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An Inside Look at Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild

Monday, November 22, 2021

An Inside Look at Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild

Asian Lantern Festival: Into The Wild is underway at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. For folks looking for things to do in Orlando this holiday season, our version of a holiday light and entertainment show sponsored by T-Mobile should be at the top of the list. Whether you’re looking for events for kids, activities in Orlando with friends, or Orlando date ideas, we aim to please.

After watching thousands of guests come through the first few days, it’s time for some life hacks and fun facts to help you get the most out of the Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild.

Eight is great. Want to avoid the crowds and still visit the best nights? Consider buying your ticket for the 8 o’clock time slot. Our guests at 6 p.m. who can’t wait to see the festival (and who can blame them!) have come and gone. That means there are plenty of good parking spaces, plus the zoo is slightly less crowded after 8:30. That still gives time to leisurely see the hundreds of lanterns and nearly 40 major lantern displays all throughout the park.

Our crab will put you in a less crabby mood. Puns aside, the crab at the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground is too cool. We won’t spoil the surprise—but be prepared to pop some bubbles and don’t get lost in the fog!

Butterflies can fly and twirl. See the gorgeous butterfly tree just outside the education building as you enter our Florida zoo. Look for wings moving!

The eyes have it. Do you want to keep the kids captivated? Tell them to keep an eye out for things that move—especially eyes.

Patience will bring you extra joy. The team has built movement and extra color into many displays. The peacock deserves more than a passing glance.

Giving the people what they want. Did you know the top thing people asked for when we hosted the festival in 2019 was a panda display? You asked for it, and we delivered with a panda wonderland! The little ones dancing in front are almost too cute.

Entertainment to make your stroll that much more enjoyable. Whether it’s on the speakers or in front of our herpetarium, we have the music to get you in the mood.

Our holiday festival is so good, we understand Santa might stop by. The jolly old elf was spotted on VIP night checking out the terrain. Perhaps trying to figure out how his reindeer can land? We have it on good authority that Santa is scheduled to make an appearance Friday, December 17, and then again on Wednesday, December 22. What is better than our lantern festival and Santa in the same place? Next you’re going to tell us there are hot cocoa and funnel cakes!

We have hot cocoa and funnel cakes! What’s holiday fun on a cool, crisp night without a good hot cup of cocoa and fresh funnel cake? That’s right—our new food team is whipping up some real surprises as you walk around the zoo. The funnel cakes come with classic powdered sugar or strawberry topping. Sweets aren’t your thing? How about a new Carolina BBQ Sandwich! Chef Joey is on the nice list this year.

A stroll out to the field near the bear habitat never disappoints. The big dragon is back and more majestic and beautiful than ever. Take a picture with the dragon and invite your friends to visit and do the same. Make sure to use #CFZAsianLanternFestival or #CFZIntotheWild on social media.

Enjoy special bonus nights. We know the holidays are a frantic time of year, so we have added special bonus nights during holiday weeks when the kids are out of school and family may be in from out of town looking to experience Orlando attractions. Look for special weeknights during Thanksgiving week and during the last weeks of the year!

Four-packs of tickets will save you serious coin. Buy a four-pack of tickets for the same night and save up to 37 percent. It is Black Friday savings all season long and even into the New Year!

You haven’t been there or done that at Asian Lantern Festival: Into the Wild 2021. The artisans at Tianyu have worked tirelessly to make sure this year’s festival is new. So even if you came in 2019 and enjoyed yourself, we look forward to seeing you again at our Sanford zoo. It’s a brand-new show! Here’s another hint. Our team has walked the Zoo dozens of times and we’re still seeing new things. You can come to the festival now and enjoy it again and again!

We look forward to seeing you soon. You can pick your date and time and purchase tickets here.

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