SeaWorld Orlando kicked off its holiday festivities this weekend, and droves of people came out to see shows like “Shamu Christmas Miracles” and “Clyde and Seamore’s Christmas Countdown.” The weekend was so busy that some of the holiday shows even reached capacity.
How do you avoid disappointment and make sure you see all the holiday highlights? Check out SeaWorld Christmas VIP Tour, an experience that mixes animal encounters, rides, and dinner with most of the special Christmas shows. The $100 per person for adults or $75 per person for kids does not include your admission, but it ensures that you’ll see and do all the good stuff without worrying about making your own plans or rushing from place to place.
We did the tour this weekend, and it included:
- Stingray feeding
- Dolphin feeding
- Rides on Manta, Kraken, and Atlantis
- Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Countdown
- Shamu Christmas Miracles
- The Polar Express Experience
- The ice show (and you stay in your seats at Bayside Stadium for the fireworks that follow)
- Dinner at your choice of certain in-park restaurants
It was a perfect way to see the shows and have close-up encounters with some neat creatures (watch out for the stingrays…they can splash!). My only disappointment this year was that last year it included dinner at Sharks Grill, while this year you eat at a counter service restaurant. It wasn’t too big of a dissapointment, though, since I had the holiday meal at Voyagers Smokehouse (ham and turkey with all the trimmings), and it was amazing. You get an entree (which usually comes with side dishes), a side of your choice, drink, and dessert.
You don’t have to ride the rides if you don’t want to; it doesn’t take long to wait for the group since the tour includes front of the line access. You get premium seats for the shows; I was especially impressed by our ice show and Shamu seats. It was so nice not to have to keep consulting our park map and worrying about whether we’d make it to the show venues on time.
When you’re on the tour, you don’t get to explore the Christmas market and the other areas on your own or stroll around for a leisurely view of the lights. But the trade-off is knowing that you get in almost all of the major Christmas activities. The only thing I was sad about was that the tour doesn’t include “O Wondrous Night,” the brand-new Christmas show with puppeteering and a host of live animals, with the nativity told through their viewpoint.
The tour starts at 4, so even though you don’t get to do the special Christmas activities on your own, you can see and do all the normal park activities if you arrive at opening. Dinner is around 7 p.m., so have a snack beforehand if you’re used to eating early.
If you want to do the tour, I recommend booking early because space is limited. Depending on how many people you have in your party, you’ll be grouped together with a total of 12-14 people.
Click here to find out about the Christmas celebrations at all the Central Florida theme parks. Click here to read more of my articles, and click here to follow me on Twitter. Click here to sign up for my pets newsletter if you love animals, and click here for my Pet Supplies & Product Reviews site on About.com. I’ve taken over 80 Disney cruises and can book yours and give you a special stateroom credit. Visit www.dclexpert.com.