We’re big fans of food and festivals… and food festivals. So we were curious when we heard about Sea World’s Seven Seas Food Festival this year. Since we’re Pass Members, we knew we wanted to give it a try and figure out whether the value was there. Here’s more on our experience and how we think you should do the festival to get the most bang for your buck!
Don’t worry about getting there early. The food stations aren’t open until about 11AM and the lines were never very long. I will say that when we were heading out of the park around 1:30 it was definitely starting to get crowded, so if you want to have the park mostly to yourself and do rides or shows before you eat you should get there around 10AM.
Sea World’s prices are pretty low, as far as Orlando theme parks go, so you could definitely do this if you’re not a Pass Member. But either way, I highly recommend you take advantage of purchasing a punch lanyard. You can get one with 8 punches for $40 or 15 punches for $60. If you just want to purchase one or two items, do it with your credit card. But you should definitely go the lanyard route if you want to eat more than that because the value is definitely there. Which brings me to…
The portions. They’re really big. Like huge. This chocolate dipped pretzel for example…
Are you drooling yet? Me too. You should note, however, that if you get the pretzel there’s no way to avoid looking like this afterward…
We shared each dish but, because the portions are so large, we were full after about 6 items. Don’t worry, we were committed to the cause of determining the true value of the lanyard for my readers so we powered through. You’re welcome. (Note: our lanyard had 10 punches because we purchased it in February and that was the Pass Member deal of the month, but 8 punches for $40 is still a great value).
Here’s what we ate and a breakdown of the costs:
Skewered & Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cheese: $4 and delicious, though somewhat difficult to eat.
Bacon & Cheddar Hushpuppies Served with Honey Butter and Bacon Jam: $5 and amazing. The size of my head and you get three of them. I want more.
Crispy Fish Tacos with Cilantro Coleslaw, Fresh Pico de Gallo, and Spicy Remoulade: $6. The fish was perfectly cooked and the flavors were perfect together. Cilantro flavor was not overpowering for those of us who aren’t fans.
Cheese Grits & Shrimp Casserole: $6. The flavors were great. Jon doesn’t like grits (not sure what’s wrong with him…) and he even liked this. My only issue is the name of the dish… it’s not a casserole. That’s kind of weird.
Bourbon Bread Pudding Topped with Cream en Glace: $4.50 and enormous. Jon said it’s the best he’s ever had. Even after I reminded him of both the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding and Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding at 4Rivers… I still think those are better, but this was really good.
Bacon Wrapped Sweet Plantain: $5 and one of the smaller portions, but still a pretty decent size.
Pulled Pork Egg Roll Stuffed with Slow Smoked Pulled Pork & Cole Slaw with a Side of BBQ Ranch: $6. This was the biggest egg roll I’ve ever had, by far. It was very tasty, but there was something missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Warm Cinnamon & Sugar Loaded Mini Donut Bites – Strawberries & Cream or Chocolate Sauce & Cream: $9. We got strawberries and cream. They were good, but nothing to write home about, especially for $9.
Chocolate Dipped Footlong Pretzel (pictured above): $5 and by far the best value. This thing was huge.
Mango cider (not pictured, but delicious): You can’t purchase a sample. You either have to buy a full-sized beer with your own money or use a punch on your lanyard for a sample. Based on the sample size, it would have cost around $3.
Obviously you should get what you want to order, but using your punches for the higher ticket items will get you the most for your money. We got $53.50 worth of food for our $36 lanyard. If we took off the cider and the corn (since the lanyards for that price in March and April only have 8 items), we would have been at $46.50. Still a great value.
We also loved that there was live entertainment and the big name concert lineup is pretty good too.
Bottom line: the food is fresh. The flavors are fantastic. The vibe is chill. You should definitely go.
- The festival runs Saturdays and Sundays only from February 17 to April 15, 2018.
- You can upgrade to preferred seating for shows if you’re really into a particular act.
- This would be a great date night, but it’s also perfect for taking the kids because the portions are really big and there’s a great variety of food to please everyone.
- Buy your tickets and lanyard in advance so you just have to pick them up instead of waiting in the lines.
- Grab a menu booklet so you can plan out where you want to eat/use your punches.
- The one thing I would say isn’t really worth the cost is the alcohol. We sampled a mango cider (which was delicious), but the cup held maaaaaybe 6 ounces. If you want to drink, don’t waste a punch on a sample. Just buy a full sized drink.