SeaWorld’s 7 Seas Food Festival is Better than Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

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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Actually, before we start, here’s a look at the Dolphin Nursery, which is receiving some offseason TLC.

Alright! Here we are! Sea World’s massive 7 Seas Food Festival!

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).

Kiosks #2 and #3 are Wine (Old World vs New World Wines) and Beer (Goose Island Brewery) respectively. Kiosk #4, the Coca Cola Market features Turkey or Pastrami Pretzel Bun Sliders.

Crooked Can Brewery and Island Grove Vineyard compose Kiosk #5. In addition to several beers and berry-flavored wines, the kiosk also offers Frozen Mai Tais.

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).

The Nathan’s Hot Dogs-sponsored All-American Market features two more slider options (Bacon Hot Dog and Buffalo Meatloaf) plus Bacon and Blue Mac & Cheese and Cinnamon Donut Bread Pudding.

Here come’s Sean’s favorite! It’s Kiosk #12 – The Vegan Market!

No, we didn’t skip #11! It’s wine tasting – but from up-and-coming wine regions around the world! Four 1oz samples and a souvenir glass for $15 – bring your glass back for more and it’s only $10.

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.

Kiosk #15 is beer from Swamphead Brewery and wine from Ironstone Vineyards, plus the very SeaWorld-y Frozen Sting Ray, a vodka-based cocktail made with pineapple, coconut, lime, and melon.

We now interrupt the food festival to bring you pictures of closed Infinity Falls.

In true Intamin fashion, Infinity Falls is now closed for extensive maintenance after a mere 3-ish months of operation.

All is not lost, however: the gift shop for Infinity Falls hosts Sparkling Wine tasting at kiosk #17.

Kiosk #18  features 12 different craft brews and frozen cocktails that guests can enjoy while eating at Waterway Grill or chilling out in the Passholder Lounge.

Of course Infinity would be down just as temps start to routinely hit 80º+. Luckily Journey to Atlantis is back from its offseason maintenance. 

Hopefully Infinity Falls will be back online in time for the first waves of summer guests.

Crossing over to the Pacific Coast now is kiosk #19, featuring still another slider option (Salmon Burger), plus Baja Fish Tacos and Teriyaki Beef served inside of an Avocado Half. 

Live musicians showed up to entertain guests on the south side of the park (unlike Infinity Falls).

Kiosk #20 is the German Market! The obligatory slider is Wiener Schnitzel, and additional offerings include a Frozen German Chocolate Cake cocktail and pretzels a couple different ways. 

You can either get the Pretzel-wrapped Bratwurst or a Pretzel covered in Molten Chocolate, which is a big sticky mess but also very good.

There’s a bit of a gap after kiosk #20 – no food fest stuff on either midway encircling Shamu Stadium. Things pick back up again at Wild Arctic, which hosts kiosks #21-24.

Walking Tree Brewery and William Hill Winery make up Kiosk #23 along with Frozen Mimosas.

The Polynesian Market has a knock-out menu of Lumpia (Filipino spring roll) with Pineapple RelishSpam Musubi (grilled Spam over rice wrapped in nori), an Oahu Poké Bowl (deconstructed salmon and tuna sushi).

The Gulf Coast Market has several New Orleans-based mainstays, but the eyebrow-raising Cajun Lobster Cheesecake is by far the most notable entry (I wasn’t brave enough to try it).

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.

From here we enter the special events wing of SeaWorld – an area that was once part of the main midway, but is now open only on occasion.

Kiosk #25 is the Asian Market, featuring mostly Chinese offerings like Peking Duck Lo Mein and Char Siu Bao.

With an impressive 5 food offerings is kiosk #26 – The Brazilian Market! Pincanha Steak, Bacon Wrapped PlantainAcaraje (black-eyed pea and shrimp fritters), and more await those craving South American flavors. 

The Sweets Market is kiosk #30 (yes, I know we skipped some – we’ll cover those in a sec) and features a Donut Ice Cream Sandwich among other donut-based delights.

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!)

Towards the end of the festival circuit, we see the offerings conclude with a series of specialty drink kiosks, including Motorworks Brewery (#27),

Jack Daniels Cocktails (#28),

and Full Sail Brewery (#29).

Here’s Sean with the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich. We were pretty full by this point, but exceptions had to be made.

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.

At this point, with the implication that everyone is now stuffed to the gils, it’s time for a post-meal drink. Your options are Sierra Nevada and Crooked Can Breweries (kiosk #33),

the extensive Florida Distilery (#34),

classic rum-based cocktails (#35),

and finally, Sea Dog – Florida Beer and Tampa Bay Breweries (kiosk #36).

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!

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