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Visit Orlando's Global Communications Team compiles a "Weekly What's New" list using information provided by partners and destination press releases to keep you up-to-date on Orlando happenings.


JWMarriott will begin building a new hotel in Bonnet Creek, a resortdevelopment surrounded by the Walt Disney World Resort. The new hotel isexpected to celebrate its grand opening in the first quarter of 2020.;301-380-7770 (media); 1-888-721-7033 (public)



TheCentral Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens announced the openingof their Florida black bear exhibit. Visitors will have the opportunity to viewtwo Florida black bears and visit the zoo's interactive and educational BearAwareness house.; 407-323-4450 ext.105 (media); 407-323-4450(public)

Disney Springs will open the new Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire hyper-reality experience thisholiday season. The ground-breaking phenomenon combines the magic of illusions,advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive socialexperiences that gives Star Wars fansthe opportunity to step beyond reality and into a galaxy far, far away.; 415-500-0619(media); 407-939-6244 (public)

Gatorlandopened a new animal exhibit featuring more than 50 baby American alligators - allborn and raised inside the park. The babies have their own dedicated area toswim, play, interact and grow until they are about 18 months old. Gatorlandwill also open the new Gator Joe'sAdventure Outpost and Stompin' GatorOff-Road Adventure this fall.; 407-381-0428 (media);407-855-5496 (public)

Revolution Off Road announced the opening of "Myakka - A Beast of aRide." This family attraction takes place in a specially adapted six-wheeledArmy truck with 20 seats up top for a bird's eye view of the attraction'smassive property, including the crystal blue lakes, treetops and localwildlife.;352-400-1322 (media & public)

UniversalOrlando Resort announced an all-new thrill ride coming toThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands ofAdventure in 2019. It is expected to be one of the most highly-themed coasterexperiences that Universal Orlando has ever created. The new attraction willreplace "Dragon Challenge" double coaster.; 407-363-8220 (media); 407-363-8000 (public)



BowlBar,a new eatery inside East End Market, is expected to open next month. Formerlyknows as Farm & Haus, Bowl Bar will offer a curated list of warm grainbowls and salad bowls, as well as a "build your own option."; 407-628-1230 (media); 321-430-6627 (public)

The Halal Guys, based in New York, opened its first CentralFlorida location earlier this month on Alafaya Trail. The eatery made a namefor itself with its budget-friendly, sizable portions of Middle Eastern andMediterranean food.; 347-527-1505 (media& public)

JINYARamen Bar, a modern Japanese restaurant featuring authentic ramen,will open in Thornton Park in early 2018. The restaurant will take over thelocation once home to Tijuana Flats and Verde Cantina.;323-930-2477 (media & public)

Mango'sTropical Café Orlando added more excitement to their dinnershow lineup with the debut of an all-new Belly Dancing Show and Rhumba FlamencaShow, performing nightly, and a Mariachi Show, performing Friday and Saturdayevenings.; 321-277-7812 (media); 407-673-4422 (public) 

M Bar, the sister pub to new rooftop bar M Lounge, openedits doors in Ivanhoe Villageearlier this month. Originally slated to be an event space, M Bar is analternative for M Lounge guests seeking a different atmosphere. More than 60classic cars line much of the bar's walls. Other touches include a VWBus-turned wine bar. M Bar also includes half of a Cadillac and vintage arcadegames.; 321-430-1140 (media& public)

WonderlandCookie Co., opening later this month, will be central Florida'sonly scoop shop specifically dedicated to edible cookie dough. Located inCelebration near Walt Disney World, the shop will offer a variety of flavorsand toppings, in addition to gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free options.; 407-964-1474 (media & public)



Air Berlin's flights from Düsseldorf, Germany toOrlando, which began in May, will now be offered all year round. The flightshave extended to cover the holiday season of 2017 and all through the year of2018.;+49 917-26-13-165 (media & public) 

Edelweiss Air will add a once-a-weekflight from Zurich to Orlando starting January 2018.;+41 (0)434-565-511 (media); +41 (0)848-333-593 

Eurowings airline added a newdirect flight from Cologne, Germany to Orlando last month. The flight arrivesto Orlando International Airport (MCO) twice a week.; 845-709-8332 (media& public)

Norwegian Airlines added a direct flightfrom Paris to Orlando last month. The new service between the two world-classdestinations marks the 18th international route and fifth transatlantic routeadded in the last three years at Orlando International Airport (MCO.); 407- 825-2055 (media);407-825-2001 (public)


Older News


Copper Creek Villas and Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, the 14th resort for Disney Vacation Club, opened July 17. The new property features 184 rustically elegant accommodation options, including Deluxe Studios, one- and two-bedroom villas, three-bedroom grand villas and unique waterfront cabins.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)

Disney Riviera Resort, the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, is expected to open fall 2019 in the Epcot resort area.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)    

Gaylord Palms Resort's next holiday ICE exhibit will be themed, "Christmas Around the World," and reflect diverse holiday traditions. The exhibit will include two-story ice slides, a scene of Santa's toy workshop, a live ice-carving showcase and the traditional Nativity scene created with clear ice. Other offerings include two shows, a new Build-A-Bear Workshop Scavenger Hunt, eight lanes of snow tubing, a gingerbread decorating corner and more. The holiday festivities will be open daily from Nov. 21 to Jan. 7.; 407-586-0316 (media); 407-586-4423 (public)

LBA Hospitality will open two Orlando hotels that will share the SeaWorld brand name near SeaWorld and other Orlando theme parks. TownPlace Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando at SeaWorld will open at the intersection of International Drive and Central Florida Parkway.; 407-996-3400 (public)

Orlando World Center Marriott launched the "Slide Through Summer" promotion that includes a two-night stay in two connecting guest rooms starting at $1,200 from now until Sept. 4, 2017. The promotion allows guests to enjoy a daily breakfast and select one of the following for two: a round of golf at Hawks Landing Golf Club, a 50-minute signature spa treatment or a two-hour lesson at Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf, in addition to other perks for kids.; 850-668-2222 (media); 1-800-380-7931 (public)

Walt Disney World unveiled plans for an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel that will debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept that gives each guest a storyline upon arrival. Dedicated entirely to the galaxy of Star Wars, it will be a one-of-a-kind experience where luxury meets multi-day adventures in a galaxy far, far away.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)



Crayola Experience will debut the new Adventure Lab attraction that includes digital and physical challenges. Each participant will be given three tasks to complete, ranging from crossing a melting wax river to finding a color's recipe. The attraction is expected to open later this month.; 407-757-1711 (media); 407-757-1700 (public)

Discovery Cove announced two new add-on experiences that allow visitors to get closer to sharks and stingrays. The Shark Swim program gives guests the opportunity to swim freely among several species of sharks while the Ray Feeding program allows guests to assist Discovery Cove aquarists tend to stingrays and feed tropical fish. Five percent of the proceeds from the Shark Swim program will go to the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation in support of shark conservation and research.; 407-370-1252 (media); 407-513-4600 (public)

Disney's Hollywood Studios announced the upcoming Star Wars-themed land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, set to open in 2019. The land will feature two new attractions and include opportunities to meet and greet popular Star Wars characters, including BB-8, Chewbacca, Rex and Kylo Ren. Disney's Hollywood Studios will also open its first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway," that takes guests on a journey inside the world of Disney Channel's Emmy Award-winning "Mickey Mouse" cartoon shorts using new technologies that transform the flat cartoon world into an incredible dimensional experience. The new attraction will replace "The Great Movie Ride." It also was announced that Toy Story Land will open in summer 2018 and feature two new themed attractions, "Slinky Dog Dash" and "Alien Swirling Saucers."; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)

Disney's Magic Kingdom Park will bring a new Tron-themed attraction to in a new area near Space Mountain in Tomorrowland. The attraction is scheduled to open for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021. Magic Kingdom will also be getting a new venue for world-class entertainment on Main Street, U.S.A. that will be modeled after the Willis Wood Theater in 1920s Kansas City.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public) 

Epcot at Walt Disney World announced that "Ratatouille," the No. 1 family attraction at Disneyland Paris, will be added in an all-new space in the France pavilion at World Showcase. Epcot will also see the addition of a brand new E-ticket attraction based on the world of "Guardians of the Galaxy." In Future World, a new Green Mission at "Mission: SPACE" will take guests on a stunning tour around the Earth, and an updated Orange Mission will make the trip to Mars even more spectacular.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)

SeaWorld Orlando offers a new experience for visitors to see its killer whales much closer than in performances. The new 45-minute Killer Whale Up-Close Tour gives guests the opportunity to learn about the species, understand their personalities and even interact with one. The tour is $79 per person.; 407-370-1252 (media); 407-545-5550 (public)



Disney Springs' former Portobello Country Italian Trattoria restaurant, which closed in April for a huge makeover, is being reimagined to become Terralina Crafted Italian. The revamped eatery will focus on the theme of transporting guests "to the shores of Italy" and is expected to open this fall.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)

Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort will open a new space-themed restaurant near the park's "Mission: SPACE" attraction. The unnamed restaurant will be operated by the Patina Restaurant Group which operates several other on-property restaurants, including Tutto Italia and Via Napoli at Epcot and Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)

Market on Magnolia, an upscale and modern food hall, is slated to open later this summer. The indoor market will showcase independent local food vendors and artisans, and feature three culinary concepts: Da Kine Poke, The Gnarly Barley, and Sauce'd Wood Fired Pizzas, as well as a full bar. Market on Magnolia will replace Frank & Steins old spot in downtown's Chase Plaza tower.; 407-701-4131 (public)



Disney Skyliner, a new transportation system at Walt Disney World, will give guests a birds-eye view of the property as they ride on gondolas featuring retro-inspired designs and favorite Disney characters on the exterior. The system will connect Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach and Riviera Resorts with Disney's Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)

Frontier Airlines added eight new direct flights to Orlando from Buffalo, N.Y.; Cancun, Mexico; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Oklahoma City. The airline will also add flights from San Antonio and Tulsa, Okla. next spring.; 720-374-4560 (media); 801-401-9000 (public)

Minnie Van, a new service at Walt Disney World, provides a point-to-point transportation to any guest location on property. The Minnie Van uses Chevrolet Traverse mid-sized SUVs, which seats up to eight passengers across three rows.; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-5277 (public)