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Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Asian Lantern Festival: Into The Wild

Join us for this spectacular event
November 17, 2023 – January 14, 2024!

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens will transform at night into the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild!, presented by Publix.

Experience the Zoo like you’ve never seen it before! See dozens of all-new, hand-constructed lantern displays illuminated by thousands of LED lights around the Zoo on a 3/4 mile path. Celebrate the art, beauty and wonder of traditional Asian lantern festivals. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Guests of all ages can enjoy this unique event. 

Tickets must be purchased online in advance to ensure entry as many nights will sell out. Walk-ins cannot be accommodated when tickets have sold out. Limited tickets are available per night. Tickets must be purchased for specific entry times: 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., or 8:00 p.m.

Presented in partnership with:

Tianya Arts & Culture logo


Select nights November 17, 2023 through January 14, 2024, 6-10 p.m.

Celebrate with a visit from Santa on December 20 & 22!

Join our New Year’s Eve family-friendly countdown at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Click the calendar for our Asian Lantern Festival schedule.


Learn more and get your questions answered by reading our FAQ section below!

Only tickets purchased through the official Zoo website are guaranteed.
Tickets resold or purchased from any other source may not be authentic.


Check out these local hotels that are offering special discounts to guests with tickets to this year’s event:

For tickets, hotel & dining experience packages from Historic Downtown Sanford:


Click for answers

What is the Asian Lantern Festival?

The Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild is the only event in Central Florida celebrating the culture, art, and beauty of traditional lantern festivals celebrated throughout Asia for centuries. This inaugural event was created in partnership with Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc., an international event design and manufacturing company headquartered in Zigong, Sichuan, China.

The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens has been transformed into a dazzling evening experience featuring more than 30 larger-than-life displays of illuminated sculptures depicting animals, plants, and traditional Chinese elements. In addition to the hand-made LED lit lanterns, festival attendees will get to enjoy local food and beverage options, live music, and authentic artisan crafts.

Is this event a walking or driving experience?

The festival is a walking journey on a 3/4 mile path around the Zoo. Manual wheelchairs are available for rent on a first come, first served basis. The festival is being held entirely outdoors at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens located at 3755 W. Seminole, Blvd, Sanford FL 32771. Get Directions!

Do I need to buy a Zoo admission ticket?

No. Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild is a separate event from the Zoo, and occurs at night outside of normal Zoo operating hours. Only a ticket to Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild is required. Purchase tickets online.

Are group tickets available?

Yes. Groups of 15 or more may receive a discount. We also have a limited number of nights available for private events and buyouts. For group tickets or company parties, please contact events@centralfloridazoo.org

What if it rains?

This event is held rain or shine. No refunds or date exchanges are allowed.

What can I expect to see?

All-new themed lantern displays around the Zoo.
Unique crafts, live music, and the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens like you’ve never seen them before.

Will I see animals?

No. Our animals have access to their night habitats for their safety. Please visit the Zoo during normal operating hours if you wish to see animals.

When is the last time I can enter the festival?

The last admission time is at 9:15 p.m. No exceptions.

Will there be food?

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Can I purchase tickets at the ticket window or over the phone?

No. Tickets can only be purchased on our website.

How do Family 4-Packs work?

Four-packs allow guests to take advantage of extra savings! One four-pack includes four tickets to the event. All tickets need to be used on the same date and time. If a four-pack is not used in its entirety, it cannot be redeemed for another night.

If I am a Zoo Annual Pass Holder, can I come in for free?

No. The Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild is an event that takes place outside of normal Zoo operating hours, and therefore, not included your passholder benefits. However, we do offer our passholders a discounted rate! Just check your inbox for purchasing instructions or follow the link here.

If a night shows to be sold out, will more tickets become available?

If a night shows to be sold out on our website, then it is truly sold out. However, there is a chance that multiple guests are shopping at once and have some of the last remaining tickets in their shopping carts. If they do not proceed with their transactions, then yes, the tickets would then become available again. We encourage you to check back periodically or, of course, take advantage of another open night.

Do I need to show up on my selected day and time?

Yes. We set capacities on all dates and times so that guests have a smooth flow of traffic, available parking, and the best experience possible.

How long does it take to walk the entire path?

Typically, it takes most groups one to 1 ½ hours to walk through and see everything. It is a 3/4 mile path. However, do not feel rushed if you take longer. You do not miss anything from the earlier time slots if you choose a later one. Guests are allowed to go around the path more than once. Last entry is at 9:15 p.m.

Can I go around the lantern path more than once?

Yes, guests may walk the lantern path as many times as they choose.

Can I leave and re-enter?

No re-entry is allowed.

The Asian Lantern Festival is a separately ticketed event and is not included with regular Zoo admission. Tickets are non-refundable. Additional fees may apply for certain activities.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor


Diamond Sponsor


Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

Board of Trustees

The Williams Family


Silver Sponsors

The Hrncir Family


Bronze Sponsors

The Plessner Family

Vernon Renegar



For event sponsorship inquiries, please contact us at development@centralfloridazoo.org.





  • Saving reptiles and amphibians
  • Saving Animals From Extinction
  • Culture Builds Florida
  • Florida Association of Zoos and Aquariums