Orlando

Courtesy of Disney
Local Experts: Orlando, Kristin Harmel

By Local Expert Kristin Harmel

Best Annual Festivals in Orlando

1
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

My favorite festival of the year, this multi-week annual event, which typically runs from mid-September through early November, offers so much that you could come every day without getting tired. More than two dozen international marketplaces—each offering moderately priced small food and drinks—surround the World Showcase Lagoon, while daily events such as wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and free concerts—from bands such as Sister Hazel, Sugar Ray, Hanson, Boyz II Men and more—entertain you. I go at least a dozen times each fall.

2
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

This one is also a favorite among Disney guests. Typically running from mid-March to early May, this Epcot festival features themed flower and garden exhibits and displays, topiaries galore, food booths offering garden-based delights, and a fabulous free concert series including bands from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and beyond. Past musical guests have included my old friend Chubby Checker, Herman’s Hermits, the Village People, and the Grass Roots.

3
Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights

On the opposite end of the festival spectrum, find Universal Studios’ enormously popular Halloween Horror Nights, an annual scare-tacular taking place select nights from mid-September through Halloween weekend. Themed haunted houses—there were eight in 2014—will thrill and chill you, and most of the major rides are open too. People come from all around the world just to experience this nighttime event.

4
Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars Weekends

Typically running Friday through Sunday from mid-May through mid-June, this event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios draws Star Wars fans from all around the galaxy. You’ll meet Star Wars characters and celebrities in live shows, presentations, autograph sessions and more. In 2014, Mark Hamill, who portrayed Luke Skywalker in the original film series, even made an appearance!

5
Florida Film Festival

Florida Film Festival

Granted, this may not draw you to Orlando unless you’re already a major film buff. But if your vacation plans include an April stay in the Sunshine State, count yourself lucky; this stellar film festival, which takes place in mid-April, offers an intimate look at up-and-coming films, as well as an opportunity to interact with well-known actors and directors.


Visit the Best Annual Festivals in Orlando

Florida Film Festival
1300 S Orlando Ave (at Magnolia Rd), Maitland, FL 32751, United States
9.3/10

People like this place

Indie Movie Theater
2
Star Wars Weekends
351 S Studio Dr (Walt Disney World), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States
9.5/10

People like this place

Theme Park
0
Halloween Horror Nights
Orlando, FL, United States
0/10

People like this place

Other Event
0
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
1510 N Avenue of the Stars (Walt Disney World Resort), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States
9.5/10

People like this place

Theme Park
0
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Epcot (Walt Disney World), Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, United States
9.6/10

People like this place

Theme Park Ride / Attraction
0
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