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The Top 12 Annual Events in Orlando you don't want to miss!

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

With pretty much gorgeous weather year-round, Orlando has a jam packed calendar of events taking place throughout the year.

The Top 12 Annual Events in Orlando

Ever month in Orlando you'll discover a unique mix of annual county fairs, craft shows, sidewalk arts festivals, food & drink festivals, outdoor music festivals, car shows, convention & trade shows, film festivals, holiday events and so much more.

Here at Gotta Go Orlando we've compiled a list of our favorite annual events that you can't miss!! We have listed twelve events altogether, with one for each month of the year!

The Top 12 Annual Festivals & Events In Orlando

Epcot International Festival of The Arts


Epcot International Festival of The Arts

The highly anticipated EPCOT International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World is a welcome start to a new year, usually taking place from mid January through late February.

The first festival of the year features more than 100 Disney and visiting artists who showcase their eye-catching works of art.

Guests of all ages can express their creative side by learning to draw a Disney character at Animation Academy, leaving their own creative mark at Expression Section: A Paint by Number Mural and helping Figment learn about art on a scavenger hunt around World Showcase.

Plus, Food Studios serving up art-inspired menus appeals to a variety of palates, then each evening, the DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series features talented entertainers performing Disney songs live at America Gardens Theatre.

Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida


Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida

From February through April, the fun and excitement of the Big Easy makes its way to Universal Orlando Resort for an authentic celebration that completely transforms Universal Studios Florida into a family-friendly version of the famed New Orleans street party.

The parkwide celebrations transform Universal Studios Florida into Florida’s biggest party, complete with the return of the parade, the beads, the tribute store, the food, and the big name concerts.

Mardi Gras includes a star studded lineup of concerts, a spectacular parade, and an iconic Tribute Store.

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival


Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

Every March the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival features artists from around the World Launched in 1960, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious outdoor art festivals in the country and it's back for it's 64th year. The free to browse show features hundreds of national artists displaying paintings, sculpture, glasswork, jewelry, woodworking and much more.

The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most prestigious outdoor art festivals attracting up to 250,000 visitors each year. More than 1000 artists from around the world applied for this year’s event. An independent panel of three judges select the artists that will exhibit their works.

Florida Film Festival


Florida Film Festival

Every April, grab the popcorn and get ready as Hollywood sets up home right here in Central Florida.

Regarded as one of the finest film festivals in the U.S., the Florida Film Festival is an annual showcase for the best in American Independent and Foreign Cinema.

This 10 day celebration of filmmakers and their art includes an Oscar accredited American Independent Film Competition for features, docs, shorts, and animation, along with an International Showcase, Spotlight Films (those already with distribution), Midnight Movies, Music Films, Food Films, Florida Films, VR/AR, New Media/Web, Secret Screenings, Tributes, Special Guests, Panels & Forums, parties, and more.

Hosted by the historic Enzian Theater in Maitland (Orlando), Florida. The Florida Film Festival has been named "one of the top 50 festivals" by indieWIRE.

Orlando Fringe


Orlando Fringe

The longest-running Fringe Theatre Festival in the United States will return for its 32nd year this May to Orlando and will feature every genre imaginable, including drama, dance, musicals, comedy, burlesque, puppetry and more.

Orlando’s 14-day immersive cultural experience, the Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival happens each May.

Orlando Fringe features over 2,000 ticketed performances, and includes an outdoor music festival called Visual Fringe, which features displays of art, while Kids Fringe provides weekend play and entertainment for younger audience members .

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival


Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Running from late May through to early July, the popular and fragrant EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival features fresh cuisine, colorful gardens, playful topiaries and vibrant entertainment.

The popular Garden Rocks Concert Seriesfeatures favorite tunes at the America Gardens Theatre. And of course, fresh flavors will be on the menu at Outdoor Kitchens and other food and beverage locations throughout the park, among other delights.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival


Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

The favorite time of year for foodies and wine enthusiasts is from late July through late November. EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE serves up flavors from across six continents and unlocks unlimited fun through your taste buds.

With more than 25 Global Marketplaces, you can indulge in cuisines from across the globe featuring the culinary mastery of chefs and mixologists who never disappoint.

There is much more for you to enjoy with family and friends, from jamming out to classic tunes at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare, to Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak, a fun, all-ages scavenger hunt throughout the park. Or, add an extra spin to snacking with Emile’s Fromage Montage, a flavorful food stroll featuring tasty cheese dishes that can’t be missed. Collect stamps by purchasing five of these items to redeem a special prize from Shimmering Sips.

Be sure to pick up a Festival Passport to keep track of your stamps and everything else you can experience at EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival.


Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining take place from late August through the start of October, featuring $40 prix-fixe menus at more than 100 of Orlando’s best restaurants.

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining invite you to savor three-course, prix-fixe dinners at more than 100 top Orlando-area restaurants for just $40 per person. The lineup includes six MICHELIN Guide honorees, as well as 23 venues participating for the first time — and you won’t want to miss a bite.

What’s more, $1 of every meal served will directly benefit The Able Trust, which works to expand employment opportunities in Orange County for people with disabilities. It’s your

chance to enjoy fantastic meals at fantastic prices while supporting a fantastic cause.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando


Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

Legend has it you should never go alone to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, the world’s premier Halloween event.

Summon your scream squad and you might survive 10 terrifying haunted houses, 5 sinister scare zones, outrageous live entertainment and some of Universal Studios’ most exhilarating attractions!

As the sun sets on days filled with thrills at Universal, the night awakens with a frightening chill at Universal Studios Florida. Enter mind-ripping haunted houses inspired by the biggest names in horror. Face nightmarish creatures on streets twisted into sinister scare zones.

Season after season, the terror has no bounds as Universal Orlando pulls out all of the sinister stops to celebrate Halloween with a fearsome slate of festivities that not only come to life at the award-winning event – but also across the entire destination, from dining to hotel experiences and more. HHN starts mid September and runs through Spooky Season.

Come Out With Pride Orlando


Come Out With Pride

While most of the world celebrates Pride in June, here in Orlando we celebrate Pride in October, with the annual Come Out With Pride event, which is a 3-day experience to raise awareness and celebrate the Orlando LGBTQ+ community

There is of course a huge parade, and tons of fun events and activities in the days around the Come Out With Pride events, including drag shows, dance parties, comedy shows and more.

Electric Daisy Carnival.Orlando


Electric Daisy Carnival

Since first arriving on the scene in Florida years ago, the annual Electric Daisy Carnival has become one of the best festivals in the Sunshine State. Each edition has seen the experience bigger and better, including a recent expansion to three days, massive stages with high-quality sound, and signature production elements to further add to the fun.

Those aspects, on top of the stacked lineups, have made this one of the most desirable festivals for Floridians and those from outside the state to flock to annually.

EDC combines electronic music on multiple stages with rides and art displays, including huge three-dimensional sculptures and glow-in-the-dark environments to create an experience that brings thousands of people to Orlando every year, along with dancers, stiltwalkers, aerialists and circus performers.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms


ICE! at Gaylord Palms

A much loved holiday tradition here in Central Florida is Ice! At Gaylord Palms.

The must see holiday event begins in November and runs through until early January, and features favorite scenes from much loved children favorites, brought to life in magnificent sculptures hand-carved from more than two million pounds of ice. In previous years themes have includes The Grinch, and The Polar Express.

Gaylord Palms Orlando is a one-of-a-kind, enchanting resort located in Kissimmee, only minutes away from the theme parks, and every holiday season the resort hosts ICE!

ICE! is an iconic experience, and in addition to the ice sculptures, guests can also take rides down two-story-tall ice slides, traverse through ice tunnels and arches, and visit Carver’s Showcase to see live sculpting demonstrations!

The entire resort transforms into a holiday wonderland with more than 3 million lights, elaborately themed Christmas trees all throughout the garden atrium and convention center, more than 20,000 ornaments and miles of garland.

Christmas shows and activities are presented in the atrium, while parts of the convention center transform into Alpine Village – a bustling, holiday hamlet with Bavarian-style village storefronts, live shows, characters, Snowy’s Snack Shack and a giant Market Square Christmas shop. Ice is a must experience event here in Orlando.

ICE! at Gaylord Palms

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