10 Hotel Del Coronado’s Holiday Festivities in 2021

AT FIRST LIGHT at THE DEL

Holidays at The Hotel Del Coronado are brighter this year with the help of EPIC Entertainment Group. This year The Hotel Del Coronado welcomes loyal guests, locals and new travelers to ‘Home for the Holidays’ with 10 different immersive holiday experiences. Here’s what you can see and do while visiting or staying at The Del.

SKATING BY THE SEA
  1. Ice skating is back at The Del. Lace up skates and skim along the ice right next to the beach. Advanced reservations are recommended and sold online.
Multiple drink and food options are available at The Del

2. Before, during or after ice skating ‘Frostbite’ Lounge offers cozy seating and a fire pit by reservation for up to six people. Order food and drinks from a holiday-themed cocktail and snack menu while watching skaters whirl by you and the colorful lights.

Spectacular Lightshow nightly

3. EPIC ENTERTAINMENT Group decorates the legendary Norfolk Pines on the Founder’s Lawn for a dynamic ‘At First Light’ lightshow with colored lights orchestrated to holiday music and snowfall. In 1904 these trees were the first electrically lit outdoor Christmas Tree in America. The show is 11-minutes long and run every thirty minutes from 5 to 9 p.m.

23-ft lobby Christmas tree

4. The return of the perennial favorite includes the spectacular two-story lobby tree decorated with 10,000 sparkling lights with more than 2,000 ornaments in red, gold and forest green. Guests can purchase many of the ornaments dazzling on the tree at the nearby shops.

The Center Tree is a towering 25 feet

5. Go on a scavenger hunt to find 20 themed Christmas trees ranging in size from 8 feet to a breathtaking 25 foot tall tree out in the Victorian Garden. Visit the shops inside The Victorian, the Welcome Center inside the Beach Village, and check for trees in The Cabanas and The Views.

Sand art at The Del Beach

6. See a Holiday Movie on the Beach. Snuggle up with a loved one on Del Beach for a movie in the picturesque theater under the stars on Dec. 11, 18 and 31.

Jingle Roast on the Beach

7. S’mores on the Beach at your own private bonfire on Del Beach. Cozy up for hot beverages, housemade marshmallows, graham crackers and a variety of chocolates. Jingle Roast is from Dec. 15 – 25 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Jolly St. Nick at The Signature Shop

8. Photos with Santa will take place on the Paseo Lawn on Dec. 16-18 and Dec. 22 – 24. Receive a keepsake photo with jolly Santa when you make a reservation for a visit. Santa is in shops and his spirit is everywhere around the hotel.

Start a new family tradition at The Del

9. Victorian Tea is served during the holidays on Dec. 17, 19, 20 and 21. Take a step back in time with a classic Victorian Tea featuring a variety of teas, finger sandwiches and sweets while beautiful music sets the atmosphere. There are special kids’ plates too, so little ones can join the adults to start a family tradition.

10. Go Holiday Gift Shopping for inspired gifts and The Del’s 29th annual holiday ornament can be found at the various shops at The Del. The beautiful handblown glass ornament is inspired by the hotel’s 1888 stained glass “Coronation Window,” which was restored earlier this year

The Beach Village is a gated community at The Del

Stay in one of the Beach Village Cottages or Villas for ocean, beach, pool and palm tree views. The villas are equipped with a full kitchen to make meals to enjoy outside on the patio or large balcony. A private welcome center checks Beach Village guests into the private and gated section of The Del. The staff are available to cater to guests needs. There are multiple swimming pools and hot whirlpools for guests to use near each cottage or villa. For reservations for a Beach Village, The Victorian, The Cabanas or The Views guest room, click here.

Opening Day THE LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD

My friends at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, CA invited me to come experience their new rides, attractions, restaurants, shops, in the new immersive world of THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD. The creative team has their hit movies come to life!

After a stressful week, it was so much fun to be a kid again, starting at an evening reception at SeaLife Aquarium. I watched jellyfish gracefully float in a clear tank, and walked through a clear tunnel to admire a variety of fish, sharks and rays glide by. One of my favorite exhibits was the bioluminescent tide and starry night in the Maldives.

Sipping wine and nibbling pulled pork sandwiches, Mac and Cheese, vegetable crudite and fresh baked cookies and vanilla ice cream, I enjoyed talking to Head of Public Relations North America at Merlin Entertainments, Julie Estrada tell me about the new LEGOLAND New York opening soon. Another familiar face was Senior Media Relations at Merlin Entertainments Group, Jake Gonzalez. He shared his excitement of the events that were going to take place the following day for the Grand Opening to the media in the morning and to the public in the afternoon.

Listening to LEGOLAND California Resort President Kurt Stocks share how the new The LEGO MOVIE WORLD is based on the blockbuster films The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Movie 2, piqued my interest even more.

We talked about how the unveiling of this new large land at the theme park, was put on hold in 2020, due to the pandemic. Finally the grand opening was happening on May 27, 2021. “THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD truly has something for everyone, and we are excited to welcome more guests to experience this new land which takes them from theater to theme park. It will play a key part in boosting tourism locally in Carlsbad and across Southern California,” shared Stocks. 

Pink and gold streamers filled the air, as the official Grand Opening took place in The LEGO MOVIE World. The colorful land is the largest addition in the Park’s history, and features six interactive attractions, including Emmet’s Flying Adventure Ride.

Families buckle in aboard Emmet’s triple decker flying couch for a thrill-seeking adventure. The couch swivels to a full-dome virtual screen, and soon guests fill the misty vapor of flying through clouds to memorable lands such as Middle Zealand, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Pirates Cove and the Sistar System.

The Grand Opening celebration at LEGOLAND California

Fans will recognize familiar faces along the way including Sweet Mayhem, a star character from THE LEGO®MOVIE 2: The Second Part. Emmet’s Flying Adventure features cutting edge technology offering a multi-sensory experience. Feel the rush of falling from Unikitty’s Disco Drop and experiencing the many personalities of the fearless feline. The new ride drops, spins and bounces guests back down to earth with pleasing smells, thrills and lot’s of fun. 

Mayor of Bricksburg with the President of LEGOLAND California Kurt Stocks

The adventure continues after the ride as young guests can climb and explore Benny’s Playship, ride Queen Watevra’s pink Carousel, create at Build Watevra You Wa’Na Build zone, and meet Emmet and all his friends in Emmet’s Super Suite.

This special area is geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. Throughout LEGOLAND California, there are more than 60 rides for all ages and entertaining shows.

Fun rides for the entire family at LEGO MOVIE WORLD

Enjoy tasty themed treats such as Cloud Cuckoo Crepes, Benny’s Rocket Fuel and Everything is Ramen throughout the land. 

Afterwards go ride the newer LEGO® City: Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride. Guests step inside and look out porthole windows to experience more than 2,000 real sea animals, sharks, rays and tropical fish living and swimming in the water.

SEA LIFE aquarium is home to more than 5,000 living creatures and incorporates play zones, informative fun facts and interactive quiz trails.

Other water adventures include LEGOLAND Water Park featuring more than seven slides, sandy beaches and the unique Build-A-Raft River plus Pirate Reef and LEGO Legends of CHIMA Water Park comprising 10 acres of water fun!

Extend your stay at LEGOLAND HOTEL or LEGOLAND Castle Hotel

LEGOLAND Hotel is the nation’s first LEGOLAND Hotel featuring 250 all themed rooms, with either a pirate, adventure, kingdom, LEGO® Friends and LEGO® NINJAGO™ decorated large family guest rooms.

North America’s first LEGOLAND Castle Hotel features Royal Princess, Knights, Magic Wizards and Dragons in their 250 rooms. There are restaurants, swimming pools and interactive activities for the entire family at both hotels. 

For more information, visit http://www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD is included in the price of admission to LEGOLAND California Resort. Guests can purchase tickets and reserve their spot through LEGOLAND California’s reservation system for their desired Park visit.

For more Resort information, operating schedule and to make reservations, visit: www.legoland.com/california

Top Chef Richard Blais opens Ember & Rye

Years ago I had a memorable dinner at Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, one of Executive Chef Richard Blais culinary destinations. Known as one of the most beloved television personalities of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, he also helped open The Crack Shack, featuring elevated chicken and egg dishes in a casual, yet whimsical setting. I met Blais in person at the opening of the Century City and Pasadena locations.

Executive chef Richard Blais

When I learned he is getting ready to open Ember & Rye, a new ‘Modern Steakhouse with a retro vibe’ at the luxury Park Hyatt Aviara, I was eager to talk to this affable chef about life during the pandemic and what’s in store for him in 2021.

This successful restaurateur and cookbook author (‘Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate” earned a James Beard Award Foundation Award nomination) gave me over one hour of his time. Together we sat outdoors on the terrace outside Ember & Rye and here is what I learned:

Chef what have you been doing during the Covid-19 pandemic?

I stopped flying on hundreds of airplanes, and stayed home and have been grilling and cooking for my family. I’ve slowed down and have been spending more time with my wife and two daughters.

What did you think when the Park Hyatt Aviara management team reached out to you about a new restaurant concept at the resort’s golf course?

I received the phone call before March 2020, and felt so honored they wanted me to create a new restaurant. We want to do a lot outside, and will have the wood-fire grill out on the terrace to appeal to guests senses. I’m proud to open a restaurant at this time together with the Park Hyatt Aviara team, because we are moving forward to be part of the community and bring something to the area and to guests of the hotel. We are bringing a dining experience that is a unique and different. This is a massive deal for my career and personal growth. I also like that headquarters is close to home.

Aviara Golf Club

Your new restaurant is located near the 1st and 18th hole at the Aviara Golf Club, do you play golf?

I started playing golf before the pandemic and thought about changing golf course dining. There could be a niche in elevating restaurants at golf courses. No chef has done that, and see when I put this idea out to the universe, I received the call.

How did you come up with the name Ember & Rye?

RB: Ember & Rye gets its name from the embers from a wood fired grill, and rye is for the amazing whiskey and bourbon program we will have at the bar. Plus it’s a nod to my daughters Embrey and Riley. I call them Em and Rye.

Upstairs is Ember & Rye

Will you be at the restaurant often once it opens in March 2021?

You bet! The entrance of the restaurant will have a Chef Station where I can greet guests and offer a drink and snack.  There will be a lounge and stools to enjoy a round of drinks before dinner. It’s a Modern Clubhouse meets Retro, not your grandparent’s clubhouse or 19th hole restaurant. I miss spending time in the dining room talking and taking selfies with guests.

Can you give me a sneak peek at your menu?

As a chef, I take care of people. I prepare and cook with my hands that nourish people. It’s an organic process, preparing simple and well prepared food from 90% west coast “Triple F” – Fishermen, Farmers and Foragers. We will feature wood grilled proteins, dry-aged beef and vegetable sides with lot’s of sauces. I love making different sauces! It’s fun and easy food that I like to eat. We are working on some creative sides that are produce driven. Think creamed spinach that may have artichoke puree, corn creme brûlée and onion rings on the menu. My TikTok video making onion rings in my kitchen has over 2 million views. Besides a baked potato, I may have baked celery root or use other root vegetables.

Have you ever baked jicama? That might be interesting. You know how people like potato gratin, what about jicama gratin? That’s different, right?

Where were you yesterday when we were working on R & D? I’m going to buy a jicama and work on that tomorrow.

How about desserts?

I love liquid nitrogen. Wait until you see what Christophe Rull (Executive Pastry Chef at the Park Hyatt Aviara) is creating. He is an amazing pastry chef. The restaurant will have a throwback vibe of old and new, including our vintage-era server uniforms. They are very cool.

Will we see you on television soon?

I just finished filming Season 18 of Bravo’s Top Chef in Portland, OR, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Not one person got sick in the production bubble. It was great to see everyone and will be a fun show for fans to watch.

Ember & Rye will hopefully open by the time the state of California and San Diego County lift dining restrictions. Everyone is hopefully with the Covid- 19 vaccines that it should be open March, 2021.

Park Hyatt Aviara Momcation in 2021

Ever since the pandemic, mothers around the world are double and triple tasking to keep their families mentally and physically healthy. They are the ultimate Lifestyle Enhancement Directors of the world. Not only are many moms working from home, taking ZOOM meeting, cleaning, shopping, and cooking while safer-at-home, but also being cheerleaders for their children who are distance learning. It’s a full time job more than ever.

Hotels are offering specials to give moms a relaxing temporary escape from the demands of modern motherhood, even if it is just for 24 hours.

I recently had the opportunity to take a Momcation at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad to see and experience the $50 million dollar renovations, plus interview Bravo Top Chef superstar Richard Blais.

First thing about Momcations, they should be less than a two hour drive from home, and from Los Angeles, the beach town of Carlsbad offers a laid back vibe. Those mom’s longing to fly to Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas will discover the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort offers many of the same vacation experiences.

Located 7 miles from Ponto Beach in the beachside town of Carlsbad, overlooking the Aviara Golf Club, Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve and out to the Pacific Ocean, the hotel’s transformation appeals to all of your senses. I first noticed its signature scent, and then the ocean breeze feather touched my skin as I entered the lobby. The open and spacious areas offer art and beauty everywhere I looked.

The redesigned ‘Living Room’ reflects a multi-million dollar home-like feel with a flickering fireplace, stylish metal doors, light wood flooring, comfortable sitting area and books to peruse at your leisure.

ff the lobby is a the new Ponto Lago restaurant on the third level. It’s the resort’s signature restaurant offering breakfast and dinner service out on an oceanview outdoor terrace. Executive Chef Pierre Albaladejo offered me a taste of some of his new menu items. He shared how his new restaurant got its name, “Ponto is named after the beach just miles from the resort, and Lago pays homage to the nearby nature lagoon.” This restaurant also has two private interior dining rooms that can accommodate 12 guests on one side and 20-30 guests in the other secluded area.

Even though the resort closed in March 2020 due the pandemic, Chef Pierre and his team started R +D for the new menu at Ponto Lago and Pacific Point Lobby Lounge. “It’s California cuisine with Baja CA twist, that is refined and not pretentious. I’m inspired by the cuisine from Valle de Guadalupe cooked over a wood fire, while using local produce and flavors,” said Chef Pierre. Guests can sit to enjoy a mezcal or tequila tasting flight in the evening and fresh squeezed juice flight in the morning to add to their mimosas.

Bravo’s Top Chef Richard Blais is soon opening a new restaurant concept, Ember & Rye, overlooking the 18th green at the Aviara Golf Club. This is an ideal spot for a romantic meal sitting out on the outdoor terrace, taking in the views, while enjoying wood fire grilled proteins, vegetable dishes and a stellar retro-meets-modern cocktail list.

Nathan the food and beverage director is offering an exciting cocktail program that includes yuzu jalapeno popsicles, mezcal boba tea, and a special coffee and rye concoction.

Park Hyatt Aviara offers 327 well appointed guest rooms and 43 oversized suites, including the Palmer Suite with its own putting green. My Momcation room was #501 offering a super soft Hyatt king size bed with luxury linens, a marble bathroom with a step-in shower, soaking tub, a super plush bathrobe and luxury bath toiletries. Sliding glass doors led out to a private balcony with two chairs and a table for al fresco dining, morning coffee and view gazing.

I donned a bathing suite and visited both of the brand new water edge pools. The family pool with dual water slides was empty, due to pandemic travel restrictions. Hopefully with COVID vaccine administration, families will arrive by Spring Break to play at the water play park, and sit in the beach area with sand and play toys. Cabana rentals come in two sizes, and the fire pit area offers complimentary s’mores.

The new zero edge adult pool offers sweeping views of the Aviara golf course canyon, Batiquitos Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean in the distance with multiple seating options and semi-private cabanas. I sat in the bubbly hot whirlpool tub and looked up at the stars appearing after sunset.

Afterwards, I visited the elegant Pacific Point Lobby Bar to order a light dinner to take back up to my room. I got back into the world’s most comfortable robe, turned on the television and enjoyed a rotisserie chicken, kale and broccolini wrap out on my balcony, before coming inside to watch Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born.” The beauty of a momcation, is I watched the entire movie without any interruptions, and I had the television clicker all to myself.

The next morning I work up when my body was ready to wake up, and went for a walk down to the Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve and back. It was a three mile walk offering various picturesque stops along the route.

I stopped at Aviara Market off the lobby of the hotel to order a green salad smoothie, banana nut muffin and large coffee to take up to my room before meeting Chef Richard Blais.

The 90 minute interview was enlightening and will be published in an upcoming post. Afterwards, I packed and was ready to drive back home to share my experiences with my family.

From atop the highest ridge, overlooking Carlsbad’s natural beauty, Park Hyatt Aviara is the idyllic spot for a Momcation, romantic Valentine’s Day weekend, Spring Break or summer getaway. Special deals are available on the website.

LEGOLAND Celebrates 20 Years in California

Checking into the festive lobby at the LEGOLAND Hotel in Carlsbad, California, I noticed a some of the hotel rooms had a “Happy Birthday” banner displayed on the door. LEGOLAND is celebrating it’s 20th year with banners, balloons, entertainment and special events throughout 2019.

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Birthday guests can purchase a “Celebrate your birthday package” that includes your choice of themed room or suite, and special gifts for the birthday guest of honor. Upon check in, those celebrating receive a LEGO birthday button, LEGO birthday card, LEGO themed birthday cake, a LEGO gift and a special birthday dinner at Bricks Buffet Restaurant. The cost for this package is $150.
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Opening my Adventure theme room, I enjoyed the colorfully decorated theme suite. Near the door is a kid’s sleeping area with bunk beds with a pull out trundle bed. There is an entertainment unit with a high-definition panel TV. On a shelf is a LEGO container filled with LEGO bricks for kids to build and create while in the room.
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The comfortable King size bed has extra soft sheets and a high-definition flat panel TV. This Junior suite sleeps up to 5 guests comfortably. Near the mini-fridge and coffee maker are complimentary refreshments that include bottled water, juice, coffee and hot cocoa.
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There is an in-room safe and more than ten LEGO decor and model creations that included a monkey, scorpion, and a parrot wearing an Adventure hat. This one-of-a-kind theme room offers guests a fully immersive experience.
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After a great night’s sleep, we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast buffet before entering LEGOLAND earlier than non-hotel guests. At the entrance is a seven-foot tall LEGO cake constructed out of more than 51,000 LEGO bricks, showcasing all of the attractions that have been added to the park over the years.
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What started with 12 rides and Miniland U.S.A., has grown to over 60 rides, the SEA LIFE aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park. The most festive ride celebrating the park’s birthday is the Coast Cruise. Throughout the guided boat ride guests view Miniland USA on narrative water tour of the park to see the Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Mt. Rushmore and a lakeside musical band decorated for the birthday celebration.
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From May 20 through September 1 there is daily birthday themed entertainment, culinary specials and children under 12 receive free admission on their birthday. The offer is valid for admission from January 1 – December 31, 2019.

To make a hotel reservation or purchase tickets, go to LEGOLAND

This review was featured in Where and What in the World.

5 Ways to Cool Down at LEGOLAND

Summer temperatures are rising, yet LEGOLAND offers multiple venues to keep your family happy and cool. Here are 5 solutions to beat the heat:

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Photo by LEGOLAND

  1. LEGO® City: Deep Sea Adventure submarine ride at LEGOLAND® California Resort. The interactive ride features more than 2,000 sea animals including several five species of sharks, several species of rays including a southern stingray with a five-foot wing span. Tropical fish swim amid new LEGO® models around a ship’s sunken treasure. For the first time in the United States, LEGOLAND California Resort brings guests onboard 22,000 pound submarines where guests discover a truly amazing world filled with real sea animals.  Through the use of interactive touchscreens at each porthole inside the sub, guests can help the LEGO® minifigure dive team identify LEGO® gems, pearls, and gold coins throughout the more than four minute journey. Guests can reach one of three levels during each ride: Junior, Senior and Master Explorer. The submarine ride will be included in the price of admission this summer at LEGOLAND California Resort.  For more information and to sign up for insider updates, visit LEGOLAND.com/deepsea2018.

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    Photo of writer at the entrance of LEGOLAND
  2. SEA LIFE® aquarium helps families learn about the life of the sea, by combining active hands-on learning with close encounters with sharks, octopi and rays. The new exhibit – Sea at Night inspires visitors to stroll in a gentle surf under a starry sky – during the day Walk, jump and “splash” in a simulated bioluminescent tide. Any LEGOLAND ticket can be upgraded to include SEA LIFE Aquarium admission for $22.

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    Photo by LEGOLAND
  3. LEGO CHIMA Water Park climb aboard a shipwrecked pirate vessel and stand beneath a 38-foot-tall mast. Looming overhead is over 300 gallons of water that is ready to come pouring down at any moment to drench you in the hot sun. Zip along a curving blue slide and then “splash out” into a pool of water at the end. Gather four riders and board a giant orange raft to slide and spin while rushing past the Water Park Tower on a giant orange half pipe. Build cities, dams and bridges out of DUPLO bricks and test them against the flow of water.
  4. Ride the Pirate Shores Water rides to fire water cannons across the ships’ bows to get others wet and race down a flume between battling ships to cool off.
  5. Stay in one of the two LEGOLAND Resort Hotels – LEGOLAND Hotel or the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel. Both are located at the entrance of LEGOLAND California. Both offer registered guests a free breakfast buffet. Both hotels have guest rooms with a separate kid’s area with LEGO building tables and a scavenger hunt in every room. LEGOLAND Hotel offers interactive LEGO features throughout and a choice of LEGO themed rooms – Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, LEGO NINJAGO or LEGO Friends. The 250 LEGOLAND Castle offers three different themed rooms with your choice of Knights & Dragons, Royal Princess or Magic Wizard. There is an Enhanced Pool Area featuring a zero entry pool featuring interactive water play features and whirlpool spa. Nearby is the Entertainment Courtyard Play zones for kids of all ages including a DUPLO tot spot, slides, an outdoor stage and cinema with seating for early evening movie nights.

SeaWorld celebrates 50 Years in San Diego

IMG_7331SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care.

The Company maintains one of the largest animal collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also operates one of the world’s most respected programs to rescue and rehabilitate ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.

For nearly five decades, SeaWorld has surprised and amazed guests with unique entertainment, thrilling rides and up-close encounters with marine animals. During SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration visitors will be invited to take part in the celebration through new interactive experiences, shows and pathway performances, even more up-close animal encounters throughout the park and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating guests with prizes every day.

SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration Sea of Surprises

There will be more surprise encounters with animal ambassadors throughout the day.  A pair of Magellanic penguins, a sloth or even a parade of flamingos could surprise IMG_7347guests 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. Guests could receive exclusive access to rides or behind-the-scenes experiences, celebration T-shirts or Shamu-themed merchandise, reserved show seating.

First impressions make lasting impression. When you walk into the entrance of SeaWorld® San Diego you experience Explorer’s Reef™, a multi-million dollar renovation that opens to the public starting March 21, 2014. The new concept replaces the existing ticket booths with a beach-themed, concierge-style ticketing area that provides guests with a single location to purchase admission, as well as sign up for tours, animal interactions and dining experiences.

IMG_7294Guests enter the park beneath an immense wave sculpture, nearly 30 feet tall and 100 feet long, giving them the impression of actually entering an underwater world. It’s an undersea oasis that allows visitors to interact with a variety of fish in four different touch pools.

The first tank we experienced was the 4,000 cleaner fish touch tank. These tiny fish start kissing or nibbling gently on your hand once you dip it into the water.

Next, were four hundred brown-banded and white-spotted bamboo sharks swimming in a touch tank. SeaWorld staff member, Mike Price gets so excited when he watches children touch a shark for the first time. “All of the sharks in this tank touch tank were born in SeaWorld,” said Price. “These creatures are really mellow and smooth.”

The horseshoe crabs and round sting rays are located in another fascinating tank. “Did you know a horseshoe crab is really not a crab, but more like a scorpion or spider?” shared Price while standing next to me. “They have eight eyes and have been on earth for 450 million years.” Horseshoe crabs won’t win any beauty contests, like the round Sting Rays. “Aren’t they as cute as a button?” said Price.

Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe Crab

“These rays like shallow water, so we educate guests to do the ‘Sting Ray Shuffle’ when going into the water at the beach. The movement scares the rays and they will get out of your way. If you step on one, their barb can sting you.

There is also  a tank with shark eggs. “Did you know that there are over 470 sharks in the world,” said Price. SeaWorld educates the public about these endangered species. “

To showcase SeaWorld’s commitment to the environment and passion for protecting the ocean, a series of giant sea life sculptures will be displayed throughout the parks. 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 creates these pieces come from the billions of pounds of garbage mostly plastics— that wind up in our oceans. These amazing works of art point to the urgent need to protect marine animals from such dangers and preserve their ocean habitats.  At SeaWorld San Diego (located near Cirque Stadium), the sculptures will depict a sea turtle, a tufted puffin, a trigger fish and sea lilies (sea animals that look like plants, but are related to starfish, sand dollars and sea urchins).

For more information and continuing news about SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration and the Sea of Surprises, visit www.SeaWorld.com/Celebration.

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