6 Things You Don’t Want to Miss at SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival
Central Florida's largest food festival runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays now through May 9.
Spring in Florida! There’s no better time to get outdoors and enjoy some sunshine. And now through Sunday, May 9, take advantage of the mild temps to visit the Seven Seas—Food Festival, that is!
Back for another year, the event has become a mainstay of the Orlando spring calendar. And in 2021, visitors can indulge in more bites and sips than ever before.
We recently had the chance to check it out, and here are six things you don’t want to miss when you visit.
This year, the festival offers more dishes than ever before with 50 tastes to try—many of them brand new. Culinary consultant Chef Heberto Segura (of Duck and Drake Kitchen fame!) made it his mission to offer some returning favorites, but he also wanted to excite guests with lots of new dishes. “We play off of not just seasonality and availability, but we also want to make sure there’s a level of comfort and uniqueness to everything that we do,” he shared.
Guests can explore in many ways: some marketplaces offer cultural cuisines, such as the Italian, Brazilian and German Marketplaces. But you’ll also find regional flavors, ranging from the Asian, Polynesian and Mediterranean Marketplaces.
Also new this year: a whole marketplace devoted to vegan options! In addition, guests looking for gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly and vegan options will find lots of dishes to savor; just look for the helpful symbols on signs and in the Seven Seas Food Festival Event Guide. Pick your copy up in the park or download it before you go.
Don’t miss: Goat Cheese Croquettes at the Mediterranean Market. Creamy and tangy with a drizzle of sweetness from local honey, these were my favorite bite of the day.
What I’ll go back for: Brisket Totchos and Lobster White Cheddar Kraft Mac N Cheese at the All-American Market.
But food is only half the story, because there have never been more options to wet your whistle than you’ll find at this year’s Festival. How many, you ask? How about 75+ brews and 75+ wines and spirits to choose from—in addition to plenty of fun non-alcoholic drinks.
One fun trend we observed were cocktails served in pouches. Think Capri Sun for grown ups, but way tastier! Find them at Fintastic Cocktails Marketplace, where options include the new Manta Margarita, made with Milago Tequila, Monin Blueberry Syrup, Pineapple Juice and Citrus Sour.
Even more fun: they’re served with edible straws, which are made of candy. Eco-friendly and super fun? Win/win. (Lion Lemonade made with Hendrick’s Gin: I’m coming for you next.)
Wine lovers will find lots of options to delight. Cupcake Vineyards shares space in one of the Marketplaces, and offers moscato and rose—both of which come with a strawberry chocolate sidecar. You’ll also find Beso Del Sol frose options as well, to keep the party going all day.
Marketplace 6 also offers a lighter take on adult beverages with Main & Vine Wine Spritzers alongside Matua wines from New Zealand.
Look for wine pairings that complement various dishes throughout the park.
And of course, there’s plenty of beer to be had! Whether your tastes run to popular makers like Sam Adams and Yuengling, or you prefer craft or even craft local, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Not to be left out, Team Mocktail was also represented in creative fashion. The Sparkling Pear (Pear Nectar, Ginger Ale and Lime) at the Asia Marketplace is a refreshing option. Or try the Caribbean Sunset (Lemonade, Orange Juice, Grenadine and Sprite) at the Caribbean Market.
Don’t miss: The Manta Margarita.
What I’ll go back for: Jack Daniel’s cocktails like the Tennessee Mule and Fiery Smashed Apples as well as Tribute Wines’ exclusive Seven Seas Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Pro-tip: Pick up a copy of the Seven Seas Food Festival event passport to keep track of the dishes and drinks that you want to try—and get again!
New! Seven Seas Beer Garden
New this year, the Seven Seas Beer Garden offers the perfect place to sip, savor and unwind. Sample craft beers while taking advantage of physically-distanced, limited-capacity seating. And did we mention that there’s shade? Perfection.
When a festival spans an entire season, it’s a safe bet that you’ll get in on a special event or two. In February, celebrate Mardi Gras Feb. 12-16 and Feb. 19-21 with additional live music, a street party and special Gulf Coast Flavors.
Later this spring. Cinco de Mayo will take center stage.
There’s so much more to this festival than just the eats and drinks, though. In a bold move, SeaWorld is also bringing back its popular Seven Seas Festival Concert Series! Concerts are held each weekend through May 9, and feature a fun line up of rock, country, Latin and throwback 80s and 90s throwbacks.
But the most important thing to note is SeaWorld’s commitment to safety. From SeaWorld’s website:
SeaWorld is committed to the health and safety of our guests, employees, and the animals in our care. All theaters and stadiums at SeaWorld Orlando are operating at limited capacity with modified seating to allow for proper physical distancing. Live concert audio will also be broadcasted to additional areas of the park for your enjoyment during the festival.
Find more information about their safety protocols here. Guests also have the option to purchase reserved seating for an additional fee starting at $9.99 per person. Visit SeaWorld’s website for the full, up-to-date schedule.
Deals! Seven Seas Food Festival Tasting Lanyard—and More
With such a wide array of flavors to sample, it only makes sense that you’ll want to make the most of your visit. It’s a great time to explore the possibility of a SeaWorld Annual Pass so that you can take your time and try everything that the festival has to offer. SeaWorld is currently offering several promotions, ranging from “Buy SeaWorld and Get Aquatica Free” on Annual Passes, to get a second park free with purchase of a SeaWorld ticket.
Another great option for trying it all is to purchase Seven Seas Food & Beverage Sample Lanyards. The lanyards, available for $75 (15 samples) or $60 (10 samples) allow guests to try smaller portions of drinks and bites. We like this way of sampling so that we can maximize variety. Even better: the punch cards are good for the duration of the Festival, so you can use them over multiple visits.
Whether you go for a day, a weekend or return time and again, carve out some time to eat (and drink!) your way through beautiful SeaWorld Orlando. It’s truly a festival you don’t want to miss.