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ORLANDO, Fla. – Journey to Orlando this fall for festivals and celebrations found nowhere else, including the largest and most elaborate Halloween celebration in the country. From food festivals and ghoulish haunted houses to surprise encounters with The Grinch himself, Orlando has plenty of events to keep families entertained all season long.
Fall is for Foodies
As an emerging dining destination and recent host for the James Beard Foundation Semifinalist announcement, Orlando hosts several food and wine festivals throughout the fall.
Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is a culinary celebration offering the ultimate jaw-dropping combo – impressive cuisine and big savings. During the entire month of September, top Orlando-area restaurants offer three-course, prix-fixe dinners for $33. This year, Visit Orlando has added a Magical Dining preview week Aug. 25-31 for eager eaters looking to get a jump start on the month-long celebration.
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort features global cuisine from nearly 30 international marketplaces throughout the park, culinary demonstrations and a concert series Sept. 19 – Nov. 10.
Visitors can indulge in tantalizing tastings and wine pairings at the Fifth Annual Food & Wine Classic held Oct. 31 – Nov. 1 at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando, held late September through early November.
Halloween Capital of the World
Visitors looking for thrills beyond roller coasters should look no further than Orlando, offering more than 80 individual Halloween events during the six weeks leading up to Oct. 31.
Every weekend in October, families can experience SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular with special Halloween shows and a sea of sweet treats for kids.
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is an elaborate celebration held on select nights Sept. 19 – Nov. 1, with pulse-pounding spooks, fully-themed haunted houses, “scarezones” and live stage shows.
For not-so-scary Halloween fun, guests are invited to dress in costumes and trick-or-treat throughout Magic Kingdom Park during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, held on select nights September 1 – October 31.
From a haunted scavenger hunt to the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world, LEGOLAND Florida’s Brick-or-Treat offers families spooky and kooky fun during weekends in October.
Holidays in Orlando
Come November, visitors can get into the spirit with special holiday celebrations throughout Orlando, all leading up to New Year’s Eve celebrations like nowhere else.
At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, families will be entertained when the popular Dr. Seuss book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is brought to life during Grinchmas. At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade will fill the streets with the same iconic balloons found in New York City along with a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa Claus.
Guests will be dazzled by holiday stage shows, fireworks and snow flurries on Main Street U.S.A. during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom Park. Other Walt Disney World Resort celebrations include Holidays Around the World at Epcot and Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration comes alive Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, with Shamu Christmas Miracles show and more than 100 sparkling trees at the Sea Of Trees.
LEGOLAND Florida’s Christmas Bricktacular features a 270,000-brick Christmas tree, festive decorations and LEGO Santa Claus on select dates in December.
During one of the largest expansion periods in Orlando’s history, fall visitors can be among the first to experience brand-new attractions and resorts.
Walt Disney World Resort completed a multiyear project that doubled the size of Fantasyland with the debut of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family-friendly coaster which takes guests on a wild journey through the mine “where a million diamonds shine.”
Universal Orlando Resort expanded The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both of its theme parks with the addition of Diagon Alley. Guests can journey between Hogsmeade and ‘London’ aboard the Hogwarts Express and experience a brand-new, multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is the fourth on-site hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring family suites, 10-lane bowling alley and two massive pools areas.
Opening in August, the 444-room Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort features a golf course, full-service spa, elaborate pool area and rooftop steakhouse with breath-taking views of nightly firework celebrations at the area’s theme parks.
For more information about vacation experiences in Orlando, to order a complimentary vacation planning kit that includes a comprehensive Official Visitors Guide and Orlando Magicard® or to purchase discount attraction tickets, visitors can log onto Orlando’s official website at VisitOrlando.com or call an Official Travel Counselor at 1-800-551-0181 (United States and Canada) or 407-363-5872. For real time updates, follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/VisitOrlando or Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitOrlando. While in Orlando, visitors may stop by the Official Visitor Center located at 8723 International Drive.