Photoblog: SeaWorld Orlando Bands, Brew, and BBQ 2015

Every weekend throughout March, SeaWorld Orlando turns their USO Garden area into a backyard cookout complete with headline concerts at Bayside Stadium.  And what does SeaWorld Orlando call this seasonal festival?  Why Bands, Brew and BBQ, of course – and the name says it all.  When I was in town for my Give Kids The World Alternative Break Trip, SeaWorld Orlando invited me out for the shindig.  I’d heard great things about the local BBQ, and was curious to give it a try.  So continue reading for a photo walk through SeaWorld Orlando’s Bands, Brew and BBQ Festival.

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

SeaWorld’s Bands, Brew and BBQ Festival is included with park admission.  However, like any theme park, the food and drink will cost you extra.  You can also purchase reserved seating for the concert, but it’s not required to listen to the show.  After you enter the park, wind your way to the right (or follow your nose) to get to Bayside Stadium.  Vendors are set up on the garden pathway that opens at 11:30am – just in time for lunch!

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

Food is a big part of this celebration, and Bands, Brew and BBQ features Orlando local smokehouses including: Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Sonny’s BBQ, and SeaWorld’s very own concoctions.

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

During my frequent travels to the area, I’d previously heard people rave about Sonny’s BBQ, and was excited to finally give it a try myself.  Suffice it to say, Sonny’s did not disappoint!

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

I went with the Sonny’s Whole Hog sandwich – BBQ sandwich with a sliced brat on top?!?  Say whaaaaa??? Yes, please!

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

As I was picking up my group of college students at the airport for our Give Kids The World trip, I didn’t partake of any of the craft brews, but there were certainly plenty to choose from including: 3 Daughters Brewing, Abita, Florida Avenue, Florida Beer, and more.  [As a dad of two girls, I would have chosen 3 Daughters Brewing.]

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

In addition to the signature acts, Bands, Brew, and BBQ also features a secondary stage with local bands, and a DJ spinning music for line dancing and boot scootin’.  It’s not often you see a killer whale and dolphin in cowboy attire…

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

The headliner concerts get started between 4-5 pm in Bayside Stadium.

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

You can purchase reserved seating for the concert.  One advantage to the VIP packages is you also receive “Shamu Bucks” that can be used towards your food or merchandise.  A $10 credit will more than pay for your Sonny’s Whole Hog BBQ sandwich.  Packages include:

  • Front Row Seating – Starting at just $39, guests can reserve a front row seat (just inches from the artists) and feel like part of the band.  As an added bonus, guests will enjoy $10 toward in-park spending.
  • Floor Seating – Starting at just $19, guests can enjoy reserved floor seats right in front of the band. This package also includes $10 toward in-park spending.
  • Craft Brew Sampler – Sample 10 ice-cold craft beers from a selection of 30 for just $25.

Sea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQSea World Orlando Bands, Brews, and BBQ

SeaWorld’s Bands, Brew, and BBQ is offered in partnership with Central Florida’s USO, and meant to salute America’s Heroes.  Active military and veterans receive discounts including 10% off a Craft Brew Sampler, 15% off an All-Day Dining Deal and 10% off merchandise.

“We’re thrilled to partner with SeaWorld, and we appreciate their longstanding dedication to honoring the troops and retirees,” said Roland Emerson, executive director of USO Central Florida. “Working together during Bands, Brew & BBQ, we can make a difference in the spirits of many service members and their families.”

Don’t forget, while the Brew and BBQ are not included with your SeaWorld park admission – one thing that is included… the park!

Sea World Orlando

I made sure to head over to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin before I left for the airport, as I had yet to experience SeaWorld’s newest attraction in person.  I loved the extensive theming and recreation of an Antarctica research station, even if the sunbathing anole lizards didn’t quite fit with the “bottom of the world” environment.

Sea World Orlando AntarcticaSea World Orlando Antarctica

My absolute favorite part of the attraction was watching the four different species of penguins in their habitat after the ride’s conclusion.  I could have watched their antics for hours in the cool environment.

Sea World Orlando Antarctica

If you’re a fan of SeaWorld Orlando, their Bands, Brew and BBQ festival is a great way to experience the park, enjoy some great BBQ cooking, and relax to a concert.  Act fast if you want to catch it, as this is the fourth and final weekend of the event with comedian (and Dancing with the Stars celebrity) Bill Engvall performing on Saturday, March 28th and country star Alan Jackson singing Sunday, March 29th.  Both concerts begin at 5 pm.

DISCLOSURE: Adventures by Daddy was hosted by SeaWorld Orlando and received complimentary admission and vouchers to experience Bands, Brew, and BBQ.  However all opinions expressed are those of the author’s.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.