|Cap'n Lucky's Tropical Smoothies||The Deli||Dine With Shamu||Happy Harbor Café|
|Mama Stella's Italian Kitchen||Mango Joe's Grill||Plaza Bakery||The Ranch House Grill|
|Rocky Point Café||Shipwreck Reef Café|
I have eaten at every location listed here with the exception of Rocky Point Café, whose menu is basically nachos. The locations are listed in alphabetical order.
Note: For the few 12-Month Passholders that don't know about it, Sea World has a buy 5 entrées, get the 6th free program. Qualifying purchases are any entrée in any of the cafeteria-style dining locations, and Dine With Shamu. The benefit gives you one free entrée, drink not included, at any of the cafeteria-style restaurants. Sorry, no freebies for Dine With Shamu! Ask for a card at the 12-Month Passholder Center or at any of the restaurants.
Passholders also get a 10% discount on all food purchases. Such a deal!
Special note: Vegetarian selections are virtually nonexistant. The only item that can be considered an entrée (just barely) is the grilled veggie salad at Shipwreck Reef Café. I've complained about the lack of vegetarian food situation to the Foods manager, who suggests you might enjoy a Caesar or dinner salad, a plate of fruit, or a cheese sandwich. If this doesn't meet your ideals, you may want to consider eating outside the park.
Letter H on your park map. A smoothie bar with a few snack items. Higher prices on soda than any other location; if you just want a Pepsi, go to an ODV cart or one of the other window service locations.
Letter C on your park map. I think of this more as a lunch or light snack place as their menu consists only of sandwiches. It is located inside the A-B Hospitality Center. The food here is not spectacular, but neither is it bad. The line can get very long during lunch time and moves very slowly as most of the sandwiches are made to order.
Letter B on your park map. The best part of dine with Shamu is getting to see killer whales REALLY close-up (try within a few feet of your table), and a chance to talk to the trainers and ask a lot of questions. Don't tell your small kids about it, or your wallet may regret it.
Food service is buffet-style, with servers to bring drinks to your table (sodas, iced tea, milk, coffee, and hot chocolate. No alcohol). The selections are somewhat limited, and to be honest, not very tasty. Vegetarians won't starve, but will likely be disappointed with what they get for the price. They usually have a good selection of very tasty desserts.
Make sure you arrive at the park early and head for the Reservation Center first thing; Dine with Shamu is very popular and sells out quickly. You may also phone in your reservation days in advance at (619) 226-3601. Early reservations get the best seats.
Bring your camera, but be aware that the whales may splash; I've had it happen. For the same reason, you may want to make sure you don't change clothes until after you've eaten.
The price is $25.49 plus tax (almost $27.50 total!) for adults, $12.95 plus tax for kids 3-11. Gratuity is not included. Passholder discounts apply, thankfully. They occasionally offer other discounts, such as for AAA members. It never hurts to ask!
Here's the menu from the flyer I was given:
Beef Bourguignon Seafood Selection Chicken Dijon Pecan Rice Pilaf Vegetable Medley Caesar Salad Oriental Salad Creamy Garlic Tortellini Dessert Buffet For the Kids: Macaroni & Cheese Fresh Fruit Salad Hot Dogs Shamu cookies
Letter I on your park map. Ice cream, cookies, and drinks. If it's a hot day, you will be in a very long (typically 45 minutes) line standing out in the open to buy your ice cream. It's worth it.
Letter E on your park map. This location gets swamped right after the Sea Lion and Dolphin shows get out. Look at the show schedule and try to plan your meal at a time when both are just starting. Recommendations: The Italian Sampler or Italian Grill platters.
On some days, they also have breakfast available. They usually put a small A-frame sign out next to the Bakery to announce it. The breakfast fare is decent, but in my opinion, not a very good value.
Their specialty is fajitas, in salads, sandwiches, or straight up. They also have burgers, and a club sandwich on the menu. Kids meals are grilled, sliced strips of chicken or a hot dog. This location gets swamped right after the nearby Sea Lion show lets out. The best time to go is in the very late afternoon, about 15 minutes before the Sea Lion show starts.
Letter F on your park map. A variety of yummy, high-calorie goodies baked in Sea World's own kitchens. Cheesecakes, chocolate and carrot cakes, cookies, muffins, and much, much more, as well as the typical variety of drinks. A good place to stop in the morning for a Continental breakfast.
Cakes, cheesecakes, and specialty cookies: $2.25 Plain and Shamu cookies: $1.99 Drinks: Same selections and prices as at the other food locations.
Letter D on your park map. Mesquite grilled chicken and ribs. The chicken tends to be on the dry side, and the ribs are fairly bland. They do not cook the meat in barbecue sauce nor coat it with anything, so the juices run right out. They have pump dispensers of barbecue sauce on the condiment bar, but it doesn't help a lot. In spite of this, I still enjoy an occasional meal here. The portions are generous, available in both lunch and regular sizes. The regular portion might be enough to split with someone, especially if you get a side dish or two. The lunch portion is quite adequate. One of the better values in the park.
Letter G on your park map. Basically a snack shack, located to the North of Rocky Point Preserve. Nachos, ice cream, drinks, beer and wine.
The menu has decent variety, though vegetarians are limited to a Grilled Vegetable salad or a Caesar. They used to have a grilled vegetable entrée, but it was removed from the menu after just a few months. Too bad, several employees I spoke with loved it and are now rather upset. You can get a small side of grilled veggies for $1.59, but it's only about 1/2 cup.
This location gets totally swamped after the Shamu show, which figures considering its location just North of Shamu Stadium. The line has switchbacks like you would see on a ride, which is a fairly effective means of moving people out of the walkways. It doesn't work as well during the Summer when crowds are large. Inside, they have four serving lanes that they can open depending upon the load. The cashiers are stationed outside the food area, which means you and your kids aren't stuck in front of the desserts for ten minutes while the person up front searches for more pennies.
Recent items of note: You can buy a sipper top sports bottle with parrot, toucan, and flamingo characters for only $3.69 filled. It's really cute. They also have coconut-shaped sipper cups; sorry, didn't catch the price on them. Two items not listed on the menu, but frequently requested: the dinner salad is 2.49 (you only find this out by asking explicitly, or when it's time to pay). The side of grilled veggies, as mentioned above, is 1.59.
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