VIDEO: SeaWorld Orlando Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration

On Friday March 21st, SeaWorld Orlando kicked off their Sea of Surprises 50th Anniversary Celebration.  The 18 month celebration commemorates the opening of the original SeaWorld park in March 1964 on Mission Bay in San Diego.  [Click here for Chrysty Summers’ coverage of the 50th Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego.]  SeaWorld Orlando opened nine years later, on December 15, 1973.  The morning began with a modest but warm celebration close to the parks main entrance.  Highlights included a new theme song, Beneath The Blue performed live by Kendra Lucas, as well as a showcase of animals such as penguins and otters.

SeaWorld Orlando's 50th Celebration Kick Off

On stage are Park President Terry Prather, SeaWorld animal ambassadors, members of the “Surprise Squad,” and Entertainment and Animal Training Teams who brought the celebration to life. Image courtesy SeaWorld Orlando

Sea of Surprises is not just a name.  Colorfully dressed park employees will roam SeaWorld and award prizes ranging from hats and bags to full family vacations everyday.  Guests will be randomly selected like the few lucky prize-winners I witnessed first hand.  During certain shows, the prize crew would enter the arena about 20 minutes before show time and award a great many prizes.

SeaWorld Orlando Park President Terry Prather

SeaWorld Orlando Park President, Terry Prather, welcomes guests to the 50th Celebration Kick Off. Image courtesy SeaWorld Orlando


Highlights of the Sea of Surprises 50th Anniversary Celebration include:

  • Park pathways come to life with spontaneous entertainment.  “Bubble Blowout” has a fantastical vehicle creating bubbles of all sizes and shapes throughout Shamu’s Happy Harbor.  Engaging performances with sea-inspired costumes and props will pop up at unexpected moments to surprise guests throughout the day, like “Splash Dance,” near Nautilus Theater.
  • On June 21, a new nighttime Shamu show, “Shamu’s Celebration: Light Up The Night”, debuts.   The high energy show will include new, original music and production elements, as well as new killer whale behaviors.
  • SeaWorld guests are often greeted by an animal ambassador, many of whom were orphaned or injured in the wild and given a second chance thanks to the SeaWorld Animal Rescue Team.   As part of SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, there will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day.
  • Share the wonder of close-up encounters with amazing animal friends and learn how SeaWorld cares for the natural world at the all-new SEA Garden.  Completely re-designed, the SEA Garden is where guests can learn more about SeaWorld’s animals, many of them rescued, including eagles, spoonbills, opossums, and more.
Parrot fish recycled sculpture

SeaWorld Orlando’s SEA Garden area reopened in celebration of SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration. The Parrot Fish sculpture, along with three other giant sea creatures (sea horse, sea anemone and an octopus), were created by environmental art group The Washed Ashore Project. Image courtesy SeaWorld Orlando


  • To showcase SeaWorld’s commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, four giant sea life sculptures will be displayed at the SEA Garden.  SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group The Washed Ashore Project for a collection of larger-than-life sea-themed sculptures – many weighing more than half a ton.  The material used to create these pieces comes from the billions of pounds of garbage – mostly plastics – that wind up in our oceans.  These amazing works of art point to the urgent need to protect marine animals from such dangers and preserve their ocean habitats.  On display at SeaWorld Orlando are a parrot fish, sea horse, sea anemone reef and octopus.
  • As part of its continuing commitment to new technology that enhances the guest experience, SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration will include new ways for fans to connect to the parks and each other though digital devices.   The parks will be launching a variety of enhancements, from interactive apps that provide fun new ways to experience the park to new games and video content.
SeaWorld Orlando Sky tower with 50th logo

SeaWorld Orlando’s Sky Tower is newly wrapped with the 50th Celebration logo. Image courtesy SeaWorld Orlando


In conjunction with SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration, the park is offering  a few special ticket offers, such as:

  • 50% Off Celebration Ticket – Buy one ticket and get 50 percent off another.
  • Celebrate the weekdays with SeaWorld Orlando’s $50 Weekday Ticket.

Florida Residents can also take advantage of purchasing a SeaWorld Annual Pass starting at just $13 per month with EZpay.

SeaWorld Orlando Lighthouse with 50th treatment

SeaWorld Orlando’s iconic front entrance lighthouse is newly wrapped with a 50th Celebration logo. Image courtesy SeaWorld Orlando


It’s no secret SeaWorld has had some public relations issues this year and have begun to let media and park guests know about all the animals they have rescued and cared for at every opportunity.  I was happy to hear countless situations where SeaWorld intervened to care for animals that would otherwise suffer or perish.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About John Saccheri

John Saccheri has been rooted in the Disney culture from childhood. John only had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World once, at the age of 5. After returning home, he never stopped talking about it, yearning to return. His parents were worried about this “obsession,” but John began working at the age of 12 with a focus on saving up for the next Disney trip. He was able to visit Disney World at least once a year from 14 years old onward. Today, a successful entrepreneur, John was able to move from his hometown of Long Island, New York, to Central Florida to be close to the Mouse. Going to the parks still seems like a fantasy to him!