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Photograph: ICON Park

The 8 best spots for nightlife in Orlando, Florida

From comedy clubs to wine bars, the nightlife in Orlando, Florida has something for everyone

Megan duBois
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Megan duBois
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The City Beautiful is home to some amazing nightlife options ranging from comedy clubs and sporting events, to wine bars and giant ferris wheels with expansive views of the city. After you’ve experienced the rollercoaster-filled theme parks and indulged at some of the best restaurants in town consider exploring the after-dark version of Orlando, Florida – including a favorite dueling piano bar where sing-a-longs go late into the night.

When the sun goes down, the Orlando skylilne lights up, as do the dance floors and bars around the city. There’s even a few streets where you can bar hop without ever having to hail an Uber. And while most of these places are 21 and up, there are a few where kids and younger adults are welcome, like the entertainment districts at both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Put away your character t-shirts, put on your dancing shoes and grab your ID because these are the eight best spots to experience nightlife in Orlando, Florida.

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Best nightlife in Orlando, Florida

The Improv Comedy Theater and Restaurant is an Orlando staple. The national theater chain has launched the careers of luminaries like Robin Williams and David Spade. In Orlando, you can see local comedians and performers as they look to join the ranks of some of the best jokesters of all time. After you’re seated a waiter will to come to your table to serve dinner and drinks before the show begins. Tickets for each show can be purchased online and guests 21 and up are permitted.

Pointe Orlando is an all-in-one shopping, dining and entertainment district located on International Drive. The spot is home to a dozen restaurants including chains like The Capital Grill and Maggiano’s Little Italy, as well as virtual and real-life arcade games, rope courses and bowling at Main Event Entertainment. If your night out doesn’t include kids head to Blue Martini where there are three unique bar experiences under one roof, and there’s always live entertainment on stage.

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Disney Springs is the expansive shopping, dining, and entertainment district at Walt Disney World, but the best part is that you don’t have to have a Disney ticket or hotel reservation to enjoy the nightlife here. Those looking for a relaxed evening should head to Wine Bar George to enjoy a glass of vino while overlooking the outdoor stage. Live music can also be heard at House of Blues on Disney Springs' westside. Disney Springs does not have an age restriction, so everyone in your group can go even if they aren’t quite 21 yet.

Wall Street Plaza, located in downtown Orlando, houses seven unique venues in one central location. You can find everything from a dance club housed in an old moonshine warehouse to a tiki bar, and even a carnival-themed bar where you play a fair game to determine your drink for the night. Every Sunday from 2pm until 9pm, Wall Street Plaza hosts a block party where all of the bars are open, and once a month you can watch a breakdancing competition.

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While driving along I-4 towards the theme parks you might notice a giant observation wheel or a very tall swing with riders onboard. That’s ICON Park, where you can do both of those things and more. A recent addition to ICON Park is country music superstar Blake Shelton’s Ole Red. The restaurant, bar, and music venue is open until 12:30am on Friday and Saturday night and brings in artists from Orlando and around the country to entertain guests as they dance and drink the night away.

In the heart of downtown Orlando you’ll find Orlando City Stadium, which is home to the Orlando City Soccer Club. From April through October you can head here and watch a Major League Soccer match along with thousands of fans who don purple and gold to cheer on the team. The stadium also hosts the Orlando women’s soccer team, the Orlando Pride. 

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Universal CityWalk is just steps away from the gates to both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. The dining and entertainment district is filled with places to eat, drink and dance the night away. One unique spot is CityWalk’s Rising Star, a karaoke bar where you can sing with the help of a live band and backup singers. CityWalk is open from 8:00am until 12:30am daily. Those who are not staying at a Universal Orlando hotel will need to park in the parking garages to get into CityWalk.

Howl at the Moon is part bar, part dueling pianos, and part dance club. Each night, a talented group of singers and musicians take the stage to sing classic songs like 'Proud Mary' and contemporary favorites like 'Shut Up and Dance.' The local-favorite is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting a 7pm – and be sure to book your table in advance since nights sell out quickly. 

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