Orlando Nightlife

As one of the world's leading tourist destinations, Orlando has to meet the challenge of offering entertainment to more than 50 million visitors each year—and providing memorable experiences that will bring them back again and again.

Not too long ago there was little to do after dark. Then, when Disney saw a flood of their guests heading off to a Downtown Orlando entertainment complex,

they retooled their after-dark options to include Pleasure Island (now The Landing) and later West Side, now both part of the Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs) entertainment complex. In response, Universal Orlando opened CityWalk. Now, with the expanded entertainment venues of the Dr. Phillips Arts Center and Amway sports arena, a good number of locals are filtering back to the city core and leaving the theme parks to tourists.

If you're here for at least two nights and don't mind losing some sleep, reserve one evening for Downtown Disney and the next for CityWalk. Disney has the advantage of being its own government entity so they can often stay open later than bars elsewhere. One difference you may detect here is that Disney’s clubs are largely frequented by off-duty Disney cast members. At Universal, however, it appears to be a cross-section of young, virile club goers who work outside the theme parks. Also, to its credit, CityWalk premiered the Blue Man Group in 2007, which certainly upped the stakes. In Downtown Orlando, crowds are the usual variety pack. Club locations here are scattered, with the trendy Thornton Park district appealing to young urbanites, and serious club-goers preferring the Downtown core and the various bars and clubs along Orange Avenue and Church Street. Keep in mind that smoking is not permitted in any Florida restaurants and bars that serve food.

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Orlando Nightlife

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  • Fodor's Choice

Bull and Bush Pub

  • Bars/Pubs

After more than a quarter century in the same location, this is still one of the most atmospheric places in town, where you can get a...

Bösendorfer Lounge

  • Music Clubs

One of only two Imperial Grand Bösendorfer pianos in the world takes center stage at this, perhaps the classiest gathering spot in Orlando.

Chillers

  • Bars/Pubs

Known as Orlando's original party bar, Chillers features an entire wall of frozen daiquiri machines and sells craft beers and premium...

ICEBAR

  • Bars/Pubs

Thanks to the miracle of refrigeration, this is Orlando's coolest bar—literally and figuratively. Fifty tons of pure ice is kept at...

Monkey Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

You access this tiny pocket of sophistication amid the frenetic energy of the Wall Street entertainment area by walking through the WaiTiki...

Parliament House Resort

  • Dance Clubs

For those enamored of gay, lesbian, and high-camp entertainment, Parliament House is legendary and welcoming to every kind of audience.

Tanqueray's

  • Music Clubs

Of all the entertainment possibilities in Downtown Orlando, the most interesting one may be the hardest to find. Housed in a former bank...

The Social

  • Music Clubs

Beloved by locals, The Social is a great place to see touring and area musicians. Up to seven nights a week you can sip trademark martinis...

Venue 578

  • Music Clubs

Originally an old automotive repair shop, this multilevel, high-energy club, the former Firestone Live, went through a very costly renovation...

Wally's

  • Bars/Pubs

One of Orlando's oldest bars (circa 1954), this longtime local favorite is a hangout for a cross section of cultures and ages. Some would...

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