Party animals or parties WITH animals? As your friendly neighborhood amphibians, we prefer the latter. We're all for events that let us connect with our roots—as animals and as folks that enjoy food and music! The Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando events for 2018 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 annual events listed on our Crowd Calendar, a great tool for planning when to visit. Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando events for 2018 are listed in the order that they are held throughout the year. Not all dates and event details have been announced for 2018, but we'll add them as soon as they are!
Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando Events in 2018
Praise Wave (SeaWorld) — Jan. 20 - Feb. 10, Saturdays
Praise Wave is a Christian music concert series that now takes place on Saturdays in January. It debuted in 2015. The concerts are included with admission, but reserved seating is available for an additional charge.
Praise Wave Concert Lineup 2018:
- Jan. 20: Steven Curtis Chapman
- Jan. 27: Lecrae
- Feb. 3: TBA
- Feb. 10: MercyMe
Real Music Concert Series (Busch Gardens Tampa) — Jan. 8 - March 3, Monday - Saturday
Tampa's longest-running concert series was extended for 2017. The concerts span the genres from swing and blues to disco and rock 'n' roll. Concerts are held at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
The Real Music Concert Series is included with regular admission to Busch Gardens. You can pick up tickets for the 11:30 a.m. performance in the Moroccan Village Plaza (front gate) and for all concerts, tickets are available at the tent outside of the Stanleyville Theater.
Real Music Concert Lineup 2018:
- Jan. 8-13: Cirque Vertigo Featuring The Wallenda Duo
- Jan. 15-20: Michael Cavanaugh
- Jan. 22-27: The Diamonds
- Jan. 29-Feb. 3: Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone
- Feb. 5-10: Pam Tillis
- Feb. 12-17: ARRIVAL from Sweden: The Music of Abba
- Feb. 19-24: Leonard, Coleman & Blunt: Former Lead Vocalist of The Temptations, Platters & Drifters
- Feb. 26-March 3: Rhythm in the Night
Wild Days (SeaWorld) — Dates TBA
Wild Days took place throughout the year for 2017. During previous years, Wild Days gave guests the chance to connect to the wild world through interactive shows, meeting animal rescue leaders and seeing amazing animals. Wild Days is included with regular admission to SeaWorld.
February – March
Seven Sea Food Festival (SeaWorld) — Feb. 17 - April 15, Weekends
This event combines favorites from previous annual events, Viva La Musica and Bands, Brew & BBQ; you can expect live music with plenty of food and specialty craft brews from domestic and international breweries.
Seven Seas Food Festival Lineup 2018 has not yet been announced.
March - May
Food & Wine Festival (Busch Gardens) — March 3 - April 29, Weekends
Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival offers a variety of food, wine and entertainment on Saturdays and Sundays, March through April. Guests can mingle among oversized topiaries, and enjoy animal encounters and festival games along with concerts each event night at Gwazi Field.
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. Past concerts included Kenny Rogers, Jordin Sparks, MercyMe, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Goo Goo Dolls and more. The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival is included with regular admission.
Food & Wine Festival Concert Lineup 2018 has not yet been announced.
Sesame Street Safari of Fun Kids' Weekends (Busch Gardens) — May 5-20, Weekends
This celebration for kids includes activities, music, special Sesame guests and more.
Jack Hanna Weekend (Busch Gardens) — May 26-27
"Jungle Jack" Hanna makes a special appearance at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The animal expert signs autographs, shares travel tales and provides 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.
June – August
Electric Ocean (SeaWorld Orlando)— May 26 - Sept. 2, select nights
In the past this event was called Summer Nights. In 2016, it was billed as Summer of Mako to celebrate Orlando's fastest, longest and tallest roller coaster at SeaWorld. SeaWorld announced that the 2017 event would be called Electric Ocean and now 2018 is following the same. This names ties into the expected summer debut of Electric Ocean—a new end-of-day spectacle event.
During last year's Summer of Mako, the park was open late and featured special attractions, such as the Shark Touch Pool where guests had the chance to interact with brownbanded bamboo sharks, whitespotted bamboo sharks and epaulette sharks. Other events included various animal experiences, interactive games and a block party.
The summer event previously featured the usual "Shamu's Celebration: Light Up the Night." The 4th of July Weekend Concerts also took place during the event with fireworks. Summer of Mako at SeaWorld Orlando was included with regular theme park admission.
Guy Harvey Weekend (Busch Gardens) — June 2 - 3
Have a conversation with world-renowned marine artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey!
Summer Nights (Busch Gardens)—June 15 - Aug. 5
Summer Nights is a nighttime spectacular held at Busch Gardens Tampa. The park is open late and features live entertainment and summer-favorite food items. New additions this year will feature ¡Fiesta Festa! - a Latin-inspired entertainment and food experience, Luau- Hawaiian-inspired food and entertainment as well as Vibin' Village, which focuses on African-inspired dining and entertainment. Summer Nights at Busch Gardens Tampa is included with regular theme park admission.
Bier Fest (Busch Gardens)—Aug. 25 - Sept. 16
Celebrate and join in on Oktoberfest traditions at this all-new event at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The event is included with park admission, and features a variety of beers from local breweries and more. There will also be traditional German cuisine to munch on and plenty of Bavarian celebrations!
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular — Sept. 29 - Oct. 28
Halloween Spooktacular is a family-friendly Halloween event at SeaWorld Orlando. 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.
Leap over to our tips for Halloween Spooktacular! 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)—Select nights, Sept. 21 - Oct. 28
Howl-O-Scream runs each year through the months of September and October at Busch Gardens Tampa. 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.
November - December
SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration—Select nights, Nov. 24 - Dec. 31
SeaWorld hosts an over-the-top, spectacular Christmas Celebration each winter. Highlights of SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration includes 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 Elmo's Christmas Wish and Winter Wonderland On Ice. You can also meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends! Get a head start on your planning by hopping over to our guide!
At the end of each night, guests can watch the special fireworks show, Holiday Reflections: Fireworks and Fountains Finale. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration is included with regular theme park admission.
Christmas Town (Busch Gardens)—Nov. 17 - Dec. 31, select dates
See Busch Gardens transformed into a charming, holiday wonderland. Guests experience live entertainment, visits with Santa, shopping and more. Millions of lights 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 takes place during November and December.
New Year's Eve at SeaWorld
Cap off a spectacular year and ring in the new year 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.
We wanted to provide you this overview of the Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando Events in 2018 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 on the When to Visit Orlando page inside our Orlando Planning Guide.