Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Summer is over but Fall Fun has just started

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, marking the end of summer vacations. But fall in Orlando is one of the best times to visit, especially if you like Halloween frights and delicious foods. Plus the warm weather isn't going anywhere in Florida just yet, so there's still a few months of sunshine and pool time to be had. Parks tend to be less crowded as well, making fall a particularly good time for those without kids to enjoy Orlando. Here is a list of some of the best autumn has to offer:

Magical Dining Month
Sept. 1 – 30
Some of the best restaurants in Orlando offer special menus at special prices -- three-course, prix fixe dinner menus are just $30 and some places offer special lunch tastings for even less. One dollar from each meal will be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, so you can sample some of the finest dining and do something good for kids in need.
OrlandoMagicalDining.com 407-363-5872 

Fashion Week at The Mall at Millenia
Sept. 8 – 14
Fashionista alert! Get a designer sneak peek at fall 2012's hottest trends, including couture fresh off the international runways. This is a week-long event that includes loads of in-store specials, trunk sales and plenty of champagne to go around, all at the ultra-hip and high end Mall at Millenia.
Mallatmillenia.com 407-363-3555

Orlando’s Faith and Fun Weekend
Sept. 9
If you 're a fan of Christian rock, this is the time of year for you to hit both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Both theme parks will feature festivals starring some of the biggest names in Christian music, with advance tickets for either park costing just under $50 (same day sales are still under $60). Group rates and two-night packages are also available; check out websites or call for more information.
disneyworld.com 407-824-4321; rocktheuniverse.com 407-363-8000

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Sept. 13 – Nov. 1, Select Nights
This is the family-friendly Halloween extravaganza the Mouse throws every fall. Guests can dress in costume and enjoy special Disney trick-or-treating at the Magic Kingdom, plus a parade and fireworks show that only happen during this event. Admission is separate from your regular Disney admission, and the closer you get to Halloween itself, the faster tickets will sell out. Book your not-so-scaey night now. This year, tickets range from $59.95-$62.95 for adults and $53.95-$57.95 for children (ages 3-9). Discounted tickets are available online.
disneyworld.com 407-824-4321

Global Peace Film Festival
Sept. 20 – 25
This festival is all about film as a means of art and a means of communication, especially the power to promote peace and understanding. The festival coincides with the UN’s International Day of Peace and features films that promote world peace via anti-war philosophies, ideology and activism. Movies, special programs, panels, guests, and parties are held throughout the week; admission varies by event.
peacefilmfest.org 407-224-6625

Sept. 23 – Oct. 29, Select Nights
Head to Tampa for serious scares. Howl-O-Scream is the Gulf Coast's highly-anticipated annual terrorfest, including some of the finest haunted houses in the world, amazing shows, and Busch Gardens coasters ready for riding well into the night. Regular park admission does not include Howl-O-Scream; event tix are $77.99 for 2011, with some special purchase discounts available.
howloscream.com 888-800-5447

Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights
Sept. 23 – Oct. 31, Select Nights
Orlando's finest fright fest celebrates 21 "years of fear" and this year promises terror in terrific doses. We'll have a full post with all the details later this week, including theme, plots for all the haunted houses and scare zones, and this year's shows. Admission is separate from regular Universal admission, and the express passes are well worth the additional cost -- buy them if you want to be sure to see everything. If you have a large enough group, consider an RIP Private tour experience. Halloween Horror Nights regular admission is $81.99; be on the lookout for local discounts and specials.
halloweenhorrornights.com 407-363-8000

Fiesta del Coquí
Sept. 24 – 25
Celebrate Hispanic culture in Central Florida at this year's “Fiesta del Coquí.” Enjoy live music, crafts and activities, demonstrations, regional cuisines, and more. The event takes place at the Central Florida Zoo and it's all included with your regular admission price, $12.95 for adults and $8.95 for children (ages 3-12).
centralfloridazoo.org 407-323-4450


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