«

»

Viva La Musica Brings Latino Flavors and Music to SeaWorld

Shamu and Dolly dancing during Viva la Musica festival.

Shamu and Dolly dancing during Viva la Musica festival.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to attend the Viva La Musica festival at SeaWorld. Viva La Musica SeaWorld celebrates the food, fun, sights and sounds of Latin culture with an annual festival filled with Hispanic culture, featuring live concerts by internationally renowned Latin musical artists, all included with park admission. Although I have been wanting to join this Latino celebration for the last couple of years I had not had the chance until now and I have to tell you it was awesome!  The best part was that it had something for everyone in the family: food, concert, Latino arts and crafts and fun activities for the kids.

Chef Colón showing off a mountain of chicharrones at Viva la Musica in SeaWorld,

Chef Colón showing off a mountain of chicharrones at Viva la Musica in SeaWorld,

From the moment we arrived the smell of chicharrones, tostones and empanadas filled the air and just writing about it now is making me hungry.  Chef Colón and his talented team prepared a series of delicious latino dishes, most of them with a bit of a personal twist that made these traditional foods even better!

Brightly colored hand painted ceramic during Viva La Musica Latino festival at SeaWorld.

Brightly colored hand painted ceramic during Viva La Musica Latino festival at SeaWorld.

As we walked around, the sounds of salsa music in the background and the air filled with the smells of pinchos sizzling on the grill the kids looked in wonder at the bright and fun colors of hand painted ceramic starfish, dolphins and manatees.  From T-shirts with flags of different Latin American countries to artists painting right there for everyone to see my childrenwhere exposed to so many elements of their Latino culture.

Platanos maduros, yuca, tostones and arroz con gandules accompany delicious carne asada with chimichurri sauce.

Platanos maduros, yuca, tostones and arroz con gandules accompany delicious carne asada with chimichurri sauce.

We sat down to eat a plate filled high up with delicious Latino staples from yuca, maduros and tostones to bacalaítos, arroz con gandules, chicharrones and empanadas.  The kids where really excited to see the Latino community coming together and enjoyed trying lots of new foods.

Pinchos cooking on the grill during Viva la Musica at SeaWorld.

Pinchos cooking on the grill during Viva la Musica at SeaWorld.

After eating and strolling among the vendors we stopped to get some Margaritas and I have to confess that the Margaritas at Viva la Musica where one of the best ones I’ve ever had.  The best part of the experience was the great energy and the wonderful people.  Everyone was friendly and smiling, you could tell that everyone was having a wonderful time.

One of the best margaritas I've ever had at Viva la Musica Latino festival in SeaWorld

One of the best margaritas I’ve ever had!

While we waited for the featured concert by of Chino & Nacho we enjoyed a fun and colorful performance by a group of talented musicians on stilts.  My kids where in awe watching the stilt dancers jumping up high in the air and do pirouettes while the others played music.

Performers playing music on stilts during Viva la Musica festiva Latino SeaWorld

Performers playing music on stilts.

Finally it was time for Chino & Nacho, the Venezuelan pop duo, consisting of Jesús Alberto Miranda Perez (Chino) and Miguel Ignacio Mendoza (Nacho) to come out of stage. Chino y Nacho, who in 2010 won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Album for “Mi Niña Bonita”, have an positive and electrifying energy that was clear from the moment they came out on stage.

Chino y Nacho at the Viva la Musica festival at SeaWorld Latino

Chino y Nacho at the Viva la Musica festival at SeaWorldWhile

For about an hour and a half they played favorite songs like “Mi Niña Bonita” while the crowd singed along. It was impossible to stay seated and everyone was dancing and moving to the rhythm of their music.

Chino y Noche performing during the Viva la Musica Latino festival.

Chino y Noche performing during the Viva la Musica Latino festival.

As with all SeaWorld special events, performances are included with admission, Fun Card or annual pass. Viva la Música festival activities begin at 12 p.m. each Saturday, with concerts starting at 3 p.m. at Bayside Stadium. Each Saturday from April 26 to May 17 there is a different singer performing.  The following concerts include:

  • Saturday, May 3 –  La India (salsa)
  • Saturday, May 10 – Victor Manuelle (salsa)
  • Saturday, May 17 – Olga Tañón (merengue)

The shows are general seating and included with your SeaWorld tickets; however, reserved seating for your favorite concerts is available with the following packages:

  • Front Row VIP seating –Front Row seats can be purchased starting at $39.
  • Viva la Música VIP Package – Starting at $29, this special package includes a meal (entrée and any one item from a selection of side salads, side dishes or desserts, plus a regular-sized non-alcoholic beverage) at any Viva la Música food sampling area or SeaWorld cafeteria-style restaurant, plus reserved seating — Center Stage!
  • VIP seating – Want to make sure you get a good seat to your favorite show?  Purchase this package to buy your reserved seats for $19.  

All packages are available at SeaWorldOrlando.com.

Shamu dancing with my daughter at Viva la Musica festival.

Shamu dancing with my daughter at Viva la Musica festival.

After the concert the kids got to meet and dance salsa with Shamu who was wearing a guayabera, a typical cuban shirt and with Dolly the dolphin who was wearing a typical Caribbean dress.  Even Rosita from Sesame street was showing off her moves dancing to the music of Latin Affair.

After all the fun and excitement of Viva la Musica we enjoyed some of the rides, fed the dolphins and watched the manatees and other sea creatures before heading back home.

children inside aquarium at SeaWorld

My children inside aquarium at SeaWorld

 

children watching manatee underwater World

My children watching a manatee.

The best way to experience Viva la Música is with a 2014 Annual Pass, starting at only $13 per month with EZpay, for Florida residents. Plus, with an Annual Pass, you can experience SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration featuring new interactive experiences and shows, even more up-close animal encounters at the all-new SEA Garden and the SeaWorld “Surprise Squad” treating park guests with prizes and special experiences every day.For more information, visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.  Viva la Música event dates, times and artists are subject to change.

Follow 365 Things to Do In Southwest Florida on Facebook for the best travel ideas, events and attractions for the whole family.

Related posts:

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula is a freelance writer, translator & marketer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on subjects ranging from travel and food to parenting and bilingualism. She enjoys traveling, good food and is always in search of new things to do and in Southwest Florida.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge