A Luminous Date at the Central Florida Zoo Asian Lantern Festival

Is anybody else sensation overcome by the volume of factors to do in Orlando during the holiday seasons? I have observed a option. The Asian Lantern Festival at the Central Florida Zoo is stress-free, and it lasts till January 16, 2022, supplying you a great deal of time to verify out this lovely nighttime practical experience.

Just like any holiday getaway occasion in Central Florida, you can find a suitable way to knowledge the Asian Lantern Pageant, and then there is certainly a much better way. Study on for guidelines to have the best date evening achievable at the Central Florida Zoo Asian Lantern Competition 2021.

When To Go to the Asian Lantern Competition

If you are like my partner and me, you happen to be fairly much booked via the month of December. This pageant is actually a celebration of the new yr, so it runs by means of January 16, 2022. I just lately visited by myself, but I am going to book tickets for myself and my spouse to go alongside one another in January. This way I am not cramming yet another occasion into the hectic holiday period and have something to glance forward to once the vacations wind down.

If you want to go in December, I suggest finding tickets quicker than later on. Like all holiday break activities in Central Florida, the closer you get to Christmas Day the busier it will be.

When you ebook your tickets you pick a timeslot. I picked the 8:00 pm arrival time, which allowed me to love the festival right until 10:00 pm. When I first arrived it was incredibly occupied, so I hung again and comfortable in an Adirondack chair in the vicinity of the splash pad (which was turned off so guests could love the aquatic-themed lanterns in this place).

Right after about 8:20 pm the crowds had gotten ahead of me, so I was ready to appreciate the lanterns with out as a lot of folks all over. There was rarely everyone in sight by the time 9:15 pm rolled about and I was about halfway by means of the lantern pathway. Selecting this very last timeslot of the night looks to be a great method for partners who want to have much less kids and less men and women in general around them. You may just want to allow the first crowd get forward of you for about 15-20 minutes.

Starfish Walkway at Asian Lantern Pageant at Central Florida Zoo 2021

How To Get Close to

When you get there to the Asian Lantern Pageant you will park in the free parking great deal. It is dust and grass, and the zoo alone is mostly a wooden boardwalk so I would advocate cozy sneakers, closed-toe if possible. There is a very long walkway top to the precise gate. The long walkway is lined with lanterns, getting you in the mood for a lovely evening in advance of you even walk by means of the gate.

You are going to need to have your ticket possibly saved to your phone or printed to be scanned for entry. When inside you will be directed to head to the remaining walkway the place you’ll meet some aquatic themed lanterns. This where by the most important snack bars are positioned. I stopped listed here and grabbed some cheese fries and a drink. This is a nice place to rest, take in the views, and enable the crowds get forward. 

The lantern walkway winds by way of the total zoo, although some of the scaled-down walkways in the center of the zoo are blocked off and not aspect of the competition. Crowd flow is managed by creating the lantern walkway 1-way. Because it is a single-way it is tempting to retain going for walks and retain heading. I really endorse slowing down so you can enjoy the information.

Lighted Walkway at Asian Lantern Festival at Central Florida Zoo 2021 - this photo is taken at night. A wooden boardwalk is illuminated from above with white asian lanterns and blue and purple lights along the sides toward the top. A couple dressed in jeans and long sleeve shirts have their back to the camera and are walking down the lighted boardwalkLighted Walkway at Asian Lantern Pageant at Central Florida Zoo 2021

After you enter the walkways with lanterns overhead you may be achieving the midway stage of the festival. In point, the substantial orange and pink dragon lantern is just about the correct midway point. The moment you arrive at the gorilla lanterns and large panda exhibit you might be basically at the finish.

I asked to go back again about to the aquatic lanterns close to the front since it was so crowded at the commencing. The pleasant workers member obliged and I resolved since it was still well in advance of 10:00pm I had time to go back again by means of the complete walkway one much more time. If you come to a decision to do the very same you should be respectful of the team and make sure you get to the exit properly ahead of 10:00pm.

What to Eat At The Asian Lantern Festival

The Central Florida Zoo is found around downtown Sanford. It would be tough to pass up all the great date evening places in Sanford, so consider building a full night of it.

If you make a decision to have something to take in at the Asian Lantern Competition there are a lot of concession places along the pageant walkway, some of which provide Asian-motivated bites. The new dining spot, Graze is open for the duration of the pageant, typically right until at minimum 9:00 pm every night, whilst it varies relying on the crowds.

Do not miss out on the establish-your-have S’mores station at Swirl. This snack stand is in the vicinity of the enchanted backyard and peacock lantern displays. The S’mores kits are basic with two graham crackers, a square of Hershey’s chocolate bar, and two marshmallows and a stick to roast the marshmallows. Every package is $5.

S'Mores Station at Asian Lantern Festival at Central Florida Zoo 2021 - this photo was taken at night, two square shaped firepits are in the foreground as is a long wooden rod holding two marshmallows being roasted over the fire. A green peacock asian lantern is illuminated in the backgroundS’Mores Station at Asian Lantern Competition at Central Florida Zoo 2021

The firepits for roasting the marshmallows created for a romantic environment. There are some picnic tables and you can see some of the lanterns from this location. This is a excellent prevent for a little passionate split ahead of strolling by way of the final shows of the competition.

Don’t Skip the Aspects

For the duration of my check out to the 2021 Asian Lantern Competition at the Central Florida Zoo I witnessed so quite a few families dashing by way of the encounter. Most of the couples I witnessed, on the other hand, knew to take their time.

One particular detail that stunned me about the laterns is how quite a few of them have movement. I was expecting static displays of lights. In its place, most of the lanterns element movement, some as straightforward as a winking eye or a going mouth, when other lanterns aspect total motion. So acquire a minute and pause at every show to make absolutely sure you never miss a detail.

There are also several shows that have overhead things so make certain to glimpse up. There is also stress-free Asian tunes performed in the course of the overall competition walkway. The tranquil tones place me at relieve. As soon as I let the group get in advance of me this felt so unique than the a great number of Xmas light displays in Orlando.

Whale and Dolphin Display Asian Lantern Festival at Central Florida Zoo 2021 - this photo was taken at night. A large whale lantern is accompanied by a smaller dolphin lantern and both are displayed above lanterns that look like waves. The lanterns are illuminated with blue, white, and purple colors.Whale and Dolphin Show Asian Lantern Pageant at Central Florida Zoo 2021

How To Get Tickets

The Central Florida Zoo Asian Lantern Pageant is a independent ticketed party. Normal admission to the zoo during the day does not utilize to this unique occasion. The festival will take spot on most evenings, but not every evening, and runs via January 16, 2022.

When buying your ticket you can expect to select a timeslot to enter and enjoy the competition. If you are an once-a-year passholder for the Central Florida Zoo you do get a price reduction on most nights, and have to have to purchase your festival tickets through a unique url.

You should evaluate Central Florida Zoo’s site and direct any queries straight to the personnel of the zoo. Take into account bringing alongside a gentle sweater, or just cozy up jointly and enjoy this wonderful evening.


All visuals by Dani Meyering