Friday, August 17, 2012
Quick Review: Sea World's All-Day Dining Deal
Thanks to SeaWorld's August discount for annual pass holders, I was finally able to experience their All-Day Dining Deal. Eventually, I'll do a detailed breakdown of its benefits versus Disney Dining Plans. Until then, here's a quick review of my experience with All-Day Dining.
1. Dining discounts are available in park, but you can only purchase them at Guest Relations locations. If you attempt to buy the Dining Deal at a dining location, you will be charged full price.
2. You're given a wristband that you must display every time you receive food. The wristband is made from semi-water resistant paper, but is still somewhat flimsy.
3. Rules and restrictions on the Dining Deal are loosely laid out and selectively enforced. Restaurants barely glance at what food you've selected once they see the wristband, and don't even track what you receive. You are officially not allowed to get food at Shark's Grill, reservation meals, or "cart locations," but cart locations is not well defined. My wife and I were denied beverages at two outdoor locations, but we have witnessed individuals on the Dining Plan get bottled water from outdoor kiosks.
4. At the discounted rate of $17.99 for adults, the Dining Deal is worth using. The average cost of a meal for an adult is between $15 and $18, so eating just two meals in the park makes for great savings. Unfortunately, this rate is only available to annual pass holders in August, and there is no indication when the offer may return.
5. At the regular price of $32.99, the Dining Deal is only worth purchasing if you are eating 3 meals in the park, or are at least stopping for a major snack between lunch and dinner.
6. Not directly related to the Deal, but the food quality at SeaWorld is inconsistent. Hot food is often served lukewarm or worse and the quality is moderate at best.
Overall, I would only recommend the Dining Deal if you're planning on spending the entire day in the park. You must eat a lot of food to save money, and that food isn't particularly worth making a day of eating it.