Theme Parks

Both SeaWorld and Aquatica offer an incredible deal called “All Day Dining” but the biggest question is whether or not it is worth buying?

When it comes to food purchases, I am horrible. I won’t lie. I’m the guy who will go to an “All you can eat” wings bar and go in with a predetermined amount that I have to eat in order to maximize the cost “per” wing. So when I hear All Day Dining, my interest is peaked but at the same time, I’m also pretty skeptical.

The All-Day Dining plan is pretty straightforward and the same at both parks. People 10 and up will pay $39.99 and children under 10 will pay $19.99. You can get one entree, side, and a drink every hour, or mix it up and get a dessert if you desire. There are few exceptions but most of those are in the forms of snacks at the smaller food trucks around the parks.

My family and I recently spent three days in Orlando and went to Aquatica twice and SeaWorld once. Both parks have a strict “no outside food” policy and they will confiscate anything you try to bring in but if you get creative, you can sneak snacks in, they may have strict rules but they sure as heck don’t spend a lot of time doing a quality search for them.

A line forms under the hot Florida sun at one of only a few dining centers at Aquatica in Orlando. Image courtesy Brian Miller

We opted to skip the ADD (All day dining) at Aquatica. On the first day were only planning a half-day at the park and on day two we rented a cabana that came with a special menu that took care of our family’s needs. That doesn’t mean I didn’t talk to others who had it.

I can say that I did not speak to one person who was thrilled with the ADD at Aquatica. Those guests were easy to spot as you have to wear a paper wristband. Standing in lines for rides, I asked and explained why. A common response was, “the lines are way too long”. And indeed they were. Some guests complained about waiting over 30 minutes and some up to 45 minutes for food. Some just gave up trying. The problem is that at Aquatica, there are only three places to get food and you can’t use them at all the snack trucks either.

More than a few said they would be lucky to get their money back and didn’t want to try given the long lines. So would I recommend it? No. I can say that while I witnessed the long lines, my only attempt to buy food took me over 30 minutes to get the food, and honestly, that really sucks when you are hot and wet.

All-day dining at Aquatica: Absolutely not!


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