A note from Mommy Frog: We have some good news. Even though Southern California has a Regional Stay-at-Home Order in effect (which means SeaWorld is temporarily closed), you can still have some hopping good fun with a new SeaWorld San Diego event. On select weekend nights in January and February, you can drive through the park to enjoy lights, treats and Sesame Street characters. Hop on down for the details below.
Whether you visit SeaWorld San Diego in a normal time or recently (when SeaWorld San Diego was open as a zoo without rides), chances are there is a fun event hoppening in the park! The SeaWorld SanDiego events bring special entertainment, splashing good fun and seasonal food and drink to the aquatic theme park. We frogs love that SeaWorld always gives us a reason to celebrate. Let's take a peek at the confirmed SeaWorld San Diego events 2021!
All of the events are included in the cost of admission, although food and beverage are extra, unless you've purchased a Dine and Drink Bundle. (Psst ... you can save money when you purchase discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets and parking through Undercover Tourist, including Dine and Drink tickets.) Be sure to hop over to our SeaWorld San Diego reopening post for all of the important things you'll need to know before safely visiting SeaWorld, at least while COVID-19 is still out there. You must purchase tickets in advance. If you happen to have a Fun Card or annual pass, the events are free. However, since capacity is limited, all visitors must make a reservation before arrival.
SeaWorld San Diego has confirmed the return of some Frog Family favorite events through 2021. Keep in mind that there may be modifications to these events compared to past years. That means the SeaWorld San Diego events 2021 may be quite different from what we saw in 2019, 2020 and can expect in 2022. It’s frogciting to see SeaWorld continue these events, keeping the entertainment and food new and fresh. But keep hopping back as each event gets closer for the fin-tastic details, specific dates and even menus. Hop further down below to see a few past SeaWorld events that are not yet on the 2021 calendar (but we hope they return).
SeaWorld San Diego Events in 2021
Hip, hop, hooray! SeaWorld has confirmed that these toadally awesome events are returning in 2021. Hop back for details as the specific dates are announced. But here's what we have to look forward to, including an all-new drive-thru event to kick off the new year.
Emperor Coaster Opening — TBD in 2021
SeaWorld has not dropped the specific date of this coaster's opening, but our tween Tad's happy feet are swinging with frogcitement for this new floorless penguin-themed dive coaster. Emperor is expected to make a splash in 2021 (after theme parks are given the thumbs-up to reopen rides). With speeds over 60 mph and a dive plunge over 150 feet (and over 90 degrees), this is the tallest and fastest dive coaster in California. After all, it makes sense, as the emperor penguin is the tallest of all of the penguins.
Sesame Street Parade of Lights — Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings Jan. 15 to Feb. 14, 2021.
An all-new drive-thru experience is heading this way. What do you do when a Regional Stay-at-Home Order cancels your Christmas celebration? You make lemonade out of lemons and celebrate those thousands of twinkling lights and Sesame Street characters in January and February so guests can experience the park safely from their vehicles.
You can cruise through two tunnels of lights, under the illuminated Sky Tower and through a Sesame Street Village. Wave to characters atop colorful floats as you listen to Sesame Street music. Make it sweet by adding on treats such as hot cocoa, pretzels and cotton candy. Some packages include bubble wands, plushes and other fun surprises. You must purchase tickets separately. Fun Card and Sea World Pass Holders get the best discounts.
Seven Seas Food Festival — Spring
During select weekends in the spring, sample your way around the world with exciting flavors, local craft beers and live performances. You can even catch fireworks on select nights.
Electric Ocean — Summer
Come summer, Electric Ocean powers the evening at this family-friendly event. You can immerse yourself in the worlds of light and music with special entertainment.
SeaWorld Spooktacular — Weekends in October
SeaWorld Spooktacular takes place on weekends in October. Your tadpoles can wear costumes, boogie at special dance parties, meet characters, trick or treat for candy and eat or decorate Halloween and fall treats. Hop over to our post on all the Spooktacular fun at SeaWorld San Diego to learn more.
Red, White & Blue Salute — Select dates in early Nov. and around Veterans Day
This patriotic event honors our military. Active Duty and veterans and up to three dependents may enjoy complimentary admission to SeaWorld during this limited-time promotion. SeaWorld honors members of the military and veterans during a pre-presentation before the Orca Encounter show.
On select days around Veterans Day, pick up a free Heroes Trail sticker map at one of several booths located in the park. Explore all of the booths to collect up to nine Armed Forces (and other hero) stickers! Mark each location on your map with the correct hero sticker. Once you’ve found them all, bring your completed Heroes Trail map to The SeaWorld Store to collect a special prize!
SeaWorld Christmas Celebration — Usually Mid-Nov. through early Jan.
Ring in the holiday season at SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas celebration. The park is decorated merrily and “otterly” bright. There are plenty of opportunities for photo-ops, especially in the Tunnel of Light. Meet characters and Santa from a safe distance, enjoy holiday treats and beverages and watch special holiday shows with dolphins and sea lions.
Let's dive into the details and see what 2021 brings, based on scheduled 2020 details (actual activities may vary in 2021):
- Rudolph's Movie Experience - Introduced in 2020, you can watch a shortened version of the holiday classic with Rudolph's Movie Experience on a 150-foot outdoor screen (after dark).
- Meet Rudolph and friends
- Sesame Street Christmas Village - Take physically distant photos with characters in their holiday attire.
- Santa Presents Christmas Animals Around the World at Nautilus Amphitheater
- Animal Presentations with a Holiday Twist
- A 25-foot sea-themed Christmas tree
- Tunnel of Lights with over 5,000 music-activated lights
- Hanukkah Celebration menorah lighting
- Kwanzaa Festivities
- Holiday shopping at the Christmas Shoppe, Holly Jolly Marketplace and other stores
- Amazing animal exhibits
Activities with an additional cost include:
- Stocking Stuffer Trail - On Saturdays and Sundays, guests 12 and under can collect sweets, toys and other fun finds in a purchased Stocking Stuffer Trail reusable bag from any park store. Kids can take the bags to eight Stocking Stuffer stations to collect the loot through delivery tubes.
- Christmas Treasure Hunt - Purchase a Christmas Treasure Hunt sticker map and embark on a merry quest to find Santa's gifts for all eight reindeer. Bring your completed map to The SeaWorld Store to collect a gift of your own!
- Cookies and photos with Santa
- Holiday cocktails, craft beer, hot chocolate and more
- Festive entrees and desserts
Other SeaWorld Events That Are Not Yet on the Calendar
While we know SeaWorld has announced the return of the above events, we can't help but notice that some smaller events close to our froggy hearts were not yet mentioned. The following events occur during a normal year at SeaWorld. We do not yet know which of them will return for 2021, or if it will be 2022 before we see them again. Keep hopping back for updates as they approach.
Lunar New Year — February (Not likely to return in 2021)
In February, enjoy festive shows with Chinese acrobats (in normal years) and savor delicious Asian-inspired dishes.
Past Springtime Events
- In springs' past, Elmo’s Eggstravaganza made April weekends "eggciting" at SeaWorld.
- In early May, guests could celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
SeaWorld Events with Fireworks
SeaWorld shoots off fireworks several times a year. Fireworks cause crowds to gather, so we do not yet know the status of fireworks in 2021. Based on past schedules, Sea World celebrated with fireworks during the following times:
- Select nights during the Seven Seas Food Festival
- Memorial Day weekend
- July 3–4
- Labor Day weekend
Even if these events do not return for 2021, hopfully we can enjoy them again in future years.
Be sure to keep hopping back for specific dates, details and updates as these events approach. If you are looking to save money on discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets, passes or Fun Cards (for multi-day fun) and even to save a little green on parking, your favorite froggies are here to help! We also can help you decide where to stay in San Diego and help you hop on a good San Diego hotel deal.