Updates from SeaWorld Orlando: Penguins, Manatee Return, and Christmas Celebration

In the latest news from SeaWorld Orlando, progress continues on their expansion, “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin,” slated to open in spring 2013.  In addition, the 8th manatee this year was returned to the wild after seven months of rehabilitation at SeaWorld’s facilities.  Finally, details of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration are released, taking place at the park starting November 17, 2012.  Continue reading for all the photos and video from SeaWorld Orlando.

SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas performance of Oh Wondrous Night

Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

Compiled from SeaWorld Orlando’s Press Releases

Antarctica, Behind the Freeze: Penguins

The second installment of Behind The Freeze focuses on the stars of the 2013 adventure, the penguins.  SeaWorld’s top animal expert, Mike Boos, showcases the species of birds that will make their home at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin when it opens at SeaWorld Orlando next spring.

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin will be the largest expansion in SeaWorld Orlando’s history, and designers promise it to be the most immersive attraction ever created by their team.  When it opens in spring 2013, the ride will glide, slide and transport families to the penguins’ icy world of the South Pole.  You can brave a blizzard and be dazzled by ice and lights.  The attraction ends by letting you explore a one-of-a-kind penguin colony in an expanse that brings you above and below their icy world.

Rehabilitated Manatee Returned to Jacksonville Waters

Following seven months of rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld’s Animal Rescue Team returned Goodby, an adult male manatee at Goodby Creek near the St. John’s River near Jacksonville, Fla.  SeaWorld worked with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to coordinate the return, and Sea2Shore alliance was also on site to satellite tag the manatee for future tracking.  The nearly 1,000-pound manatee was rescued due to cold stress in March 2012 from Goodby Creek, where he got his name.

SeaWorld Orlando returns a manatee

Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

 

This was the eighth manatee return of 2012.  Since the program’s inception in 1973, SeaWorld has rescued 469 manatees and returned 244 back to their natural habitat.

Christmas Celebration… Where the Season Meets the Sea

Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.  Carols fill the air, a sparkling sea of trees light up the water and skaters dance on ice.  Here in a wintery, watery wonderland, guests can journey to the North Pole on THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience, share a smile with a sea lion, and enjoy stunning live shows inspired by the natural world.  With everything from elves to Elmo, and from Santa to Shamu, SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is where the season meets the sea.  Events take place on select dates November 17 through December 31, 2012.

SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas performance of Oh Wondrous Night

Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

 

Returning Seasonal Favorites Include:
Families and friends can once again enjoy the spirit of Christmas during SeaWorld’s holiday-themed shows and festivities:

  • O Wondrous Nighttells 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.  A touching, light-hearted and glorious celebration featuring a host of angels, animals and the true glory of Christmas.  And new this year, guests will have the opportunity to take photos with some of the stars from the show.
    SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas performance Oh Wondrous Night

    Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

     

  • Winter Wonderland on Ice is an ice skating extravaganza where Christmas comes to life through towering water fountains, magnificent fireworks and some of the most talented ice skaters in the world.
  • SeaWorld invites guests to experience the grace and beauty of our Shamu family at Shamu Stadium, during the night-time show, Shamu Christmas…Miracles.  Thrilling seasonal music rings out as whales soar through the air in a performance that will take the audience on a stirring voyage into the heart of the holidays.
    killer whale Shamu jumping in SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Miracles

    Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

     

  • Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmasfeatures Santa’s helpers, Clyde and Seamore, who are bringing their own brand of comedy to Christmas this year.  Our loveable sea lions, along with a few mischievous otters, a comical elf, and a wintery walrus or two, search for Santa.
    SeaWorld Orlando's Clyde & Seamore's Christmas Countdown

    Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

     

  • A Sesame Street Christmasis a festive and fun musical celebration that will have the little ones smiling all the way home.  Through dance, laughter, and interactive sing-a-longs, Elmo, Telly Monster and the rest of Abby Cadabby’s Sesame Street friends teach her what Christmas means to them.
    SeaWorld Orlando's Sesame Street Christmas

    Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

     

  • SeaWorld celebrates the season during Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale, with soaring fountains, dazzling lights, and festive fireworks, choreographed to joyous holiday musical favorites.  Experience a wondrous SeaWorld Christmas connection that lights the night.  The Sea of Trees includes more than 100 massive trees, each sparkling, lighted and choreographed to classic holiday tunes, making a dramatic display around SeaWorld’s center lake.
    SeaWorld Orlando's Sea of Trees Christmas show

    Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

     

  • All Aboard!  At the park’s Wild Arctic attraction, guests embark on a heart-warming journey to the North Pole aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience, based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, inspired by the beloved Caldecott Medal children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg.  Discover the sights, sounds, and smells of the season as family and friends are immersed in the dazzling wonder of this beloved holiday classic.  Upon arrival at the North Pole, guests can meet Santa Claus himself, and encounter astounding animals in a wintery wonderland.
SeaWorld Orlando's The Polar Express Experience

Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando, © SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

 

In addition to the seasonal shows and attractions, the Christmas Market, located on the park’s Bayside Pathway, features unique artisans and culinary delights.  At this festive, bustling market, guests can find one-of-a-kind gifts and dine on scrumptious holiday delights.

Plus, enjoy a delicious dinner of Christmas favorites with Santa and Mrs. Claus during Santa’s Fireside Feast, a charming, warm-hearted holiday experience.  Meet Santa himself, and listen to a classic holiday poem told onstage as never before to create Christmas memories that will last a lifetime.  This sumptuous, all-you-can-eat seasonal meal takes place weekends of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.  Reservations are required, and include reserved seating at select holiday shows.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.