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What to Expect at This Year's SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration

by Mommy Frog on November 30, 2017 27 Orlando   Video

As a prominent aquatic species ourselves, we can’t help but love all SeaWorld Orlando has to offer. We’ve visited during the new summer offerings and the Spooktacular season. We love visiting any time! But our favorite of all the festivities is during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.

Sea of Trees - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2017

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration has everything we love about two of our favorite things: Christmas AND SeaWorld! There’s excellent entertainment for all ages, delicious food and fun character meet and greets. What more could a Frog Family ask for? We were lucky enough to hop in on the first day of the festivities this year.

Here’s our lowdown on SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2017, taking place on select nights Nov. 24 through Dec. 31. It's included with regular SeaWorld park admission, so you should definitely hop to it!

Entertainment at SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Shamu Christmas Miracles

If you’re a fan of the traditional Shamu show, you’re in for a real treat with Shamu Christmas Miracles. Leap adores the soundtrack of this exciting show. This nighttime holiday spectacular tells a tale of peace, friendship and love to remind the audience of the everyday miracles that surround us, especially in the heart of the holiday season. Multiple orca whales join together to perform an awe-inspiring routine inspired by the hope and joy we oftentimes overlook.

Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas

Clyde and Seamore's Countdown to Christmas - SeaWorld Christmas Celebration 2017

Clyde and Seamore’s year-round shows have become a staple in our SeaWorld visits. We love the goofy humor that makes this show so fun and unique. Plus, the mischievous otters that always make an appearance are Lily’s favorite!

Sea Lion and Otter Stadium transforms into a home for the holidays, as sea lion pals Clyde and Seamore host the festivities. An elf and even a walrus join the party! Join Clyde and Seamore on Christmas shopping adventures and more as they await the arrival of Santa Claus. This show is full of the typical fun, amazing tricks you’ve come to expect from Clyde, Seamore and company.

Sea of Trees

Sea of Trees - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2017

You’ll be singing “Walkin’ in a Water Wonderland …” while walking through SeaWorld’s immersive sea of holiday trees, which appear to be floating on water. Over 100 trees are lit up in holiday lights that sparkle to Christmas tunes. This fun display is visible throughout the evening and great to appreciate in passing between shows.

Winter Wonderland on Ice

Winter Wonderland on Ice - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2017

Nothing says “Christmas” like a little ice skating — and this show screams “Christmas” with a full-blown extravaganza on ice at Bayside Stadium. Figure skaters will wow you with choreography to classic Christmas tunes. Enjoy the dazzling view of the Sea of Trees as professional skaters amaze you with their show-stopping moves. Our personal favorite was the rendition of The Christmas Waltz.

Elmo’s Christmas Wish

Lily is a huge fan of Sesame Street, so Elmo’s Christmas Wish is a can’t-miss for our Frog Squad. This Christmas show hosts a slightly different ensemble than the Halloween special, which means Cookie Monster and Grover make an appearance alongside Elmo, Zoe and Rosita. The Sesame Street gang works together to help Elmo find his Christmas wish at Seaport Theater.

O Wondrous Night

O Wondrous Night - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2017

Be reminded of the reason for the season with O Wondrous Night at the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration 2017. This live nativity show at Nautilus Theater brings the story of Christmas to life through the perspective of the animals that were there. The show features life-size puppets, special effects, live animals and over 30 carols to delight your entire frog squad. O Wondrous Night is a peaceful, joyous celebration that will wow your whole family.

This Mama Frog was nearly brought to tears by this beautiful presentation! It has the perfect combination of humor and faith to touch the heart of each member of your Frog Squad. Don’t leap out early … the grand finale is a can’t-miss.

Character Meet & Greets

Rudolph and Friends - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2017

Meeting in Wild Arctic this holiday season, you can share your wish list with the big man himself at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2017. Check out fascinating animal encounters on your voyage to meet Santa Claus, as you only can at SeaWorld. We love this not-so-typical visit to Santa.

If you’ve already met up with Santa elsewhere, there are plenty more holiday friends to hang out with. Be sure to explore Rudolph’s Christmastown to stroll through a life-size story book of the Rudolph’s classic tale. Along the way, you’ll find Rudolph, Clarice, Bumble and Yukon Cornelius of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fame are here to play and take photos with you and your tadpoles. We highly recommend taking the time to meet these cute, fun, unique characters.

The Christmas Market at SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Rudolph - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2017

There is so much fun to be had at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2017 that it can be hard to find the time to relax. Be sure to spend a few minutes moseying through the Christmas Market along Bayside Pathway. The Gazebo Stage hosts musicians singing Christmas favorites, playful elves and the hilarious interactions of the Christmas Council. Find playful nutcrackers and living statues for fun photo-ops. There’s even a glowing fire pit to enjoy (or at least pretend to, since the Florida weather keeps us pretty warm as it is.) Tad especially enjoys the model train village, which is definitely worth checking out.

Dining at SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Snacks - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Speaking of Rudolph, you can catch dinner with your favorite red-nosed reindeer as well. Make reservations for this family-style holiday feast full of traditional, savory fare and to share hugs and smiles with Rudolph.

Don’t worry, there is plenty to enjoy outside of Rudolph’s feast. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2017 is overflowing with special holiday snacks and treats. There are plenty of seasonal dishes that are sure to have the whole family hoppin’ for more. We were obsessed with the cinnamon sugar donuts at the SeaWorld Spooktacular … so imagine our delight when we found a variety of stuffed donuts as part of the Christmas festivities. Another Frog Family Favorite was the waffle cone S’mores. (I’m a known sucker for S’mores in any form!) If you’re looking for a more savory snack, the short-rib mac and cheese was a crowd favorite among Leap, the tadpoles and I.

Tips for SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2017

Couple - SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

  • At both Shamu Christmas Miracles and Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas, there are designated “splash zones” where you are sure to get wet. Keep an eye out for these and sit a couple rows back if you have no interest in getting soaked … or even sprinkled on.
  • Enjoy the wait before shows! O Wondrous Night! hosts a guitar playing singer for holiday singalongs, Shamu Christmas Miracle presents an excellent saxophonist, Winter Wonderland on Ice has an impressive violinist and Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas offers a fun, interactive mime.
  • SeaWorld’s Christmas exclusives don’t take place every day. Check our Orlando Crowd Calendar for park hours and when to visit SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2017. We recommend going on a night the park is open later for maximum time to enjoy the fun.
  • Elmo’s Christmas Wish is the only show that takes place throughout the day on select days, while the other Christmas exclusives have only evening showings. Be sure to catch an earlier show to clear more time for Christmas activities later on!
  • Plot out your night appropriately. Know that each show lasts approximately 20 minutes, and allow yourself plenty of time to get to your next destination. Some shows are located across the park from one another.
  • Tasting and Brew Samplers are a great way to sip and savor SeaWorld’s best treats without breaking the bank. The “Red” Sampler ($25) covers any combination of five Food & Brew Samples; the “Gold Sampler ($40) covers 10. We recommend going gold and sharing sweets and treats with the whole family.
  • For a unique Christmas card photo, have your photo taken inside an actual snow globe! This is a fun photo-op that we’ve never seen anywhere else.
  • While shown together on SeaWorld’s site, the characters in Rudolph’s Christmas town meet separately. Bumble and Yukon Cornelius meet individually, while Clarice and Rudolph are together. Lines are short and sweet at the end of the night!

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is the perfect way to kick off (or close off) your holiday season. We love the classic tales and tunes being presented through every bit of the festivities. SeaWorld is the perfect Orlando destination for a more traditional take on Christmas. What’s your favorite part? Tell us in the comments.

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Jun 22, 2018 at 9:37 p.m. Shauna Says...

Does SeaWorld Orlando still do Shamu Christmas Miracles? Do you know if they are doing away with it, since San Diego no longer has it. We are going to be in Florida Nov 13-27 and wanted to fit in SeaWorld and Universal on one of those days and was really hoping to see Christmas Miracles

Jun 23, 2018 at 12:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shauna!

SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration starts on November 17 and Shamu's Christmas Miracles will be returning!

Keep hopping!


Apr 24, 2018 at 9:36 p.m. Andrea Says...


I'm curious about why your crowd calendar recommends Saturday and Sundays during the Christmas holidays? I would have thought that they crowds would be slightly lower on week days?


May 8, 2018 at 9:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Andrea!

We recommend weekends during the holidays at SeaWorld since that's when a majority of their Christmas Celebration takes place!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Apr 24, 2018 at 3:27 a.m. Camille Says...

Hello! We are visiting FL in December this year and am hoping to come on one of the Christmas Celebration nights. In the past was this only a weekend thing? Well be going to a few other theme parks but would love to see this! Thank you for your GREAT BLOGS!!

Apr 26, 2018 at 9:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Camille!

The Christmas Celebration is so fun and so amazing, you'll really enjoy! The event isn't exclusive to weekends, but does only take place select nights, so be sure to plan ahead! We'll update this post when more details are announced for this year.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Mar 4, 2018 at 1:01 p.m. Matt Andolina Says...

Does Sea World Orlando have plans to bring back Polarexpress experience in 2018?

Mar 5, 2018 at 9:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Matt!

We haven't heard one way or another, but we'll keep you posted!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Dec 1, 2017 at 2:36 a.m. Rebecca Tolleson Says...

Great info! Thank you

Oct 6, 2016 at 2:44 p.m. Charlotte Says...

Hello! We are going on Sunday 11th Dec and have purchased the reserved seating package.

On the tickets it requests you arrive 15 minutes prior to each show but in your article above you mention queing up approximately 45 minutes in some instances (i am assuming/hoping this is without priority seating)?

I am hoping they only allocate/sell a number of reserved tickets and therefore so long as you do turn up within the 15/20 minutes prior to a show you are guaranteed a reasonable seat?

Is this your experience or at least what you might suggest to be the case? I am just concerned as the reserved seating itinerary does not leave that much time between each show if you need to be queing for longer than the recommended time on the tickets!

Thank you very much in advance for any advice you can give.

Oct 20, 2016 at 3:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Charlotte,

With the reserved seating, 15 minutes should be just fine.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Aug 26, 2016 at 5:34 p.m. Nelle Says...

I am interested in taking my 1 yr old on Christmas Day. Would I be able to spend the entire day there, then head back to the hotel so he can take a nap, and then return for the Christmas experience at night?

Sep 14, 2016 at 2:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nelle,

This is a very busy day, and while it's possible, do keep in mind that you will need additional time for coming and going with all of the extra people in the park. There is also a chance it could be at capacity for some part of the day. If you decide to do this, we'd make sure you are at nearby hotel and upgrade your parking (if you have a car).

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

May 10, 2016 at 8:15 p.m. Heather Says...

Any information for 2016 yet?! We are coming the week of November 7th and I was curious if most of the above would be available then! Thanks in advance!

May 17, 2016 at 3:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather,

We don't yet know this year's dates, but typically it doesn't start until later November/early December.

Keep hopping!


Dec 13, 2015 at 1:30 a.m. Steve Bellucci Says...

Is the Polar Express Experience only open on the weekends in December? We are planning to be there December 21 (Monday).

Thanks Steve

Dec 16, 2015 at 7:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steve,

It's open every day during the holidays.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Dec 9, 2015 at 12:44 a.m. chuck Says...

I will be there on Tues. 12/29 with a reunion group of about 20, One is in a wheelchair, what are line times generally and is there any accommodation for the handicap. any other tips would be appreciated

Dec 16, 2015 at 1:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Chuck,

It’s going to be a very busy time in the park on that day. You can check out predicted wait times at our Crowd Calendar. Most attractions have wheelchair accommodations! Here’s a helpful resource to see what accommodations each attraction makes:

Make a plan, decide what attractions are priority and enjoy yourself! While the park will be busy, it’s a fun time of year to be there :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Nov 16, 2015 at 2:06 p.m. Darline Says...

Hi Mommy Frog,

I planning to go on dec. 25 can I get any tips what time. To see more thing on that day. Is it very crowdy.?



Dec 3, 2015 at 9:07 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Darline,

We have updated this post with more details about this year's event. Check it out. You can see the schedule here. The park is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. that night, and I would definitely stay through the evening to experience the snow flurries, Antarctica Christmas tree and Winter Wonderland on Ice. If you plan to visit the Polar Express, I would recommend doing it early in the day.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Sep 4, 2015 at 12:06 a.m. Ben Says...

Hello. I plan to come on Dec 31st 2015 with my 3 little (6 years, 3 y and only 6 month). I assume it will be more than crowded this day. Do you confirm I shall buy the reserved seatings to avoid long lines with the small kids everything but patient... Is the reserved seating usable for all the shows during the day, or only one ? And are they already on sale ? I was not able to ad this to the cart on seaworld website... Thanks !

Sep 15, 2015 at 3:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ben,

Details have not been released yet on how reserved seating will work this year, but I would recommend it for Dec. 31.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Aug 30, 2015 at 8:40 p.m. Shanna Says...

Are the Sesame Street characters available for meet and greet or do they just perform in the show?

Sep 2, 2015 at 9:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shanna,

At this time, we don't know yet whether they will be available for meet-and-greet. Hopefully, we'll get more information as the event gets closer.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Jun 17, 2015 at 4:45 a.m. Alice Says...


I am planning to visit sea world Orlando on December 7, which is a Monday, and I wonder how bad is the line up to the Christmas shows? I have a 2.5 year old and an 1 year old. Do you think it worth paying extra for the Christmas show seating tickets?



Jun 17, 2015 at 8:53 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Alice,

I don't think you will have any issues with lines at this time, but keep in mind that SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is typically held on select nights and may not be available on that Monday.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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