Alexander: As theme park food festivals rapidly become commonplace (even among regional parks), the gold standard is widely regarded to be Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. While it’s certainly the most famous, popular, and expensive theme park food festival, we’d like to argue against it being the best.
Enter: SeaWorld’s 7 Seas Food Festival.
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Each kiosk is numbered 1-36, with the first being closest to the entrance of Sea World. From there, guests continue around the lake clockwise until the circle is complete (not unlike Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, in this case). We’ll be taking a look at most of the festival’s offerings – even we can’t cover ever single option in a single update!
The biggest difference between the two festivals is pricing, for both vacationers and passholders. Unlike Epcot, whose festival is priced strictly a-la-carte and offers no incentives for passholders, Sea World offers a variety of tasting card options (5 items for $30, 10 for $50, and 15 for $65) plus an exclusive passholder card (20 for $65 – an outstanding value if ever there was one). Obviously pricing like this really favors a guest’s budgets and offers an amazing perk for passholders – without compromising food quality.
Pictured above is the Fresh Basil and Pea Pesto Quesadilla from kiosk #1: Flamecraft Bar. While many kiosks offer exclusively beverage-oriented options, almost every kiosk offering food features a vegetarian option (or in this case, vegan) in addition to meat based option(s) (Bison Sliders, in the case of kiosk #1).
Kiosk #6, Café Del Mar, features even more frozen cocktails as well as several varieties of Mini Donuts. Alcoholic beverages at the 7 Seas Food Festival come in a 6oz sample size (for use with a tasting card or a la carte) plus full-size versions for usually around $10-12.
The Mexican Market (Kiosk #7) has a Frozen Watermelon Lime Margarita so amazing that I did the sample size first and then came back for a full glass. Beer, wine, and Michelada (a spicy cerveza cocktail) are also offered in addition to several food items.
Tinga de Res Taco (beef and chipotle tomato taco), Esquitas (deconstructed Mexican street corn), Chile Relleno, and Paletas Frescas (fruit juice popsicles) round out Mexican Market’s offerings, making it one of the most varied kiosks at the fair.
Whether you’re vegetarian or not, the Esquitas can’t be missed. You could wear out a tasting card at Mexican Market alone!
Adjacent to Mexican Market is a companion Rum and Tequila Tasting kiosk, which offers 8 shots (4 rums and 4 tequilas) and a souvenir SeaWorld shot glass for $25 (or a single shot and souvenir glass for $10 – but why would anyone want just one shot??)
Kiosk #9 seems a bit pedestrian at first glance, but the Italian Market isn’t focusing on basic faire – their main dish, Melanzane Alla Milanese, is a beautiful and unexpected dish composed of grilled eggplant topped with prosciutto and fresh buffalo mozzarella (the latter ingredient also staring in a traditional Caprese Salad).
While Sean was cleaning out the Vegan kiosk, I took a peek at Kiosk #13, which features beer from Florida Ave Brewery, wine from Kim Crawford Winery, and a Frozen Dreamsicle Cocktail that I now officially regret not getting.
Sean is delighted with his Impossible Meat Slider (vegan ground beef patty, caramelized basalmic onions, jalapeño ketchup, and fresh arugula) and Corn Avocado Tostada (which was LOADED with guac, pico de gallo, and vegan sour cream). As a meat eater myself, I can clarify that neither actually taste vegan (also don’t forget the Hibiscus Sangria!).
Kiosk #14 is the particularly opulent Mediterranean Market, which features excellent Rosemary and Mint Grilled Lamb Chop (with roasted potatoes and fresh tzatziki) and Scallops Provençal (with wild mushroom risotto). The kiosk might invoke memories of Hell’s Kitchen (Gordon Ramsay’s obsession with risotto does not falter), but we’re not mad about it.
The North Atlantic Market features the undisputed hallmark dishes of New England (Lobster Roll) and French Canada (Poutine), plus Bacon Cheddar Hushpuppies and the outrageously decadent Bananas Foster Cheesecake Waffle Cone.
The Polynesian Market has a knock-out menu of Lumpia (Filipino spring roll) with Pineapple Relish, Spam Musubi (grilled Spam over rice wrapped in nori), an Oahu Poké Bowl (deconstructed salmon and tuna sushi).
Kiosk #24 represents Ivanhoe Park Brewery and Graham Beck Winery, plus the Frozen Antarctica Chiller (orange vodka, peach schnapps, lemonade, and Sprite) – I guess since the Antarctic area of Sea World isn’t on the festival route, this was as good a place as any to host the drink.
With an impressive 5 food offerings is kiosk #26 – The Brazilian Market! Pincanha Steak, Bacon Wrapped Plantain, Acaraje (black-eyed pea and shrimp fritters), and more await those craving South American flavors.
Of course the cuisine of Florida is represented in its own kiosk (#31), which includes a couple of shrimp-based dishes, plus Wild Boar Smoked Cheddar Sausage and Key Lime Pie Fritters (but sadly no fried alligator – I guess that’s an extra point for the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival!)
Jack Daniels Cocktails (#28),
The last kiosk offering food is a biggie – The Caribbean Market (#32) features 4 sub-kiosks offering Jamaican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican specialties. You could kill a Passholder tasting card on this kiosk alone and not try the same thing twice.
After our exhaustive research in the field, we find ourselves back at Flamecraft Bar. This concludes our coverage of SeaWorld’s 7 Seas Food Festival, but we still have punches left on our tasting card – we’re gonna take it from the top one more time! Catch ya next time!
Thank you for checking out this 7 Seas Food Festival report! Stay tuned for more coverage from the region’s special events such as Universal Orlando Resort’s Mardi Gras!