In the early nineties, near the beginning of Sea World San Antonio’s existence, Christmas at Sea World was not just a tradition, it was amazing. You would drive up the long winding path to the parking lot from the entrance and it would be covered in hundreds of lights with decorative light sculptures usually a mixture of Christmas and sea life related.
Every show had a Christmas feature running constantly, every tree was strung with lights, every inch of building or ride that could be, safely, covered was decorated.
Unfortunately, almost twenty years after that, this is no more. Not too long ago, while Anhesier Bush, the Budwiser Beer company, owned sea world they stopped Christmas and all the holiday gathering all together, the park wasn’t even opened around thanksgiving at that time. Not long before Anhesier Bush, who also owned the Bush Gardens, sold itself to another company, whom would later sell Sea World to an amusement park company, they re-opened the seasons, but they where never the same.
And this season it seems worse, some may argue that its still early in the season, maybe their not finished decorating, and if this is true, and in a week it looks beautiful, then this article shall become Null/Void, but in the elder days of Sea World, by the open day of the Christmas side of the park, everything was decorated.
If it is being left as is, it truly is sad, out in the parking lot, and even the walkway entrances, there is almost no evidence of the holidays, aside from a giant wreath adorning the giant Shamu’ emblem in the archway that is also lit different colors. They have a Christmas tree in the center of the main water fountain, a candy cane forest where the “forested” smokers section next to what used to be Shamu’s Happy harbor, a fake snow man display, and a small decorated path called FM1225 that stretches from the bridge over a creek next to the Shamu stadium, to the Great White rollercoaster. Aside from shows, that’s it.
The shows do not disappoint, from the usual Christmas themed Azul and Sea Lion Stadium shows, to the brand new Sesame Street gang’s Christmas show, and even a 4D shortened Polar Express showing that includes 3D graphics, getting sprayed in the face by wind and water, train steam in the theater, and even snow falling from the sky (or…ceiling).
If the lack of Christmas cheer, is just the fault of lethargy and getting a late start, then Sea World needs to get it in gear, because much discontent has already been voiced, but if not, then one might recommend another more colorful Christmas setting this year.