Orlando Festivals

No matter when you visit Orlando, chances are you’ll find fun festivals to attend. Between mouthwatering food and beverage fests, nationally ranked art shows, and acclaimed celebrations of film, theater and music — not to mention our theme parks’ famous events — there’s something for just about every taste, too.

Want to see what’s on tap during your visit? Use the search tool below. But first, keep reading to learn about some of the most noteworthy festivals you’ll want to experience in Orlando!

Learn more: Orlando Arts, Culture & History

Top Orlando Festivals

Walt Disney World Resort

Not that we ever need a reason to visit Epcot, but the theme park’s annual festivals sure do provide a lot of incentive. The crown jewel in that regard is the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which takes place in the fall. Showcasing gourmet dishes and libations from around the world, it also hosts a lineup of legendary performers in the Eat to the Beat concert series.

The park’s signature event is followed by the Epcot Festival of the Holidays, which in turn leads into winter’s Epcot International Festival of the Arts and spring’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. All four are included with regular admission.

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Universal Orlando Resort

Billed as “Florida’s Biggest Party,” Universal Studios Florida’s Mardi Gras brings New Orleans’ famed celebration to Orlando. Held in late winter and early spring, and included with regular park admission, the event features a nightly parade complete with Big Easy-style floats, dancers, stilt-walkers and performers. It also includes a faithful recreation of New Orleans’ French Quarter, authentic Cajun cooking and live music — and of course, lots of beads!

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SeaWorld Orlando

In late winter and early spring, SeaWorld invites you to dive into its Seven Seas Food Festival, which is part of regular park admission. At the event’s International Markets, you can sample coastal cuisine, Latin fare and barbecue, as well as craft beverages such as beer, wine and non-alcoholic concoctions. And the festival’s concert series showcases top performers from country, rock and Latin music at Bayside Stadium.

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Orlando Arts & Culture Festivals

We don’t just love the arts in Orlando — we also have lots of ways to celebrate them! One of the most prominent is the Florida Film Festival. Held in April at the Enzian Theater in Maitland, about 15 minutes from downtown Orlando, the event screens a dizzying array of films, including features, shorts, documentaries and animation.

The movies are complemented by parties and forums, including participation by a rotating lineup of well-known celebrities. Past guests of honor have included Christopher Walken, Susan Sarandon and Oliver Stone, to name a few.

If you prefer live performances to film, the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival — aka Orlando Fringe — is for you. Originating in Scotland, fringe is an artistic cornucopia, including stage productions, dance, visual arts, music, puppetry and spoken word. Orlando Fringe is the longest-running fringe festival in the United States, and many of its events are free. It’s held in Loch Haven Park, about 10 minutes from downtown Orlando, every May.

We’re also big on art shows in Orlando, starting with February’s Mount Dora Arts Festival, which takes place about 40 minutes from downtown Orlando. The juried event showcases more than 100 award-winning artists, and admission is always free.

The same is true of March’s Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, featuring 225 fine artists and craftspeople from around the world, and October’s Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, which is only open to Florida artists. Both are held in their charming namesake city, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando.

Speaking of downtown, it features Fiesta in the Park, a pair of art festivals in Lake Eola Park every March and November. Also in March, downtown’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts the Orlando Jazz Festival at the outdoor Seneff Arts Plaza.

Finally, it should come as no surprise that an internationally visited destination like Orlando has events celebrating a range of cultures. In January, for example, you can look forward to Zora! Festival, which celebrates the life and works of celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston. It’s 15 minutes from downtown Orlando in Eatonville. Also in January, the Central Florida Scottish Highland Games come to Winter Springs, about 30 minutes from downtown Orlando.

April has the Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival, and October brings a quartet of cultural events, including the Asian Cultural Expo, Festival Calle Orange, Oktoberfest and Diwali Mela — Festival of Light. Last but not least, food, spirits and music take center stage at November’s Savor the Night Latin Food & Wine Festival. Most of these are in or near downtown, with Oktoberfest taking place 20 minutes north of Winter Park in Casselberry.

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