park in the evening with the lights and music throughout bringing Christmas to life.
There are fun shows including some of SeaWorld’s most famous residents with Shamu’s Christmas Miracles. Last year I didn’t get around to seeing Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, so it is near the top of my list of must dos this time around. I love their regular show, so I’m sure this one will be just as enjoyable and will be full of holiday spirit.
At the top of my list of things I want to catch that I missed last year is the very popular Polar Express Experience. I grew up reading Chris Van Allsburg books and he is still one of my favorite children’s book authors. Reading the Polar Express each year on Christmas Eve is still a tradition in my house. Another show on my list to see is O Wondrous Night, which is a telling of the Christmas story complete with live animals that would have been found in the manger.
Something that you should not miss is the Sea of Trees featured all along the waterfront area. The gorgeous trees are lit beautifully and dance to some of your favorite holiday hits! I cannot tell you how mesmerized I was by this fantastic show! Catch it several times throughout the night from different vantage points if you can.
Winter Wonderland is an incredible ice skating show set to Christmas music. SeaWorld visitors will appreciate the mix of characters with stories accompanied by some amazingly talented performers. This show often only takes place once during the evening, so make sure to check times of shows before arriving at the park so you don’t miss this great performance!
Throughout the night you will find entertainers roaming the park with comedy acts, strolling musicians, and maybe even some snowflakes. Select SeaWorld restaurants offer the All-Day Dining Deal and even include some special holiday menu items. You can also book Santa’s Fireside Feast in advance if you are looking for a buffet with a meeting with Santa at the end. In addition to unique food and beverages, SeaWorld has special merchandise available for the holiday season for sale at the Christmas Market and several other locations throughout the park.
My favorite part of attending last year’s Christmas celebration at SeaWorld was hands down the amazing fireworks display called Holiday Reflections. This phenomenal show is I think best seen from Bayside Stadium facing the Waterfront. It incorporates music and water elements with the fireworks to put on one of my favorite fireworks shows anywhere of the entire year.
If you get an opportunity, I highly recommend that you visit SeaWorld Orlando for their Christmas event. It is such a great value since it is at no additional cost (of course other than food, drinks, souvenirs, etc.). I absolutely loved this special event last year and was disappointed when I could only go one night. This year will be different! I hope to find myself visiting at least a few times to go back and catch my favorite things I experienced last year and to check out the new to me shows and attractions I missed.
Have you been to SeaWorld’s Christmas? What is your favorite show or attraction? I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!Follow us for more updates:
I don’t know about you, but I love Halloween! It is such a fun time of year with all the parties going on everywhere!
Last year was little man’s first Halloween, but at 6 months, he was more cute than anything else. We didn’t do too much more than a “costume” and some pictures. This year he’s big enough to go and have fun!
I jumped on the opportunity to take him to SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular this year! Costumes, candy, dance parties and characters, what fun!!
We really had a great time at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular! Overall it seemed to REALLY be geared towards the little ones, and that was perfect for us. My favorite things are that this special event is included in your regular park admission, it is during regular park hours (i.e. no late nights!) and there are lots of activities going on during Spooktacular!
Little man’s favorite things are the bubbles everywhere, the trick or treat trail (where he could hold his bag closed and try to give his candy/snacks back to people), the dance party and the characters!
One of the things available at a small addition fee was cookie decorating. He had so much fun playing with his cookie and eating it!
It wasn’t very crowded at all while we were there, it was quite nice! Unfortunately this event is only available a few days in the season – just weekends in October, so we were only able to go once. Next year it is definitely on our must do list! Have you been to SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular? What was your favorite part?
This week’s Wordless Wednesday takes us to a Halloween Spooktacular of fun that truly is an underwater FantaSEA full of unique characters, candy, and Family fun at SeaWorld Orlando.Follow us for more updates:
A highlight of the Halloween Party season in Orlando for our family is Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando!
Halloween Spooktacular events at SeaWorld Orlando take place weekends in October on the 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27 from 12 to 8 pm, and Trick-or-Treat stations, special characters, Penelope’s Party Zone, and more are all included with your admission! There are also special Halloween Spooktacular themed cookie decorating, merchandise, and games which are available at a very reasonable extra charge.
While the party is filled with great activities, characters, candy, and fun here are our favorite highlights of Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando!
I absolutely adore how SeaWorld Orlando is transformed for Halloween Spooktacular! You’ll find fishy looking pumpkins, tons of bubbles, colorful banners, and scenes that really transport you to a Halloween ‘Fantasea’! Zoe especially loves the bubbles everywhere!!!
When you think of SeaWorld you may not think of meeting characters, but you should! This year Pirate Shamu and friends are meeting and dancing with guests at Penelope’s Party Zone in Bayside Stadium. This is a HUGE improvement from last year’s meet and greet location, because the characters really know how to boogie and really who doesn’t want to dance with Shamu???
3. Free Activities
Since Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando is during the day and centered around family fun, there are really great free activities for kids of all ages! For the younger guests at Halloween Spooktacular, there are coloring easels with stools and play areas. And for the older guests, there are pumpkin foam crafts to make and iPads with big screens set up to play the SeaWorld Turtle Trek game! These activities are all found in Penelope’s Party Zone, and I will warn parents that you will spend a lot of your Halloween Spooktacular time here!
4. Cookie Decorating
Every year there is a special treat to decorate, and this year’s cookie decorating doesn’t disappoint! On the upper walkway of Bayside Stadium you will find the cookie decorating tents where you can purchase a cookie decorating kit for $5.50, which includes a cookie, icing, decorating sprinkles & candies, and your choice of water, apple juice, and milk. What I especially love about this area is that it is a place where you and your children can sit away from the party to grab a snack and let them unwind for a spell. If you are a SeaWorld Orlando Annual Passholder, you will receive a discount on the cookie decorating kit!
5. Animal Interactions
Zoe ALWAYS loves the animal interactions that she finds when we visit SeaWorld Orlando, and she loves them even more when she can take a picture with them in her Halloween costume! The day we attended Halloween Spooktacular, Zoe met a Tawny Frogmouth, who was super soft and sweet!
I left our favorite highlight for last…Trick-or-Treating! At Halloween Spooktacular Trick-or-Treating is no joke! You can enter the Underwater Fantasea Path near Shamu Stadium or at the path near the Dolphin Nursery, and the path takes you through the center of all the Halloween Spooktacular fun with 12 Trick-or-Treating spots. The lines are clearly marked which keeps things really organized, and the type of candy being distributed is clearly displayed so you can see if you want to stop or if you need to start thinking of a candy trade to make! You also don’t have to worry about bringing a bag for your treats, because they have high quality paper bags and maps at both entrances to the path!
When you do go to Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando, make sure that you follow SeaWorld on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for great details and information! If you are sharing pictures also make sure to tag your pictures with #SeaWorldSpooktacular, because SeaWorld wants to hear from you and they are even holding contests for attendees!
I hope that you enjoyed our Pick Six for Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld Orlando, and I’d love to hear what you love the best about this family-friendly and fun filled Halloween event!
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When I was younger I used to dream about having a penguin that lived in our freezer, so when I had the opportunity to see one up close I jumped that the opportunity!
Earlier this year SeaWorld Orlando opened Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, and now the park is offering the Penguins Up Close Tour where guests can experience what it is like to work and live in this attraction and habitat.
The Penguins Up Close Tour is approximately 45 minute long, and is a walking tour that takes guests behind the scenes at the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin to see what it takes to keep these beautiful birds happy and healthy.
The tour is led by an Animal Care Specialist who is extremely knowledgeable about the birds and exhibit, and beyond happy to answer any and all of your questions!
It was fascinating to learn about their health care routines, feeding breakouts, and just how much manual labor goes into maintaining the penguin’s habitat.
For me the absolute highlight of the tour is that you get a rare opportunity to interact with and touch a penguin! It was beyond amazing! It also becomes apparent how easily Animal Care Specialists tell them apart, because their personalities shine in this encounter!
The Penguin Up Close Tour is offered several times a day, and because of the space in the attraction the groups are quite small which creates a very intimate environment where you really get the chance to experience the offerings instead of jockeying for space.
The Penguins Up Close Tour was absolutely amazing, and having the opportunity to interact with the penguins was a dream come true for me! I cannot recommend this tour highly enough for animal enthusiasts!!!
There are a few things to keep in mind when booking the Penguins Up Close Tour:
SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team returned 75 sea turtle hatchlings to waters off Florida’s east coast today. Ten green, three hawksbills, 61 loggerheads and one leatherback were transported by the Republic VII to a “weed line” about 14 miles offshore Jupiter, Fla.
A weed line is made up of sargassum sea weed grass and acts as protection and a source of food for the young turtles during the first two years of life.
Three of the 74 hatchlings had been receiving care at SeaWorld Orlando for the past several months. These hawksbill hatchlings were found by beachcombers and had likely been washed on shore due to harsh sea conditions. SeaWorld’s Animal Care Team assisted in providing medical and rehabilitative care, including feeding assistance, antibiotic treatment and radiographs, prior to today’s return.
Other juvenile turtles being returned today:
One by one, each turtle was carefully placed in the water near the sargassum sea weed line. Young turtles spend the two years of their life in the weed line. Jellyfish could be seen near the weed line, which are a main source of food for leatherbacks and can be a secondary source of food for other sea turtles as well.
Each turtle’s health was evaluated and all were medically cleared prior to today’s return.
In collaboration with the government and other members of accredited stranding networks, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue ill and injured marine animals, with the goal to rehabilitate and return to the waters. SeaWorld animal experts have helped more than 22,000 animals in need – ill, injured, orphaned and abandoned – for more than four decades. So far this year, SeaWorld Orlando has rescued 52 turtles and returned 47, not including today’s return.
All turtle rescue footage produced by SeaWorld under FWS Permit Number MA7701911
If you see injured marine animal, you can help by calling the FWC hotline at 1(888) 404-3922 or by dialing *FWC on a cellular device.Follow us for more updates:
Join SeaWorld Orlando every weekend in October for silly, spooky fun at Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families will be immersed in an underwater “fantasea” filled with trick-or-treating, dancing with sea fairies and pumpkin fish and sea-themed arts and crafts.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular takes place weekends in October: 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27, from 12 to 8 p.m., leaving the littlest of trick-or-treaters wide-eyed for all of the fun-filled activities. Halloween Spooktacular is included with park admission.
NEW this year: Spooktacular Dance Party
Princess Penelope and her undersea friends invite guests to join the Spooktacular Dance Party, where children can dance along to a Spooktacular mix of line-dancing favorites as clouds of bubbles fill the evening air. The party will kick off at the front of the park every event night an hour before SeaWorld’s park closing time.
Waves of Trick-or-Treat Fun
Offering more than two million pieces of sweet treats, costumed youngsters can trick-or-treat “under the sea.” Each trick-or-treat station features an assortment of ghoulish goodies including Tootsie Roll, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Airheads and other candy favorites.
Penelope’s Party Zone
Located at SeaWorld’s Bayside area, this dynamic underwater environment comes to life each day with a live DJ, a variety of interactive crafts to choose from, countless bubbles floating overhead and colorful pumpkin fish gliding around!
Sweet Treat Decorating
Kids and parents alike can have a “splash” creating their own sweet treats at the cookie decorating station. Kids will be able to decorate and devour their spooky cookie when they purchase a kit that comes equipped with a cookie, frosting and toppings.
Jelly Belly® Bean Art to Come to Life at Spooktacular
Jelly Belly artist in residence, Kristen Cumings, will use more than 10,000 Jelly Belly jelly beans to create a portrait of rockhopper penguins, reflecting SeaWorld’s all-new, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. Guests can watch as this handmade jelly bean creation comes together in front of their eyes during the final weekend of Halloween Spooktacular, Oct. 26 and 27. Kids can join in the fun too, with the opportunity to decorate a Halloween Spooktacular mural with a variety of Jelly Belly jelly beans.
Not included with admission to SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular, but always a really fun time is…
Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast
1-2-3… Dine with me! Don’t walk around on an empty stomach, stay 1 step ahead of hunger! What goes great with your 2 morning eggs? How about infinite hugs from Count von Count, Elmo and his furry friends! Featuring a delicious buffet sprinkled with the hottest characters in town, the Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast is a fun-filled experience sure to delight kids and parents alike. You can “count” on it! Adults $24, Child (2-9) $14.
We’ll be heading to SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular, and will be bringing you all sorts of great tips, tweets, and pictures!
Celebrity wildlife expert Jack Hanna returns to SeaWorld Orlando on September 14-15 for Jack Hanna Weekend, accompanied by many of the world’s most amazing animal ambassadors.
Included with park admission, this special limited-time series takes place at Nautilus Theater on Saturday, September 14, and Sunday, September 15. Shows will be at 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Recognized around the world for his boundless enthusiasm for animals and conservation, “Jungle Jack” helps us share in his wondrous connection to wildlife and the world we share. Hanna’s past “co-stars” have included clouded leopards, chatty kookaburras, penguins and majestic eagles.
NEW: Dinner with Jack Hanna – September 14 & 15, 5:00 p.m.
Guests can enjoy a delicious buffet dinner at Dine with Shamu®, where they will mingle with Jack Hanna and meet his animal friends up-close. This VIP dinner offers a delicious menu, while “Jungle Jack” entertains guests with animal facts, tales of his adventures and answers questions from attendees. Additionally, guests will receive one complimentary family photo with Jack, one complimentary adult beverage (for guests 21 and over) and special reserved seats at the 3:15 p.m. show. Cost is $59 for adults, $49 for children ages 3-9. Children under 3 are free but require a reservation. Pass Members receive 10% discount.
Breakfast with Jack Hanna at Sharks Underwater Grill® – September 14 & 15, 9:00 a.m.
Meet Jack Hanna and his animal friends up-close during a special breakfast at Sharks Underwater Grill®. This VIP experience features a hearty breakfast, while “Jungle Jack” teaches guests about some of his animal friends, speaks about his animal encounters and answers questions from those in attendance. Guests will receive one complimentary family photo with Jack and special reserved seats at the 1:15 p.m. show. Cost is $49 for adults, $39 for children ages 3-9. Children under 3 are free but require a reservation. Pass Members receive 10% discount.
To learn more about Jack Hanna Weekend and all of SeaWorld Orlando’s events, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com and follow us on Facebook.
About Jack Hanna
Animal expert Jungle Jack Hanna’s hands-on approach has won him widespread acclaim as Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, conservationist, author, television personality, and lifelong adventurer. Recognized around the country as America’s favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, Larry King Live, The Talk, The Maury Show, Fox News Programs, and CNN News Programs. He is the host of TV’s Emmy award winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. For more information, visit www.jackhanna.comFollow us for more updates:
Everyone loves weekends, but SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tampa now have a reason to celebrate the weekdays, too. Guests can explore Antarctica: Empire of the PenguinTM and the wonders of the sea at SeaWorld Orlando, or experience thrilling attractions and amazing land animals at Busch Gardens Tampa with the all-new $50 Weekday Ticket, on sale August 1 through December 20, 2013, for $50 for a single-day admission, Mondays through Fridays.
At SeaWorld Orlando’s new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, families are transported into an icy world like they’ve never seen before where they can explore the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins’ eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride. Then, guests step off and explore a massive penguin colony of nearly 250 feathered friends – gentoo, rockhopper, Adélie and king penguins — in an expanse that envelops them in cool extremes, both above and below the penguins’ icy world. It’s a must-see, one-of-a-kind experience only at SeaWorld Orlando.
Busch Gardens Tampa offers an unparalleled mix of animal encounters, captivating shows and thrilling rides. Dive like a bird of prey aboard the thrilling coaster SheiKra. Soar like an eagle, roar like a tiger, and discover shared family fun playing with your littlest ones at Sesame Street’s Safari of Fun. And, nowhere is the spirit of discovery more alive than on Cheetah Hunt, the breathtaking, multilaunch coaster sprinting across the Serengeti.
The $50 Weekday Ticket for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens is available online to U.S. residents at SeaWorldOrlando.com or BuschGardensTampa.com or by calling (888) 800-5447. The $50 Weekday Ticket is valid for one weekday’s admission to either SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa and must be used by Friday, December 20, 2013.
For an additional $25, guests may add a day’s visit to Aquatica Orlando with the purchase of the SeaWorld Orlando Weekday ticket, or add a day’s visit to Adventure Island Tampa with the purchase of the Busch Gardens Tampa Weekday Ticket. Guests may only purchase the additional visit to a waterpark with the purchase of the $50 Weekday Ticket.
About SeaWorld Orlando
Immerse yourself in wonder at SeaWorld® Orlando, where the aquatic world comes alive like no place else. Climb aboard and ride the mighty Manta®. Experience the power and grace of killer whales in the awe-inspiring Shamu® show One Ocean®. Share an epic voyage with sea turtles on the 3D 360 TurtleTrek®. And there’s nothing cooler than to see the world through the eyes of a penguin in the thrilling, chilling adventure of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™. An ocean of fun is waiting to be explored right here at SeaWorld Orlando. Jump in and dive deep.
About Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens® Tampa is the ultimate family adventure, offering 297 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. A unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens Tampa provides unrivaled excitement for guests of every age.
Celebrate Independence Day at SeaWorld Orlando with a special Fourth of July extravaganza and even more Summer Nights fun next Thursday, July 4!
During Summer Nights, SeaWorld Orlando is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. so there’s plenty of time to explore the sea’s mysteries, learn about amazing animals, challenge thrilling rides and watch incredible shows.
What better way to celebrate the holiday than with traditional American fare? From July 3-6, a variety of all-American food will be served along Bayside Pathway, including bacon cheeseburgers, foot-long hot dogs, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and kid meals, too.
And guests can enjoy the park even later on the Fourth of July. SeaWorld Orlando will be open until 11 p.m. giving families more time to experience the all-new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, ride the coasters under the stars and enjoy the amazing Summer Nights shows, Sea Lions Tonite and Shamu Rocks.
There’s no other place to get your fireworks fix than at SeaWorld’s Fourth of July celebration during Summer Nights!
Beginning at 9:30 p.m., there will be an extraordinary performance at SeaWorld’s Bayside Stadium by SeaWorld Celebration Singers, an ensemble group of singers and a nine-piece band, who will perform a variety of popular music ranging from traditional marches and patriotic tunes to classical favorites. The Fourth of July celebration culminates with awe-inspiring fireworks at 10 p.m.
Headlining Summer Nights is the all-new Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, where guests can experience the epic world of Antarctica through the eyes of a special hero penguin named Puck; and Sea Lions Tonite, a hilarious, satirical show featuring Clyde and Seamore spoofing the other daytime SeaWorld shows that will have everyone in stitches.
New this year! Join the Party with Shamu & Friends as they dance the night away at the front of the park’s Village Square. The Party features an emcee on stilts who fills the square with music that the whole family can dance to, including popular line dancing songs and party favorites. With countless bubbles floating overhead and music wafting through the air, this celebration of summer is sure to provide non-stop fun for all ages! The Party begins every night one hour prior to park close and continues 30 minutes after park closing.
Rock the night away with Shamu during a spectacular killer whale show with more flash – and certainly more splash – than a rock concert! Shamu Rocks is a high-energy celebration of unprecedented proportions, combining awe-inspiring killer whales with a stunning light show, water fountain display and music from some of the hottest rock stars in the industry. And new this year is an electrifying twist on this classic favorite! The final Shamu Rocks show of the night includes a rockin’ fireworks finale will light up the night sky.
For more information go to SeaWorldOrlando.com.
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