Orlando, the City Beautiful and the theme park capital of the world. This Central Florida city invites around seventy-million guests from across the globe to visit its world-class attractions every year. However there is more to do outside of the theme parks, there are constantly events and attractions open during the off-peak seasons.
Here are the best things to do in Orlando this September 2018:
The World’s Tallest StarFlyer
Located on International Drive, the world’s tallest Starflyer opened in June 2018 and takes its guests on a spinning swing 400 feet in the air. The $10 (if bought in advance) experience will help you face your fears and see a new height over Orlando.
Latest New Attractions
Recent peak seasons have seen the addition of many new elements, rides, and lands in the Central Florida theme parks. With Disney adding Pandora: The World of Avatar, Toy Story Land and the excitement of the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019, and Universal adding Volcano Bay, new hotels and Fast & Furious: Supercharged, there is so much to do and come back to see in Orlando every year!
Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
A favorite among many locals and food fanatics, Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival brings small plates from all across the globe to booths located around World Showcase Lagoon. Whilst it can be pricey, the atmosphere plus good food plus Disney always makes for a good day in Florida! Check out the menus for this year’s booths right here.
Rock the Universe
Universal Orlando’s annual Christian music festival returns for its twentieth year this year on September 7th and 8th. Featuring a line up of Casting Crowns, Jesus Culture, TobyMac and for King & Country, this separately ticketed event paired with Universal’s attractions makes for a moving and powerful weekend.
Halloween Horror Nights
Season 26 of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando is here! Featuring original houses, such as Stranger Things, and returning improved houses, such as “The Horrors of Blumhouse” have driven the popularity through the roof, allowing Universal to add two more dates to the event that runs from September 14th to November 3rd this year. Double check this guide, courtesy of Orlando Informer, as they announce more details revealing each house and scare zone for this year’s event.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
On the opposite end of the spectrum, for those who don’t want to face their fears, Disney put on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party every year from August to November allowing those both young and old at heart to trick or treat all night, as well as enjoy a special parade alongside the family fun attractions. Check out the best days to go here, it’s a popular event among locals and visitors so be sure to plan ahead!
Central Florida Film Festival
From September 7th to September 9th, Epic Theatres in Mount Dora, just outside of Orlando, will be hosting the 12th annual Central Florida Film Festival, “a film festival BY filmmakers FOR filmmakers”.
Magical Dining Month
Sponsored by American Express, Orlando’s Magical Dining Month invites all its visitors to enjoy prix fixe three-course dinner meals at select Orlando restaurants for the price of $35. Take advantage of this offer because it is only valid for September!
Located just off of International Drive, TopGolf invites you to its various event nights and specially priced nights, as well as good food and good company. Stop by for College Night Specials on Wednesday nights and trivia nights on Mondays, as well as a fun round of golf.
The Edison at Disney Springs
One of Disney Springs’ newest offerings is one of the hot ticket places to be on a weekend currently in Orlando. Described as an “industrial Gothic” themed restaurant and entertainment venue, The Edison provides handcrafted cocktails, divine dining, and entertainment, before it turns into an adults-only cabaret-esque club. A definite hotspot for the Disney Springs night out.
Orlando City Soccer Game
Take a trip to Downtown Orlando and support the local hometown soccer team, the Lions. Matches happen frequently so be sure to check the standings and match times before you go.
Bar 17 Bistro at Aventura Hotel
One of the main attractions of Universal Orlando Resort’s newest hotel, Aventura, is its rooftop bar. Featuring 360-degree views of Downtown Orlando, Universal’s theme parks and fireworks from other theme parks in the distance, this is the new perfect place to relax and take in views of these world-class attractions.
There’s plenty of helicopter tours surrounding the tourist area that let you get a unique perspective of the theme parks at a cost of $20-$30. Choose to go North over Universal and Downtown Orlando, or South over the 30,000 acres of Walt Disney World. Be sure to get a Groupon to save money on this unique experience.
If you have ever driven up and down International Drive and seen a strange upside down house, that’s WonderWorks! Let your imagination run wild at over one hundred different exhibits that test your mind and interactive skills across all the different floors of the upside down house. As one of six WonderWorks buildings across the country, take your family out for the day to this unique house on International Drive.
If TopGolf and driving ranges aren’t your thing, you don’t have to drive far around the main tourist area to find a crazy mini golf course. With many themed to volcanos, pirate ship adventures and even some specific to Disney and Universal, there is a course for every member of the family to enjoy. US-192 is the hotspot for this wide variety of courses so plan a journey down that way for the day.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
If you have a couple of hours to spare, unwind and relax at Harry P. Leu Gardens located north of Orlando. Visit the third largest camellia collection in the United States, as well as the Leu House Museum for a complimentary tour about how the gardens came to be the attraction that they are now. Stop by the Enchanted Fairy Doors event running through September 23rd!
Last, but certainly not least, is Discovery Cove. This unique day experience invites you to swim with dolphins and manta rays, feed tropical birds and marmosets, and relax and unwind at a unique day resort in the heart of the theme parks. This all-inclusive resort includes buffet-style meals throughout the day, personalized packages based on your preference as well as fourteen-day valid admission to SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark. Discovery Cove has been voted best theme parks in Orlando by TripAdvisor multiple times in recent years.
As the humidity begins to decrease, and kids start to head back to school, Orlando begins its prime off-peak season this September. Enjoy low crowds, warm weather and world-class attractions at your own pace this Fall!