I had to do this one theme park thing before giving birth

My pregnancy has flown by. It’s a little difficult to believe that in maybe 3-4 weeks time our baby will be here and it all changes from there. So with the big day looming ahead (not that I dread it, I truly am excited for this) I knew I had to do something special while I still had the opportunity.

When I learned I was pregnant, a million thoughts and emotions surged through me. But I quickly became ecstatic that I would be pregnant during the holidays. And I knew I had to visit SeaWorld Orlando during their amazing Christmas celebration.

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SeaWorld’s Festival pathway is a Winter Wonderland

I have to start with my favorite part of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. The Festival pathway is only open during special events like the Christmas Celebration as well as their perfect-for-families Halloween, and other special celebrations. It lines the park’s massive lagoon and it is heaven for Christmas lovers like me.

Sparkling Christmas lights seem to gleam everywhere. Strolling it alone, just me and my pregnant belly, was so relaxing. The cheerfulness of the season washed over me as I slowly wound my way along the bay. Soon I relaxed on a bench, sharing it with a mom, dad, and three year old boy. Soon this would be my life.

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The pathway is packed with festivities. There’s a firepit, gas lamps, live entertainment, games for kids, bayside views of the Christmas ice skating show, the Sea of Trees, and perhaps best of all, food and beverage booths.

Holiday Food and Beverage Booths

The pathway is lined with food and beverage booths, some offering craft beer and wine, others offer special treats, two large stands offer regular foods and snacks, and others special cocktails. There’s even a specialty hot chocolate booth.

Admittedly I missed being able to enjoy some holiday cheer in the form of a holiday craft beer or my favorite SeaWorld seasonal beverage, the Cranberry Hot Toddy. Turns out the toddy isn’t offered this year, which eased the annoyance of not being able to drink.

The specialty hot chocolate booth, with its four gourmet flavors was tempting. But it was quite a warm evening. Thankfully I spotted a booth near the firepit that offered a few beverages including the Frosted Candy Cane. With my SeaWorld Christmas refillable mug, that I’ve had for three years and is still valid, I paid $2.12 for a mug of Frosted Candy Cane. It was dreamy. My favorite holiday treat is peppermint ice cream, and this frosty beverage reminded of it. Creamy, sweet, and minty, I loved it!

Tropical Christmas vibes

img_7525After just two hours of walking around, seeing all the sights I could handle, and a quick hello to some fellow Parrothead friends, the third trimester fatigue hit me. I needed to head home. But before doing so I had to swing by a merchandise store and I also had to take in some tropical Christmas vibes.

Earlier in my visit I swing by The Waterfront to pick up my free annual passholder glass Christmas ornament. This is the third year in a row that SeaWorld has offered this little gift, and this year it’s a dolphin! While waiting in the line I noticed some adorable Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer mugs, but I decided to think it over.

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I stopped back in later as I made my way to exit the park, but the line at the register was even longer. I decided to check the shop at the very front of the park and found them there, and no line. Restricting myself to just one mug, I gleefully carried my little bag over to the Key West area in hopes of hearing some Jimmy Buffett Christmas music.

Sure enough as I approached I heard the tropical sounds of Jimmy. Many people don’t realize that Jimmy Buffett was born on Christmas Day. I love that SeaWorld plays songs from his first Christmas album, in their Key West area. I found a bench, sat, and soaked it up.

Satisfied with my visit, and out of energy, I slowly made my way out to the parking lot. I needed this. Just a few hours to myself, relishing the last bit of freedom I will have for quite a while. And yet I felt like I bonded with my baby a little. Throughout my visit I found myself looking forward to coming back and sharing this place that I love with my son. Here’s hoping SeaWorld’s wonderful Christmas Celebration remains a tradition for many more years to come.

(Note: there’s a ton of stuff I didn’t take part in on this visit to SeaWorld Orlando, particularly the variety of holiday themed live shows. Be sure to make time for these shows, reserved seating packages are a good value. Happy Holidays!)

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