‘Christmas Celebration’ returns to SeaWorld San Diego

by Susan and Simon Veness

SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration and its seasonal experiences bring holiday cheer to SeaWorld San Diego, as new entertainment and favorites from years past light up the park from Nov. 12 through Jan. 2.

"Christmas Celebration" at SeaWorld San Diego
Photos by SeaWorld

More than 100 acres within SeaWorld San Diego will sparkle with lights as the annual event rings with the sights and sounds of holiday themed shows, wintery snowfalls, breathtaking fireworks, and the magic of a musical 30-foot-tall Christmas tree.

In 2020, SeaWorld San Diego held their Christmas Celebration in a somewhat modified form due to restrictions brought about by the pandemic. This year, it’s back bigger and better than ever, with past favorites and plenty of new additions.

What’s new:

“Santa’s Circus Show” – Take in the thrilling stunts, astounding illusions, and knee-slapping comedy of Santa’s cirque-style performers in this family-friendly show filled with holiday-inspired feats.

Elmo's Christmas Wish

“Elmo’s Christmas Wish” – Join Elmo and his Sesame Street friends as they discover the true meaning of Christmas. Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover, and Zoe help Elmo figure out what he wants most in this song and dance show that encourages families to sing along.

Snowfall in Jingle Bell Square – It’s a guaranteed white Christmas as festive snowfalls blanket Jingle Bell Square, on select nights only.

Christmas Light Tunnel

Holiday Lights & Magic – More than 100 open-air grounds around the park are decked out in their seasonal finery, including an all-new 30-foot Christmas tree strewn with lights that twinkle and dance to popular holiday tunes.

Traditional favorites:

“Clyde and Seamore’s Christmas Special” – Everyone’s favorite comical sea lions return this year in a television Christmas special spoof with a marine mammal twist.

Sesame Street Christmas Village – This is the place to find photo opportunities and special dining events with Sesame Street friends dressed in their holiday attire.

Christmas Celebration Rudolph's Christmas Town

Rudolph’s Christmas Town – Visitors can pose for photos with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and take home their snapshot as a keepsake.

Holiday Brunch with Elmo and Friends – It’s a holiday feast with Elmo and his pals as they dance, sing, and join youngsters for family photos. A printed and framed photo is included with this separately ticketed experience.

Cookie Monster SeaWorld San Diego

Christmas Cookies with Cookie Monster – Decorate cookies and dance to holiday tunes with Cookie Monster and his pals. Participants in this separately ticketed experience will receive a cookie decorating kit and a keepsake photograph.

Reindeer Round-Up Scavenger Hunt – Pick up a map, look for Santa’s reindeer around the park, mark their locations on the map, and, when they’ve all been found, collect a special gift!

Santa’s Cottage – Experience the magic of Christmas with the Jolly Old Elf himself as Santa greets children and hears their wish lists. Sit for a photo with Santa, and listen as Mrs. Claus reads a story to the young and young at heart.

Holiday Fireworks – End a magical day with the festive colors and brilliant pyrotechnics of SeaWorld’s holiday fireworks spectacular, with displays taking place on select nights in November and December.

As guests make new memories and relive past celebration favorites, they can get into the convivial spirit with a warming mug of hot chocolate, or, for adults, a chilled brew, glass of wine, or yuletide-inspired cocktail. Seasonal dining will also return, with menus announced soon.

During SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration, the traditions of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will also be honored, on select dates only. Menorah lightings will take place from Nov. 28 – Dec. 6, and from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, the park will reflect on the joyful celebration of African heritage while performing a nightly lighting of the kinara.

SeaWorld San Diego Park President John Dunlap summed up the excitement, saying, “Christmas and the holiday season have taken over SeaWorld, allowing our guests to experience the wonders of SeaWorld in a spectacular new way, with stunning displays of lights, holiday cheer, and joyful experiences throughout the entire park. During this special time of year, we’re honored that families choose to visit our park to create lifelong memories and priceless traditions.”

For more information, and for event times and dates, visit SeaWorld.com/San-Diego.

Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego

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1 comment

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[…] year-round, family-friendly rides, there are brand-new shows to entertain guests of all ages. “Elmo’s Christmas Wish” is a live musical featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Zoe, and Rosita sharing their holiday […]


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