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09/16/2016

 

 

 

Orlando's Good Eats and Holiday Treats: 
Must-see Events for Fall and Winter 

 

Orlando, Fla. - This fall and winter, there is more to see and do in Orlando than any other time of year. With numerous food and wine feasts, unparalleled Halloween thrills and merry holiday theme park events, the excitement in Orlando is warming up even as the weather cools down.

Orlando's Food & Wine Feasts

The destination's growing reputation for superb dining meets a seasonal explosion of events for a food-lover's dream vacation in the fall. From a month-long affordable fine dining program to theme park and resort smorgasbords, there are flavors for all palates September to November.

 

  • At the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Sept. 14 - Nov. 14) at the Walt Disney World Resort, guests can sip, sample and savor treasures from some of the world's most famous wineries and celebrated chefs as they circle the World Showcase. New this year is the Islands of the Caribbean booth and a Chocolate Studio.
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  • Guests dine on haute cuisine without burning through their budget during the 11th year of Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, when more than 90 of Central Florida's top restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for $33, Aug. 29 - Oct. 2. Joining the lineup of this year's participating venues is Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs, Cask & Larder in Winter Park and Slate on Restaurant Row.
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  • Food & Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando (Sept. 16 - Nov. 13) celebrates fine wine and culinary arts. Taking place on a series of weekends, the events include a variety of chef created menus and pairings.
     
  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Oct. 28 - 29) features wines from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. Educational seminars range from wine blending to how to make the perfect margarita at "Tequila University". New to the event this year is a special Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Oct. 30, featuring a variety of cured meats, imported cheeses, an array of sushi and of course, champagne.
     
  • Halloween Capital of the World

    Halloween celebrations in Orlando are like nowhere else in the world, with more than 130 individual events during the six weeks leading up to Oct. 31.

     

  • At Walt Disney World Resort during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (Sept. 2 - Oct. 31), guests can trick-or-treat throughout the Magic Kingdom, catch the "Boo-to-You" Halloween parade or Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular and stay for the bewitching "Happy HalloWishes" fireworks.
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  • SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular (Oct. 1 - 31) at SeaWorld Orlando invites youngsters to trick-or-treat among friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids and pumpkin fish in an underwater "fantasia." Cookie decorating and candy galore make this a sweet Halloween event for families to splash into.
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  • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights (Sept. 16 - Oct. 31) at Universal Orlando Resort allows guests to face their deepest fears in themed haunted houses, "scare zones" and mazes inspired by critically-acclaimed movies and television series. This year's terrors include American Horror Story, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more.
     
  • Holidays at Orlando's Theme Parks
    Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, celebrates the most magical time of year with balmy weather, special events and spirited live entertainment, creating an unforgettable and festive setting for a winter getaway that trades snow for sunshine.

  • Walt Disney World Resort offers an array of holiday fun (Nov. 25 - Dec. 30), including a transformation of Cinderella Castle into a glistening ice palace at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party; the Candlelight Processional at Epcot; and a free-entry holiday wonderland at Disney Springs, with carolers, performances and a meet-and-greet with Santa.
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  • Universal Orlando Resort invites guests (Dec. 3 - Jan. 1) to the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios, where the streets are filled every evening with the same larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy's famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Meanwhile, at Universal's Islands of Adventure, families will light up with holiday cheer as Grinchmas comes to life throughout Seuss Landing. 

  • Waves of holiday spirit splash over the park during SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration (Nov. 25 - Dec. 31). Here in a wintery, watery wonderland, guests of all ages will enjoy stunning live shows inspired by the natural world, a glittering sea of lit Christmas trees and a journey to the North Pole on THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience.
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  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort offers families one-of-a-kind photo opportunities with a life-sized LEGO Model Santa Claus or 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree during Christmas Bricktacular, select dates in December.

  • The Orlando Destination

     Home to seven of the world's top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, theme park capital of the world, and most visited destination in the United States.  An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels. 

    About Visit Orlando
    Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area's leading industry.

     

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    Editor's Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images,
    please visit VisitOrlando.com/Media

     

     

     

     



    09/16/2016

     

     

     

    Orlando Transforms into 
    "Halloween Capital of the World" 
    in a two-month Celebration with 130+ events

     From Extreme Adult Scares to Kid-Friendly Frights

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - This fall, Orlando goes from being not only the "theme park capital of the world", but also the "Halloween capital of the world", with over 130 Halloween theme park event nights - plus destination-wide festivities - that range from extreme scares for adults and teens to frights for the family.  Uber-popular villains from both big and small screen - including "American Horror Story," "The Exorcist" and "Hocus Pocus" descend into Orlando for the holiday. Plus, this year the destination also welcomes the national's largest horror convention, Spooky Empire, featuring the actress who plays Eleven in the Netflix hit series "Stranger Things".

    To learn more about Orlando's Halloween events -- both inside the theme parks and beyond -- check out VisitOrlando.com/blog all season long.

    Sinister Celebrations for Teens and Up

    Some may be surprised at the breadth of adult- and teen- focused frights in this destination known for family-friendly fun. Haunted houses with cutting-edge technology, cinematic-grade scares, an outdoor haunted forest, and a zombie walk are just a few of the adrenaline-pumping options guaranteed to send even the biggest "kids" screaming, and then coming back for more.

  • Halloween Horror Nights 26 at Universal Orlando Resort, bringing nightmares to life for hair-raising entertainment. On select nights Sept. 16 - Oct. 31, visitors can explore nine all-new haunted houses, featuring characters from fan favorites like "The Exorcist", "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and the popular television show "American Horror Story". Even outside the houses, guests aren't safe from spooks, as monsters prowl the streets between in "Scare Zones". This year, Universal takes the horror experience even further with a new add-on virtual reality horror experience, "The Repository".
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  • Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation, taking place Oct. 7 - 9. Bigger than ever, this year's lineup of celebrity guests includes Millie Bobby Brown from the hit Netflix series "Stranger Things," and popular comedian and musician, Weird Al Yankovic. Other thrills and chills at the convention include a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.
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  • A Petrified Forest, bringing the demented to life with two outdoor scare trails, live music, food, and more on select nights, Sept. 30 - Oct. 29. This year, the unsettling haunt invites guests to relive their childhood fears, from monsters under the bed to the darkest "scary" tales imaginable. A demented dream land beckons visitors in, but when - or if - they return is anyone's guess.
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  • Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, select nights Sept. 23 - Oct. 30. For those who can't get enough of menacing mayhem, Howl-O-Scream is just a quick trip outside Orlando. Offering haunted houses, creepy characters and a lot of dark corners, this year's "Evil Encore" theme includes two new haunted houses and the eerie fantastic Fiends Show.
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  • Orlando Ballet: Dracula at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 28 - 30. Michael Pink's internationally renownedDraculacombines the fascinating horror of Bram Stoker's 1897 classic with expressive, dramatic choreography, well-placed theatrical effects, a colorful score by Philip Feeney and intriguingly dimensional sets.
     
  • Ghoulish Events for All Ages

    Orlando's family fun reflects a mischievous mood in the fall with a boo-nanza of events where kids can celebrate with monsters and villains, dress in costume and trick-or-treat in some of the world's most beloved locations.

  • Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort. On select nights Sept. 2 - Oct. 31, the Magic Kingdom comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, special characters and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Encouraged to come dressed for the occasion, visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park and encounter favorite Disney characters. Guests can groove with Disney-Pixar film characters from Monsters, Inc. at the Scream-O-Ween Dance Party, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a fireworks show nothing short of boo-tacular.
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  • SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular, where guests are immersed in an underwater "fantasea" that includes up-close animal encounters, trick-or-treating, playful pumpkin fish and sea-themed arts & crafts. Guests can also reserve seats for Sesame Street's Countdown to Halloween for the chance to interact with beloved characters. The fun takes place every weekend in October.
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  • Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, select nights from Oct. 1-31. At this spooky, kooky celebration, guests can trick-or-treat, participate in LEGO building activities and even join a scavenger hunt through the park. Other highlights include the world's largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, LEGO Halloween characters like Vladimir the Vampyre and a bewitching Halloween-themed fireworks show at Pirates' Cove.
     
  • The Crayola Experience, featuring "Screamin' Green Hauntoween," where guests can enjoy monster-oriented crafts, character photos, themed scavenger hunts and weekend trick-or-treating in addition to the regular lineup of hands-on activities, from Oct. 7 - 31.
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  • Zoo Boo Bash at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, offering a night full of ghoulish fun in the wildest neighborhood in town. Guests can trick-or-treat, enjoy face painting and participate in costume contests on select nights, Oct. 22- 30.
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  • I-Drive 360 will cast an orange illumination on the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye in celebration of Halloween Oct. 29 - 31. In addition, trick-or-treating, a live DJ and costume and dance contents create fun for the entire family.
     
  • The Orlando Destination
     Home to seven of the world's top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, theme park capital of the world, and most visited destination in the United States.  An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels. 

     

    About Visit Orlando
    Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area's leading industry.

     

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    Editor's Note: Find high-resolution downloadable images here.

      

     



    09/12/2016

     

     

     

    Visit Orlando Releases New Edition 
    of Orlando Gay Travel Guide for LGBTQ Visitors 

     

    ORLANDO, Fla., (September 12, 2016) - Visit Orlando, Central Florida's official tourism organization, has published a new edition of the Orlando Gay Travel Guide that compiles the best of Orlando's events, attractions, dining and more for LGBTQ visitors. The guide comes out just in time for the fall travel season - and the region's popular annual Come Out with Pride celebration this October 6-8.

    Home to world-class theme parks, dining and entertainment, Orlando - the most visited destination in the United States - offers LGBTQ events and venues year round.

    Now in its third year of production, the Visit Orlando Gay Travel Guide is a helpful resource for trip planning, offering insights into the destination's magical theme parks and attractions; LGBTQ-themed special events; world-class shopping; trendy neighborhoods; sophisticated dining; popular nightlife complexes and well-known LGBTQ clubs. Those planning a vacation can access a digital version of the guide at VisitOrlando.com/lgbtq, pick up a printed copy in-market at Visit Orlando's Official Visitor Center or request a mailed hard copy.

     

    Fall Events

    Fall travel to Orlando offers many benefits including a wide range of travel deals and a packed schedule of events including LGBTQ activities, food, fashion, the arts and Halloween events.

     

  • Come Out With Pride (Oct. 6-8) - Now it its 12th year, this annual pride event is a celebration of local LGBTQ+ culture with spectacular parties, fireworks and a signature parade. This year the event is predicted to draw more than 150,000 LGBTQ community members and friends.
  •  

  • At the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Sept. 14 - Nov. 14) at Walt Disney World Resort, guests can sip, sample and savor treasures from some of the world's most famous wineries and celebrated chefs as they circle the World Showcase. New this year is the Islands of the Caribbean booth and a Chocolate Studio.
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  • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights (Sept. 16 - Oct. 31) at Universal Orlando Resort allows guests to face their deepest fears in themed haunted houses, "scare zones" and mazes inspired by critically-acclaimed movies and television series. This year's terrors include American Horror Story, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more.
  • The trendy area of Winter Park hosts Park Avenue Fashion Week (Nov. 1-5).
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  • The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, a new multi-theater home for Broadway productions and the Orlando Ballet, welcomes several electrifying shows in the heart of downtown including "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" (Nov. 1-6) and "An American in Paris" (Dec. 13-18).
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  • Art and culture lovers can catch one of the many art and craft festivals of the season, like the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival (Oct. 8-9). These events feature work by outstanding Florida artists, live entertainment and food provided by local restaurants.


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  • Editor's Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images,
    please visit VisitOrlando.com/Media

     

    The Orlando Destination
    Home to seven of the world's top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, theme park capital of the world, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

     

     



    08/25/2016

     

     

     

    Visit Orlando's New Mobile App a First for Travelers 

    App Embeds WayBlazer's IBM-Watson Technology for Tailored
    Travel Recommendations; Also Features Augmented Reality

    ORLANDO, Fla., (August 25, 2016)  - The No. 1 most visited destination in the U.S. - known for innovative vacation experiences - unveiled another "first" for visitors today with the beta launch of a destination mobile app that uses WayBlazer's IBM Watson-enabled technology. The new app taps Watson's artificial intelligence to understand conversational language from users and offer personalized recommendations of Orlando experiences that best fit an individual's needs and preferences.

    In addition, the Visit Orlando App also features augmented reality experiences for visitors to explore, have fun and earn savings throughout the destination.

    The app was created by Visit Orlando, Central Florida's official tourism organization and trusted source of visitor information. It is now in public beta and can be downloaded in Apple App and Google Play stores.

    How it Works:

    Travelers begin their app experience by speaking or typing in natural language into their mobile device, the same way people normally ask questions in conversation. The Visit Orlando App uses Watson's Natural Language Classifier and AlchemyLanguage services to enable this personalized and natural language experience. Because of WayBlazer's Watson-enabled machine learning capabilities, the app also continuously learns from previous interactions and gains knowledge about user preferences, helping further refine its recommendations over time.

    Once a user asks a question, the app narrows available options based on individual-specific factors such as the traveler's interests, time of day, location and weather. It then further refines the final recommendations by applying insights from numerous data sources such as media stories, consumer and expert blogs, trusted third-party travel resources such as TripAdvisor, and Visit Orlando's extensive database.

    Sample natural language questions a traveler could ask the app include:

  • Where can I find a scenic view of Orlando?

  • Where can I eat that has live music?

  • What's something adventurous to do?
  • (Editor Note: See accompanying graphic illustration)

    Additional interactive features:

    In addition to artificial intelligence, the Visit Orlando App includes other interactive features to assist and entertain travelers including:

  • Augmented Reality "Around Me" Capabilities - Easily locate and learn about relevant dining and entertainment experiences in your immediate vicinity as the app adds an overlay of augmented reality information to your phone camera's view.

  • Augmented Reality "Magical Orb" Game - Unlock Orlando deals by hunting and capturing Magical Orbs that appear throughout the destination via augmented reality on your phone camera. Collect all to enter a sweepstakes for prizes.

  • Interactive "Selfie Scavenger Hunt" - Earn savings for taking selfies throughout the destination such as Orlando-themed photo filters, discounts, and a unique virtual souvenir to remember your trip: a 3-D "photo cube" of all your selfies.

  • One-Touch Destination Specialist Service - For an even more personalized experience, you can instantly connect to a helpful (and human) Orlando Destination Specialist with just one touch.

  • Ability to Purchase Attraction Tickets
  • "As the first destination to create a mobile app using this advanced level of cognitive computing, our goal is to help visitors maximize their Orlando vacation in a way that is personally meaningful to them," said George Aguel, Visit Orlando president and CEO. "Visitors to Orlando can be awed and sometimes overwhelmed at the array of unique attraction, dining, shopping and entertainment options. It can actually take 67 days to do everything! This innovative technology is like having your own personal Orlando expert 24/7. It analyzes numerous options, extensive data, and insights from destination experts and fellow travelers to create a recommended experience that is just right for you."  

    According to Terry Jones, Chairman of WayBlazer, "Personalized and relevant insights are becoming crucial to the future of travel. By integrating this cognitive platform in a destination mobile app, Visit Orlando is pioneering an invaluable tool for visitors - one that gives recommendations that fit the visitor's actual preferences and profile."

    "WayBlazer with Watson delivers a more personalized and engaging experience for Visit Orlando customers, allowing them to experience and take full advantage of all the destination has to offer," said Stephen Gold, Vice President, IBM Watson. "Visitors can interact in a more natural, intuitive way, seamlessly navigating the wealth of information available about their destination, delivering a better outcome."

    About WayBlazer

    WayBlazer is the world's first cognitive travel platform focused on delivering artificial intelligence to the travel industry.  Bringing together IBM Watson and proprietary cognitive computing technology, WayBlazer's AI analyzes cues and triggers from the traveler's search to yield personalized travel and hotel recommendations. WayBlazer is led by seasoned travel and tech entrepreneurs, including the Founder of Travelocity/Founding Chairman of Kayak.com, the former GM of IBM Watson, and the former President of Sabre Hospitality Solutions.

    About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
    Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world the way humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges. Watson is open to the world, allowing a growing community of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today. For more information, visit: ibm.com/Watson and ibm.com/press/watson.

     

     

     

     



    08/18/2016

     Stretch Out Summer -- and Your Dollars -- with Orlando Labor Day Deals

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. (August 16, 2016) - Labor Day marks the last long weekend of the summer season, and travelers looking for a last-minute, affordable getaway are in luck. Labor Day weekend is traditionally the most affordable holiday weekend of the year in Orlando - with up to 40 percent savings over other holiday weekends such as Christmas, New Years, and the Fourth of July.

    Recently named the No. 1 Most Affordable City for Family Travel by Forbes - which noted the destination's exceptional values in airfare, hotel, car rental and meals -- Orlando has plenty to offer this Labor Day for those looking for budget-friendly activities and seasonal deals:

     

    LABOR DAY WEEKEND -- DINING DEALS

  • Food lovers can experience Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, celebrating Orlando's emerging culinary scene and offering prix fixe dinners at some of the area's hottest restaurants for just $33, a savings of 33%.
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    LABOR DAY WEEKEND -- HOTEL DEALS

  • Rosen Plaza is offering a two-night package for $169 including 25% restaurants including Jack's Place and Café Matisse. Additional nights available for $99 plus tax.
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  • B Hotels & Resorts is offering rates starting at $107 when purchased seven days in advance.
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  • The Point Orlando Resort is offering a rate of $109 for a one bedroom suite, with free breakfast for 2 daily and no resort fee.
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  • Blue Heron Beach Resort is offering a 60% discount on all accommodations with a three night minimum stay.
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  • Reunion Resort is offering starting rates of $175 per night with a $25 Visa gift card awarded for each night of stay, using code FAMILYFREEDOM.
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    LABOR DAY WEEKEND -- ATTRACTION DEALS

  • America's Escape Game challenges guests to be their own heroes, and escapees can save $10 off standard ticket prices Sept. 2 - 5, with online code "VOAEG10".
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  • Sammy Duvall's Watersports invites guests to parasail, water ski, wake board and more with a 20 percent discount Sept. 2 - 5, with online code "Labor Day".
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  • Nature lovers can catch a glimpse of alligators, eagles, turkeys, wild boars, roseate spoonbills and other native creatures at Wild Florida, offering free entry for kids 12 and under, limit 4 per family, on Saturday, Sept 3 and Monday, Sept 5.
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  • Beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens is offering free admission to everyone on Labor Day, Sept. 5.
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    ACTIVITIES UNDER $20

    And, even beyond Labor Day, visitors to Orlando will find a variety of year-round low-cost attractions. For a more complete list of ideas, check out Activities Under $20 in Orlando.

  • The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including his famed leaded-glass lamps. Admission prices are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $1 for students and free for children under age 12.
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  • West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades Co. offers hourly, daily and weekly road bike rentals for visitors to explore Central Florida's scenic trails, including the 22-mile West Orange Trail. Rentals start at $7 per hour, with hotel delivery and group bike tours available at an additional cost.
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  • SAK Comedy Lab combines improv players and audience suggestions for hilarious scenes. General Admission tickets range from $5-$12.
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  • Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour provides a relaxing narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of historic Winter Park, and showcasing natural wildlife and mansions that line the waterways. Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 2-11.
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  • The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye towers above the entire I-Drive 360 complex to take guests to new heights. Admission, when purchased online prior to arrival, is $20 for adults and $15 for children, with discounted tickets for Florida Residents.
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    For more discounts and deals, guests can check out VisitOrlando.com/deals for savings on hotels, attractions, restaurants, shopping and beyond.


    The Orlando Destination

    Home to seven of the world's top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, theme park capital of the world, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

     

    About Visit Orlando

    Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area's leading industry.

     

     

     photo Value Infographic small.jpg

     



    07/21/2016

     

     

     

    Unprecedented 90 Restaurants
    Participating in Visit Orlando's Magical Dining 
    Sponsored by American Express

     Guests Can Enjoy Three-Course Meals for $33 and Support a Local Charity

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - This fall, food lovers can experience deals at 90 of the most popular restaurants in Orlando - including 19 new program participants - during Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express. From Aug. 29 through Oct. 2, guests can choose from these participating restaurants to enjoy three-course dinners for $33, averaging a savings of 33% per meal. The program, developed by Visit Orlando, Central Florida's official tourism association, includes some of the hottest new arrivals to Orlando's culinary scene, including chef-driven establishments in the new Disney Springs area as well as local favorites across town. One dollar from each meal will also be donated to a local charity, with last year's program contributing more than $160,000 - the largest donation to date.

    A full list of all participating restaurants, menus and OpenTable reservations are available at OrlandoMagicalDining.com. New restaurants to the program include:

  • STK, a brand new upscale steakhouse with a high-energy atmosphere at Disney Springs.
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  • Morimoto Asia, by Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef America fame, offering pan-Asian flavors from across the continent.
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  • Urbain 40, glinting with 1940's glamor and a continental menu crafted from largely local, seasonal ingredients.
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  • Cask & Larder, a local favorite featuring brewed-onsite beer, home-cured meats and pickled vegetables. Cask & Larder is the second restaurant created by five-time James Beard-nominated chefs James Petrakis and Julie Petrakis.
  • In its 11th year, Magical Dining Month gives both locals and visitors alike a chance to experience Orlando dining at its finest all over town - from options near the theme parks to hidden gems in Orlando's local neighborhoods. Examples include:

  • Convention Area - RA Sushi*, Itta Bena*, Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit*, Urban Tide (Hyatt Regency Orlando), The Capital Grille, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, A Land Remembered (Rosen Shingle Creek)
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  • Disney/Lake Buena Vista - Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse, deep blu seafood grille (Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort), NINE18 (The Villas at Grand Cypress), Todd English's Bluezoo (Walt Disney World Dolphin)
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  • Downtown - Shari Sushi Lounge*, Artisan's Table, The Boheme, Citrus Restaurant, KASA Restaurant & Bar, Maxine's on Shine
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  • Restaurant Row - SLATE*, Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, Christini's Ristorante Italiano, Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi, Eddie V's Prime Seafood Restaurant, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Morton's The Steakhouse, Ocean Prime
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  • Universal/CityWalk - Amatista Cookhouse* (Loews Sapphire Falls) , Emeril's Tchoup Chop, Island's Dining Room (Loews Royal Pacific), The Kitchen (Hard Rock Hotel), Mama Della's Ristorante (Loews Portofino Bay)
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  • Winter Park - Blu on the Avenue*, The Ravenous Pig, Luma on Park, Mitchell's Fish Market, Chez Vincent, Hamilton's Kitchen, Ruth's Chris Steak House
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  • Surrounding Areas - F&D Kitchen and Bar*, Osprey Tavern*, Kabooki Sushi*, Ruth's Chris Steak House (Orlando and Lake Mary)
  • *First year in Magical Dining

    Each year, Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express, benefits a local cause chosen the year prior. This year, The Russell Home for Atypical Children is the recipient, and will be given $1 from every Magical Dining meal. The Russell Home is the first non-profit institution in the country to provide a home atmosphere with a family structure for special needs children and 'child-like' adults. In continuous operation for over 60 years without any government support, the home also provides 24 hours of free respite care and free day care for the local families with special needs dependents.

    Last year, Visit Orlando's Magical Dining raised a record $160,735 for ELEVATE Orlando. The funds raised by Magical Dining enabled ELEVATE to expand its mentorship programs into Jones High School, equipping thousands of urban youth in Central Florida to graduate with a plan for their future.

    About Orlando Dining

    From internationally renowned chefs to home-grown venues specializing in takeout charcuterie, Orlando is a destination where the culinary possibilities are both fresh and seemingly endless. Theme parks restaurants keep Central Florida on the map with award-winning dining, and independent restaurateurs bring fresh concepts to the table. Whether locally owned or part of expanding franchises, many of the destination's newest restaurants mirror the national trends: American cuisine, farm-friendly menus and simple food with regional accents. Nationally, Orlando has emerged as a prominent dining destination, and continues to grow in both quantity and quality of flavors.

    About Visit Orlando

    Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States, with representation in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area's leading industry.

     

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     photo magical dining info graphic 2016 small.png  

    Editor's Note: Find high-resolution downloadable images here.

     



    05/27/2016

    Box Office Hits and Big Thrills in Orlando as
    New Attractions Premiere this Summer 

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - From the colossal return of King Kong, to a "Galaxy Far, Far Away" coming closer than ever, to the launch of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster -- Orlando's newest attractions are bigger, bolder and better-than-ever. The theme park capital of the world introduces must-see additions for visitors to create unforgettable summer vacations.

     

    UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

    • At Universal's Islands of Adventure "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" will honor one of the most monumental figures in movie history, King Kong. Guests will board massive off-road vehicles and explore ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.

     

    • A new tropical oasis will welcome guests at Universal Orlando Resort: the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The new property is the fifth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring 1,000 rooms and suites with an old-world Caribbean theme, built around a 16,000 square foot, resort-style pooland towering waterfall. Rooms will be available for booking starting July 14.


    WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

    • Epcot guests can cool off in the kingdom of Arendelle when the highly-anticipated attraction "Frozen Ever After" opens in the Norway Pavilion. The family adventure set in the magical world of "Frozen" will feature the popular story of the royal sisters, hit songs and new technology for an icy trek that is sure to warm hearts.

     

    • A new flight path will open for the popular attraction "Soarin'" at Epcot this summer. The updated version of the ride, called "Soarin' Around the World," includes a whole new film, taking guests on a journey to far-flung lands, and accommodating more guests with the addition of an extra theatre.

     

    • Guests will discover new entertainment around every corner this summer with the debut of four new shows across the parks. The Force has awakened at Hollywood Studios, including a new character-filled stage show already open, "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away," and the upcoming nightly "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular," combining fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections to be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of the park. Animal Kingdom will feature a new night time show starting at the end of May, "The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" Show, inspired by the live-action film. Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse and his friends will welcome favorite characters from some of Disney's newest classics in the live stage show "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire," debuting in June at the Magic Kingdom.

     

    SEAWORLD ORLANDO

    • Thrill-seekers have a new challenge coming on June 10: "Mako," a brand new 200-foot-tall coaster. Named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, it will be Orlando's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track. The hypercoaster will be the centrepiece of the newly-themed two-acre plaza. The surrounding realm will be fully shark-themed, providing guests with the opportunity to learn about the impact humans have on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.

     

    LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT

    • As Central Florida heats up, guests can cool off at the new Creative Cove at LEGOLAND Water Park. Now open, the new area invites young visitors to build and race their own LEGO boats.

     

    • Premiering this May, a new 4D movie is coming to LEGOLAND: "LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS 4D: The Book of Creativity." Characters from the popular LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS series battle forces of evil in this new immersive experience, combining 3D computer animation with "4D," real-world effects that bring the high-tech action bursting off the screen and into the audience.

     

    CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE

    • A colorful summer is in store for visitors of Crayola Experience, with the opening of Rockin' Paper, an all-new attraction that will bring personalized paper creations to life. Guests will start by decorating paper creatures, then watch as they come alive and rock out in a show all of their own, complete with lights and music. Each new set of paper stars will dance to a different song, for a new experience every time.

     

    TRAVEL PACKAGES

    • 1 May - 30 June: Seven nights in Orlando from £579pp

    British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the three-star Ramada Hotel Gateway, from £579 per person. The package includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick and accommodation. Book by 31 May 2016. For reservations visit http://ba.com/orlando or call 0344 493 0122.

     

    • 21 Aug departure: 10 nights in Orlando from £699pp

    My America Holiday is offering 10 nights at the new four-star Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, with a 21 Aug 2016 departure. Price is based on family of two adults and two children and includes United Airlines flights. Optional add-ons such as Universal tickets are available. Make reservations by calling 020 8003 4927 or visiting the website.

     

    • 3 September departure: Seven nights in Orlando from £799pp

    Signature from Thomas Cook offers seven nights at the four-star Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Orlando from £799 on a room-only basis. Price is based on two adults sharing and includes flights from London Gatwick on 3 September 2016. Optional extras maybe applicable at the time of booking. Go online, call 0844 412 5970 or visit the nearest Thomas Cook or Co-operative Travel for reservations.

     

     

    Find more information, including exclusive insider tips, opening dates as they are released and the latest news on Orlando's summer happenings at VisitOrlando.com/blog.

     

    ###

     

    Editor's Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images,
    please visit
    VisitOrlando.com/media.

     



    05/27/2016

     

    Orlando Welcomes Box Office Hits and Big Thrills as 
    New Attractions Premiere this Summer

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - From the colossal return of King Kong, to a "Galaxy Far, Far Away" coming closer than ever, to the launch of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster -- Orlando's newest attractions are bigger, bolder and better-than-ever. The theme park capital of the world introduces must-see additions for visitors to create unforgettable summer vacations.

     

    UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

    • At Universal's Islands of Adventure "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" will honor one of the most monumental figures in movie history, King Kong. Guests will board massive off-road vehicles and explore ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.

     

    • A new tropical oasis will welcome guests at Universal Orlando Resort: the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The new property is the fifth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring 1,000 rooms and suites with an old-world Caribbean theme, built around a 16,000 square foot, resort-style pooland towering waterfall. Rooms will be available for booking starting July 14.


    WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

    • Epcot guests can cool off in the kingdom of Arendelle when the highly-anticipated attraction "Frozen Ever After" opens in the Norway Pavilion on June 21. The family adventure set in the magical world of "Frozen" will feature the popular story of the royal sisters, hit songs and new technology for an icy trek that is sure to warm hearts.

     

    • A new flight path will open for the popular attraction "Soarin'" at Epcot on June 17. The updated version of the ride, called "Soarin' Around the World," includes a whole new film, taking guests on a journey to far-flung lands, and accommodating more guests with the addition of an extra theatre.

     

    • Guests will discover new entertainment around every corner this summer with the debut of four new shows across the parks. The Force has awakened at Hollywood Studios, including a new character-filled stage show already open, "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away," and the nightly "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular," combining fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections to be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of the park. Animal Kingdom features a new night time show, "The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" Show, inspired by the live-action film. Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse and his friends will welcome favorite characters from some of Disney's newest classics in the live stage show "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire," debuting June 17 at the Magic Kingdom.

     

    SEAWORLD ORLANDO

    • Thrill-seekers have a new challenge coming on June 10: "Mako," a brand new 200-foot-tall coaster. Named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, it will be Orlando's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track. The hypercoaster will be the centrepiece of the newly-themed two-acre plaza. The surrounding realm will be fully shark-themed, providing guests with the opportunity to learn about the impact humans have on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.

     

    LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT

    • As Central Florida heats up, guests can cool off at the new Creative Cove at LEGOLAND Water Park. Now open, the new area invites young visitors to build and race their own LEGO boats.

     

    • Also open is a new 4D movie: "LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS 4D: The Book of Creativity." Characters from the popular LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS series battle forces of evil in this new immersive experience, combining 3D computer animation with "4D," real-world effects that bring the high-tech action bursting off the screen and into the audience.

     

    CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE

    • A colorful summer is in store for visitors of Crayola Experience, with the opening of Rockin' Paper, an all-new attraction that will bring personalized paper creations to life. Guests will start by decorating paper creatures, then watch as they come alive and rock out in a show all of their own, complete with lights and music. Each new set of paper stars will dance to a different song, for a new experience every time.

     

    TRAVEL PACKAGES FOR CANADIANS

    • May 27 - September 19: Hot summer packages from Air Canada Vacations

    Air Canada is offering discounted packages to Orlando including a nonstop flight from Toronto and 5-night stay starting at $419 + taxes (per adult). Participating hotels include: Ramada Plaza International, International Palms Resort, Radisson Resort Orlando and Doubletree by Hilton. For more information and to make a reservation visit AirCanada.com.

     

    • July 14 - December 15: Stay and dine for less at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort

    The brand new Caribbean-inspired Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Resort and WestJet Vacations are offering guests $150 hotel dining credit when you book a minimum 4-night vacation package by June 16. For more information and to make a reservation visit WestJet.com, or call 1-877-737-7001.

     

    • August 14 - October 1: Dine for free when you stay at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels

    Walt Disney World Resorts is offering guests a free dining plan when you book a 5 - 14 night vacation package along with a minimum 3-Day Magic Your Way Ticket that includes Park Hopper or Water Park Fun. You can choose between the Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan, which includes two meals and one snack per person, per night, or the Disney Dining Plan which includes one Table-Service Meal, one Quick-Service Meal and one snack per person, per night. Valid for bookings made up to August 31, 2016. For more information and to make a reservation visit WestJet.com, or call 1-877-737-7001.

     

    • August 31 - December 31: Skip the exchange rate for a day at SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa

    SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay are offering special at-par Canadian discounts of up to 40% off at top theme parks. Visitors can take advantage of these special offers, including $59 USD single-day passes through SeaWorld Parks travel partners Air Canada Vacations, Alio, Holiday Escapes, Sunwing, Transat, TravelBrands and WestJet Vacations. Make reservations by visiting the website, or call 1-888-781-1333.

     

     

     Find more information, including exclusive insider tips, opening dates as they are released and the latest news on Orlando's summer happenings at VisitOrlando.com/blog.

     

    ###

     

    Editor's Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images, please visit VisitOrlando.com/media.  

     

     



    05/11/2016

    Orlando Welcomes Box Office Hits and Big Thrills as
    New Attractions Premiere this Summer

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - From the colossal return of King Kong, to a "Galaxy Far, Far Away" coming closer than ever, to the launch of the tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster -- Orlando's newest attractions are bigger, bolder and better-than-ever. The theme park capital of the world introduces must-see additions for visitors to create unforgettable summer vacations. Visitors this summer can save an additional 5% on already discounted attraction tickets at VisitOrlando.com/tickets with the New For Summer promo code: NFS2016. Offer available until June 15, 2016.

    UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT

  • At Universal's Islands of Adventure "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" will honor one of the most monumental figures in movie history, King Kong. Guests will board massive off-road vehicles and explore ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.
  •  
  • A new tropical oasis will welcome guests at Universal Orlando Resort: the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. The new property is the fifth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, featuring 1,000 rooms and suites with an old-world Caribbean theme, built around a 16,000 square foot, resort-style pool and towering waterfall. Rooms will be available for booking starting July 14.
  •  

    WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT

  • Epcot guests can cool off in the kingdom of Arendelle when the highly-anticipated attraction "Frozen Ever After" opens in the Norway Pavilion. The family adventure set in the magical world of "Frozen" will feature the popular story of the royal sisters, hit songs and new technology for an icy trek that is sure to warm hearts.
  •  
  • A new flight path will open for the popular attraction "Soarin'" at Epcot this summer. The updated version of the ride, called "Soarin' Around the World," includes a whole new film, taking guests on a journey to far-flung lands, and accommodating more guests with the addition of an extra theatre.
  •  
  • Guests will discover new entertainment around every corner this summer with the debut of four new shows across the parks. The Force has awakened at Hollywood Studios, including a new character-filled stage show already open, "Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away," and the upcoming nightly "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular," combining fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections to be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of the park. Animal Kingdom will feature a new night time show starting at the end of May, "The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" Show, inspired by the live-action film. Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse and his friends will welcome favorite characters from some of Disney's newest classics in the live stage show "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire," debuting in June at the Magic Kingdom.
  •  

    SEAWORLD ORLANDO

  • Thrill-seekers have a new challenge coming on June 10: "Mako," a brand new 200-foot-tall coaster. Named for one of the ocean's fastest known sharks, it will be Orlando's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track. The hypercoaster will be the centrepiece of the newly-themed two-acre plaza. The surrounding realm will be fully shark-themed, providing guests with the opportunity to learn about the impact humans have on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.
  •  

    LEGOLAND FLORIDA RESORT

  • As Central Florida heats up, guests can cool off at the new Creative Cove at LEGOLAND Water Park. Now open, the new area invites young visitors to build and race their own LEGO boats.
  •  
  • Premiering this May, a new 4D movie is coming to LEGOLAND: "LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS 4D: The Book of Creativity." Characters from the popular LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS series battle forces of evil in this new immersive experience, combining 3D computer animation with "4D," real-world effects that bring the high-tech action bursting off the screen and into the audience.
  •  

    CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE

  • A colorful summer is in store for visitors of Crayola Experience, with the opening of Rockin' Paper, an all-new attraction that will bring personalized paper creations to life. Guests will start by decorating paper creatures, then watch as they come alive and rock out in a show all of their own, complete with lights and music. Each new set of paper stars will dance to a different song, for a new experience every time.
  • Find more information, including exclusive insider tips, opening dates as they are released and the latest news on Orlando's summer happenings at VisitOrlando.com/blog.

     

    ###

     

    Editor's Note: For additional press information or high-resolution downloadable images, 
    please visit VisitOrlando.com/media.

     

     



    05/05/2016

    Orlando recibió 66 millones de TURISTAS en 2015

    Duplicó el número de visitantes en las últimas dos décadas

     

    Orlando, Florida, (2 de mayo de 2016) - Visit Orlando anunció un nuevo récord histórico para el destino. En 2015, 66.1 millones de personas visitaron Orlando, lo que correspondió a un crecimiento de 5.5 por ciento con respecto a 2014 y consolidó la posición de Orlando como el destino más visitado de Estados Unidos. El número de visitantes a Orlando se ha más que duplicado en los últimos 20 años, superando por mucho los 32.4 millones de turistas en 1995.

    "Llegar a más de 66 millones de visitantes a Orlando es un logro increíble para la comunidad del turismo", comentó George Aguel, Presidente y CEO de Visit Orlando. "Este nuevo hito y el rápido crecimiento en las últimas dos décadas es el resultado de tener una industria de turismo así como socios de la comunidad que se enfocan en el crecimiento y la inversión, además de una dedicación a las necesidades de nuestros visitantes, así como la suma de esfuerzos globales de mercadotecnia y de ventas de nuestro equipo de Visit Orlando y nuestros socios estratégicos".

    Un récord de 33 millones de noches de habitaciones se vendieron en Orlando en 2015, lo que resultó en una recaudación de impuestos para el desarrollo turístico que superó los $230 millones en el Condado de Orange, Florida., hogar del distrito turístico de la Florida Central.

    "Estamos muy orgullosos de romper otro récord nacional y de ser nombrados una vez más el destino turístico número uno en Estados Unidos" dijo la alcalde del condado de Orange, Teresa Jacobs. "Con nuestro magnífico centro de convenciones y cultura de la hospitalidad, nuestros parques temáticos de primera clase, así como con nuestra diversa oferta de entretenimiento para las familias, numerosos restaurantes de lujo y amplios servicios hoteleros, no es sorprendente que la Florida Central siga siendo el principal destino para viajes familiares, de ocio e incluso, de negocios."

    Visit Orlando anunció este logro sin precedentes en su almuerzo anual de Viajes y Turismo, una celebración de la comunidad de turismo de Orlando, a la cual asistieron más de 800 líderes de la industria y de la comunidad. El evento se realizó durante la edición número 33 de la semana Nacional de Viajes y Turismo, la cual une cada año a la industria para celebrar lo que el turismo representa en cuestión de empleos, crecimiento económico y bienestar personal.

    "Orlando logró otro record histórico con más de 66 millones de visitantes en 2015 -un logro para Orlando y para la industria turística de Estados Unidos", dijo Roger Dow, Presidente y Director General de la Asociación de Turismo de Estados Unidos. "El destacable compromiso de la región con los viajes y el turismo -con mención especial para Visit Orlando, sus miembros, y el liderazgo de funcionarios públicos locales- permitió que se alcanzara otro record de visitas", añadió.

    Desde 1995, la oferta de hoteles en Orlando creció de más de 37%, con un total de 117 mil habitaciones en 2015. El número de pasajeros en el aeropuerto internacional de Orlando aumentó en más de 72%, llegando a 38'809,337 en 2015. En las últimas dos décadas, las ampliaciones y aperturas significativas han reafirmado a Orlando como capital mundial de los parques temáticos además de ser un destacado destino para el turismo de convenciones. Además, Orlando estableció también un amplio abanico de ofertas para satisfacer las necesidades de los viajeros que buscan a la vez comodidad y servicios de lujo. A la par de ello, Dowtown Orlando vivió un renacimiento con nuevos espacios de artes y deportes. Además, el destino se ha posicionado como un destino culinario próspero, obteniendo constantes nominaciones de los James Beard Award para chefs locales, además de atraer también a chefs internacionalmente reconocidos con nuevos conceptos culinarios.


    Acerca de VISIT ORLANDO
    Visit Orlando es la organización oficial de turismo para el destino más visitado de los Estados Unidos, con representación en más de una docena de países alrededor del mundo. Visit Orlando, junto con mil doscientos organismos miembros, es el líder en esta industria.

     

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