The holiday season is a magical time of year – especially at SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration. Guests will find decorations and performances throughout the park celebrating all walks of life, promising an exciting experience for every family member.
As SeaWorld Orlando is known for its festive fun, one of the best ways to celebrate is through the culinary arts, to which SeaWorld Orlando is no stranger. This year, SeaWorld Orlando has presented its guests with 18 stations across the park offering themed food and beverages for the holidays. With so many options, we took on the task of picking out our favorite choices to help guide your taste buds.
Christmas Celebration Festive Food & Seasonal Sips Sampling Lanyard
Maximize your experience at SeaWorld Orlando with a Festive Food & Seasonal Sips Sampling Lanyard. The Sampling Lanyards are valid for use on SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration food, as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Not only is it convenient, but the Sampling Lanyard will help save money at the park’s culinary stations.
Day guests can purchase a five-sample lanyard for $45 or a ten-sample lanyard for $60 at any of the 18 stations in the park. SeaWorld Orlando Annual Passholders have an exclusive option for a twelve-sample lanyard at the ten-item price.
You can also reduce the cost of your visit by purchasing discounted admission to SeaWorld Orlando through Orlando Informer and have more to spend on gifts under the tree.
‘Tis The Season Beignets
Strawberries and Creme Beignets
Upon the first bite, the beignets had a wonderfully soft and airy texture similar to a donut. They weren’t overly sweet, considering they were garnished with powder and drizzled with Bavarian cream and strawberry puree. The beignet bites are meticulously crafted to allow the tastes of both the strawberry puree and Bavarian cream to stand out.
Beignets are often known for their messiness due to the confectionery sugar, but these pleasantly defied expectations—surprisingly easy to eat without any mess. The sampler dish included three, which was a perfect size for me to share with my partner, though I was tempted to keep them all for myself.
Windermere Brewing Cranberry Graham Cracker Sour Ale
I went in not knowing what to expect in terms of flavor and was surprised by its complexity. Despite the initial impression of unconventional and intricate flavors, they work expertly together in a delicious blend. The cranberry brought in the sourness while the graham cracker and beer emphasized hoppiness.
Overall, if you enjoy sour, interesting beers, I would definitely recommend this one.
As this is a returning favorite, the Bison Burger deserves a dedicated place on our list. Despite the line, the wait was absolutely worth it.
What I expected to be a slider-size sample turned out to be a full-sized burger. It comes with a syringe full of hot cheddar cheese that oozed over the sides, bringing a fun addition to the experience. The flavors were exciting as the bacon onion jam unleashed a sweetness that danced with the char-grilled flavors of the burger.
The corn chowder had a nice smoky flavor with a hint of garlic that wrapped the heartiness of the corn, potatoes, and peppers like a warm present. It’s an easy, on-the-go sample to share that had a creamy texture that compliments the rest of the flavors. The Corn Chowder makes for a delightful choice on those cool December days.
Not Santa’s Milk and Cookies
“Not Santa’s Milk and Cookies” is a delicious take on Saint Nick’s Christmas Eve treats. The RumChata is very present in the recipe, giving it a great punch of spirit alongside the sweet cream and cinnamon flavors, making it a worthy choice with the sampling lanyard or worth the asking price if you’re purchasing it on its own. As a pro tip, be sure to eat the gingersnap garnish it comes with as soon as you can. Delaying may result in it becoming a bit mushy at the bottom, so promptly savor this drink!
Holly Jolly Cookies and Cocoa
It wouldn’t be Christmas at SeaWorld without a traditional hot cocoa for us. It’s a fan favorite and a welcomed warmth while walking around or sipping on during a show.
You can enjoy a festive cup on its own with your choice of Peppermint, Gingerbread, or Toasted Marshmallow that’s topped with a dollop of whipped cream. We went with the Toasted Marshmallow as it is our favorite, but you can choose whichever suits you. Guests 21 and over can also “make it jolly” with Peppermint Schnapps, Baileys Irish Cream, or Kahlua at an additional cost for a little extra Christmas cheer.
This cocktail was similar in flavor to the “Not Santa’s Milk and Cookies,” but it substitutes the gingersnap cookie for extra cinnamon and rum. The cinnamon sprinkle allowed the nose to play along, while the RumChata and gingerbread syrup delighted the taste buds. While it may offer a milder punch compared to its bolder sibling, it was still quite refreshing and presented a pleasing alternative that wasn’t so spirit-forward.
Pumpkin Lava Cake
We’ll just get this out of the way and tell you this thing is massive! SeaWorld isn’t shy about handing out solid servings this year and giving guests enough to share. The cream cheese topping played nicely with the pumpkin flavoring and caramel drizzle. While I’d qualify this more as a bundt cake rather than a lava cake due to the shape and plating, it is still a worthwhile sweet treat that’s a great bang for your buck as either part of the sampling lanyard items or purchased on its own.
In a delightful twist, this Tequila Moonrise drank more as a refresher or spritzer. The apple cider came forward first, followed by hints of tequila, making this drink a fun addition to this year’s menu.
Joyful Chicken and Waffle
As a Southerner, I always have room for chicken and waffles, which SeaWorld’s creation didn’t disappoint. The waffle was made fresh right at the counter, as were the crispy chicken tenders with which it was teamed. What truly sold this was the chutney and spicy honey that elevated the dish with a sweet heat that wasn’t too hot and was delicious!
The Joyful Chicken and Waffle is served as a sandwich, which proved to be a bit ambitious for me to take on. With that said, don’t be afraid to disassemble it if needed.
Festive BBQ Pulled Pork and Waffle
SeaWorld once again comes through with its generous portions! The Festive BBQ Pulled Pork and Waffle filled the plate and was loaded with tender pulled pork and coleslaw. The crunch of the coleslaw is a classic combo with the smokiness of the pulled pork. The hot honey action in this dish introduced a perfect balance of sweet heat that elevated the pulled pork sandwich to a whole new level!
SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration occurs on select dates until January 2, 2024. You can get your discounted admission tickets to SeaWorld through Orlando Informer and discuss vacation planning with our SeaWorld Community on Facebook!