Well, it’s that time of year again! The weather is getting cooler, the kitchen is starting to smell better, and the holiday decorations are coming out of the attic.
SeaWorld is no exception to the holiday festivities. From November 26 to January 2nd, you can come and visit SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, which is filled with lights, joy, and good times. Here are just a few of the transformations that the park undergoes to spread the Christmas cheer:
Expect to see lots of Christmas trees and lights: Upon entering the park, SeaWorld greets you with a large, marine-themed Christmas tree. It’s really quite hard to miss. At its base, you can find some of SeaWorld’s favorite characters posing and saying hi to guests. You can also get your photo taken with them, too!
Unique, holiday-themed items can be found at the stores: Whether you’re looking for cetacean ornaments or a plush polar bear to take home, SeaWorld has it all. The storefronts are beautifully decorated for the season, complete with dioramas and displays specifically showcasing the holiday merchandise.
Take a ride on the Polar Express! SeaWorld joins up with Warner Brothers to take you on a holiday-filled joyride, straight to Santa’s Workshop! The entire Wild Arctic building is turned into scenes from The Polar Express, complete with a ride on the train itself (instead of the simulated helicopter flight). The Polar Express ride is much more gentle and kid-friendly than the normal version. Here, you get to visit and have your photo taken with Santa, buy hot chocolate, and come face-to-face with some of the Arctic’s most iconic creatures.
Holiday music and shows can be seen and heard throughout the park as you walk along. Be sure to see “Miracles,” the beautifully choreographed Shamu show.
Speaking of Shamu, there’s a new baby in town! On October 9th of this year, Katina, the matriarchal member of Orlando’s Shamu family, gave birth to her seventh calf. The calf, which was around seven feet long at birth, is progressing nicely, and meeting all of his milestones on time. Killer whale trainers will watch the baby around-the-clock for the first ninety days of its life to monitor its behavior, which will all be compiled into a baby book of sorts. These behavior logs are called ethograms, and monitor things like nursing, vocalization, bubble-blowing, breaching, defecation, you name it. The baby boy is eating very well and Katina is, as always, being a fantastic mother and pod leader. Katina and the calf aren’t currently being asked to perform any high-energy moves or be present during the majority of the “Believe” show. Rather, they are showcased at the very beginning of the show, and Katina is asked to perform a few simple behaviors (such as a pec-wave, froggie, etc). There are currently seven killer whales at the park.