Tips for SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration 2016!

Disclosure: This was a hosted event. 

Whether you are a local or visiting from out of town, this is the best time of year in Southern California to spend with family and friends. There really is a lot to do here. The hardest part is finding the time that works best for everyone and deciding what to do. My family and I have visited several attractions this month already, and we still have a few more to explore. Some we did as a group and some we did on our own. All I can say is that each attraction is unique in their own way, and we always have fun together. I will highlight what we enjoyed the most and will try to add some time saving tips. In this post, let's discuss SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration in San Diego.

All the shows are approximately 20 minutes and if you enjoy them as much as we do (it's a great way to get off your feet), you'll want to grab a schedule on the way in and strategically make your way around the park to see them all OR check the show schedule online. You will also want to check the park hours because some days it is open 11 am until 6pm and some days it is open 11 am until 7:30 pm.

Tips for Accommodating Large Groups

With large groups, you want to tell them exactly what time to meet you at the gate (why not also include what time they need to leave home), what your daily agenda is, and what time to meet for meals, etc. Do they have small children? Remind them to pack snacks and extra layers because it was warm during the day but super cold at night by the water. They can store it in their stroller Plus communication is key, and you'll want to allow some flexibilty. Save yourself some stress and make everything optional. For example, "Here is our itinerary for the day and I've highlighted the shows we are going to see. Text us if you are running late..." Try to stick to the itinerary but don't be too upset if someone doesn't make it there on time. It will happen but if you have it outlined for them, they will be able to easily catch up. Maybe they need a break or want to skip out on one of the shows, no problem.

Oh I have to tell you something. My kids remembered the cleaner fish from last year. It is in the Explorer's Reef right when you enter the park. You can also touch horseshoe crabs, sting rays, and bamboo sharks. Throughout the day, they kept asking to go back to get kissed by the fish. It might make a great meeting spot for your group. There are handwashing stations, restrooms, lockers, and a gift shop right there too.  They also serve coffee, hot chocolate, and refreshments in that area.

Some of their seasonal shows are back like Clyde & Seamore’s Christmas Special, Dolphin Island Christmas, Pets Rule Christmas, and Shamu Christmas Miracles.  I love their new theme this year with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! You can find him and his friends in Rudolph's Christmastown. There are nightly tree lighting of Southern California's largest Christmas tree (320-foot) that has been a San Diego tradition since 1969. In Santa's Christmas Village sponsored by Coca-Cola, join Mrs. Claus during story time, visit Santa, enjoy seasonal treats, visit Santa's Reindeer, and more! Starting December 17th, younger children can slide down sled lanes at Snow Hill. Also, they are now taking reservations for Breakfast with Shamu and Santa. 

Rudolph’s Christmastown

Relive some fond childhood memories in

Rudolph's Christmastown

 located near Wild Arctic. Take a photo inside

Sam the Snowman's Snowy Wonderland

snow globe, meet Rudolph and his friends Clarice, Bumble, Yukon Cornelius, visit nostalgic vignettes from the famous film like

Island of Misfit Toys


Bumble's Cave

, enjoy nightly tree-lighting ceremonies of the 40-foot Happiest Christmas Tree accompanied by The Elf Band, and play reindeer games. TIP: There were a few times that we skipped the long lines by going into the exhibits and by the time we came out, the large crowds thinned out. I suggest walking around to enjoy the vignettes, games or exhibit but also gauging the line to see if it is short.

Another great spot for children at SeaWorld is the obstacle course at 

Seasame Street Bay of Play

. Let's face it - children don't like to wait around, and they need to run around and be happy. I followed them closely underneath and they have toddler areas too for just the littles.

It was pretty fun visiting SeaWorld this time of year. All the shows were entertaining, and I think it's great if you have family visiting and you want to do something touristy. I thought they did a pretty good job making it festive around the park with Christmas music, lots of decorations, and some of the animal exhibits like Shark Encounter and Penguin Encounter are decked out too. Their tree at the entrance is beautiful in the daytime as well as nighttime. You can also enjoy poolside interactions with sea lions and dolphins as well as sea habitats for penguins, turtles, otters, and sharks. I love their Rudolph-theme this year. Please visit their website for more details. 

Happy Holidays!


Christmas at SeaWorld San Diego

500 Sea World Drive

San Diego, CA

(800) 257-4268

All of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration festivities (except for arcade-style games and reserved experiences such as Breakfast With Shamu and Santa) are included with park admission. Guests can pay less than a day and visit the rest of 2016 and all next year with the purchase of a 2017 Fun Card. SeaWorld is open year-round and has a variety of admission ticket offers that provide tremendous value perfect for both Southern California residents and tourists.