Since I grew up here in Orlando – I can remember visiting SeaWorld many times as a child. As an adult I was able to spend lots of summer days there with my boys while they were growing up, due to the fact that annual passes have always been pretty affordable.
It was a great way to spend time together, have fun, and as a bonus we learned lots of interesting things we may never have known about various forms of sea life. To this day my older son still has his collection of plush penguins, and his YouTube user name even reflects his appreciation for these flightless aquatic birds. SeaWorld Orlando really made an impression on my children, just as it has on me. I had not had a chance to go back for many years however, so I was really excited to attend SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration media event here in Orlando on behalf of Chip and Company. The park was still recognizable to me in many ways, but there is just so much more to see and do than there used to be. Sea World’s 50th Celebration Sea of Surprises is a great example of this. The party is going to last for 18-months and really seems to have breathed new life into the park. If you are planning on visiting any time soon – here’s what you will have to look forward to:
As you enter and exit the park in Orlando, be sure to take a moment to check out the gorgeous new paint job on the iconic lighthouse.
SeaWorld is known for amazing animal shows and each park around the country will have something new for the 50th celebration. Even park pathways will come to life with spontaneous entertainment at unexpected moments, including performers with sea-inspired costumes and props, a splash mob, or even a bubble brigade (like this one!) that welcomed us in to the park. (Surprise!)
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 Rescue Team. Sometimes domesticated animals need a new home too. During my visit, this miniature horse, who was just recently rescued, was getting acquainted with sights and sounds of the guests.
During SeaWorld’s 50th you will have the chance to take part new interactive experiences, shows and pathway performances. There will also be more up-close animal encounters throughout the park.
A new nighttime Shamu Show is debuting at all three SeaWorld parks this year. It began on March 8 at SeaWorld San Antonio, March 21 at SeaWorld San Diego, and on June 21st we will see that new show at SeaWorld Orlando. In addition to the new iconic Shamu show, the parks have new entertainment elements including a 50th Celebration theme for the ski show at SeaWorld San Antonio and a new Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation show at SeaWorld Orlando.
There will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day. A pair of Magellanic penguins, a lemur, or even a parade of flamingos could surprise guests at any moment at all three SeaWorld locations.
The SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” will roam the SeaWorld parks on a daily basis giving away prizes and special gifts. You will know them by their bright tie-dye style outfits. Guests could receive exclusive access to rides or behind-the-scenes experiences, celebration t-shirts or Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating and more.
SewWorld is excited to share the wonder of close-up encounters with animal friends. They also show us how they care for our natural world at the all-new SEA Garden! SeaWorld commissioned environmental art group Washed Ashore for a collection of larger-than-life sea-themed sculptures – many weighing more than half a ton. The materials used to create these pieces come from the billions of pounds of garbage – mostly plastics – that wind up the ocean. These works of art are really fascinating. I could have gazed at them for hours.
As part of its continuing commitment to new technology that enhances the guest experience, SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration will also 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.
All of this and more will just be additions to many fantastic shows, attractions, and new things to do at SeaWorld!
I hope you get a chance to check out SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration and the Sea of Surprises, and that you will enjoy the festivities as much as I did. Let us know about all your favorite experiences and animal encounters in this beautiful iconic park!