Friday, January 7, 2011

A Sea World Christmas - Part One

When we were making plans for our Christmas break, the only thing Mommy specifically asked to do was visit Sea World again for their Christmas Celebration. On Tuesday night we had stayed up and renewed Daddy and Parker's fun cards, as well as ordering one for Wesley (finally have to pay for him now that he is 3). But then we had to postpone Wednesday's trip. Daddy felt awful that Mommy had to miss and so he insisted on Wednesday night that Mommy should go to Orlando and take the boys on Thursday since he still wasn't feeling up to going zipping around the park.

Mommy and the boys left the house by 8:15am (after two trips back into the house from the car for gloves/hats and a bathroom break!). We ate breakfast on the go and managed to get there, get our tickets, pass through bag check and the long entrance line and be renting a double stroller by 10:15am.

Sea World really did things up well for Christmas. Decorations were everywhere but were so tasteful and even fun. And the Christmas music played on the loudspeakers throughout the park all day long - lots of generic holiday songs but also some actual Christmas carols like "O Come Let Us Adore Him" and others that mentioned Jesus by name and actually called him Lord and Savior.

The beautiful Christmas tree by the entrance to the park. Thankfully the boys were not interested in the huge line to meet the guy in the Shamu costume.

They did however want their picture taken with this gigantic replica of Frosty the Snowman.

When planning our trip Mommy asked each of the boys what they wanted to do. Parker wanted to play at Shamu's Happy Harbor....all day if possible. Wesley wanted to see the Shamu show and ride the Sky Tower. So our first order of business was to make it over to Shamu Stadium for the 11:00am show. No small feat considering that you it felt like everyone and their brother were inside the Sea World park - seriously this is the fifth time we've been to Sea World this year and by far the most packed it has ever been. We made it over the bridge and into the stadium by 10:30am. The Shamu show did not disappoint - the boys loved it!

After Shamu was over, we made our way into the area usually known as Wild Arctic. Except for Christmas the entire area had been redone with a Polar Express theme. Completely redone - as in all the old signage was removed or covered up, scenery added, walls and doors repainted - it was impressive.

Parker was the one who noticed that the room you sat in to watch the Polar Express movie was setup like the kid's bedroom from the movie Polar Express: with a model airplane hanging from the ceiling and the screen framed out to look like a bedroom window with curtains. Here the boys are posing with some of the set decorations in the hallway from the movie space, headed in to see the whales, polar bears and walrus.

The Christmas tree by the beluga whales.

Touching the ice wall - standing in line to see Santa Claus.
Wesley was the one who insisted that we stand in line to see Santa Claus. He wanted to say thank you for his Christmas presents and sure enough when he got up front to talk to Santa he managed to say it loud and clear.
The polar bear doing what he does best - sleeping as usual!

Then it was on to play in Shamu's Happy Harbor. For the most part, Parker played in the nets and Wesley did the slides. We did manage to convince Wesley to get in the top part of the nets for a little while since Mommy went along too.

Riding the Sea Carousel in Happy Harbor.

Then it was back across the lake to go get lunch and catch a show. The boys were pretty impressed with the view from the bridge of all the wonderful Christmas trees that had been added to the water.
We ate lunch in the Voyager's Smokehouse - had to stand in line for about 40 minutes to get lunch and we spent some time sharing tips with the family ahead of us who was at Sea World for the first time ever. Parker spotted us a table fortunately so we could enjoy our lunch; just as we finished eating another family offered to throw all our trash away if they could have our table.

From Voyager's we made our way next door to the Seaport Theater for the Sesame Street Countdown to Christmas show. We got there at 2pm for the 2:30pm show and they closed the doors soon after we got inside. It was a great show with all kinds of singing and dancing - the premise being that Abby Cadabby didn't understand about Christmas and all the other folks from Sesame Street were trying to explain it to her.

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