What To Watch Out For in Orlando This Summer

Walt Disney World Tickets , Universal Orlando Resort Tickets , SeaWorld® Orlando Tickets , Busch Gardens® Tickets , Kennedy Space Center Tickets , Orlando , Expert View Column
People standing at the outdoor bar at The Hall on the Yard
By AttractionTickets.com’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
New attractions, seasonal events, entertainment, food and more!

Summer in Orlando is peak period for entertainment. All of the theme parks have extended hours, and several have extra programmes with live music, stage shows and more.

If you’re here this July and August, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the highlights:

 

Walt Disney World Resort’s EPCOT kicks off the summer’s entertainment extravaganza with its annual highlight of the eagerly-anticipated International Food & Wine Festival from July 14, which you can read all about in our ultimate guide.

(And, if you haven’t got your Disney tickets yet, be sure to check out our Walt Disney World offers)

 

Over at Universal Orlando Resort, we’re happy to see that all their live entertainment is now back in full swing after the pandemic, which means the likes of the Blues Brothers Show at Universal Studios and the Triwizard Spirit Rally at Islands of Adventure’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter are entertaining the crowds again.

One other live show worth pointing out, as it opened during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and has yet to be seen by most international visitors, is the new Bourne Stuntacular. As the name suggests, this is a truly spectacular big-stage performance, and well worth making time for at Universal Studios Florida.

 

The exterior building for the Bourne Stuntacular with posters of Jason Bourne

 

When it comes to SeaWorld, they are arguably the big summer show-stoppers as their Electric Ocean evening programme is now in full swing and they have just announced a series of big-name concert performers who will be rocking the Nautilus Theatre every weekend from now until August 7.

The various bands will take the stage at 4 and 7pm each Saturday and Sunday, and the full concert line-up is as follows:

  • July 9 – Little River Band
  • July 10 – Parmalee
  • July 16 – Fuel
  • July 17 – Chase Matthew
  • July 23 – Queensrÿche
  • July 24 – Grupo Niche
  • July 30 – Luis Enrique
  • July 31 – Blue Öyster Cult
  • Aug 6 – P.O.D.
  • Aug 7 – Jefferson Starship

The concert series is in addition to all the rest of the glittering Electric Ocean entertainment, which includes the Club Sea Glow party and the eye-popping Ignite 360 fireworks finale, and is also free with regular park admission. For serious concert fans, you can also pay a little extra for reserved seating.

As a bonus, thrill-ride fans can also ride the new Ice Breaker coaster in the dark this summer, which adds extra adrenaline to this fabulous attraction, which opened in February 2022.

 

Colourful performers at Electric Ocean holding fish puppets in front of kids

 

Busch Gardens in Tampa also goes all out for the evening-fun-with-fireworks theme thanks to their nightly Summer Celebration, which lasts until August 7. Here you’ll find the all-new Gwazi Beats show, with drums, dancers and stilt-walkers, the fan-favourite Cirque Electric show in the Stanleyville Theatre, and the pyrotechnic-filled Fireworks Spectacular each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

PS: At both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, beer drinkers will be delighted to know the parks’ old tradition of free beer is back! That’s right, guests aged 21 and older can treat themselves to two 7oz samples of local and national craft ales each day. At SeaWorld, head for Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio, while at Busch Gardens, Pantopia Drinks & Snacks provides the complimentary beer.

 

Arguably the latest and greatest attraction, though, belongs to the Kennedy Space Center with its all-new Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, which showcases the present and future of space travel in a high-tech setting of exhibits, interactive elements and simulated space journeys.

 

Away from the theme parks, there is also plenty going on to keep visitors busy and excited this summer, starting in downtown Orlando, where Lake Eola is the place to be.

This iconic lake, with its art sculptures, children’s playground, outdoor dining and pleasant walking trails, is once again home to its trademark Swan Paddle Boats. These fun ways to explore the lake were closed earlier this year due to major renovations to both the dock and the boats themselves, but are now back in action again and offering 30-minute rides at $15/boat.

 

A swan boat being peddled on Lake Eola in front of a large fountain

 

Nearby, the fabulous Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts now features the world-class new Steinmetz Hall, a high-tech and acoustically perfect venue for live music and other performances. It has already staged concerts by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Jennifer Hudson, and upcoming performances include the Orlando Big Band’s Sizzling Summer Swing and the high-flying musical comedy Catch Me If You Can.

 

Foodies should make a beeline for another recent downtown highlight, The Hall on the Yard, an imaginative food market that opened late in 2021 and features nine different culinary offerings, three premium cocktail bars and various event spaces, all in one eclectic building in the Ivanhoe Village area. With live music at the weekend, this is definitely a happening venue.

On the subject of food, the newest thing on International Drive this summer is Brazilian pizza. Seriously. If you never knew Brazil had its own variation on pizza perfection, head for the new Camelo Pizzaria in the Orlando Crossings plaza just past the Kirkman Road junction. Their terrific variety of tastes and toppings are guaranteed to make you a fan, and they also serve that other Brazilian speciality the caipirinha cocktail!

 

A pizza about to be put into a pizza oven

 

In more mainstream territory, you might want to make a beeline for the new Sloppy Joe’s bar and restaurant at ICON Park. This Key West original is now an Orlando original with its signature cocktails (including their formidable 32oz Fish Bowl!), classic menu and dreamy Key Lime Pie.   

 

Looking for something different? Head for the Florida Kids & Family Expo on August 20-21 at the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive.

With 200-plus exhibitors in 10 Fun Zones, it features a dazzling array of games, live entertainment, new products, samples and child-sized fun, including a petting zoo, pony rides, live demonstrations, Star Wars character meet-and-greets, face painting and much more.

 

As ever, though, Orlando is simply THE live entertainment destination for family fun of just about every kind. You just need to be here!

What are you most looking forward to in Orlando this year? Come and tell us all about it on the friendly ATD forums, our Community Facebook page, on Twitter or Instagram.

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Walt Disney World Tickets , Universal Orlando Resort Tickets , SeaWorld® Orlando Tickets , Busch Gardens® Tickets , Kennedy Space Center Tickets , Orlando , Expert View Column