SeaWorld Orlando's Seven Seas Food Festival splashed onto the scene five years ago with amazing food, drinks, concerts and special entertainment. Right now, it's hoppening every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until May 9. This year, Seven Seas Food Festival features more than 200 flavors, with more than 50 global cuisine bites to pair with over 75 wine and cocktail selections and 75 craft beers. As you sample all that your stomach can take, enjoy live music from local bands and well-known artists. During special times such as Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo, expect to find even more entertainment and surprises.
With COVID-19 top of mind, the festival will be modified to protect the health and safety of all guests, employees and animals. The event itself is included with the cost of admission (though individual bites and beverages cost extra). All guests with tickets, Fun Cards or Annual Passes need to make a reservation in advance for the date of your visit. Now, let's dive into the reasons why we love SeaWorld Orlando's Seven Seas Food Festival and our tips for having a great time!
Five ~Frogtastic~ Reasons to Check Out SeaWorld Orlando's Seven Seas Food Festival
1. The food, of course!
We think the SeaWorld 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. This year, there's a whole lineup of new food and treats, including crispy Florida cracked conch, Korean barbecue lamb ribs and jackfruit sloppy joes. Check out full menus on SeaWorld's website. You can't go wrong! And don't get me started on desserts — a Rainbow Cheesecake Cone, anyone?
2. ... and the drinks!
No kidding — SeaWorld is officially my favorite place for "adult" beverages. There are plenty of other yummy concoctions on the fruity side, or even downright dessert such as the Frozen Mudslide. If cocktails aren't your fancy, hop in Leap's footsteps by sipping on the seemingly infinite number of craft beers throughout the park. There is plenty of wine to choose from as well, plus specialty booths offering sake and Jack Daniels concoctions.
3. Kid-friendly options
There are new tastes for everyone to enjoy, even your picky tadpoles. Play it safe with the All-American Market, where tadpoles can enjoy brisket totchos or chicken wings ... or think outside the box with something exciting they're sure to love, such as the Goat Cheese Croquettes from the Mediterranean Market. Tad and Lily LOVED these gooey fried balls of cheese, which were covered in honey and sprinkled with thyme. There are tons of options to expand their horizons and help them learn about food in different cultures!
4. Nighttime concerts
Every Saturday and Sunday throughout the Seven Seas Food Festival, Bayside Stadium hosts awesome concerts for the whole family. Sit back and relax to the sounds of rock, country, Latin or 90s throwback music. This year, the stadium will be operating at limited capacity with modified seating to allow for physical distancing. Live concert audio will also be broadcasted to additional areas of the park.
This year, Air Supply kicked off the concert series at 6 p.m. on Feb. 6. (Full-length concerts last for about an hour and a half, ending around 7:30 p.m.). For concerts featuring Tribute Artists, there will be three performances (each one dedicated to a different artist) at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If you're looking at the lineup below, these Tribute artists are listed in the order of when they're scheduled. For example, on Feb. 13, the 2 p.m. concert is dedicated to The Beatles, the 4 p.m. concert is dedicated to The Rolling Stones and the 6 p.m. concert is dedicated to Queen. For concerts featuring a solo singer or a band, there will only be one performance at 6 p.m.
The full 2021 lineup includes:
- Feb. 13 - Tribute Artists performing hits from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Queen
- Feb. 14 - Tribute Artists performing hits from Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga
- Feb. 20 - Tribute Artists performing hits from Styx, Boston and Van Halen with Sammy Hagar
- Feb. 21 - Chris Janson
- Feb. 27 - Luis Enrique
- Feb. 28 - Tribute Artists performing hits from Tom Petty, The Doors and Led Zeppelin
- March 6 - The Modern Gentleman
- March 7 - Easton Corbin
- March 13 - Vanilla Ice
- March 14 - Jeremy Camp
- March 20 - Jerry Rivera
- March 21 - Scotty McCreery
- March 27 - Night Ranger
- March 28 - Blue Öyster Cult
- April 3 - Tribute Artists performing hits from ABBA, Donna Summer and The Bee Gees
- April 4 - Tribute Artists performing hits from Depeche Mode, INXS and U2
- April 10 - Tribute Artists performing hits from Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Elton John
- April 11 - Craig Morgan
- April 17 - Iconic American Bands performing tributes to CSNY, CCR and The Eagles
- April 18 - Joe Nichols
- April 24 - The Marshall Tucker Band
- April 25 - Tribute Artists performing hits from Aerosmith, Journey and Bon Jovi
- May 1 - Edwin McCain
- May 2 - Riley Green
- May 8 - Jesse McCartney
- May 9 - Kansas
5. Dance parties and street performers
Throughout the day, live DJs, smaller local bands and performers can be found throughout the park, as well. There's a mini stage for performances in front of the Shark Encounter. While passing by, we saw a singing duo. Also, right outside of Wild Arctic, we caught another dance party, hosted by a live DJ who kept everyone on their feet. For special occasions, such as Mardi Gras or Cinco de Mayo, there may be additional entertainment for a limited time! We found that the Mardi Gras festivities were held only in the Wild Arctic area. Be sure to stop by and enjoy between snacking!
Tips for Having a Great Time at SeaWorld 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 26 booths and over 200 food and drink items, we wanted to plot our selections ahead of time! Luckily, the SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival is well-organized. Booths are numbered and go in order along the park pathways, with corresponding information in the event guide. The guide even shares photos of select items to help you get a visual of more unique selections. Oh, and we love that the guide identifies gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options!
Purchase (and share) a sampler lanyard.
The 15-item sampling package is great to share among your frog squad at the SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival. It costs $75, making each lanyard item worth $5. There is also a 10-item lanyard that can be purchased for $60 (a value of $6 per item). Note that you must be 21 years of age or older to purchase and/or consume alcoholic beverages, and each redemption requires a valid photo ID. The sampling lanyard grants you full-size small dishes and sampler versions of larger plates per punch. 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. You can purchase it at the festival's Welcome Center or at any of the festival booths. If you're planning to visit multiple days, the lanyard is valid through the end of the festival.
Know what to use it for.
A good majority of the items are eligible for a sample size. Don't worry — only a few drink items are blocked out or may be modified. For instance, the new specialty cocktails at Fintastic Cocktails come in unique sipping pouches. While you can get a small sampler size in a cup, the pouches are only available for the full-size portion.
Use your sampler wisely.
In past years, 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. Note that an annual passholder discount is granted on top of this, as well!
We preach this often when discussing food-centric events, but we toadally believe in sharing! (Psst, this chocolate-dipped, footlong pretzel is a frogtastic shareable option!) 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.
Make the most of the concert time.
If you're interested in the performing acts, be sure to arrive at Bayside Stadium at least 30 minutes early for lower-level seats, considering that seats are spaced out between parties and rows are blocked off due to social distancing. You can bring in food and drinks, so collect some snacks and use this time to sit and enjoy.
It also depends on the act's popularity — you'll likely find more last-minute, available seating for any of the cover artists' concerts, especially since they perform three different shows in a day. However, with bigger names who only have one performance, we'd suggest arriving at least an hour early if you want lower-level seats. Access for seating opens at 3 p.m. Another option is reserved stadium seating starting at $29.99. 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 roller coasters with lower crowds.
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 Orlando'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 froget 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.