This year, both SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa brought 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 can also find many of Orlando's 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 2016, but we'll add them as soon as they are!
Real Music Concert Series (Busch Gardens Tampa)
Tampa's longest-running concert series usually continues Mondays through Fridays, January through March. The concerts span the genres from swing and blues to disco and rock 'n' roll. Performers of 2015 included Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone, The Diamonds, Shirley Jones and The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Terry Myers Salute to Benny Goodman. The Real Music Concert Series is included with regular admission to Busch Gardens.
Real Music Concert Lineup 2016 has not yet been announced.
Wild Days (SeaWorld)
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. In 2016, Wild Days takes place over three weekends, Jan. 16-17, Jan. 23-24 and Jan. 30-31. Wild Days is included with regular admission to SeaWorld.
This annual event pairs rock and country music with barbecue and and specialty craft brews from domestic and international breweries. 2016 Bands, Brew & BBQ will be held Saturdays and Sundays February 13 through March 6. 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 2016 is not yet available.
Praise Wave (SeaWorld)
Debuting in 2015 was Praise Wave, a Christian music concert series that takes place on select Saturdays in February or March. Reserved seating is available for an additional charge. 2016 concerts take place on Saturdays starting March 12 through 16.
Praise Wave 2016 Lineup has not yet been announced.
Busch Gardens debuted a Food & Wine Festival for 2015 that offered 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. There was even a 20-foot-tall Spirit of Spring that showcased 12 different types of vines and blossoms! The festival also offered 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 in 2015 took 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 2016 Lineup has not yet been announced.
The April Food & Wine Festival Concert Lineup is not yet available.
Wild Days with Jack Hanna (Busch Gardens)
"Jungle Jack" Hanna made a special appearance at Busch Gardens Tampa on April 18 and 19 in 2015. Dates for 2016 have not yet been announced. The animal expert signs autographs, and shares travel tales and animal facts during shows. There are also meet-and-greets with "Jungle Jack" throughout the two days. 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. The 2016 event will take place on April 16 & 23 and May 7 & 14. 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 (SeaWorld Orlando)
Summer Nights 2016 is held at SeaWorld Orlando June 11 through August 14. The park is open late and features special performances, such as "Shamu's Celebration: Light Up The Night." SeaWorld also features "Celebrating America" nighttime concerts every Saturday and Sunday with different artists and genres, all-American food and happy hours. Summer Nights at SeaWorld Orlando is included with regular theme park admission.
Summer Nights is a nighttime spectacular held at Busch Gardens Tampa. In 2015, the event was held 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 2016 is a family-friendly Halloween event that takes place each weekend in October (Oct. 1-30). 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 2015 started Sept. 25 and ran through Oct. 31. The event, held on select nights and times 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 2015 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. 21 through Dec. 31. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is included with regular theme park admission.
Run for Wildlife 5K (Busch Gardens)
This 5K is held by SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and takes place on Saturday, Nov. 21. It gives guests a chance to learn about the fund and its mission, and also help support the cause of animal conservation! Runners will race through the park and see animals and characters throughout the course. With your registration, you'll also receive post-race admission to Busch Gardens Tampa for race day only. You can register here.
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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