By Mike Sitzman
On our third day, we woke up ready to go get wet. When we looked outside, we were going to definitely get wet. It was pouring outside. But, since we didn’t have much flexibility in our schedule, and since we knew we were going to be sitting in the splash zone at Shamu, we were undeterred. In fact, it was raining so hard we were wet as we walked to the car.
First order of business for us was to purchase some ponchos. We stopped at a local convenience store knowing that we could pick them up cheaper than inside the park. We spent $8 on four ponchos, grabbed some coffee, and were off.
SeaWorld Orlando is a totally different pace for us then is Universal or Disney. The kids enjoy taking their time to stop, learn and see the animals and fish. Living in Colorado, we aren’t near all the sea offers, so being up-close and personal with the SeaWorld creatures is always fun for the kids. They love all of the shows with their diversity inspiration and humor. The kids really liked the Seamore and Clyde Countdown to Christmas sea otter show. And, Hannah said that it was nice to sit down as her little 5 year old legs were weary from our previous two days of hitting it hard.
We went to The Shamu Christmas – Miracles at Shamu stadium was great as always as these killer whales are awe-inspiring and the kids love them. After the show, the rain began to let up allowing us to shed our ponchos and warm up a bit.
For the kids, they were looking forward to a ride on the Polar Express. They enjoy the movie, so knowing that they were going to experience this attraction at SeaWorld made their day. The line is typically between 45 minutes and an hour, so plan accordingly. We waited just about 50 minutes, and “boarded our train.” The ride is a motion simulator, and is exciting, but not too rough for the little ones. Hannah and Ethan enjoyed it and the smell of pine trees filled the air. We spilled out into the Arctic exhibit where kids can sit on Santa’s lap surrounded by polar bears. A unique setting for Santa to be sure.
Since it was raining on and off, the crowd was down at the park, which allowed dad time to break off and get in some roller-coaster rides while the kids finished up eating or were off at a bathroom.
For the holidays, SeaWorld features its Christmas Celebration—which is for both young and old to enjoy. The kids enjoyed “A Sesame Street Christmas” as they got a chance to sing holiday songs along with some of their favorite Sesame Street characters. They have a Christmas Market, Polar Bear Poinsettias, and nightly snowfalls (we recommend getting the hot cocoa) on The Waterfront. We were really impressed with SeaWorlds “Sea of Trees” which is on the lake and has a beautifully lit up trees that are synchronized to music. It is an impressive display of lights as the dance on the water.
We decided to pass on the Winter Wonderland on Ice and the fireworks display as they started too late for our little-ones. We were disappointed as we felt we were missing out, as were some of the other folks we talked with, but we completely enjoyed our casual, slower paced day and we decided that we should go out to eat. We picked, of all places, a seafood restaurant to eat at!