Festivities at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration

SeaWorld San Diego celebrates the holiday season through January 8th with music, decorations, and live reindeer


Huy Huynh

Mrs. Claus’ greets the crowd during the Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Cavalcade at SeaWorld on Dec. 6.

by Claire Shope, Staff Writer

With Christmas steadily approaching, SeaWorld has decorated the entire park to make guests feel like they are in their very own winter wonderland.

When entering the park, guests can expect to be welcomed with holiday music, vibrant lights and a full day of holiday fun. There are Christmas trees and gifts throughout to get into the spirit of the Christmas season.

Although this time of year is centered around Christmas, SeaWorld made sure that other religious holidays are honored and celebrated as well, by including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa music in the park.

Vice President of Entertainment at SeaWorld, Tim Hamilton, made sure that this celebration of Christmas was inclusive. He made sure that Black and White actors portraying Mr. and Mrs. Claus alternate each day. Hamilton believes “having kids see representations of themselves is so important” to SeaWorld San Diego.

Pictures with Santa are available daily next to the Sky Tower and Ms. Claus can be seen riding a parade float six times a day.

In addition to the music and festivities, there are live reindeer that guests can visit in the park. The two female reindeers, Donner and Blitzen will be at SeaWorld until January 8th. According to their caretakers Joy and Kayla, these reindeer were originally from Alaska but now live in California full-time at a rescue center.

Donner and Blitzen are also part of Mrs. Claus’ “Christmas Cavalcade,” but they only participate in two parades a day, typically around noon. When they are not with Ms. Claus and her crew, Rudolph and Clarice from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer take their place to walk in the parade.

A reindeer eats a branch while showcased at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration on Dec. 6. The creatures imported from Alaska were the “celebrities” of the event, according to the reindeer keepers. (Photo by Huy Huynh)

Snow falls from machines at around 5 p.m. each evening to create a holiday ambience that San Diegans typically do not get to enjoy.

In addition to the festivities, there are two shows, “A Joyous Celebration” and “Stocking Full of Soul.”

A Joyous Celebration is at the Nautilus theater each night. It is a family-friendly show that engages the guests in fun and exciting ways. From bringing guests up to the stage to sing carols, to clapping your hands to the beat, it is a great way to spend the night.

Stocking Full of Soul is only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week at the Mission Bay Theater. “America’s Got Talent” star Bryan Cheatham brings characters from SeaWorld on stage to create an atmosphere that will have all of the guests singing along.

Each weekend there is a firework show, including on Christmas weekend.

To end the night, there is a 320-foot Christmas tree lighting that can be seen from most parts of the park. Santa and Rudolph use the speakers throughout the park to let guests know that the tree will be lit up after a countdown.

Directly following the tree lighting, there is Donner and Blitzen’s “Lazer Light Show” over the entrance of the park. Holiday songs play as guests are encouraged to dance and sing along.

The weekends are the busiest time for SeaWorld San Diego, so plan accordingly and have a great holiday season!