SeaWorld Orlando ushered in its annual Wild Days celebration on January 24 with Penguin Lovers Weekend. As the name implies, there were plenty of adorable penguins, and the day ended with a dance party where Puck the Penguin was joined by Shamu and a contingent of other friends to dance, greet, and schmooze with the crowd.
Julie Scardina was the star of the kick-off weekend show (Bindi Irwin comes out next weekend on January 31 and February 1, with Jungle Jack Hannah finishing things up on the final weekend, which is February 7 and 8). I always enjoy hearing Julie’s stories, as her passion for animals is very apparent. She chatted with the media before her show, telling us about some of her globetrotting adventures and giving us details of some successful rescues of penguins and other animals.
Julie also emphasized the rescue and conservation message in her show. As she pointed out, it’s not enough to love animals. So many species are threatened, and love alone won’t save them. They need people to take positive, concrete action.
Many animal ambassadors made appearances during Julie’s show. Since it was Penguin Lovers Weekend, the cute little black an white critters obviously made an appearance.Pete and Penny Penguin had a fun time exploring the stage while Julie talked.
However, my favorite part was getting to see a baby rockhopper penguin. Rockhoppers are my favorites, but I’ve never seen a fuzzy little baby. Talk about adorable!
We also saw several different birds of prey, all of which were rescues that live at SeaWorld because they can’t survive in the wild. Talk about impressive animals! I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of their beaks and talons.
There were flamingos, too, marching through the theater (you can also see them herded through the park if you’re in the right place at the right time).
After the show, I headed over to the dance party, where Pete and Penny’s counterparts were wowing the crowd, along with Shamu and Puck from Antarctica, Empire of the Penguin. There were also rockhoppers, but of a different sort, and their stilts allowed them to do some very impressive hopping. The party was a big hit with both children and adults, as the characters make sure that everyone gets involved, no matter what your age.
The Wild Days shows and parties are included with your regular SeaWorld admission ticket, and you still have two weekends left to catch this special event. Be sure to arrive early for the shows, which take place in the Nautilus Theater, as they often reach capacity.