One of the things we toadally love about SeaWorld Orlando is that there is always something to celebrate! Its sister park, Busch Gardens Tampa, also hosts a variety of fun events year-round. Whether you visit SeaWorld Orlando or Busch Gardens Tampa in future years or now, when some events are slightly modified, chances are there is a fun event hoppening at the parks! The SeaWorld Orlando events bring special entertainment, splashing good fun and seasonal food and drink to the aquatic theme park. The same goes for the safari-themed Busch Gardens Tampa. So, let's look ahead at the SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa events for 2021!
Most of the events are included in the cost of admission, although some activities (and food and beverage) cost extra. (The only exception is Howl-O-Scream, which is a separately ticked event at Busch Gardens Tampa.) Currently, the parks have limited capacity, so you must purchase date-specific tickets in advance. If you happen to have a Fun Card or annual pass, these special events are included with your pass. (Psst ... you can save money when you purchase discount SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa tickets through Undercover Tourist! Even better, if you purchase through your favorite frogs, park reservations are toadally optional, but not required. Ribbit!)
Be sure to hop over to our SeaWorld Orlando reopening post for all of the important details you'll need to know before safely visiting the SeaWorld Florida parks, at least while COVID-19 is still out there. Let's dive in!
The Full Lineup of SeaWorld Orlando Events in 2021
We are hoppy that there's confirmation of the return of some Frog Family-favorite events. Keep in mind that there may be modifications to these events compared to past years. That means the SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa events in 2021 may be a little different from what we've experienced in the past to allow for physical distancing. It’s frogciting to see SeaWorld continue these events, keeping the entertainment, experiences and food fresh and new. Hop further down the list to see the 2021 SeaWorld and Busch Gardens events that are not yet on the 2021 calendar (but we expect to return).
Three Kings Celebration — Jan. 6, 2021
This one-day event commemorated the arrival of the Three Wise Men in honor of the traditions of Latin cultures.
SeaWorld Inside Look — Weekends from Jan. 9 to 17, 2021
Meet the SeaWorld team and hear their personal stories. Guests could learn what it's like to care for the animals and save lives. Tad shot a super cool video of the behind-the-scenes Shark Encounter experience during this event. We were able to learn about the water filtration system, take a peek at the shark handling equipment and view the exhibit from above!
Sesame Street Kids' Weekend — Jan. 23 to 24, 2021
Bring the tadpoles to SeaWorld Orlando for this family-friendly celebration to enjoy fun activities, have photo opportunities with characters and so much more.
Elmo’s Birthday Celebration — Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, 2021
Elmo loves birthdays, especially his own! It’s a birthday party like no other, with a DJ dance party, a scavenger hunt, meet and greets and fun surprises. Elmo also has a very special story to tell for his birthday, so be sure to catch his float and listen nearby.
Ice Breaker — Launching in Spring 2021
One event we are hoppin' excited about is a new roller coaster opening in 2021. It's SeaWorld's first multi-directional launch coaster. It has a 93-foot tall spike with a 100-degree angle drop. You can discover this chilling coaster across from Wild Arctic.
Seven Seas Food Festival — Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Feb. 5 to May 9, 2021
During select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the spring, sample street food and delicacies from around the world, with exciting flavors, local and international craft beers, and live performances. Featured foods come from the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Asia and South America. Live music and art vendors make this a lively festival. Hop over for our post on the many reasons to visit SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival. You can enjoy the open-air musical experience, with live concerts every Saturday and Sunday.
Electric Ocean — May to September 2021
As the summer sun sets, the night comes to life with colorful lights. The ocean comes to life with bioluminescent lighting, dancing and musical entertainment, putting guests all aglow. Find out about the special shows, fireworks and other entertainment in our glowing guide to SeaWorld Orlando’s Electric Ocean.
Fourth of July — July 4, 2021
Join SeaWorld for a one-night-only special event celebrating America’s Independence Day. We celebrated the 4th of July at SeaWorld in 2020 and hope to do so again in 2021. Watch SeaWorld light up the sky with fireworks in Tad’s video from 2020 on our YouTube Channel.
Craft Beer Festival — August to September 2021
Get hopped up on hops with over 100 craft beers. Taste beers from breweries across Florida, as well as a few domestic craft favorites.
SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular — Weekends Mid-September to Oct. 31, 2021
At SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular, your tadpoles can wear costumes, boogie at special dance parties, enjoy a Halloween parade, meet characters and trick or treat for candy. It's our tadpoles' favorite SeaWorld Orlando event of the year!
SeaWorld Christmas Celebration — November to December 2021
Get in the holiday spirit with a warm-weather winter wonderland at SeaWorld Orlando’s Christmas Celebration. The park is merrily decorated with a sea of trees that light up to music on the water and over 3 million sparkling lights around the park.
Catch holiday entertainment at this SeaWorld Orlando event. Sesame Street friends sing and dance as they celebrate the sunny days of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Last year, the new nativity story show, It’s A Wonderful Night: A New Story to Tell, featured over 30 Christmas carols, along with clever surprises and laughs. For the holidays, our favorite sea lions go at it again in Sea Lion High: The Christmas Special. Plus there are opportunities to meet Santa, as well as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Clarice and Bumble!
How can we froget the food?! You can feast on many scrumptious holiday dishes and Christmas treats from food booths around the park. Sip flavored hot cocoa, Jingle Juice, adult beverages and a frozen candy cane or hot chocolate mug. Discover culinary delights such as lobster mac and cheese bowls, Christmas dinner stacks, cheesecake cones and so much more.
New Year's Eve — Dec. 31, 2021
Ring in the new year at SeaWorld Orlando’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. Festive music and entertainment fill the park while fireworks light up the sky to welcome in the new year.
The Full Lineup of Busch Gardens Tampa Events in 2021
From Mardi Gras to the holidays, Busch Gardens Tampa has an exciting year filled with festive and fun events planned out. Likewise, some events may be modified to adhere to health and safety measures, but we're glad they can hoppen safely! Here's a full list of this year's events, with some exact dates to be determined later.
Mardi Gras — Select Days from Jan. 16 to Feb. 16, 2021
Let the good times roll at Busch Gardens Tampa's Mardi Gras, which has expanded this year! Enjoy more weekends with live music, a mini parade and, of course, food and drinks. All of the family-friendly Mardi Gras festivities and food booths can be found over in the Bird Gardens area of the park, beginning at 12 p.m. until park close. While you can sip on a hurricane or chow down on jambalaya whenever your taste buds are calling, strolling performers dressed in colorful costumes parade through the Bird Gardens about every two hours. After the parade, a live band stays behind to perform for about 20 minutes, as well as a few performers who pose for socially distanced pictures and throw beads to guests in the Bead Garden. In between the joyful celebrations, catch the Porchdogs, a Cajun and Zydeco band, at the Kings Square Stage.
Sesame Street Kids' Weekends — Weekends from Jan. 30 to Feb. 15, 2021
Enjoy family-friendly fun as the Sesame Street pals come together to celebrate Elmo's birthday!
Food and Wine Festival — Weekends from Feb. 20 to April 25, 2021
Get your taste buds ready! Busch Gardens Tampa's annual Food and Wine Festival is returning this spring with a delicious menu of food and drinks. While you sip and munch on your sweet and savory samples, enjoy local musical talent throughout the open-air festival.
Sesame Street Kids' Weekends — Weekends from May 1-23, 2021
Join Elmo, Cookie Monster and the rest of the Sesame Street gang for some fun-filled weekends.
Busch Gardens Summer Nights — May 28 to Sept. 5, 2021
The fun doesn't stop when the sun goes down. Summer Nights features extended hours, seasonal food and a fireworks show every night throughout the entire summer season.
Bier Fest — Weekends in Fall 2021
Now, this is my kind of festival! Similar to SeaWorld Orlando's Craft Beer Festival, Bier Fest features seasonal brew offerings and beer-inspired recipes.
Howl-O-Scream — Fall 2021
If you prefer the thrills and tricks over the treats of the spooky season, you'll love Busch Gardens Tampa's Halloween event, Howl-O-Scream. The bravest of frogs face a number of specially themed haunted houses and scare zones scattered throughout the park on select nights. Last year, due to COVID-19, the separately ticketed, nighttime event only had open-air scare zones. Additionally, you can hop on any of the thrilling roller coasters at night, or catch the signature stage show, Fiends, filled with adult humor. For these reasons, Howl-O-Scream is not recommended for young tadpoles. Details for the 2021 event will come later in the year, but if you catch a glimpse at all of the frightful fun that Flora and I had in 2020, read up on our Howl-O-Scream guide.
Sesame Street Kids' Weekends — Fall 2021
While all of the scary stuff happens at night, tadpoles can celebrate Halloween with all of the Sesame Street friends on the weekend. Be sure to bring a candy bag, as trick-or-treating is available!
Christmas Town — Winter 2021
Christmas lights? Check. Festive food? Check. Lots of fun holiday entertainment? Check! Celebrate the holidays at Busch Gardens Tampa's Christmas Town event. The park is decorated with dazzling Christmas lights in every land, including an entire tunnel's worth of flashing lights. Special guests, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus, spread holiday cheer. Find hot chocolate, warm chocolate chip cookies and all of the seasonal flavors at Christmas Town Village. Tune into the special entertainment, ranging from carolers in the Three Kings Journey show to ice skaters starring in Christmas on Ice. Top off a jolly good night with a special fireworks show! Find out more details in our ho-ho-hoppin' Christmas Town guide.
We are so frogcited about the upcoming Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando events. Fun is hoppening all year long! Be sure to keep hopping back for specific dates, details and updates as these events approach.
Don't froget that all of this fun is included with general park admission, so buy our discounted SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa tickets for your frog squad now and hop on down to experience some events! Which event are you hopping to experience? Let us know in the comments section below.