Debuting Nov. 23 and continuing through Jan. 1, 2008, SeaWorld’s Wild Arctic will be transformed into a thrilling, never-before-experienced expedition to the fabled Santa Town.
The Polar Express Experience is based on the film from Warner Bros. Pictures and Shangri-La Entertainment, inspired by the beloved Caldecott Medal children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. “SeaWorld Orlando, Warner Bros. and Iwerks have created a one-of-a-kind motion simulation experience that combines one of the holiday’s most beloved movies with an actual winter wonderland,” said Michael Fletcher, vice president of entertainment for SeaWorld. “The result will completely immerse guests into a thrilling combination of fantasy and reality.”
The adventure begins with a three-minute preshow telling the story of a young boy lying awake on Christmas Eve, just before midnight. Straining to listen for the elusive sound of ringing bells aboard Santa’s sleigh, the boy is jolted out of bed from the thunderous roar of The Polar Express train arriving to take him on a fascinating adventure to the North Pole. Guests then embark upon that same adventure as they board The Polar Express Experience. Recreating classic scenes from the movie in a multi-sensory experience, The Polar Express Experience immerses guests with lighting, scent, sound and motion to transport them to the North Pole.
When guests arrive at their destination, they step off the train and into the movie itself. Temperatures drop as the travelers arrive at the frozen North Pole, complete with a towering Christmas tree, gift-laden sleigh, village décor and Santa himself. The journey continues as guests also encounter other inhabitants of the North Pole – the animals themselves – including beluga whales, powerful polar bears and giant walruses.
In addition to this new holiday attraction. Guests can join Shamu for the holidays during “Shamu Christmas…Miracles.” The 22-minute production comes to life daily through Dec. 25 at Shamu Stadium.
Guests may also witness a winter wonder as snow flurries descend from above, and water and light adorn the night during the “Christmastide” holiday fountain show where water seemingly dances to the beat of Christmas music through Dec. 25.
“Mistify,” a nighttime finale Dec. 26 – 30, takes place on SeaWorld’s center lake and features larger-than-life marine creatures on 60-foot mist screens, 100-foot fountains, flames on water and dazzling fireworks.
Families can stroll through the Waterfront’s array of gift shops and restaurants while listening to the joyful tunes of singers, musical quartets and the “Sizzlin’ Pianos” show. Through Christmas, stores and restaurants will remain open until 7 p.m. during weekdays and 8 p.m. on weekends. The park will remain open until 10 p.m. Dec. 26 – 30.
The winter season warms up South Seas-style at “Makahiki Christmas Luau.” This celebration includes succulent island cuisine served with the ancient holiday traditions of the Pacific Islands. The sounds of Christmas are reinterpreted with authentic Polynesian rhythms, music and dancers Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2008 (except Dec. 25). Park admission is not required.
Breakfast with Elmo and Friends, Dec. 26-31, offers a buffet served up with the hottest characters in town including Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Zoe, Ernie and Cookie Monster. Prices are $16.95 plus tax for adults and $14.95 for children (ages 3-9). Children under 3 are free. Reservations are required and breakfast times are 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Park admission is required.
For more information, visit www.seaworld.com or call (800) 327-2424.