PHOTO TOUR: IlluminOcean at Dana Point Harbor

IlluminOcean is a brand new holiday event featuring festive sea-themed light sculptures, dazzling light tunnels, a 50-foot GlowMotion tree, and even more exciting – it’s FREE!  Currently running nightly through January 4th, IlluminOcean is located in Dana Point, California, a small beach town widely known for their whale watching excursions. and spans along the Dana Point Harbor.  The event is sponsored by local resorts, including the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, St. Regis Monarch Beach, Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa, and the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, whether you’re staying overnight or just popping in for dinner and drinks, a shuttle service is offered nightly taking guests directly to and from IlluminOcean.  There’s also more holiday fun to be had at each of the resorts, such as a 20-foot long gingerbread display at the Ritz-Carlton (I need to go back to check that out!), a Gingerbread House Academy at the St. Regis, a breakfast with Santa at the Laguna Cliffs, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and more.  Click here for more information on all of their holiday happenings.  Now, let’s dive right in and take a look around IlluminOcean at Dana Point!

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A whale of a welcome to IlluminOcean!

 

Maps are located along the path to help you make your way through the displays (be sure to bring comfy walking shoes).  Starting at the cross-section of Golden Lantern St. and Dana Point Harbor Dr., this is where Wonderland Wharf and Light M’Ocean Coast are located, and where most of the action is.

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Sight maps located along the Harbor

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Sandy Claws

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One of the three light tunnels

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Light tunnel exterior

These blue & green trees indicate you're on the right path.

These blue & green trees indicate you’re on the right path.

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SHELLabration – Sea Turtle

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Sleigh of the Day – Santa’s gone fishin’

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Treasured Beauty – Mermaids

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Santa’s not-so-little helpers

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50-foot tall GlowMotion tree that “dances” to holiday music

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Holiday Schooner

 

Overall, we thought IlluminOcean was really cute, albeit a bit spread out.  There were a few long stretches between the displays making it seem sparse in some areas. That said, it was a lovely walk along the water, and it would be easy to make an entire day out of visiting the local resorts, restaurants and shops – and maybe even go on a whale watching excursion!  While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going out of your way to see the lights, it’s definitely something fun for the whole family to enjoy together if you’re in the area.

DISCLOSURE: Adventures by Daddy was hosted by the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton for the purposes of experiencing IlluminOcean and writing this recap and review.  However, all opinions expressed are those of the author.  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 Chrysty Summers

Growing up in southern California, Disneyland has always been a staple for my family. Today, my husband and I spend most of our free time at the parks, where you can usually find us soaking up the atmosphere of Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. We also love traveling to Walt Disney World as often as we can, especially during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival in the Fall! Find me on Twitter @PenelopePeach for live updates from around the parks.