Viva La Musica kicked off to a festive start this past weekend, and the Frog Family was very excited to be at SeaWorld Orlando for it! As we mentioned previously, this family-friendly event -- which combines Latin music, cuisine and merchandise in a festival atmosphere -- is held on Saturdays at SeaWorld Orlando and Sundays at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through May 5 (Cinco de Mayo).
The shimmering water of the bay and the tropical foliage along Bayside pathway are the perfect backdrop for Viva La Musica, which actually takes place along the winding pathway. There is a small stage for dancing to a DJ and where live bands play periodically throughout the day. Kids can dance with Rosita from Sesame Street or get their picture made with Shamu. Lily was quite taken with Dolly Dolphin, who was all dolled up for the occasion!
While the music is a huge draw, the variety of authentic food and drink options is sure to please.
SeaWorld’s own Executive Chef Héctor Colόn prepared a menu of Latin favorites, including Lechón, arroz con gandules y yuca al mojo, arroz con pollo, habichuelas coloradas y maduros, carne frita con tostones, alcapurrias and ceviche. Beer, wine and mojitos -- in an assortment of flavors -- are among the alcoholic beverage options.
Of course, I was looking forward to the merchandise booths, and we were not disappointed. Leap was impressed by the art available for purchase, and it probably comes as no surprise that I was enticed by the clothing and jewelry. There were also toys and games for the kids, and even shaded tables to sit and play dominos.
I don't want to get off the subject at hand too much, but as a self-procalimed shopaholic, SeaWorld is paradise! The gift shops are lovely and the merchandise is high quality. One of my favorite shops is the Oyster's Secret, which carries some fantastic glass art sculptures and higher-end jewelry, as well as more affordable options. Just outside the shop, guests can watch as a pearl diver scours a large, sandy-bottomed tank for an assortment of oysters containing pearls that can then be made into necklaces or rings -- for an unforgettable souvenir.
If you're headed to Viva La Musica, we recommend getting to the park early so that you can enjoy a show or two, get on a few rides and make time to feed the Stingrays before the festival begins at noon. For those of you brave enough to take on Manta and Kraken, make sure to pack quarters for the lockers, because no bags are allowed and the change machines can be picky!
Guests will find the smallest lines and crowds for Viva La Musica and the food and shopping kiosks right at noon, when Bayside pathway opens. The headlining concert begins at 3 p.m., and concert-goers should plan on heading over early to make sure they get seats! We've got the full lineup here.
Bayside Stadium reached capacity at 2:30 p.m. for the Daddy Yankee show this past Saturday, and SeaWorld was not allowing anyone else in after that. While the concerts are free with park admission, SeaWorld offers VIP packages that include reserved seating for the concerts at an additional charge.
Have you been to Viva La Musica!? Share your tips and the highlights from your visit!
Related: SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Special Events 2013
Here's wishing you many hoppy SeaWorld visits!