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Florida Theme Park Guide to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Busch Gardens and more


By Michelle Stark, Anne Glover, Amber McDonald and Kelly Stefani, Times Staff Writers
Illustration by Steve Madden, Times Staff Artist
Developed by Alexis N. Sanchez

Are you a Florida theme park fanatic? Send your favorite memories, horror stories (we all have them) or park insider tips to our Things to Do editors at or post to the official Things to Do Facebook page.

  1. SeaWorld announces lineup of bands, comedians for Seven Seas Food Festival


    A week after Busch Gardens announced the lineup for its food and wine festival, sister park SeaWorld has released the slate of performers coming to Orlando to perform at its Seven …

    ZZ Top is among the performers scheduled for SeaWorld's Seven Seas Food Festival.
  2. Epcot's new Festival of the Arts is a feast for the eyes, ears and tastebuds


    Epcot's new winter festival is heavy on color and creation.

    Disney artist Joe Kaminski demonstrates his techniques during the first day of Epcot's new International Festival of the Arts.
  3. Fans raise lightsabers and umbrellas toward the sky in tribute to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando.
  4. With attendance flat, Disney brings back Florida resident deal


    After a sluggish year in attendance, Walt Disney World has brought back its Florida resident "Discover Disney" three- and four-day ticket deal, though there are black-out dates at Disney's Animal Kingdom park starting Memorial Day weekend — a possible sign the new Avatar land will be opening up.

    After a sluggish year in attendance, Walt Disney World has brought back its Florida resident "Discover Disney" three-day ticket deal for $139 tha tmust be used by June 9. Florida residents had gotten used the annual January offer from Disney,  but the annual January deal disappeared last year during record attendance numbers. (Orlando Sentinel)
  5. Jimmy Fallon to bring show, new theme park ride to Orlando


    Jimmy Fallon: the theme park ride. Yes, that's a thing. The Tonight Show host giddily announced on his show Thursday night that Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon will officially open on April 6 in Universal Studios in Orlando and he will be taping his show at …

    “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” will be the first attraction to feature a Virtual Line experience at Universal Studios Florida
  6. Things to Do Planner: Monster Jam, 'Sully' Sullenberger, new Epcot and Legoland attractions


    BIG WHEEL: Monster Jam

    Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium. These custom-designed beasts are about 12 feet wide with tires so large that singer Bruno Mars, at 5-foot-5, could stand in the wheel well with an inch of head room left over. Like the …

    Monster Mutt goes off a jump at the Monster Jam show on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium.
  7. Busch Gardens deals: Free Adventure Island pass with Fun Card; kids under 5 get in free


    Busch Gardens is kicking off 2017 with the return of two popular ticket deals: a free Adventure Island ticket with the 2017 Fun Card and free entry for preschoolers for the rest of the year.

    Busch Gardens announced the return of two popular ticket deals: You can get a free Adventure Island ticket with the 2017 Fun Card and free entry for kids 5 and younger with the Preschool Card. 

  8. You can watch Disney World's New Year's Eve fireworks online Saturday


    For those of us who would rather curl up in our jammies on New Year’s Eve than brave the crowds, Walt Disney World will live stream the Magic Kingdom fireworks …

  9. Disney's new arts festival at Epcot to showcase Broadway, food and visual artists


    A new festival is coming to Epcot next month called the International Festival of the Arts, one that combines visual, culinary and performing arts.

    The International Festival of the Arts at Epcot will feature culinary creations along with painters and singers. The festival is schedule through Feb. 20.
  10. Once alcohol-free, Disney's Magic Kingdom to expand beer, wine sales


    It was big news in 2012 when Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom broke a 41-year tradition to sell beer and wine in one restaurant. Now the most-visited theme park on the planet is expanding alcohol sales into four more sit-down restaurants starting next week.

    Alcohol sales at Disney are expanding, which is good for business, but has put off some who favor the nostalgia of a dry park. [Courtesy of Disney World]