Dine With Orcas at SeaWorld San Diego
My family and I have been visiting SeaWorld San Diego for 40+ years. We’ve been to SeaWorld during all events during the year (including SeaWorld San Diego Christmas Celebration). However none of us had ever experienced Dine With Orcas before. This meal experience puts guests up-close to killer whales, while offering an expansive buffet lunch.
Our reservation for the Dine With Orcas lunch was at 12:30 and we arrived 15-minutes early to wait in line. My family was able to see the orca whales swimming in the underwater viewing area while we waited. We had our photo taken as a group in front of a large picture of a killer whale. Unfortunately we were the last ones leaving at the end of the meal (one of the littles took a long time in the bathroom!) As a result we never did see or receive our photo.
Poolside Patio Dining
The host seated us at a long table against the glass with a great view of the pool. The dining space was in a curve around a viewing pool with the buffet room and restrooms in the center. A trainer was speaking over a microphone for the guests to hear but unfortunately most of the people were in line for the buffet and probably didn’t catch the educational talk.
I stayed behind with our toddler while the rest of my group got their plates of food so I was able to listen to the trainer talk and watch her toss fish by the handfuls to the orcas. Fortunately by the time most everyone was back at the tables with their food, the two orca whales were getting close to the glass.
The killer whales jumped, twirled, stuck their tongues out and pulled themselves up on the deck right next to our table! It was incredible to be so close to these beautiful creatures!
As for the food, it was really quite delicious and not the typical buffet-fare. There were a variety of unique and tasty salads. My family enjoyed the sustainable fish dishes including the salmon and shrimp. There was a pot of steaming hot clam chowder, soft rolls with butter and a server was carving fresh pork. The smashed red potatoes were perfect alongside a saucy chicken breast and steamed veggies. The “kid’s section” included Swedish meatballs, creamy mac and cheese, mixed vegetables and breaded chicken.
A waitress took drink orders and kept on top of bringing refills for everyone in our party. Standard soft drinks, coffee and tea were included in the price and alcohol and specialty drinks were extra. The kid’s drinks were served in souvenir plastic cups that we took home with us.
The dessert bar was heavenly! It included carrot cupcakes (my toddler took mine right off my plate!), fresh fruit salad, and chocolate-covered Shamu shaped cookies. There was cheesecake with a variety of toppings; I had the pumpkin cheesecake with fresh whipped cream and caramel sauce…amazing! The cherry on top of the meal were the delicious vanilla mint canolis. We had several of them, they were so yummy!
Sustainable Foods at SeaWorld
This is from SeaWorld’s website in regards to the food that they serve:
Our commitment to care for the natural world extends to the food that we serve. From sustainable seafood to organic coffee, even our menu items promote environmental responsibility.
Why is it important to choose sustainable seafood? As the world’s appetite for seafood skyrockets and commercial fishing becomes increasingly efficient, many of our ocean’s fisheries are overfished, overexploited or collapsing. Choosing sustainable seafood that was responsibly fished or farmed replenishes our oceans, preserves species and ensures a healthy world for future generations.
Our signature Dine With Shamu dining experience also features menu items that are sustainable, organic and locally sourced. From fresh California salad greens to locally-grown vegetables, in-season produce is selected straight from regional farmers. This ensures not only that our guests are getting the freshest produce available, but also that this produce has a minimal carbon footprint.
Dine With Orcas Experience
We had a wonderful experience at the Dine with Orcas lunch! It was so nice to have such an up-close and personal view of the whales. I appreciated that the food wasn’t an afterthought to the show and instead was a delicious and filling meal.
Tickets for SeaWorld & Dine With Orcas
Ticket for Dine With Orcas should be purchased ahead of your trip. Purchase discount SeaWorld San Diego tickets through my travel partner Get Away Today. Other dining options for SeaWorld San Diego include Breakfast with Shamu or the All-Day Dining Deal which is good for other dining locations (but Dine With Orcas is not included in that offer). Gratuity is not included so make sure appropriately tip the waitstaff.
Work in your SeaWorld San Diego visit with other seasonal events, including their Halloween Spooktacular.