ORLANDO – It’s not easy creating a winter wonderland in sunny, tropical Florida, but the folks at SeaWorld are determined to do just that.
The holiday spirit begins on Friday, Nov. 25, and continues through the end of the year, as SeaWorld launches a new program designed to bring guests into the mood of the season.
“We’ve got a brand new show this year, ‘O Wondrous Night,’ “ said Matt Carter, spokeman for the Orlando theme part giant. “It tells the story of Christmas through the eyes after the animals. It begins the day after Thanksgiving.”
“O Wondrous Night” tells the greatest story never told, with more than 30 carols, based upon the Christmas Story and told through the eyes of a variety of live animals. Carter said it would be a light-hearted event featuring a host of angels as well.
“There will be two shows a night,” said Erin Helenthal, also a media spokesperson for SeaWorld. “There will be live animals in the show.”
The holiday events at SeaWorld take place Friday through Sunday nights, Nov. 25 through Dec. 11, and nightly from Dec. 16–31. The theme park is encouraging people to experience SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration through the purchase of a SeaWorld Fun Card, which includes unlimited visits through 2012 for the price of a single day’s admission. There’s also a Kids Free promotion, which provides children with free admission with every full-paid adult ticket that gets purchased. The Kids Free offer is available now through Christmas day.
To help get guests into the spirit, Carter said, the theme park has decided to deck the walkways with plenty of lights, Christmas trees, and other visual delights.
“We’ve got a lot more decorations this year,” he said. “We have 100 Christmas trees, and we’re expanding the decorations to the back of the park where the theater is.”
Once darkness sets in, the visual splendor should really excite guests, Helenthal said, as the Sea of Trees has been expanded around SeaWorld’s center lake.
“The whole park is decked out in lights and decorations,” she said, “and it’s included with admission.”
Besides the new O Wondrous Night show, there will be some returning “Holiday Favorites” at SeaWorld. Another holiday-themed show will be Winter Wonderland on Ice, an ice skating extravaganza where Christmas comes to life through towering water fountains, fireworks and an array of ice skaters.
There will also be an opportunity to catch the killer whales as they, too, get into the spirit of the season. Shamu Stadium will have a special night-time show, “Shamu Christmas … Miracles.” Seasonal music will be played as killer whales soar through the air.
“The Shamus Christmas … Miracles show is very popular,” Carter said. “And there’s the Polar Express Experience, which just opened.”
At the park’s Wild Arctic attraction, guests can embark on a journey to the North Pole aboard The Polar Express Experience. Once they arrive at the North Pole, guests can meet Santa Claus and encounter animals in a wintery wonderland.
Other holiday shows at SeaWorld this year include:
• Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas featuring Santa’s special helpers, Clyde and Seamore, two sea lions who are on a search for Santa.
• A Sesame Street Christmas, a musical celebration featuring Elmo, Telly Monster and the rest of the Sesame Street gang in a story about what Christmas means to them.
• Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale, which has fountains, lights, and festive fireworks choreographed to holiday music.
• The Christmas Market, located on the park’s Bayside Pathway, featuring artisans and culinary delights at a bustling marketplace.
• The Makahiki Christmas Luau, a Polynesian celebration of the season inspired by the Pacific Islands, complete with island music and entertainment.
To learn more, log on to www.seaworld.com or call 800-700-7786.
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