We feel right at home at SeaWorld Orlando ... and it's not just the large amount of water for us to splash around in! SeaWorld Orlando has a way of making every holiday come alive with the perfect amount of festivities to make you feel like you're at an amazing theme park and your hometown, all at once. With decadent treats, impressive entertainment and millions of glittering lights, SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is the perfect example of holidays done right. What more could a Frog Family ask for?
Here’s our lowdown on SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, taking place on select dates from Nov. 12, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022. The best part? It's all included with regular SeaWorld park admission. Save a little green this holiday season and purchase your tickets through Undercover Tourist!
Entertainment at SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld Orlando always blows us out of the water (so to speak!) when it comes to entertainment, and SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration is no exception. Showtimes vary by day, so you'll want to check out the park hours and experience times before making your plans! (For instance, the Holiday Fireworks show only hoppens on select nights.) Here is a list of all of the entertainment in store at SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration!
Elmo's Christmas Wish
Join Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover and Zoe at the Seaport Theater as they help Elmo find his Christmas wish! Families are sure to be singing and dancing along while watching this fun holiday show filled with surprising atmospheric effects. Because this show is right at the front of the park and begins the earliest out of all the Christmas Celebration shows, we highly recommend starting your day here. It's a big theater so it holds a lot of people, but we still suggest arriving around a half-hour early to get a spot near the front (or right on the aisles).
Sounds of the Season Performance Series — New!
Be there as festive music makes its way to SeaWorld for this year’s Christmas Celebration! See a variety of talented acts take to the Nautilus Theater stage to bring the spirit of the season to life. We got the chance to listen to the harmonious vocal stylings of O-Town Motown. It was such a treat hearing their voices blend together beautifully as they performed classic Christmas songs and hymns. The doors opened 15 minutes before showtime but there was already a line when we arrived at the theater 15 minutes before that. Be sure to keep checking back for performers as they're announced.
An Elf's Story
Watch in amazement as a holly, jolly Christmas elf gets ready for the holidays with balance and technique only attainable with a little Christmas magic (and a little help from you)! This short, 15-minute show happens several times a day at Sharks Plaza.
A trio of Toy Soldiers stops by the Waterfront several times a day to spread a little Christmas cheer with their impressive jump roping skills! Don't fret if they start marching away as soon as you see them. They're most likely just moving to a different spot a few yards away. We were able to catch them in three different places during one performance time!
Sea of Trees
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. The trees turn into different colors and patterns, making it a sight to see! This fun display is visible throughout the evening and is great to appreciate in passing between shows. The best views are from the bridge that stretches across the lake but these dancing lights can be appreciated from anywhere around the lake.
Snow Flurries at Waterfront
Find yourself dreaming of a White Christmas? Lucky for you, once every hour from sunset to park close, the Waterfront turns into a picturesque Winter Wonderland as snow flurries fall from the sky! We love when the weather calls for "snoap" and so will your little tadpoles. Engage in a friendly "snowball fight" or use this time to take some festive holiday pics! (Just try to refrain from sticking your tongue out.)
Winter Wonderland on Ice
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 they light up while the professional skaters amaze you with their show-stopping moves in group, couples and solo numbers. Lily especially enjoyed the life-size skating penguins. We highly recommend catching the second show of the night as you'll already be seated in the best viewing spot for the Holiday Fireworks!
Sesame Street Christmas Parade
Rudolph's Movie Experience
Rudolph and his friends take center stage in this special-effects movie at the Seafire Grill. The show is about 10 minutes long and takes place every 30 minutes.
Ice Skating at Bayside Stadium
Back for the second year, guests can skate alongside the water of SeaWorld's central lagoon for an additional cost — $15 or $20, depending on the day — and this price includes skate rental. Crew-length socks and gloves must also be worn and can be purchased on-site. For the tadpoles, or anyone who has trouble on the ice, adorable, animal-shaped ice skating aids are available so you can avoid a crash and burn (or in this case, a freezing fall!). This experience is open from about 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Character Meet and Greets
Once again at Wild Arctic, you can share your wish list with the big man himself at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2021. Just hop onto his sleigh, and let him know what you want before posing for a picture. After meeting Santa, check out fascinating animal encounters, as you only can at SeaWorld. Santa is available from 10:30 a.m. to park close.
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 storybook of Rudolph’s classic tale. Along the way, you’ll find Rudolph and Bumble of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" fame to play and take photos with you and your tadpoles. We highly recommend taking the time to meet these cute, fun, unique characters. (There's even a priority access meet-and-greet package for Rudolph and Friends and Santa Claus for $29.99 per guest.) Rudolph's ChristmasTown may have limited capacity to maintain social distancing. The experience is available from 5 p.m. to park close.
Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale
SeaWorld celebrates the season during Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale, featuring soaring fountains, dazzling lights and festive fireworks, choreographed to joyous holiday musical favorites. Experience an amazing SeaWorld Christmas connection that illuminates the night sky from various locations around SeaWorld's large central lake. SeaWorld recommends viewing this show from the Spice Mill Patio, the Waterfront, the Park Entrance Plaza, Bayside Stadium, the Wild Arctic Plaza or the Orca Encounter Pathway. Any spot is great but we love watching them right in front of where they're set off from the seats at the stadium to get the best view of the fountains and lit-up trees!
Special Holiday Offerings at SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld is celebrating the festival of lights! From Nov. 28 to Dec. 6 at 5:45 p.m., gather with your friends and family to view the traditional lighting of the menorah in Sesame Street Land.
From Dec. 25 to Jan. 1, frogs can gather for a joyous time of reflection and celebration of African heritage with the nightly lighting of the kinara in Sesame Street Land.
New Year's Eve
Three Kings Celebration
In honor of the cherished tradition of Latin cultures, frogs are invited to commemorate the arrival of the Three Wise Men with a special one-day event on Jan. 6. Feast on festive cuisine and enjoy extended opportunities to witness special performances in Nautilus Theater, Sea of Trees and the festive holiday lights.
The Christmas Market at SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration
There is so much fun to be had at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 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. Not only is this the same area where you can find Rudolph and friends, but you can also munch on yummy treats, watch a miniature train set, play carnival-style games with holiday prizes and sit by a campfire while listening to talented performers, including a holiday rock orchestra and freestyle rappers.
Dining at SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is overflowing with special holiday snacks, treats and drinks. There are plenty of seasonal dishes that will have the whole family hoppin’ for more.
In 2021, we tried out several items, including a new Lamb Chop and a new Peppermint Holiday Nog Frozen Cocktail! The Funnel Cake at Sugarplum Delights (food booth #4) was huge — Tad and Lily could easily share one.
What is Christmas without hot chocolate?! You're in luck because there is definitely hot chocolate overload at the holiday Tasting and Brew locations. Many spots have either traditional, frozen or flavored hot chocolate. Our peppermint hot chocolate came in a souvenir cup! Be sure to keep the cup, as it costs less to refill it than to purchase an entire new cup of hot chocolate.
If your tadpoles want to get closer to their favorite characters, there's also a Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast and Dinner with Santa available. At the Sesame Street Christmas Breakfast ($32.99 per adult, $16.99 per child ages 3 to 9), you can join your Sesame Street faves for a breakfast feast. Dinner with Santa ($39 per adult, $14 per child) features a holiday meal capped off with a photo-op with the big man himself. Ho, ho, ho!
Tips for SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration 2021
- Enjoy the wait before shows! Winter Wonderland on Ice has an impressive violinist and the Sesame Street Christmas Parade has dancers that strut down the route with streamers and bubble wands. Of course, these are subject to change ... but keep an eye out during your visit!
- SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration only occurs on select dates so check the calendar while planning your visit! You can still ice skate on the Festival Pathway, experience Sea of Trees and grab a photo with Santa on non-event days. Happy Holidays from Sesame Street Land (the beloved show that replaced the parade last year) may also hoppen depending on the day.
- Plot out your night appropriately. Know that each show lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes and allow yourself plenty of time to get to your next destination. Some shows are located across the park from one another. Due to holiday crowds, we suggest arriving at least 30 minutes (though the earlier, the better!) before showtime if you want a good seat.
- Tasting and Brew Samplers are a great way to sip and savor SeaWorld’s best treats without breaking the bank. You have two options: a 5-Sampler lanyard ($35) and a 10-Sampler lanyard ($50). We recommend the 10-Sampler lanyard so you can share sweets and treats with the whole family.
- The characters in Rudolph’s ChristmasTown meet separately. Lines open at 5 p.m. and attract longer wait times during the first couple of hours. Go later at night if you want to walk right in!
- Check out the decorations throughout the park, as they make the perfect family photo-op. You may even spot some stilt walkers!
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.