For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in not only Orlando, but in cities all over the world.
Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando. Floats, stilt walkers, live entertainment, and beads thrown to the crowd add to the fun of this event. A party to rival the original held in New Orleans, it's definitely geared toward an adult crowd, with plenty of drinking and carousing. Special discounted tickets are available allowing entrance to the park only after 5pm ($54.99); otherwise, it's included in regular park admission ($85 adults). The celebration runs 1 night a week -- usually Saturday -- from mid-February to mid-April. For information, call tel. 888/389-4783 or 407/363-8000, or go online to www.universalorlando.com.
The first weekend (Thurs-Sun) in September, Universal has gone head-to-head with Disney, scheduling its Rock the Universe concert the same weekend (tel. 866/788-4636). Big-name Christian bands and speakers headline the event. Tickets (which include admission to the parks after 4pm) cost $59.99 for 1 night, or $85.99 for both nights of the event. Packages including both nights of celebration and 3 days of admission to the parks are available as well ($105.99).
Halloween Horror Nights. Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure (tel. 888/389-4783 or 407/363-8000; www.universalorlando.com) transforms its grounds on select nights during October and into November into haunted attractions. Live entertainment and special shows, hundreds of ghouls and goblins roaming the streets, and specially designed haunted houses make for a truly terrifying experience. The park essentially closes at dusk, reopening in a new macabre form from 7pm to midnight or later. Full admission ($85 adults) is charged for this event, which is definitely geared to grown-ups (as the liquor flows freely and the frightfulness is truly that). Note that guests are not permitted to wear costumes (so that Universal employees can spot their peers).
Macy's Holiday Parade. That's not a typo! Universal and Macy's (the latter a tenant at the Mall at Millenia) offer a smaller version of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at Universal Studios Florida. It runs from mid-December to early January, featuring several of the floats and gigantic balloons from the original New York City parade (tel. 407/363-8000; www.universalorlando.com). Park admission ($85 adults, $79 kids 3-9) is required. Over at Islands of Adventure, even the Grinch celebrates the holidays at Seuss Landing, which is decked out like Whoville for the holidays, including wintry decorations and Whos running all about to create a festive mood.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.