SeaWorld has done away with two of their signature festivals for 2017. While that may sound a tad upsetting, what they have replaced it with will absolutely blow you away. This year SeaWorld Orlando did away with the Bands, Brew, BBQ festival as well as Viva La Musica, and replaced it with The Seven Seas Food Festival. No…it’s not all seafood. Instead, it’s a trip around the world, and across the seven seas. SeaWorld Orlando head chef Hector Colon has been given the green light to experiment with new flavor combinations, and bring guests tastes that they may not normally get to try. The new tastes are also definitely a first for SeaWorld Orlando.
We were there for the opening of the new event, and had the chance to sample a lot of what the event had to offer. Check out the video below for a candid look at Seven Seas.
Watch-Journey Around the Seven Seas at SeaWorld Orlando as we Review the Seven Seas Food Festival!
One of the biggest changes that Seven Seas brings is that it literally encompasses the entire park. Instead of cramming people into the one pathway towards bayside stadium, there are booths scattered from the Waterfront area all the way towards Wild Arctic. There are also beer cabins, and a few signature booths in the pathway around Bayside Stadium, but because of the big change, things feel less congested. That’s just smart crowd control on SeaWorld’s part, as it makes for a pleasant experience. Also, around each booth, there’s several tables so that you can actually stop a moment and eat. Very important, as other festivals give you nowhere to actually enjoy your food.
While the focus of the festival is definitely the food, there are other things happening as well. Classic cars are scattered throughout the park, with motorcycles on display as well. You can check out the stage on Bayside Path for local bands, dancers and character appearances. Plus, the signature animal encounters at SeaWorld can be found periodically throughout the day.
There are also huge concerts that happen every week, featuring some big acts.
Here’s the line up:
There are obvious comparisons between the Seven Seas Food Festival and Epcot’s Food & Wine. There’s just no getting around it, because Food & Wine is the granddaddy of them all. While Epcot definitely has the Disney advantage, SeaWorld offers a great alternative this time of year.
The biggest advantage that Seven Seas gets over other food festivals is the price. You can get individual portions for a range between $3.50 and $7.00. There are several sample cards for sale, however, which gives you a chance to sample more than a few for a set price. You can get 10 samples for $40.00 or 15 for $55.00. Passholders get a discount on top of that price, soneach sample ends up being just over $3.00, which makes the best deal.
Now onto the good stuff. The food choices are definitely outside the comfort zone for some people, and more than once we were left saying “that is so weird, but damn is it good”. There’s things here that shouldn’t work, but do, things that do work because it’s an obvious choice, and things that are just perfected.
One such dish is the Moko Loko, which is spam, eggs, seaweed salad and a red wine reduction. It doesn’t sound good at all, but spam makes for a very good main course when done properly. The flavors at play are simply amazing.
Two examples of “weird but good” are the liquid nitrogen infused kettle corn and the grilled cheese pound cake. Neither one seems like it should work, but despite the oddness of the ingredients, the flavors are prominent and work wonders with each other.
Portions are a great size, often being enough to share between two people, with both getting more than just a taste. However, I’m pretty convinced SeaWorld is either trying to get someone killed, or trying to get couples divorced. The signature bacon cheddar hush puppies are served with honey butter. They are mouth watering, and amazing. However there’s only three. Sure, you could split the last one…but that’s not good enough! The argument for the last could lead to some very intense arguments.
The venison sausage slider is to die for. It’s a perfect example of the chances that SeaWorld takes that absolutely pays off. The sausage is really juicy and tender, and the mustard sauce works in perfect unison with it. It’s absolutely delicious.
The hands down winner for us, however, had to be the Chicken adobo at the Mexican booth. The flavor of the chicken was amazing, and add in the mole sauce…it’s about the best dish you can get in the park.
Want to see more? Check out the massive photo gallery below for even more.
Slideshow-Get even more flavor at SeaWorld Orlando
If you’re in love with the BBQ and Spanish dishes at the park, and kind of bummed that the park isn’t doing Bands Brew, and Viva la Musica, don’t fret. There are still the signature BBQ booths in the park, as well as a few new surprises.
SeaWorld has knocked this new festival out of the park. It encompasses the entire park, brings more than just food, and Chef Hector Colon is set free to bring a true taste of different flavors to life. The event runs every Saturday until mid-April. Concerts are included with theme park admission, but food and beverages are extra.
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