The Central Florida area is known for their theme parks, attractions, shows, roller coasters – you name it! And while making a trip down to see Mickey Mouse and his friends may be reason enough for your family to plan a vacation to the Sunshine State, it is important to know that, in addition to these popular rides and shows in the theme parks around the city, they also host many must-see special annual events throughout the year that give many families an extra-special reason to visit.
The Walt Disney World ® Resort rules the landscape in the Central Florida, so it is no surprise that many of our Top 10 Must-See Events happen at the Happiest Place on Earth. Two of those events, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, revolve around holidays and are special-ticket entries into the Magic Kingdom ® Park, while others are just added to the landscape of the area and are at no extra outright cost to the consumer. Epcot ® hosts two such events, the Epcot ® International Food & Wine Festival and the Epcot ® International Flower & Garden Festival, while the Downtown Disney ® area also gets into the act with the Festival of the Masters. While the Epcot ® International Food & Wine Festival may run you a few extra dollars as you taste food and wine from all around the globe while learning more about the culinary art from expert chefs, the park’s other event is filled with flowers, gardens, topiaries, live music and more! Finally, the Festival of the Masters is also a complimentary outdoor festival that features award-winning art on display and tons of creative activities for the entire family.
The Walt Disney World ® Resort doesn’t steal the entire scene, however, as the Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay host another set of Top 10 must-see annual events in the area. The Disney Parks aren’t even the only setting for Halloween annual events, as Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Howl-o-Scream give visitors to the area some of the scariest haunts in Central Florida, a stark contrast to Disney’s family-oriented party. Universal Orlando is also home to one of the liveliest events each year with their annual Mardi Gras festivities, which is an almost three-month festival with special parades, concerts and more straight-from-New-Orleans fun!
Yet another Top 10 must-see annual event that involves good food, beverages and live music is Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Bud & BBQ. Rounding out the list is a special event that actually takes place just 45 minutes from Orlando – and while it is the only event not held in a theme park, we think you will agree that the NASA shuttle launches clearly deserve a place among our top must-sees in Central Florida!
While each of these events are unique and popular for different reasons, we hope we have given your family just one more reason to book your vacation to Orlando today – or maybe even 10 more!