Orlando: Alternative Springtime Happenings

By: Maxine Sheppard

February 20, 2013

Heading to Orlando for the half-term or upcoming Easter holidays? If you’re looking for at least one activity away from Mickey & co. then check out our round-up of alternative happenings over the next few weeks and months…


Downtown Food & Wine Fest


Taking place in Downtown Orlando around Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the Downtown Food & Wine Fest features more than 14 wine stations and 40 restaurants, including Dexter’s – previously reviewed in our feature on the best bars in Orlando. Tickets – which cost $15 if purchased at the gate or $10 online in advance – include a full two days of live music and entertainment, plus entrance to the Liquid Lounge area for cocktails and DJs.

Orlando Downtown Food & Wine Fest – 23 & 24th February 2013, 12pm – 7pm.  

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

One of the most anticipated events in the Orlando calendar, the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. As usual, the festival features a stunning array of the botanical topiaries for which it’s become known, including all your favourite Disney and Disney”¢Pixar characters from the likes of Monster’s Inc and Cars. And at the weekends, the Flower Power stage at the American Gardens Theatre comes alive with performances from some big names from the 60s and 70s, including Herman’s Hermits and the Village People.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival runs from 6 March – 19 May 2013. 

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination

Originally developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, this 10,000 square-foot exhibit is now on display at the Orlando Science Center. Based around the themes of ‘Getting Around’ and ‘Robots and People’, it combines props and costumes from all six Star Wars films, including Luke Skywalker’s original landspeeder from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and a full-size replica of the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon.

The Star Wars exhibition is on now for a limited time. Visit the OSC website for full ticketing details. 

Wicked the Musical

Wicked, winner of 35 major awards and the biggest blockbuster on Broadway, opens on 20 February at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in the heart of Orlando. The show, set before the time of Dorothy and Toto, tells the untold story of how two girls meet in the land of Oz and go on to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

Wicked runs from 20 February – 10 March 2013: tickets are available now.  

Virgin Atlantic operates flights to Orlando from London Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow.

Header photo © jared422_80


Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.

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