The Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando takes place on select nights through Jan. 2, 2024, with many new and reimagined food items, but what are the best and worst?
SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration functions as a standing tradition for Orlando area theme park visitors. SeaWorld was kind enough to give us a complimentary five-sample lanyard on the event’s opening night and we conducted a systematic tour of the food and beverage locations.
The food items for the Christmas Celebration range from sweet treats, cheese steaks, chicken & waffles, lamb chops, and Christmas cookies. We found most of the items were good quality and hope our culinary adventure makes your visit to SeaWorld for the holiday season merry and bright.
SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration: Best new and reimagined food
We enjoyed most of the items we ate even though we consumed them at a whirlwind pace. Still, we were surprised by the quality of some items, earning them a spot on our “Best” list (or, in this case, the nice list).
Pumpkin Lava Cake
Going into the event, our most anticipated item was the Pumpkin Lava Cake, which consists of a pumpkin cake base with cream cheese icing. SeaWorld described it as an “explosion of molten cream cheese;” however, we did not experience molten cream cheese.
Despite that setback, this cake tasted wonderful. The cream cheese frosting deserves praise as we found this icing to be some of the best we have tasted at an Orlando area theme park. We would have preferred a less dense cake. Still, cream cheese fans should give this a try.
Joyful Chicken & Waffle
This reimagined holiday item, is arguably the best savory option for the event. The Joyful Chicken & Waffle consists of a freshly prepared waffle, deep-fried chicken, hot honey syrup, and scallions.
The sweetness of the waffle blended well with the chicken and scallions. The chicken tasted better than we expected and the hot honey syrup will not overwhelm guests trying to avoid spicy food. We have eaten many different versions of chicken & waffles at Orlando area theme parks, and (at least on the opening night of the Christmas Celebration), this ranks as the best quick-service version we have tasted. Sweet and savory fans will enjoy this.
Guests should be advised that this sandwich can be messy. You can get a Festive BBQ Pulled Pork and Waffle and we thought it was good, but did not consider it one of the best items.
Rustic Gingerbread Cake
We did not expect to like this holiday treat, but enjoyed this simple but flavor-filled holiday cake. The Rustic Gingerbread Cake consists of gingerbread spice cake filled with creamy vanilla bean mousse. The cake then comes topped with powdered sugar and whipped cream.
Though we had trouble recognizing the flavor of the mousse at first, we appreciated the combination of flavors and textures. The portion size of this cake commands some attention. We anticipated a smaller portion size at a theme park; however, the portion size exceeded expectations. For us, this makes the best choice for a sweet treat among the new and reimagined food items.
The cake offers a soft texture but just enough stability to pair with the vanilla bean mousse. Though we might not define the mousse as authentic, we loved how it worked with this holiday food item.
Mistletoe Lamb Chops
SeaWorld Orlando’s food events have consistently involved lamb chops of some type. In the past, we have appreciated these lamb chop festival samples, and this one continues that pattern.
Even though we struggled to see what made this a mistletoe lamb chop, we admit it works well for the holiday event. The rosemary grilled lamb is paired with cranberry & peppered apple relish. The seasoning and preparation method earn the lamb chops high marks among the Christmas Celebration food choices.
SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration: Worst new and reimagined food items
Though we tried several new food items that were average to above average (and few below-average items), but we only found one thing to place on our naughty list. This made our culinary journey more enjoyable than other trips through theme park food festivals.
Santa’s Cronut Chicken Sandwich
SeaWorld Orlando likes to trot out cronuts for their food festival booths, and the Christmas Celebration presented guests with the reimagined Santa’s Cronut Chicken Sandwich, which consists of a sweet & spicy chicken patty, sweet slaw, pickles, and a hot sauce within a cronut “bun.”
The cronut itself provides a decent flavor; however, far too much is going on with this creation.
The hot sauce brings way too much spice for the average theme park visitor. We delight in hot sauce, but need favorable taste to go with the heat. At least on the event’s opening evening, the sauce provided no flavor except “heat” like a poorly prepared “Tabasco” sauce. As you can tell, we would not recommend this option.
Festive Food & Seasonal Sips Sampling Lanyard
Guests looking to enjoy all the seasonal food and beverages should consider purchasing The Festive Food & Seasonal Sips sampling lanyard, which allows guests to save money compared to the standard price of items during this event.
Guests can choose from the ten-sample lanyard for $60 or the five- sample lanyard for $45. Annual pass holders also receive additional savings. With this purchase, guests can try any combination of food, drink, or dessert samples and an exclusive souvenir hot cocoa mug.
SeaWorld Orlando Christmas Celebration
The Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando continues until Jan. 2, 2024. We enjoyed our time at the event and appreciated SeaWorld Orlando inviting us out for the evening.
Visit the official SeaWorld website for more information.