Sea World Orlando is stepping up its culinary event game with this year’s Seven Seas Food Festival, going on now through May 13. It still doesn’t approach the scope of the several food festivii of that other theme park down the road, but for Sea World it’s quite a big step.
One of the biggest changes is that executive Hector Colon and his team have increased the number of food-vending kiosks to 11 and moved them beyond the confines of the area around the Ports of Call event space. Now you’ll find Food Festival kiosks not only at Ports of Call but all around Sea World’s main walkway.
And even though it’s called the Seven Seas Food Festival, the food opportunities include items not necessarily found in water — barbecue ribs and pork dumplings, for instance. Also despite the name, not all seven seas are represented (you’d think they’d find some Arctic Char just to round things out).
I attended a media event for the festival recently and chatted with Colon about some of his favorites. Check out the above video I did with icFlorida below.
I didn’t sample everything, but I liked the duck lo mein and the Korean beef tacos. Also, check out the Fried Kataifi Orange in the Florida Market. It’s a whole orange, swaddled in pastry similar to what you find in baklava and deep fried. It’s drizzled with honey, which makes it even more Greek-like and less Floridian, but it’s one of the more unusual things I’ve tasted in a long time. (And it was actually pretty good.)
Another big difference between Seven Seas Food Festival and other multi-month theme park food events is that Sea World’s is held only on Saturdays through mid May, so that limits your opportunities to popular tourist days.
Food and beverages are individually priced with most priced $3.75 to $6.50. A couple, such as the lobster roll, hit seven bucks. One tip is to purchase a Food & Brew Sampler lanyard. There are two options: 10 items for $40 or 15 items for $55. Much better deal.
The food festival and the accompanying concerts — because food festivals must have a concert, for some reason — are included in general Sea World admission.
The Seven Seas Food Festival starts serving at 11 a.m. Saturdays. More information at the Seven Seas Food Festival event page.