We're rounding out our look at the special events coming to the theme parks this year. Today, we're looking at the SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay special events for 2015. This year, both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa are bringing some all-new events to their parks that offer opportunities to get up close and personal with their animals and animal care experts. They'll also be entertaining you with new concerts and festivals for the whole family. You'll find this year's SeaWorld and Busch Gardens special events listed on our Crowd Calendar, a great tool for planning when to visit. You can find more resource to help you plan your trip in our Orlando Planning Guide.
SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's special events are listed in the order that they are held throughout the year. Not all dates and event details have been announced for 2015, but we'll add them as soon as they are!
Real Music Concert Series (Busch Gardens Tampa)
Tampa's longest-running concert series continues Mondays through Fridays through March 6. The concerts span the genres from swing and blues to disco and rock 'n' roll. This year's performers include Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone, The Diamonds, Shirley Jones and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Terry Myers Salute to Benny Goodman. Concerts are held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Stanleyville Theater. The Real Music Concert Series is included with regular admission to Busch Gardens.
Real Music Concert Lineup
January 5-9 Cornell Gunter's Coasters
January 12-16 The Grass Roots
January 19-23 Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
January 26-30 The Diamonds
February 2-6 Fernando Varela
February 9-13 The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Terry Myers Salute to Benny Goodman
February 16-20 Ricky Nelson Remembered Featuring Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
February 23-27 Shirley Jones
March 2-6 Exile & Juice Newton
Wild Days (SeaWorld)
Debuting this year, Wild Days is the chance for guests to connect to the wild world through interactive shows, by meeting animal rescue leaders and by seeing amazing animals. The shows are held at Nautilus Theater, and SeaWorld's trainers will be in locations throughout the park with some of their animal friends to share what goes into the training, feeding and care of the animals. After the presentation, join the DJ'd Block Party with more animal encounters and character appearances. In 2015, Wild Days takes place over three weekends, Jan. 24-25, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 and Feb. 7-8. Wild Days is included with regular admission to SeaWorld.
Wild Days Highlights
Jan. 24-25 Penguin Lovers' weekend featuring SeaWorld's Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina
Jan. 31-Feb. 1 Generation Nature LIVE Weekend featuring SeaWorld Kids youth ambassador Bindi Irwin
Feb. 7-8 Jack Hanna Weekend
Praise Wave (SeaWorld)
Debuting in 2015 is Praise Wave, a Christian music concert series that takes place on select Saturdays in February. Reserved seating is available for an additional charge. This year's concerts take place Feb. 14, 21 and 28.
Praise Wave 2015 Lineup
Feb. 14 - Lecrae and Colton Dixon
Feb. 21 - Steven Curtis Chapman
Feb. 28 - TBD
This annual event pairs rock and country music with barbecue and and specialty craft brews from domestic and international breweries. This year's Bands, Brew & BBQ is held Saturdays and Sundays March 7 through March 29. Bands, Brew & BBQ is included with regular admission to SeaWorld. Proceeds from this year's event benefit USO, and there are special discounts for active and retired military.
2015 Bands, Brew & BBQ Lineup is not yet available.
Busch Gardens is debuting a Food & Wine Festival for 2015 that will offer a variety of food, wine and entertainment. Guests can mingle among oversized topiaries, and enjoy animal encounters and festival games along with concerts each event night at Gwazi Field. Make sure to check out the 20-foot-tall Spirit of Spring that showcases 12 different types of vines and blossoms! There will also be a variety of VIP packages & samplers for guests to enjoy, such as the Wine & Brew Sampler-- choose any 10 samples of beer and wine throughout the festival. The festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, starting March 7 through April 26. The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival will be included with regular admission.
Food & Wine Festival Concert Lineup
March 7- Gavin DeGraw
March 8- Fifth Harmony
March 14- Kool & The Gang
March 15- Boys Like Girls
March 21- Kenny Rogers
March 22- Pentatonix
March 28- Stephen Curtis Chapman
March 29- El Gran Combo
The April Food & Wine Festival Concert Lineup is not yet available.
Wild Days with Jack Hanna (Busch Gardens)
"Jungle Jack" Hanna will be making a special appearance at Busch Gardens Tampa on April 18 and 19. The animal expert will sign autographs, and share travel tales and animal facts during shows. There will also be meet-and-greets with "Jungle Jack" throughout the two days. Shows are scheduled for 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The shows are included with regular admission to Busch Gardens Tampa.
Held each spring at SeaWorld, Viva La Musica celebrates the sights and sounds of Latin culture with internationally renowned Latin artists. This year's event takes place Saturdays on April 25 through May 16. Guests can sample an assortment of spicy, flavorful Caribbean and Latin food from SeaWorld's own Executive Chef Héctor Colόn, and shop for gifts and handmade crafts at the marketplace. Be sure to stop by and say "hi!" to Dolly Dolphin and other friends at this family-friendly festival that is included with regular admission to SeaWorld Orlando.
Summer Nights is a nighttime spectacular held at Busch Gardens Tampa from June 27 through August 16. The park is open late and features live entertainment and summer-favorite food items. Some of the features last year included acrobats, fireworks, and energized DJs. Summer Nights at Busch Gardens Tampa is included with regular theme park admission.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is a family-friendly Halloween event that takes place each weekend in October. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes and trick or treat down the trail alongside Bayside Stadium. They may meet a few sea creatures along with some animal friends. There are games, hands-on crafts and songs inside Penelope’s Party Zone with interactive games and activities. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is included with regular theme park admission.
Howl-O-Scream (Busch Gardens)
Howl-O-Scream starts Sept. 25 and runs through Oct. 31. The event, held on select nights, features Halloween-themed attractions, such as haunted houses, food & treats and live, interactive entertainment. There are also scare zones located throughout the park with roaming creatures waiting to scare guests! It is a separately ticketed event.
SeaWorld hosts an over-the-top, spectacular Christmas Celebration each winter. Highlights of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration include the Sea of Trees, which dance on the water, THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience where guests can take a journey to the North Pole, and special holiday versions of shows such as Shamu Christmas – Miracles, Elmo's Christmas Wish and Winter Wonderland On Ice. At the end of each night, guests can watch the special fireworks show, Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale. This year's event will take place on select nights Nov. 22 through Dec. 31. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is included with regular theme park admission.
Christmas Town (Busch Gardens)
See Busch Gardens transformed into a charming, holiday wonderland. Guests will experience live entertainment, visits with Santa, shopping and more. Millions of lights will dazzle the park with Christmas spirit. Guests can enjoy holiday-themed food options, such as turkey legs, Santa cookies, peppermint hot chocolate and more. Christmas Town 2015 starts on Nov. 27 through Dec. 31.
New Year's Eve at SeaWorld
Cap off a spectacular 2015 and ring in 2016 during this musical celebration and fireworks show in the park.
New Year's Eve at Busch Gardens
Enjoy live music and fireworks with a countdown to the New Year.
Related: Disney World Special Events for 2015
We wanted to provide you this overview of the SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Special Events for 2015, because the parties, festivals and events are some of the best reasons to visit! You will find more resources and tips for planning your trip inside our Orlando Planning Guide.
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