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SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration Food: Smash or Pass

December 6, 2023

With over 82 different food & drink options to choose from (I counted), it can be tough to choose what to snag!

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 a hand holding out a SeaWorld Christmas Celebration food and drink tasting lanyard in front of the SeawWorld Orlando sign.


If there’s one thing I love more than the holiday season, it’s indulging in a merry medley of delectable delights. And where better to embark on a seasonal adventure than SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration in Orlando, Florida?

Through December, you can catch twinkling lights, jingling tunes, and the mouthwatering aroma of seasonal treats wafting through the air. As your local guide, I took it upon myself to navigate the wintery wonderland that is the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration (you’re welcome).

From juicy bison burgers to waffles with a bit of drama and desserts that taste like a winter wonderland, let’s unwrap the best (and worst) dishes of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration.

a burger on a plate with the top bun set askew exposing lettuce and a large syringe of cheddar cheese on the side.


Bison Burger – 8/10

So, I’m usually a “burgers are burgers” kind of person, but hold your reindeer. SeaWorld threw a bison burger into the mix, and I had to give it a bite!

Unexpectedly, it blew my mind. Who knew a theme park could deliver such a juicy, flavorful patty? This burger was next-level juicy, and the bacon jam was on point. Anyone who’s familiar with bacon jam knows that it’s a labor of love….without the right process, you’ll lose all the flavor. Not here, flavor was in the room!

Plus, they hand you a giant syringe of warm cheddar cheese to add your own gooey goodness. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. Was it ridiculously fun? Oh, yes!

The tomato and lettuce were the sidekicks here, not stealing the show but not ruining it either.

Kristin with a bit of food hanging out of her mouth and holding the Pulled Pork and Waffle plate


Festive BBQ Pulled Pork & Waffle – 4/10

Visually, this dish had me ready to write a foodie love letter. I wish it were the whole package but I got catfished.

Let’s just say the pulled pork and coleslaw were pulling their weight—flavorful, delicate, and a hint of smokiness. But, oh dear waffle, what happened to you? I think this poor baby went through some emotional trauma that I wasn’t about to dig up – it was rock hard and impossible to eat.

I will say to be careful with this one. The regular Chicken and Waffle option lists hot honey as an ingredient. This doesn’t, but there was most definitely a hot honey drizzle on the waffle that added some spice.

Fresh, I bet this slaps; otherwise, it’s a pass.

a mini pumpkin lava cake on a plate angled in front of a tree covered in lights


Pumpkin Lava Cake – 7/10

The pumpkin lava cake is like the T Swift of desserts this year, stealing the spotlight and trending all over social media.

Now, I might’ve caught it in a lukewarm moment after hours under the heat lamp cuz it was pretty darn dry. But that center with cream cheese frosting was heavenly. Fresh, this mini bundt cake would probably be the dessert highlight. It’s like a warm pumpkin twist on carrot cake filled with heavenly frosting. The “omg”-worthy frosting alone makes it a winner.

a hand holding a plate with a crispy grilled cheese that's oozing out cheese and has a side of tomato soup


All Grown Up Birria Grilled Cheese – 6/10

Not a complete deal-breaker, but the “grown-up” and “birria” elements were like Santa’s secrets—mysterious. My guess is that the bread is dipped in some sort of birria before being slapped on the grill, but it doesn’t add enough flavor for me to consider it birria.

As a plain ol’ grilled cheese, it’s a 9/10. Fresh, gooey, cheesy perfection, especially paired with the tomato soup. Perfect for those rare chilly nights in Orlando.

Maybe not the epitome of Christmas, but comfort food is comfort food, right?

a hand holding a place of tater tots that are covered in chili, cheese, and a drizzle of sour cream


Jingle Totchos – 7/10

Even though the tots didn’t bring the crisp factor I longed for, they were still a tasty delight. And a special mention to Rob, the not-so-jolly booth worker who flat-out told me I was ordering from the wrong place just for another worker to direct me back to him to place my order. Someone pooed in his stocking this year, and it shows.

Anywho, the chili is the real show-stopper here. It tastes like it’s been simmering in grandma’s kitchen, loaded with lots of love, chunks of meat, tomato, and plenty of flavor. Green onions MIA, but no biggie—it’s still a tasty totchos experience.

PRO TIP: If you’re hunting for chili, they serve it up next door at the same booth that offers the All Grown Up Birria Grilled Cheese.

a hand holding a place with a large sourdough bread bowl filled with North Pole Newberg soup


North Pole Newberg 10/10

Oh. Em. Gee.

Seafood at SeaWorld—duh, right?  I mean, what better way to channel your inner dolphin than with some seafood chowder?

I loved this dish so much that I’ve done some internet sleuthing and discovered that Newberg is more typically a sauce than a soup, so this may not be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re already familiar with the dish.

That being said, the North Pole Newberg is a MUST-HAVE. Served piping hot, loaded with seafood chunks (like scallops and shrimp), and served in a massive sourdough bread bowl WITH a lid for dipping.

It’s like a lobster bisque on steroids. I contemplated going back for a second, but I knew I had an obligation to bring y’all as many options as possible. I wouldn’t change anything about this one – if you’re a seafood fan, be sure to grab it.

a hand holding a plate with two lamb chop ribs covered in a cranberry and peppered apple relish


Mistletoe Lambchops 11/10

Hold onto your Santa hats! If you’re grabbing the North Pole Newberg, you CANNOT pass up the Mistletoe Lambchops.

I would never in a million years think that something so melt-in-your-mouth would come out of a SeaWorld kitchen (sorry, SeaWorld).

These are not your average theme park fare – they’re melt-in-your-mouth, buttery, cooked to perfection, and smothered in cranberry and peppered apple relish. They legit taste like Christmas.

(Someone get SeaWorld to send me the recipe because I’d make this alllll the time)

PRO TIP: If you have extra bread from your North Pole Newberg bowl, dip it in the lambchop sauce. You’ll thank me later!

a hand holding an insulated cup with frozen hot chocolate in it covered in whipped cream and chocolate.


Frozen Hot Chocolate 9/10

Alright, hold the cocoa—this might be a shocker. I’m not exactly a hot chocolate girly. So, to beat the Florida heat, I opted for the regular Frozen Hot Chocolate (kept it PG this time, no “jolly” additions like Kahlua).

Imagine a chocolate slurpee, but make it rich and full of flavor. Yeah, weird description, but trust me, it’s true.

It’s like a chilly chocolate cup of cheer, and I’m ready to declare my eternal love for it. Plus, you can’t enjoy the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration without it IMO.

A hand holding the head broken off of a snowman shaped pretzel


Christmas Tree Pretzel 3/10

Welp, this “Christmas tree Pretzel” was, in fact, shaped like a snowman, and mine suffered an unfortunate accident where he lost his head.

Shh, don’t tell Frosty!

Supposed to come with warm cheese sauce, but mine decided to go solo.

Fresh, this might’ve been a different story, but alas, mine was in the dry, hard category. Think cookie vs. pretzel, and you’ve got the picture.

It’s a no-go for me, especially without a cheesy companion for dipping. Sorry, snowman, you deserved better.

kristin standing in front of a large decorated christmas tree in seaworld orlando

The Breakdown

With its unique and delicious offerings, the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration has truly created a culinary experience that mirrors the joy and wonder of the holidays. Whether you’re planning your own journey through SeaWorld or simply savoring the descriptions from the comfort of your cozy space, I hope this scrumptious sleigh ride has added a sprinkle of merriment to your day. ‘Tis the season for indulgence, after all!

And hey, what you’ve just read is merely a teaser of the festive feast that awaits at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. For the full scoop (pun intended) on all the mouthwatering options and a handy map to guide your culinary exploration, check out the complete list here.

If you’re diving into this delightful holiday extravaganza and anticipating a reindeer-sized appetite to satiate, let me drop a tasty tip: grab yourself one of their Festive Food and Seasonal Sips Sampling Lanyards.

kristin standing in front of two seaworld orlando employees that are on stilts and dressed in holiday gear

A 10-sample lanyard for $60 or a 5-sample lanyard for $45 will open the doors to a world of festive feasting while making your way around the park. The best part? Each lanyard is valid for the entirety of the Christmas Celebration, allowing you to spread your culinary joy across multiple visits.

Plus, they include a complimentary SeaWorld Christmas Celebration hot cocoa mug with every lanyard purchase.

As you explore the flavors and festivities of the Christmas Celebration, spanning from now until January 2nd, may your holidays be filled with love, laughter, and, of course, an abundance of delicious bites!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Until our next adventure, stay hungry, stay joyful, and keep the spirit of the season alive.


*While my experience at SeaWorld Christmas Celebration was hosted, this blog reflects my honest opinions and feelings on the food I enjoyed while I was there.*

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  1. Paul Solorzano says:

    This is a killer list! Thanks for doing the work for me ahead of time!

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