Seven Seas Food Festival is celebrating its second year every weekend between Feb. 17 and April 15. Throughout the park, there are 35 food and beverage locations with over 180 distinct items, 70 craft brews, 60 unique eats and 50 wines and spirits. The event also includes fun concerts, car and motorcycle displays, and typically gorgeous weather ... what more could you ask for? With a collection of booths highlighting seaside culinary styles from around the world and top-of-the-line entertainment, you have a theme park vacation win-win. Not to mention, all of this fun is included with regular park admission!
We're so hoppy this festival is growing, and there's still plenty of time for you to check it out! Your resident event planning and reviewing expert is here to share our highlights and tips from SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival 2018.
Our Top Five Reasons to Check Out SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival
1. The food, of course!
This might be our boldest statement of 2018 yet, but we think SeaWorld's Seven Seas Food Festival is on par with Epcot's many food and beverage events. The selection is outstanding, and prices are fair considering the nice portion sizes. While we aren't normally very food-venturous froggies, we took a walk on the wild side and didn't come across a single item we didn't love. With yummy seafood such as the Sea Scallops Provençal,and delicious meat such as the Cinnamon Slow Roasted Pork Belly, you can't go wrong. My personal favorite was the vegan Fresh Basil & Pea Pesto Quesadilla ... my mouth is watering just thinking about it! And don't get me started on desserts — Hawaiian Pineapple Dream Cake, anyone?
2. ... and the drinks!
No kidding — SeaWorld is officially my favorite place for "adult" beverages. I knew the Seven Seas Food Festival had my heart as soon as a tried the Frozen Mudslide from Café de Mar. There are plenty of other yummy concoctions on the fruity side, such as the Frozen Antarctica Chiller with orange vodka, peach schnapps, lemonade and Sprite. If cocktails aren't your fancy, hop in Leap's footsteps by sipping on the seemingly infinite number of craft beers throughout the park. His favorite from the Seven Seas Food Festival was the Key Lime Chameleon at Flamecraft Bar. There is plenty of wine to choose from as well, plus specialty booths offering sake and tequila tasting.
3. Kid-friendly food options
There are new tastes for everyone to enjoy, even your picky tadpoles. Play it safe with the All-American Market, where our tadpoles enjoyed the New York Hot Dog Slider ... or think outside the box with something exciting they're sure to love, such as the Bingsu Salted Vanilla Ice Cream from the Asian Market. (Doesn't hurt that I'm in love with this caramel popcorn-topped dessert as well.) There are tons of options to expand their horizons and help them learn about food in different cultures!
4. Engaging entertainment
Every Saturday and Sunday throughout the Seven Seas Food Festival, Bayside Stadium hosts awesome concerts fun for the whole family. So far, all of the performances announced are taking place at 5 p.m., but be sure to check the schedule upon arrival to be sure.
Feb. 17 - Bachman & Turner
Feb. 18 - Larry the Cable Guy
Feb. 24 - Jacksons
Feb 25 - Lifehouse
Mar. 3 - Huey Lewis & the News
Mar. 4 - Chris Young
Mar. 10 - Daughtry
Mar. 11 - HANSON
Mar. 17 - TBA
Mar. 18 - TBA
Mar. 24 - TBA
Mar. 25 - Eli Young Band
Mar. 31- TBA
April 1 - El Gran Combo
April 7 - TBA
April 8 - TBA
April 14 - TBA
April 15 - TBA
Throughout the day, smaller bands and performers can be found throughout the park as well. Be sure to stop by and enjoy between snacking!
5. Revving engines
Orlando Harley-Davidson and local car clubs have joined forces to display some of the hottest vehicles in town. Leap and Tad loved snapping selfies with the cool cars and motorcycles at special photo spots throughout the festival area. We even got to see a Back to the Future-style ride from the Delorean Club of Florida. This is a fun addition to an already awesome event.
Tips for a Great Time at Seven Seas Food Festival
- Use your event guide to navigate.
We're used to simply grazing through food booths at festivals like this, but with such a wide array of options, we wanted to plot our selections ahead of time! Luckily, the Seven Seas Food Festival is super well-organized. Booths are numbered and go in order along the park pathways, with corresponding information in the event guide. The event guide even shares photos of select items to help you get a visual of more unique selections. Oh, and we love that the guide shares information in both English and Spanish!
- Purchase (and share) a sampler lanyard.
The 15-item sampling package, priced at $60, is great to share amongst your frog squad at the Seven Seas Food Festival. For a family of passholders, we recommend snagging two of the passholder-exclusive 10-item lanyards for $36 each. The sampling lanyard grants you full-size small dishes, and sampler versions of larger plates per punch. For example, our quesadilla was "sampler" size, while everything else pictured was full-size. The lanyard is a great value, and makes your day easier! Simply cash in your "punches" at the register instead of having to bother with pulling cash or a card out at each booth.
- Know what to use it for.
The event guide identifies which items are eligible for using a "sample" on. Don't worry — only a few items are blocked out, and are identified with a solid, filled-in square next to them (versus an open square checkmark box next to a majority of items.) Some of those excluded are a full-size Smokehouse Colossal BBQ Sandwich (because they aren't able to make a sample size) and select name-brand specialty cocktails.
- Use your sampler wisely.
We found that the best way to get our money's worth was to use our sampler punches on food, rather than drinks. Leap and I bought full-size "adult" beverages separately to get the best bang for our buck. Generously sized frozen mixed drinks were $10.99 with a souvenir cup, and $9.99 per refill. Note that an annual passholder discount is granted on top of this as well! (Pictured here is a sample-size alcoholic beverage.)
- Share dishes.
We preach this often when discussing food-centric events, but we toadally believe in sharing! It's easier (and more fun) to adventure with different flavors when you share as a group instead of committing to an interesting item on your own. Plus, sharing allows you to try more flavors before getting full! You'll want to taste a ton at the Seven Seas Food Festival, so this is the perfect approach.
- Enjoy specialty eats.
Not only is the Seven Seas Food Festival loaded with flavor throughout the event, but limited-time menus offer even more variety. From Feb. 17 through Mar. 25, location numbers 26-35 on Festival Pathway are serving up unique takes on homestyle favorites such as funnel cakes and Southern Waffle Sundays. From Mar. 31 through April 15, these same booths will present Latin-infused cuisine such as empanadillas. (These specials pay tribute to former SeaWorld events Bands, Brews and BBQ and Viva La Musica.)
- Make the most of the concert time.
If you're interested in the performing acts, be sure to arrive at Bayside Stadium approximately 30 minutes early for lower level seats. You can bring in food and drinks, so collect some snacks and use this time to sit and enjoy. If you don't want to spend time waiting, you can usually find upper-level seating right at showtime. Another option is reserved concert seating starting at $19, with front row starting at $49. Concerts aren't your thing? No worries. While everyone is grooving to the evening's act, use this time to hit up food booths and rollercoasters with lower crowds in the parks.
As you wine and dine your way around the park, make sure to stop by the many animal habitats for up-close encounters with an array of marine creatures, such as dolphins, manatees and more. Get your thrills on SeaWorld’s coolest coasters, including our personal favorite, Mako. SeaWorld Orlando’s attractions and shows operate throughout Seven Seas Food Festival, so you're sure to have awesome, action-packed day (or days) at the park.
Don't forget that all of this fun is included with general park admission, so buy our discounted tickets for your frog squad now and hop on down to Orlando for SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival. Get ready to set sail on your taste adventure and share your favorites with us in the comments.