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What are the BEST Magic Shows (in Orlando) for 2024?

Magician with crystal ball in Orlando Florida

Orlando is theme-park city, and therefore it has lots of great magic including, An Evening of Magic, 52!, The Outta Control Magic Show and The Parlour Presents. But wait! There's even more, because Orlando is the home to some of America's favorite theme-parks like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Disney's Magic Kingdom, and the Epcot Center.

On top of all the theme parks, where you are sure to find some magical times, Orlando also has some fabulous live illusion shows, both big and small. For locals who are a little tired of taking guests to the "usual" places, you'll find some delightful opportunities to experience the magical arts. So after drowning down a few butterbeers at the Wizarding World, head over to Ollivander's to get yourself a magic wand. Now you are ready to cast a spell and enjoy the magical city of Orlando, with all its delights.

ALL Orlando Magic Shows TODAY

Orlando Magic History

magic shows in Orlando history
From left to right: Harry Wise, Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle, Doug Henning

Orlando Florida had its origins like many cities in the US. Take a small fort built to safeguard against the local tribes of indigenous people, add a few homesteaders who settled around the fort, then add a whole lot of people looking for land, fortune, and excitement, and pretty soon you have a small town. Soon that town was burgeoning into a big city. There are many tales of how Orlando got its name, but we will never really know if any of them are true. We do know that it is now known as the Theme Park Capital of the World, having 5 out of 10 of the world's most visited theme parks.

Back when Orlando was still just another growing city in America and J.K. Rowling, the creator of the world of Harry Potter, was not even born, there was still plenty of magic to be found. One favorite magician, known in Orlando as Mister Magic, was Harry Wise. He moved to Sanford, Florida as a young man, and had is own children's show on Orlando's local television station. He was probably best known for his show Doctor Jekyll's Weird Show which was part magic and part fright-fest. The show included hypnotism, magic, fake snakes and actors dressed as various monsters such as Frankenstein. Harry later went on to have a mentalist show and even joined the circus in his 50s, becoming a ringmaster. Always an entertainer and showman, Harry was well-loved in central Florida, not only for his talents but for being a true humanitarian as well.

Just as Harry was doing his last spook shows, Walt Disney was opening its newest theme park, Walt Disney World, with The Magic Kingdom being the first theme park to open in the complex. To many young children it was truly magic. To visit the Cinderella Castle or to hug their favorite Disney character was a magical experience. Soon Orlando was a major theme park destination. It was this new popularity as a tourist destination that the famous Canadian magician, Doug Henning turned his eyes towards Orlando. He had quit magic for a new passion, transcendental meditation and the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. His new plan was to develop a concept for an amusement park dedicated to what he saw as the life-transforming practice of meditation. The focus was to be on enlightenment, knowledge, and entertainment. In 1988, an announcement was made about the grand plans for this oddly inspired theme park, and Orlando, Florida was in the running as a possible location. In the end, Henning decided on Niagara Falls in Canada as the future location, but the money was never raised and Doug Henning then died at the young age of 52.

So, although Orlando never saw the opening of the Maharishi Veda Land theme park, it soon became home to the Universal Orlando Resort and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And as everyone knows Harry Potter is magic. You can visit Universal Studios versions of Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade, and for a truly magical experience get yourself an interactive wand. These special wands allow you to cast spells in specific spots around the park which are well marked (although some locations are a secret that must be discovered). There is still lots of magic of both the old-fashioned and the newfangled kind going on in Orlando, Florida, and no matter the reason you might find yourself there, both kinds are worth checking out.

PAST Orlando Magic Shows

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