With just under a month left to go until February 14, the pressure is starting to build for lovers everywhere. The clothes, the hair, the make-up... for guys and gals, it all falls under intense scrutiny, and no aspect more so than the date location itself. Whether you're a new couple trying to set the Valentine's Day bar high, or a long-established couple trying to break out of a rut, the date can be an experience full of sighs of romance... or of frustration. Where could you find a date that is full of heavenly bliss, yet still far beyond ordinary?
Our friends down in San Diego have just what you're looking for. Nothing says “romance” like a pair of young lovers, a starry nighttime sky, romantic mood lighting... and a massive killer whale mere inches away.
SeaWorld San Diego presents this year a unique Valentine's Day option in “Valentine's Evening With Shamu” inside the park. Located within Shamu Stadium, dining opportunities normally happen during the daylight hours, but on February 14, SeaWorld invites you to join them as they dim the lights and present a more intimate experience with one of their stars.
“The idea was started, really, as soon as we got our 'Dine With Shamu' location set,” said chef Axel Dirolf, Executive Chef for SeaWorld San Diego, in regards to Valentine's Evening With Shamu. In an exclusive interview with Examiner.com, Chef Dirolf explained part of the appeal of the evening. “You have the show, with the killer whales so close to your loved ones next to the pool. It's actually very romantic, and very unique, since you're so close to the action, rather than some overcrowded restaurant.”
While the usual daytime dining event offers a buffet-style experience, couples that share Valentine's night with the aquatic star will be treated to a candlelit four-course plated dinner, carefully selected by Chef Dirolf himself. The gourmet menu will include applewood smoked salmon, roasted tomato basil soup, petite Angus tenderloin, pan-seared chicken, and flourless chocolate cake, among other culinary delights. A champagne toast will be complimentary, and wine and beer will also be available for an additional charge.
The night's entertainment, provided by SeaWorld's famous killer whales promises to dazzle daters while still maintaining an air of romantic mystique. “It's a different show, it's longer than what you would expect from a regular 'Dine With Shamu' show,” explains Chef Dirolf. “It's in the evening, the pool is lit, so you can see even more from the killer whales. The splashes, they're so bright and colorful...
“I can't really go into specifics,” he continued, “but I have seen it in the past, and the atmosphere is simply unbelievable.”
The menu presented during “Valentine's Evening With Shamu” is SeaWorld San Diego's latest effort to elevate their culinary offerings from more than just theme park food, along the same lines as the efforts put forth by the Disneyland Resort.
“We're really trying to make notable changes to the way people see SeaWorld when it comes to food,” said Chef Dirolf. “We're making all sorts of changes in the park, putting SeaWorld back on the map.”
* * * * *
Reservations for “Valentine's Evening with Shamu” are required; past years have filled up quickly. The cost is $99 per person, and includes the four-course dinner, show, and champagne toast. The dinner is a separate event, and is not included with park admission. Silver and Platinum Membership holders can enjoy a discount on the experience. Day-of reservations can be made at the ticket booths, provided there is still room for seating. Two seatings will be offered, scheduled for 5:30pm and 8:30pm.
For more information, or to book reservations, please visit www.seaworldsandiego.com or dial (800) 25-SHAMU (800-257-4268).