The holiday shopping season is here and SeaWorld Orlando has announced the deals it will offer for this year's Blue Friday (think Black Friday, but channel the ocean?)
Some of Central Florida's theme park leaders are offering an escape from the devastation of Hurricane Irma by deeply discounting tickets to their parks.
SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are offering Florida residents a buy one, get one deal on tickets today through Sunday, Sept. 17.
SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular will start Sept. 23 this year, adding an extra weekend to this year's event run.
Last year's event ran strictly in October, bucking the trend of Orlando's major theme parks. Halloween activities at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort have typically started in September. And even this year, Disney's annual Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party opens Aug. 25.
The big difference between SeaWorld and local competitors, however, is that SeaWorld's event is included with park admission. The daytime event starts at 11 a.m. and runs the rest of the day.
Here are the Halloween Spooktacular highlights:
Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween -Celebrate a Spooktacular Halloween at SeaWorld with The Count, Elmo, Abby, and the rest of their Sesame Street friends! The Count is feeling lonely this Halloween, and it’s up to the loveable monsters from Sesame Street to get him into the Halloween spirit. Batty bats and spooky skeletons join the fun in a song-filled stage show that invites guests to dance, play and sing along.
Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast – Back by popular demand, Count von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast features a delicious buffet enjoyed with the furriest characters in town, this breakfast is a fun-filled experience sure to delight kids and parents alike. Starting at $9 for kids and $19 for adults, reservations can be made online, at the Information Counter or by calling (407) 545-5550.
Penelope’s Garden Party - This dynamic “underwater” environment comes to life with a live DJ, bubbles floating overhead, unique photo opportunities and colorful sea-themed characters.
Pets Ahoy Halloween – Guests can enjoy a special Halloween version of this side-splitting show with surprise twists, and a cast of unlikely characters that will have the whole family laughing from beginning to end.
Waves of Trick-or-Treat Fun - Costumed youngsters can trick-or-treat from 11 a.m. to park close for ghoulish goodies. Each sea-themed, trick-or-treat station features an assortment of candy favorites including Tootsie Roll, Airheads and Junior Mints, just to name a few.
Halloween Dance Party - Children join Princess Penelope and her under-the-sea friends for a Spooktacular Dance Party where they can participate in line-dancing favorites as clouds of bubbles fill the evening air. The party kicks off in the front of the park every event night one hour before park closing.
Guests going to Discovery Cove will find two new animal interactions available for them: sharks and stingrays.
The Shark Swim programs gives guests a one-of-a-kind experience where they'll be able to swim with Pacific blacktip, reef whitetip, nurse sharks, zebra sharks and spotted wobbegong.
Guests first meet with the park's shark team before they head into the water, according to SeaWorld leaders.
The new experience costs $85 and is available for guest 10 and up. For every package sold, SeaWorld will donate 5 percent of the proceeds to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which helps support shark conservation and research among other things.
The Ray Feeding experience, which costs $50 per person, gives guests a chance to feed stingrays during a private tour of the Grand Reef. That experience is available for guests 6 and older.
Both interactions require either a Dolphin Swim or Day Resort reservation at Discovery Cove.
Additionally, SeaWorld leaders are looking to sweeten the pot for Discovery Cove guests by extended how often and when they can visit SeaWorld and Aquatica with the purchase of a Discovery Cove ticket.
Beginning Aug. 1, Florida residents who buy Discovery Cove tickets will also receive unlimited admission to the other two parks through January 2018, including SeaWorld's special holiday events.
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