Orlando Spring Festival Guide for 2011

In addition to world-class theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, the Orlando area offers a variety of festivals, events and fairs in 2011 that are sure to please visitors and residents alike. On most weekends throughout 2011, but especially during spring, you’ll discover lively festivals and events going on somewhere in Orlando.

Many of Orlando’s most popular spring festivals and events are hosted by area theme parks and the 2010 lineup includes Mardi Gras at Universal Studios, the largest Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans, runs Saturdays and select nights between February 12 and April 23, 2011; and the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, which features world-class flower and horticultural displays, from March 2 through May 15, 2011.

In most cases, these special events at Disney World and Universal Orlando during 2011 are included in the cost of the base ticket, providing an added benefit to your theme park excursion. And spring is a great time to visit Orlando since the weather is perfect and you can get a jump on the summer crowds.

Outside of the theme parks, major spring festivals and events in the Orlando area include the Arnold Palmer Invitational (formerly known as the Bay Hill Invitational), which draws top professional golfers on the PGA Tour, from March 21-27, 2011; the 11-day Central Florida Fair, which features carnival rides, live music, regional arts and crafts, food, livestock shows and amazing interactive exhibits from February 24 – March 6, 2011; and the Central Florida Home & Garden Show, the region’s largest consumer home and garden showcase, from April 15-17, 2011.

Art and culture lovers will enjoy such Orlando festivals as the 20th-annual Florida Film Festival, April 8-17, 2011; Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, one of the country’s most prestigious outdoor art festivals, from March 18-20, 2011; and Spring Fiesta in the Park, which displays the talents of more than 200 artists and craftspeople from all over the country, in early April 2010.

Good sources for more information on upcoming Orlando festivals and events include the “Orlando Seasonal Events” section of the Orlando, Florida Guide, as well as the Friday entertainment sections of the Orlando Sentinel and the Orlando Weekly, a weekly arts and entertainment publication. In addition, check out Orlando’s online calendar at www.orlandoinfo.com, the official website of the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Seeking spacious and affordable accommodations during your next Orlando vacation getaway? Look no farther than Westgate Resorts, which offers comfortable suites, first-class amenities and convenient access to Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando theme parks, as well as other Orlando area attractions. Choose from Westgate Resorts properties such as Westgate Blue Tree Resort, Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, Westgate Leisure Resort, Westgate Palace, Westgate Towers, Westgate Town Center and Westgate Vacation Villas. For more information about Westgate Resort properties, visit www.westgatedestinations.com

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