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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%.
  •  

    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.
  •  
  • B Hotels & Resorts is offering rates starting at $107 when purchased seven days in advance.
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
  • Blue Heron Beach Resort is offering a 60% discount on all accommodations with a three night minimum stay.
  •  
  • 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.
  •  

    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".
  •  
  • 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".
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
  • Beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens is offering free admission to everyone on Labor Day, Sept. 5.
  •  

    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.
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
  • SAK Comedy Lab combines improv players and audience suggestions for hilarious scenes. General Admission tickets range from $5-$12.
  •  
  • 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.
  •  
  • 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.
  •  

    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.
  •  
  • Morimoto Asia, by Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef America fame, offering pan-Asian flavors from across the continent.
  •  
  • Urbain 40, glinting with 1940's glamor and a continental menu crafted from largely local, seasonal ingredients.
  •  
  • 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)
  •  
  • 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)
  •  
  • Downtown - Shari Sushi Lounge*, Artisan's Table, The Boheme, Citrus Restaurant, KASA Restaurant & Bar, Maxine's on Shine
  •  
  • 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
  •  
  • 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)
  •  
  • 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
  •  
  • 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.

     

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    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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    05/05/2016

    一年四季,新的一年奥兰多与你分享16件新鲜事

     

     

    从受欢迎的动画电影冰雪奇缘,狮子王到奥兰多最高最快最长的过山车,世界的主题乐园之都都有着极佳的活动体验,深受孩子们的喜爱。


    尽管奥兰多以其7大主题乐园闻名于世,但是我们的迪士尼,环球影城和海洋世界每年都会有进行独一无二的扩建或者设施,度假村,零售,餐饮和娱乐复合体方面的创新。

    当车辆缓缓驶进动画电影魔幻般的主题之中,奥兰多定将为百万游客打造一个永不难忘的舞台,而这一切,只有在奥兰多!


    2016新发现

    • 华特迪士尼世界将完成多年的转型,从原先的Downtown Disney 转变为Disney Springs。新的餐饮娱乐区将融合先前的元素以及其他值得注意的品牌,并且将扩建为原先的两倍,有超过150家店等待游客来探索。以下是已经宣布入驻的餐厅:

    • The Edison, 类似于其洛杉矶的姐妹店,是2016年将在Disney Springs开业的第三家新店。店的主题风格将围绕1920s电音风格,将有丰富的表演娱乐,经典的美式食物和手调鸡尾酒。工业哥特场地将有一个35-英尺高的天花板和数个主题区域。

    • Frontera Fresca2016年也将在Disney Springs开业, 这是名人大厨 Rick Bayless的新店, 曾6次获得James Beard基金. 他成名于拿手的墨西哥菜肴, Bayless的菜单包括其特色,手制的蛋糕、tacos、沙拉、新鲜制作的牛油果沙拉酱和经典墨西哥炖肉。所有的手制都是他精心研究的成果。当然,还有很棒的玛格丽特加鸡尾酒,啤酒和红酒。

    • Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine是2016年夏季明星厨师Art Smith即将在Disney Springs开业的新店。 James Beard 基金的获得者在佛州的Jasper小镇土生土长,经过25年的精心准备,以其得奖的菜肴一举征服了名人和州长的味蕾,频繁出现在电视荧幕上。这家质朴和时髦感并存的餐厅将专攻南方经典菜肴和异想天开的特制鸡尾酒。

    • STK计划在2016年初开业, 是一家高档的牛排馆,它将摩登牛排馆和时髦休息室这两个理念巧妙融合。有现场DJ,热烈的气氛,吸引客人充分融入他们的环境中。
    • 奥兰多环球影城宣布夏季一个全新的刺激项目将在冒险岛园区开放"Skull Island: Reign of Kong"将重现电影史上丰碑式的形象之一-金刚。游客们将乘上大卡车,探索古代神庙建筑,随时都可能遇上一些充满敌意的生物,经历难以言喻的恐惧。

    • 奥兰多海洋世界宣布全新的200英尺高的过山车Mako将在夏季开业。Mako的名字来源于海洋中已知的速度最迅猛的鲨鱼之一,它将成为奥兰多最高最快最长的过山车,4,760英尺的铁轨,时速将达到73英里。海洋世界的新超级过山车将占据2英亩的场地。周围也都将用鲨鱼主题来布置,给游客们机会,来更多的了解鲨鱼,以及为什么这些动物对我们的环境很关键。

    • 奥兰多环球影城和洛伊斯酒店度假村集团宣布建造Loews Sapphire Falls Resort。这将是奥兰多环球影城的第五家园区酒店,有1000多间客房,还有加勒比主题的套房,周围将建有泻湖和高耸的瀑布。酒店计划于夏季开业。

    • 艾波卡特的游客将能参观艾伦戴尔王国,大受好评的"Frozen Ever After"就在挪威馆。这个亲子设施很欢迎游客们前往冰雪奇缘中的魔法世界,还可以见到故事中皇室两姐妹,主打歌和全新的冰雪成像技术。一旦登船,游客就可以在夏日庆典中参观冬天的艾伦戴尔王国。

    • Soarin' Around the World的客人登上受欢迎的Soarin,从艾波卡特启航,开始一段前往偏僻小岛的旅程,俯视就能看到世界上最独特的自然风景和人工奇迹。

    • Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris,迪士尼动物王国深受欢迎的乞力马扎罗巡航将开启全新的夜间探险模式。游客们将穿梭在热带草原,伴随着橙色的落日,探索两个新项目:African wild dogs和 hyenas。

    • "Rivers of Light"是一个创新的经验,之前从未在任何一个迪士尼里见过,结合现场表演,浮动的灯笼,水屏幕和旋转动物意象,神奇的"光的河流"在发现河上显得栩栩如生,让客人真正地从一整天动物王国的冒险里放松下来。

    • "The LEGO® MovieTM 4D A New Adventure" 1月29日在乐高乐园首映。新4 d动画电影沿用了乐高®电影TM中受欢迎的人物,使用如风水、烟等元素,还有特殊的灯光效果。通过传奇色彩的体验,将电影的主要人物埃米特和Wyldstyle以及他们的朋友一起带进另一段可怕的冒险。

    • 肯尼迪航天中心宣布即将建设新设施Heroes and Legends。这将以美国宇航员名人堂为主题,通过高科技元素和特殊的效果,包括模拟全息图和增强实感,邀请游客体验早期执行太空任务时的恐惧和危险感,展现先驱的英雄主义。

    • DoveCote在奥兰多市中心,是大厨 James and Julie Petrakis的下一个计划,他们也是Winter Park的 Ravenous Pig还有Cask & Larder and Swine & Sons的主人,新店计划于2016年春开业。大厨Clayton Miller, 曾获《美食与美酒》杂志的"最佳新厨师"奖项。他曾与Thomas Keller 共事,将监管厨房。

    • Cask & Larder位于奥兰多国际机场内,将于夏季开业。是Petrakises的另一个扩展,后者被Esquire杂志评为2014年美国最佳餐厅。第一家机场内的餐馆将专门按季节供应菜肴且使用当地的原材料。

     

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    05/02/2016

     

     Orlando Welcomed 66 Million Visitors in 2015

    Doubles Visitation over Past Two Decades

     

     

    ORLANDO, Fla., (May 2, 2016) - Visit Orlando announced a new all-time record for the destination. In 2015, 66.1 million people visited Orlando, growing 5.5 percent from 2014 and solidifying Orlando's position as the most visited destination in the nation. Visitation to Orlando more than doubled over the past 20 years, growing from 32.4 million in 1995.

     

    "Reaching more than 66 million visitors to Orlando is an amazing accomplishment for our tourism community," said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. "This new milestone and rapid growth over the past two decades is a result of having a tourism industry and community partners that are focused on growth and investment, dedication to the needs of our visitors and the global marketing and sales efforts of our Visit Orlando team and member companies."

     

    A record 33 million room nights were sold in Orlando in 2015, resulting in record tourist development tax collections topping $230 million in Orange County, Fla., home to the Central Florida tourism district.

     

    "We're so proud to break another national record and again be named the top visitor destination for the U.S.," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.  "With our superb convention center and culture of hospitality, world-class theme parks, family-friendly entertainment and luxury dining and lodging amenities, it's no surprise that Central Florida remains the top destination for business, family and leisure guests."

     

    Visit Orlando announced the record-breaking achievement at its annual Travel & Tourism Luncheon, a celebration of Orlando's tourism community, attended by more than 800 tourism and community leaders. The event was held during the 33rd annual National Travel and Tourism Week, which unites communities each year to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.

     

    "Orlando has reached yet another historic milestone with more than 66 million visitors in 2015-a significant achievement for Orlando and the U.S. travel industry," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "The region's remarkable commitment to travel and tourism-with especial kudos to Visit Orlando, its tourism community members, and the leadership of local public officials-enabled it to hit yet another visitation record."

     

    Since 1995, Orlando's hotel inventory grew by more than 37 percent, topping 117,000 rooms in 2015. Passengers at Orlando International Airport increased by more than 72 percent, reaching 38,809,337 in 2015. In the past two decades, significant openings and expansions have continued to reinforce Orlando as the theme park capital of the world and a leading convention destination. Orlando also established a robust lineup of luxury offerings to meet the needs of travelers seeking five-star service and amenities and downtown Orlando experienced a renaissance with new arts and sports venues. The destination emerged as a thriving culinary destination, garnering consistent James Beard Award nominations for local chefs while also attracting internationally-praised celebrity chefs with new culinary concepts.

     

     

    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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    04/22/2016

     

    Visit Orlando Unveils Spring Deals for Florida Residents

    Florida Residents Save up to 50% in Orlando

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Year-round warm weather, no state income tax and the theme park capital of the world just a short drive away are among the advantages of living in Florida. Visit Orlando, the official tourism association for the destination, launched new perks for Florida residents with exclusive deals on spring travel to Orlando. From April 25 through June 15, Florida Residents can take advantage of more than 50 theme park and attraction offers; discounted hotel rates; dining deals and more gathered at VisitOrlando.com/Florida, offering savings up to 50%. A selection of offers includes:

    Theme Parks

    SeaWorld Orlando - Save $30 on a 2-Park Combo Ticket for SeaWorld and Aquatica

    Universal Orlando Resort - Save over $45 off gate prices on select multi-day tickets

    Walt Disney World Resort - Specially priced 3- , 4- day base tickets and annual passes are available for Florida residents

    Other Attractions

    Orlando Balloon Rides - $50 off for adults, $20 off for children

    Wild Florida - 50% off all tickets plus free souvenir shot glass

    SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled - Buy adult entry and get child entry free

    Accommodations

    • Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive - 30% off best available rate; free parking and internet; plus no resort fee on stays of two nights or more

    CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort Orlando - 25% off; rates from $69

    Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - 20% off standard rates and any spa service

    Dining/Nightlife

    • Black Fire Brazilian Steakhouse - All-you-can-eat meat, buffet and drinks for $34.95

    Señor Frog's Orlando - Free cover every Friday; 20% off food and retail items and 2-for-1 10 oz. signature drinks

    Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar - Complimentary dessert or Mojito

    Orlando's Must-See Special Events This Spring
    Orlando celebrates spring through music, art and fabulous food. Florida residents can complement their spring Orlando itinerary with a variety of special events, including:

    • The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort unites all the best things about spring, from fresh flavors, world-class concerts, blooming works of art and more. The festival runs now through May 30.

    • Viva La Musica at SeaWorld Orlando is a celebration of Hispanic music, food and culture. Included in regular park admission, April 23, May 7 and 14.

    25th Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival is a celebration of theater, art and music. Fringe runs May 18-30 and encompasses hundreds of shows, the Visual Fringe, outdoor concerts and "The Kids Fringe Tour."

     

    Visitors can access the full list of exclusive Florida resident offers, plus insider tips, a full events calendar and updates at VisitOrlando.com/Florida.

     

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