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SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular returns with 'FantaSea' celebration for 2015

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SeaWorld’s colorful – and gentle – brand of Halloween celebration has returned for Saturdays and Sundays in October. On its remaining Spooktacular dates (10-11, 17-18, 24-25 and 31), SeaWorld brings to life an underwater “FantaSea” that is full of whimsical fun and not at all scary.

SeaWorld Orlando has found its niche with the youngest of trick-or-treaters, offering an afternoon of activities that don’t interfere with bedtimes. And parents won’t have nightmares because the Halloween events are included in regular park admission, unlike the parties hosted by other Orlando theme parks.

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The centerpiece of SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is Bayside Pathway, which starts by the dolphin nursery and winds past the stadium and Wild Arctic and through Shamu's Happy Harbor. It hosts trick-or-treat stations, games of skill, characters, face painting, snacks, Penelope's Party Zone and Penelope's Photacular. (Penelope Pumpkin is SeaWorld's signature Halloween character.) The pathway opens at noon and closes at 7 p.m., which is a change from last year when closing time was 8 p.m.

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All guests are welcome to dress up in costumes, although only those 12 and younger are allowed to wear masks. (Guests who are ages 13 and older may not wear masks or hoods in the park, and all costumes are subject to the normal dress code for the park.) In addition, face painting is not permitted on any guests unless it is done by park artists.

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Who can resist trick-or-treating? SeaWorld provides guests with sturdy bags, and team members pass out candy at various stations. Although each person only receives one piece of candy at a time, guests are welcome to go through the lines as many times as they would like. The offerings include name-brand candy and a few nutritious snacks, as well.

Along the path, there are ample opportunities for Halloween fun, but most of it comes at an additional price. Games typically are $3 per person, face painting is $12 to $15, and snack prices vary.

Penelope's Party Zone, which is housed on the Bayside Stadium stage, however, offers young guests a selection of complimentary activities. There are character interactions, such as a meet-and-greet with Penelope Pumpkin and stories acted out by other sea creatures. Children can make themed crafts, sit at easels to decorate coloring pages or dance to a DJ's spooky music.

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Perhaps the best thing about the Underwater Fantasea Path is the sheer number of characters who roam among guests and pose for photos. Unlike at Walt Disney World, face characters and furry characters are not a common occurrence at SeaWorld. But they come out in full force for Spooktacular. We’ve seen princesses, mermaids, stilt walkers, fish, as well as Dolly the Dolphin, Shamu, and Pete and Penny Penguin. When she was younger, my daughter was amazed by the process used by mermaids to enter and exit the meet-and-greet areas. They had to be lifted from carts to their seats because everyone knows mermaids cannot walk on land.

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Four times each day, guests can experience “Sesame Street's Countdown to Halloween” musical at the SeaPort Theatre: “The Count is feeling lonely this Halloween, and it's up to you and the lovable 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 you and your family to dance, play, and sing along.” It’s a rare opportunity for young trick-or-treaters to see Elmo and Abby at SeaWorld. I still have the words to “Elmo’s World” stuck in my head from when each of my children were obsessed with Elmo.

Finally, guests can start the day with the Dine With Shamu Spooktacular Brunch, which is served poolside at 10:30 a.m. The buffet includes scrambled eggs, gravy & biscuits, breakfast potatoes, sausage links, bacon, assorted breakfast pastries, muffins, fresh fruit, seasonal vegetables, salads, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, pork loin, assorted Coca-Cola products, orange juice, apple juice, milk, coffee and hot tea. The children’s buffet offers chicken nuggets with dipping sauce, hot dogs, mac & cheese, waffles with maple syrup and assorted fruit toppings. Prices are $16 for ages 2 to 9 and $28 for ages 10 and older. Each group receives one complimentary photo and cookie-decorating kits for children ages 12 and younger.

My family and I experienced a Dine With Shamu event where the food was different but the experience was similar. You can read about it here.

SeaWorld pass members can reserve seating to the Sesame Street show and get 10 percent off the Spooktacular Brunch price when they book through the pass member website.

Each night ends with a Spooktacular Dance Party that beginning at 6 p.m. in the Village Square at the front of the park.



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The previous post in this blog was Here's how Walt Disney World annual pass increases will affect my family.

The next post in this blog is You're invited to celebrate birthdays of dolphins Winter and Hope at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 8, 2015 4:54 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Here's how Walt Disney World annual pass increases will affect my family.

The next post in this blog is You're invited to celebrate birthdays of dolphins Winter and Hope at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

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