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12/11/2018

19 New Reasons in 2019 to Visit Orlando

From Star Wars to Sesame Street, Orlando welcomes new immersive experiences for families and fanatics of all ages

 

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando, Theme Park Capital of the World®, will have even more character in 2019 with the launch of new theme park thrills, adventures beyond the theme parks, and all-new places to stay, play and dine. Visitors can get continuous updates on new attractions and planning tips at VisitOrlando.com, the official visitor information source for the destination.

 

NEW THEME PARK THRILLS

Orlando theme parks have experienced unprecedented growth within the past five years, with ground-breaking expansions including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley, Pandora - The World of AVATAR and brand-new waterpark Volcano Bay. The thrills continue in 2019 with brand-new immersive lands, rides and experiences to excite both first-time and return visitors.

 

New Immersive Lands

1.       Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, a new land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, opens late-fall 2019. Set on the remote planet Batuu, the area will feature two signature attractions, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, putting guests in the cockpit of the famous space ship, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where an escape from The First Order turns into all-out battle.

2.       A new Sesame Street-themed land at SeaWorld Orlando is scheduled to open in spring 2019. Guests can explore the iconic neighborhood, including the famous 123 stoop, exciting rides, the park's first-ever parade, beloved characters and interactive experiences.

3.       The Lego Movie World debuts at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in spring 2019, with three new attractions based on the 2014 film: Unikitty's Disco Drop, Battle of Bricksburg and The Lego Movie Masters of Flight, a unique 180-degree rotating theater attraction with additional 4D elements such as smells and water sprays.

 

Thrill Rides and Family-friendly Attractions

4.       An all-new roller coaster thrill ride is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Replacing what was once the "Dragon Challenge" double coaster, it is expected to be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences that Universal Orlando has ever created.

5.       New family thrill ride, KareKare Curl at SeaWorld's Aquatica offers riders a high-adrenaline, weightless adventure as they "climb" a vertical wave wall.

6.       The first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway," will open at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Guests will enter the world of "Mickey Mouse" cartoon shorts using new technologies to bring the flat cartoon world to life.

7.       Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy, a live show opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios in early 2019, will feature beloved characters from the Cars movie series.

 

NEW ADVENTURES BEYOND THE PARKS

8.    Dezerland Action Park, Orlando's largest indoor entertainment, events museum complex, will offer 800,000 square feet of family entertainment. In 2019, the Orlando Auto Museum, one of the largest privately-owned collection of automobilia in the world, will open as part of phase one. The 250,000-square-foot experience will boast over 100 TV and Movie Cars, including dynamic displays of Hollywood Cars, 007 James Bond, Batmobiles, Vespa Scooters, Military and Micro Cars.

9.       Wild Florida is expanding by more than six times its size to add a zipline and drive-through safari, bringing visitors nose-to-snout with giraffes, wild boars and other exotic animals.

10.   Epic Axe Throwing is the first-of-its-kind in Orlando, a rustic "sport" open to anyone over the age of 13. Guests will have coaches on hand to teach them the art in a safe environment, for a unique new attraction with a competitive "edge." It opened in late-2018.

 

NEW RESORTS AND HOTELS

With record-setting visitation numbers and newly-added attractions, Orlando accommodations continue to experience significant growth. By the end of 2019, Orlando is expected to add approximately 6,000 new rooms.

 

11.   Disney Riviera Resort, the 15th Disney Vacation Club property, is expected to open fall 2019 complete with a rooftop restaurant with views of both Epcot's and Disney's Hollywood Studios' nighttime spectaculars. The resort will be part of the new Disney Skyliner gondola line, connecting the hotel along with three other properties to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

12.   Surfside Inn and Suites at Universal Orlando Resort will open in summer 2019, the first of two new value hotels that will make up Universal's Endless Summer Resort. The hotels, with rates starting at $100 per night, offer guests a more affordable on-site experience while keeping the perks of Early Park Admission and resort-wide transportation.

13.   Margaritaville Resort Orlando is expected to open early 2019. The waterfront destination resort will feature 175 rooms, 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes and 300 timeshare units. The resort will also include a dining and entertainment district, a 12-acre water park, wellness center, miles of fitness trails and a destination water taxi system.

 

NEW ENTERTAINING EATERIES

From international celebrity chefs to local culinary superstars, Orlando's food scene continues to reinvent itself, pleasing both distinguished palates and cash-conscious families. It's why Orlando is among the top 10 Best Foodie Cities in America, according to Wallethub.com.

 

Tourism District

14.  Disney Springs welcomes The NBA Experience, a state-of-the-art restaurant, complete with interactive games, and City Works Eatery and Pour House, which will serve 80 beers on tap, shareable American favorites and live sporting events broadcasts on high-definition TVs.

15.   Pointe Orlando, an outdoor dining and entertainment complex on International Drive, welcomes The Hampton Social, themed after the New York coastal resort region, and Lotus Asia House, serving Pan-Asian cuisine inspired by street food vendors.

16.   The Orlando Forum's ROCK Dinner Show is a one-of-a-kind, dining and entertainment experience that brings audiences of all ages through a high-energy musical journey of the Kings of Rock and Pop - from Prince to Elvis to Katy Perry. It opened in late-2018.

 

Downtown Orlando and Winter Park

17.   From the owners of local favorite and nationally-recognized bakery Se7en Bites, comes Sette, a rustic Italian kitchen offering pastas made from scratch.

18.   The operators of one of Orlando's most popular vegetarian restaurants, Sanctum Café, are bringing this new concept to Winter Park, Proper & Wild, serving plant-based dishes that focus on modern food trends.

19.  The District GastroBar, a new upscale restaurant and bar, inspired by Orlando's mid-twentieth century African-American music scene, will feature an open-air patio, beer garden, and a menu with Caribbean flare.

 

About Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States and, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area's leading industry. Visit Orlando is responsible for branding, selling and marketing the Orlando destination worldwide, and serves as the official visitor information source.

 

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

 



11/01/2018

 

Visit Orlando to Offer Exclusive Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals on Over 40 Attractions 


ORLANDO, Fla. - Celebrating the biggest shopping week of the year -- including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday -- Visit Orlando, the official tourism association for the destination, will offer an extra 10 percent off all purchases* at OrlandoTickets.com, on top of exclusive deals and discounts to more than 40 world-famous theme parks, attractions, activities and dinner shows. The deals will be available for purchase starting Nov. 20 and range from free additional days at theme parks to exclusive offers. Most are valid one year from purchase, perfect for gifting a 2019 vacation.

Visit Orlando is the official association and travel planning expert for Orlando, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and the most visited destination in the U.S.

Guests can save an extra 10 percent at checkout on top of Visit Orlando's Black Friday Exclusive Attraction Deals** including:

Theme Park Deals

  • Walt Disney World Resort: Savings start at $30 per ticket on Flexible Date Disney tickets. Receive a FREE commemorative Toy Story towel with the purchase of a 5-day or longer Flexible Date ticket (one towel per order while quantities last).

  • Universal Orlando ResortTM: Purchase a 3-Park, 2 Day Park-To-Park ticket, and receive an extra two days free of unlimited admission to Universal Studios FloridaTM, Universal's Islands of AdventureTM and Universal's Volcano BayTM. A total savings of $65 per ticket!

  • SeaWorld Orlando: Get 2 days for the price of 1 with a 2-Day, 2-Park ticket for use at SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens Tampa. A savings of $75 per ticket!

  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort: Get a second day FREE when you purchase a single day admission. A savings of $35 per ticket!

 

Other Orlando Attractions

  • Gatorland: Get unlimited rides on the Gatorland Express train for each admission ticket. 

  • Madame Tussauds: FREE digital photo download per ticket.

  • SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium: FREE digital photo download per ticket.

  • Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures: FREE "Prospector" rare gems mining package included with each airboat tour purchased.

Guests simply use promo code "GIFT" on OrlandoTickets.com purchases made Nov. 20 - 29. 

* While quantities last

**Please see specific terms and conditions noted for individual tickets purchased on VisitOrlando.com.

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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10/25/2018

 

Celebrate Orlando's Merry and Bright Season with 20 Holiday Events

 

Every day feels like a holiday on an Orlando winter vacation

 

 

ORLANDO, Fla. - Imagine dancing snow flurries, unlimited hot cocoa and meeting the world's most famous reindeer, without any of the hassle of the blustery winter cold - that's how Orlando does the holidays.

 

This year, explore a glittering winter wonderland of holiday happenings for 59 days straight, at 20 festive events, all with average daily temperatures in the 70s.  With everything from 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas trees and holiday-themed fireworks to castles frosted with magical snow and rockin' New Year's Eve parties for all ages, visitors and their loved ones can make holiday memories as unique as snowflakes with activities for everyone.

 

Travelers can check out VisitOrlando.com/Christmas for more details and to start planning their perfect winter getaway.

 

Theme Park Holiday Events

 

Walt Disney World Resort |Select nights Nov. 8 - Dec. 21

  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party presents a winter fairytale, as Queen Elsa puts a spell on Cinderella's Castle, covering it in glittering ice. Lively stage shows feature Disney characters in their holiday finery and a festive holiday parade sends toy soldiers and snow flurries dancing on Main Street U.S.A. Guests can also enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa around the park.
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  • Disney's Hollywood Studios hosts Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! The event features spectacular fireworks, special effects and holiday music classics every night, beginning Nov. 9 through Jan. 6, 2019.
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  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, beginning Nov. 18, features storytellers, a daily character tree-lighting ceremony and a stunning display of snow-white lights. The Candlelight Processional, a favorite of all ages, joins holiday traditions at the 11 World Showcase nations.
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  • The Candlelight Processional at Epcot is a beloved Disney tradition, beginning Nov. 22. This joyous retelling of the biblical story of the origins of Christmas features a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra and several magnificent choirs. The special line-up of narrators this year includes Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Hunt and Auli'i Cravalho, along with other spirited celebrities.
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  • Flurry of Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a holly, jolly celebration brimming with magical merriment. Beginning Nov. 8, guests can delight in festive shows, holiday décor, Toy Story Land cheer and so much more. Sunset Season's Greetings transforms Sunset Boulevard into a winter wonderland, including "snow," holiday decorations and beloved characters getting into the Christmas spirit to the backdrop of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
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    Universal Orlando Resort |Select nights Nov. 17 - Jan.6

  • At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy's Holiday Parade fills the streets every evening with the larger-than-life balloons from Macy's famous annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Elaborate floats, dancers and live entertainment dazzle and delight guests.
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  • At Universal's Islands of Adventure, Grinchmas descends on Seuss Landing with a live retelling of Dr. Seuss's beloved holiday tale during the Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular, featuring the Whos from Who-ville and an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller.
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  • Also at Universal's Islands of Adventure, see Hogwarts transform into a magical holiday extravaganza with Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, starting Nov. 17. Wizards and Muggles alike can watch in awe as Hogwarts Castle is illuminated with dazzling projections, and savor seasonal treats and drinks while listening to the famed Frog Choir and the wizarding world's famous "Singing Sorceress" Celestina Warbeck.
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    SeaWorld Orlando |Select nights Nov. 17 - Dec. 31  

  • This holiday season, there are more reasons than ever to join the merriment of SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration. Guests of all ages can delight over scrumptious food, stunning live shows and joyful entertainment inspired by the natural world as they create treasured memories together. Over 3 million sparkling lights will shine bright during the festive Christmas event, offered select dates from Nov. 17 to Dec. 31. New for 2018 is Dine with Santa at Shamu Stadium, where guests can enjoy a warm-hearted holiday experience and meet Santa Claus as family memories are made.
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    LEGOLAND Florida Resort |Select weekends Dec. 1-25    
     
  • At Christmas Bricktacular, families can block time to marvel at the more than 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree - made with 270,000 LEGO and DUPLO bricks - and pose for a perfect holiday picture with a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh.
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    Holiday Events in and Around Orlando

  • The City of Orlando's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony takes place on Nov. 30 at Lake Eola Park, featuring a 72-foot Christmas tree, live entertainment and a food truck bazaar.
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  • The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts features a host of holiday shows and concerts this season, from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to "Irving Berlin's White Christmas."
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  • The Central Florida Ballet's fire-enhanced, Cirque du Soleil-inspired take on The Nutcracker is known to many as the "pyrotechnic Nutcracker." It returns to the Orange County Convention Center's Linda Chapin Theater Dec. 15-16.
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  • The Winter in the Park ice skating rink opens Nov. 24 in Winter Park, and hosts an annual tree lighting ceremony, featuring carolers and a visit from Santa on Dec. 1.
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  • On Dec. 8, enjoy Winter Park's Ye Old Hometown Christmas Parade, the longest-running parade in Central Florida, now in its 66th year.
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    A Unique New Year's Eve in Orlando

    Ring in 2019 at one of Orlando's biggest celebrations. New Year's Eve events across the destination invite guests to toast, dine and shine beneath massive fireworks shows at the theme parks and beyond.

     

  • The Disney Countdown to Midnight at Disney's Contemporary Resort sets a thrilling tone for the New Year, with a live DJ, seasonal bites from several Disney restaurants, dancing and libations, culminating with Magic Kingdom Park fireworks viewing and a champagne toast.
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  • On International Drive, those searching for a glamorous and exciting New Year's party will find countless options for their party needs. From Mango's Tropical Cafe and Tapa Toro at Pointe Orlando to Top Golf, guests will be in for a night of unique entertainment, live music, decadent food choices and of course, fireworks.
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  • At EVE, Universal CityWalk's jam-packed New Year's celebration, guests can feast on unlimited gourmet cuisine and signature drinks, revel in six clubs with live bands and DJs and rock out on Orlando's biggest outdoor dance floor.
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  • Families can ring in the New Year before bedtime at Kids' New Year's Eve at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Move and groove at an exclusive dance party, catch the giant LEGO brick drop at a kid-friendly hour and wind down the year with LEGO-inspired fireworks - all before midnight.
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  • Celebrate the connection to the sea, sea life and the world at SeaWorld Orlando's New Year's Eve event. Vibrant fireworks will fill the night sky and festive entertainment will take place throughout the park, including interactive DJ stations, craft beers and delectable bites.
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    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. 

     

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

     



    08/21/2018

     

     

    Orlando: Halloween Vacation Capital
    Summons 78 Days of Halloween for 2018

    Retro horror film vibes and family-friendly frights

    deliver more than two months of haunted happenings

     

    Orlando, FL - Why celebrate for just one night when Orlando, Halloween Vacation Capital®, offers a lineup of the nation's top Halloween events spanning an entire 78 days? Starting as early as Aug. 17 and running through Nov. 3, there's something for everyone, from mild and family-friendly to wild and terrifying. This year's lineup includes a host of all-hallows events and attractions; themed hotel packages; and the return of the largest horror convention in the nation.

     

    Visit Orlando, Orlando's official visitor resource, has created a special web page to help travelers plan a ghoulish getaway at VisitOrlando.com/Halloween. Follow #OrlandoHalloween for real-time updates and find a few haunted highlights below.

     

     

    THEME PARK FRIGHTS

     

  • Halloween Horror Nights 28, Select Nights Sept. 14 - Nov. 3‎
  • This year visitors can expect horrors inspired by the ‘80s at Universal Orlando Resort's Halloween Horror Nights, with a haunted house in the theme of Netflix's mega-hit "Stranger Things," as well as nine other haunted houses, for a total of 10 - the most ever in the event's 28-year history. The event will also run for a total of 34 nights, tied for the longest run in its history.

     

  • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Select Nights Aug. 17 - Oct. 31
  • On select nights from Aug. 17 to Oct. 31, Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, special characters and entertainment for the whole family. Encouraged to come dressed for the occasion, visitors can trick-or-treat throughout the park, masquerade with costumed characters at the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, sing along at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and end the night with a "Boo-tacular" fireworks show.

     

  • SeaWorld's Halloween Spooktacular, Weekends Sept. 22 - Oct. 28
  • It's an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater "fantasea" including trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, whimsical sea creatures, and the chance to mingle with everyone's favorite Sesame Street friends including Elmo, The Count, Cookie Monster and more.

     

  • Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Select Nights Oct. 6 - 31
  • Families will enjoy all the fun without the frights at LEGOLAND's Brick or Treat this year. The event features trick-or-treating, the world's largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, LEGO Halloween characters and a bewitching Halloween-themed fireworks show at Pirates' Cove.

     

    "BOO!" BEYOND THE PARKS

     

  • Spooky Empire, the largest horror convention in the nation returns to Orlando Oct. 26-29 at the Caribe Royale Orlando. This year's lineup of celebrity guests includes David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, and KathyNajimy of Disney's Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, with more to be announced. 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 features two outdoor scare trails for small groups to venture through a haunted forest at night. On a few special Total Eclipse Nights - which require a signed waiver for anyone under 18 - monsters can even touch the guests, and each small group is given only one glowstick to light their path, regardless if it is dropped or stolen by a creature. The event runs select nights, Oct. 5 - Nov. 3
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  • American Ghost Adventures offers a wide variety of year-round paranormal experiences, with tour options all over Orlando, from the haunted pub tour, "Spirits with Spirits" to the "Dining with the Departed" tour, complete with a meal in a haunted restaurant.
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  • Zombie Outbreak challenges guests to see how long they could survive a zombie apocalypse. This Halloween season and all year long, the terrifically terrifying attraction puts guests in the middle of a military base overrun with the undead.
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  • Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction at Old Town features year-round scares, with two spooky stories, state-of-the-art animatronics and live actors. Entry is just $15, making this a bargain sure to scare the living yell out of guests.
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  • Maitland's Historical Haunted Tours invite curious history buffs and ghost hunters to explore the haunted grounds of the Art & History Museum's Maitland Art Center or the Waterhouse Residence Museum via two separate tours, available on select days in October. From ghost stories to creepy Victorian artifacts, guests will discover the chilling truth behind what is said to be one of the most paranormal places in Central Florida.
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  • "Screamin' Green Hauntoween at The Crayola Experience invites guests to get "zombified" with all-new monster-ific crafts, dance parties, a themed scavenger and trick-or-treating every weekend, Sept. 22 - Oct. 31.
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  • SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology brings the dead back to life, with over 40 exhibits featuring 500 REAL animal skeletons. Special adult-focused event nights get even spookier, like SKELETONS After Dark: Forensic Night, where guests examine human skeletons and learn how to read the cause of death.
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  • The City of Orlando's Moonlight Walking Tours take guests on a dark, historical stroll through Greenwood Cemetery. Trek four miles and visit nearly a hundred graves of notable individuals in Orlando's history. The tour is free, but usually sponsored by rotating charities that will be accepting donations, so guests can feel philanthropic AND afraid.

  • HAUNTING HOTEL HAPPENINGS

     

  • Three Hyatt properties are offering a "No Tricks, Just Treats" package, Sept.1 - Nov. 4, to get guests into the Halloween spirit. The package includes two complimentary "spooky" drinks or beverages of choice per stay as well as a special themed treat placed in their room upon arrival, available at Hyatt Place across form Universal Orlando Resort, Hyatt House across from Universal Orlando ResortTMand Hyatt Place Orlando Convention Center.
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  • Hilton Orlando is offering "A ROOM WITH A BOO" package, which includes daily breakfast, premium Wi-Fi and late checkout at 2:00 p.m.; perfect sleeping-in time for those "creatures of the night." Use this link for booking.
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    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.

      

     



    08/09/2018

    What's New & Next in Orlando

    The #1 Meetings Destination in the U.S.

     

    While some top meetings destinations may rest on their laurels, Orlando - which once again has been ranked by Cvent as the #1 meeting destination in the United States - continues to raise the bar with new resources for meeting attendees, improvements at the conventions center, new venues and a variety of new dining and attractions options.

     

    HOTELS AND VENUES

    Orlando boasts nearly 120,000 rooms at a wide array of price points and 150 meeting hotels offering a combined 4.5 million square feet of meeting space. The destination has an array of new openings and newly renovated properties for planners to choose for their next event.

     

  • Universal Orlando Resort has announced its sixth hotel on property, Aventura Hotel, opening in August, 2018. A value property, the 16-story gleaming glass tower will consist of 600 guest rooms, bringing the total number of on-site hotel rooms at Universal Orlando to 6,200 when combined with the 400-room expansion of Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which opened in 2017.
  • TheWalt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resorthas recently completed a $140millionmulti-year redesign project to transform all 2,267 guest rooms, as well as a new lobby, additional food and beverage options and renovated meeting space.
  • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, the largest of the six convention hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, is being expanded to add new dining options, resort rooms and outdoor networking spaces. Construction is underway on a new 15-story tower that will bring an additional 500 rooms to the resort, including suites and concierge level services. The expansion will include a new rooftop restaurant, meeting venues, adding a board room and two multi-purpose rooms to the resort's current 220,000 square feet of dedicated meeting and function space.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld has completed a significant expansion of its meeting space, now offering 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including a 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom.
  • The Marriott Orlando Downtown has renovated the entire property, including 293 guest rooms, four suites, 16,000 sq. ft. of meeting space with 11 breakout rooms. The hotel has Central Florida's first M Club Lounge, a new concierge concept for preferred guests that Marriott unveiled in 2014.
     
  • NEW AT THE ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER

     

    The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is known for its extraordinary size, with 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space and 480,000 sq ft. of flexible meeting space.

  • Updated Meeting Rooms now meet the increasing demand for more meeting space, with the recently renovated Sunburst meeting room. The room, located in the West Concourse, has an outdoor terrace to accommodate even more guests for events like receptions, outdoor functions and meetings. Whether you are planning a special event for 40 or 400, the Sunburst Terrace is a versatile and flexible space that will bring ‘Florida' into your meeting or function. Other updated rooms include the Honeybell and Hamlin board rooms, allowing guests to book space that delivers and executive feel and the latest technology.
  • The International Drive Pedestrian Bridge is the fifth pedestrian bridge linking The OCCC with a neighboring hotel. It spans International Drive between the West Building's Central Lobby Level III and the sidewalk in front of the Hyatt Regency Orlando, and opened to guests in late 2017.
  • New Ballrooms have expanded meeting space at the center. West Hall F was transformed into a 48,961 square foot multi-purpose exhibit space and Tangerine ballroom. Features include decorative large scale wall panels, an LED color-changing translucent ceiling and bamboo door surrounds and ceiling elements - all combining to create a stunning space. The Valencia Ballroom a 62,182 square foot multiple-purpose room has been converted into a beautiful Ballroom with similar design as the new Tangerine Ballroom. Features includes new electrical, LED lighting and controls, access control system, data infrastructure, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection and architectural features such as carpet, terrazzo flooring, entry doors, decorative panels, wall finishes, ceiling system, rigging points, and signage. This beautiful multi-purpose space can be divided into three sections of 20,000 square feet each and accommodate banquets, meetings and exhibits. 
  • Destination Lounge in the South Building, room S222, has now become a multi-purpose room for client use as well as client-related functions. The goal was to create spaces that are designed with comfortable seating and open views, and that are technology friendly for small groups, individuals or private events.
  • Better Dining Options can now be found in the West building, where Food Court C has been transformed with a contemporary look and feel, transitioning it from a food court into a dining lounge. Various seating options, new banquettes, lighting and a new layout have been arranged.
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    NEW ATTRACTIONS

    From theme park thrills to indoor entertainment, there are plenty of fun, new options for groups to enjoy after business hours that are a short walk (or drive) from the Convention District.

    International Drive

  • Top Golf Orlando's 65,000-square-foot venue offers more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays with advanced technology to track accuracy and distance of players' shots.
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  • The new Andretti Indoor Karting & Games features high-speed electric super karts on a two-level track, over 120 arcade games, a rock wall, zip line and more.
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  • Main Event Entertainment at Pointe Orlando, a 45,000 square-foot dining and entertainment complex offers American fare and handcrafted cocktails, more than 100 virtual and interactive games, state-of-the-art bowling and Florida's only 4DX Theater at Regal Cinemas.
  • Walt Disney World Resort

  • Disney's Hollywood Studios opened Toy Story Land in summer 2018, featuring two new themed attractions, the "Slinky Dog Dash" roller coaster and "Alien Swirling Saucers."
  • Experience Pandora - The World of AVATAR, the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom's history, and step into a new world featuring floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests a Banshee flying attraction, and new after-dark entertainment.
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    Universal Orlando Resort

  • Fast & Furious - Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida takes guests on a high-octane adventure into the world of underground racing, right alongside stars from the Fast & Furious films, opened in spring 2018.
  • The new Volcano Bay water park offers innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments and an entirely new guest experience. A highly themed, immersive environment is inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands.
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    SeaWorld Orlando

  • Ray Rush provides three new ways to slide, splash and soar at Aquatica, SeaWorld's Waterpark. With wild water jets, a colossal water sphere and swoops into giant manta wings, the raft ride debuted in spring 2018.
  • Infinity Falls, a new rainforest river rapids ride, is coming to SeaWorld Orlando in summer 2018, featuring the world's tallest river rapid drop.
  • SeaWorld Orlando debuted its first digitally-enhanced ride experience as the legendary Kraken roller coaster has been transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster experience. This thrill ride is the only VR coaster experience in Florida, taking guests on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals.
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    DINING & ENTERTAINMENT

    Named top food city in the United States by WalletHub, Orlando's breadth and quality of dining options continue to attract Celebrity Chefs and independent restaurateurs.

     

    New at Disney Springs

  • The Edison, themed around a 1920s-era electric company with live entertainment, classic American food and craft cocktails
  • Jaleo, a Spanish Tapas concept by world-renowned Chef Jose Andres
  • Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, a new location in Town Center capturing the essence of laid-back California dining
  • Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida
  • Maria & Enzo's Ristorante, offering Sicilian cuisine and set in a 1930s abandoned airline terminal
  • Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar, serving Prohibition-era cocktails along with a menu of Roman dishes, all inspired by the true Florida history of rum-running
  •  

    New options in Downtown Orlando

  • JINYA Ramen Bar, a modern Japanese restaurant featuring authentic ramen along with a variety of tapas dishes, opened in 2018 in the Thornton Park neighborhood of downtown Orlando.
  • Ace Cafe Orlando, the first outpost of the iconic London, England-based motor-diner opened in summer 2017. An American roadside diner inspires the menu, with made-from-scratch comfort food, some British favorites and locally-sourced and green options, all at an affordable price point. Ace Cafe Orlando also has a big backyard area for patio dining, outdoor events and live music.
  •  

    International Drive

    As part of $1 billion multi-year investments for developments along International Drive, several new restaurant and entertainment options are in the works for the coming year.

     

     

    Transportation

  • All Aboard Florida is introducing Brightline, an express train service for intercity travel in Florida. Brightline will transport passengers at speeds between 79 and 125 miles per hour, using the existing Florida East Coast Railway corridor between Miami and Cocoa, along with new track between Cocoa and Orlando. Services began between Miami and West Palm Beach in 2017, with service from Miami to Orlando to follow soon. Upon completion, travel from Miami to Orlando will only take about three hours. Phase Two of Brightline will include a station at Orlando International Airport, within the future South Terminal.
  • Orlando International Airport has opened a new $1.8 billion south airport terminal near the current airport, adjacent to the $1.3 billion train station also under construction. The train station and gates 16 to 21 of the south terminal are scheduled to be completed in 2019, and will feature indoor palm trees, interactive video screens and a moving sidewalk through a straight strip, "the boulevard," that spans the different components of the new terminal: ground transportation, ticket hall, concessions, screening and gates.
  •  

     

     



    08/08/2018

     

    Fall in Love with Orlando's Delicious Food Festivities

    10 Food, Wine & Beer Festivals to Look for this Fall

    ORLANDO, Fla. - This fall, Orlando brings flavorful events to visitors and locals alike. Numerous food and wine festivals offer culinary delights and celebrate the incoming cooler weather, with more than 11 weeks of events guaranteed to satisfy beer and wine lovers, vegetarians and adventurous eaters.

    For a full schedule of fall happenings, year-round events, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com. Find highlights of Orlando's most popular food events below:

     

    1.    Guests can dine on haute cuisine without burning through their budget during the 13th year of Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, Sponsored by American Express (Aug. 24 - Sept. 30), when more than 100 of Central Florida's top restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for $35. This year it's easier than ever for guests to find vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, specially marked on the Magical Dining website.

     

    2.    At the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Aug. 30 - Nov. 12), taking place 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 World Showcase. New this year, guest can enjoy Sunday Brunch with celebrity chefs, new artists at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, a mimosa bar, and innovative dishes at Global Marketplaces throughout the Park.

     

    3.    Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek (Sept. 14 - Nov. 11) returns with signature guest favorites including a macaron bar, traditional Royal Tea and the Bar du Chocolat with champagne. Tasting dinners at the hotels' signature restaurants - Bull & Bear, La Luce and Zeta Asia - will offer the chance to experience authentic dishes inspired by American, Italian and Asian cuisine.

     

    4.    At Universal Orlando Resort, Jake's Beer Festival is held at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort (Oct. 5), featuring 50 or so craft and specialty beers, creative foods expertly prepared and live entertainment.

     

    5.    The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Oct. 26 - 27) features wines from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. Educational seminars range from wine-blending to pasta-making from scratch. A special Sunday Bubbles Brunch returns this year on Oct. 28, featuring a variety of cured meats, imported cheeses, an array of sushi and of course, champagne.

     

    6.    The 7th Annual Winter Park Wine and Dine (Oct. 10) invites the community to sample flavors from over 30 restaurants. Tickets include unlimited tastings of food, deserts, wine, specialty cocktails and craft beer plus live music throughout the Winter Park Farmer's Market.

     

    7.    As the No.1 vegan-friendly destination in the U.S., according to an article in Livability, Orlando's vegetarian community continues to grow with special events like the Central Florida Veg Fest (Oct. 27). Now in its 13th year, Veg Fest is one of the biggest and best vegetarian festivals in the country. Held at Orlando Festival Park near downtown Orlando, this colorful and educational event offers over 200 vendors and 100 contributors, for a wide variety of presentations and food preparation demos, all featuring vegetarian cuisines.

     

    8.    New to the Fall event lineup this year is Lakeridge Winery's first ever Wine & Cheese Festival (Sept. 8 - 9), featuring complimentary tastings of bestselling wines carefully paired with artisan cheeses. Guests can also enjoy live music, Lakeridge wine by the glass, beer and a variety of food available for purchase.

     

    9.    Another brand-new event for 2018 is SeaWorld's Craft Beer Festival (Weekends Nov. 3 - 11), featuring 100+ brews on draft from breweries across the state of Florida, plus a few domestic and international craft favorites. The festival will offer more than 20 unique food items designed to perfectly pair with the selection of brews.

     

    10.  The 4th Annual Orlando Beer Festival (Nov. 10), held in the Milk District of downtown Orlando, hosts a night of fun for a good cause, as proceeds benefit the Coalition for the Homeless. Guests will enjoy samples of craft and premium beers from local and international breweries, wine tastings, interactive games, tasty eats and live music.

     


    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.

    ###

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

     



    07/30/2018

    Orlando Delivers Spooky Surprises, Fab Food and Holiday Cheer This Fall and Winter

     Ghoulishly-themed events, holiday festivities and restaurant month deals delight visitors seeking winter sun

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The Theme Park Capital of the World® is gearing up to be a top winter sun hot spot this year, delivering one-of-a-kind Halloween events and delicious food events this autumn alongside festive holiday celebrations this winter. For a full schedule of what's on this year, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com.

    ORLANDO'S FOOD & WINE FEASTS

    The destination's reputation for top-notch dining grows with each passing year - and 2018 is no exception. From a month-long discount dining program to theme park and resort events, there are flavors to satisfy every foodie's palate this fall.

  • Guests can dine on haute cuisine without burning through their budget during Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month (Aug. 24 - Sep. 30), when more than 100 of Central Florida's top restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for $35.
  •  

  • At the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Aug. 30 - Nov. 12), guests can savor unexpected flavors from around the globe as they circle World Showcase. This year's new additions include a character dance party, savory new acts in the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, a mimosa bar and more.
  •  

  • Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek (Sept. 7 - Nov. 11) returns with signature guest favorites including a macaron bar, traditional Royal Tea and the Bar du Chocolat with champagne. Tasting dinners at the hotels' signature restaurants - Bull & Bear, La Luce and Zeta Asia - will give both aspiring foodies and serious epicureans a chance to experience authentic dishes inspired by American, Italian and Asian cuisine.
  •  

  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Oct. 26 - 27) features wines from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. And back for its second year is the Sunday Bubbles Brunch, serving traditional and not-so-traditional dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. 
  • SPOOKY FUN THROUGHOUT ORLANDO

    Orlando - Halloween Vacation Capital℠ - is ready to make things a little "stranger" this year with spooky soirees and ghoulishly themed fun and thrills during the 2018 Halloween season.

  • Universal Orlando® Resort's Halloween Horror Nights (select nights Sept. 14 - Nov. 3) will bring Netflix's mega-hit "Stranger Things" giving guests the chance to experience the Upside Down parallel universe and encounter iconic scenes, characters and environments from the mesmerizing series.
  •  

  • During Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (select nights Aug. 17 - Oct. 31), Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, not-so-scary characters and family friendly entertainment. Visitors can trick-or-treat, masquerade with costumed characters and end the night with a "Boo-tacular" fireworks show, and enjoy new ghostly surprises throughout the park.
  •  

  • Spooky Empire (Oct. 26-28), the nation's largest horror convention, invites celebrity guests David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, KathyNajimy of Disney's Halloween classic Hocus Pocus and others, and features a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.
  •  

  • SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular (weekends Sept. 22 - Oct. 28) returns for family friendly trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, whimsical sea creatures, playtime fun with favorite Sesame Street friends and more.
  •  

  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort's Brick or Treat (select nights Oct. 6-31) will frighten things up with larger-than-life LEGO models, a costume parade, trick-or-treating, a themed fireworks show and more.

  • HOLIDAYS AT ORLANDO'S THEME PARKS

    Visitors can trade the winter snow for warmer holiday celebrations in Orlando's sunshine. Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with spirited live entertainment, specially themed festivities and, of course, a lot of holiday cheer.

  • Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort offers an array of joyous fun (Nov. 8 - Dec. 21), including the magical transformation of Cinderella Castle into a glistening ice palace at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party; an exciting line-up of celebrity narrators at Epcot's Candlelight Processional; a holiday wonderland at Disney Springs and more.
  •  

  • Holidays Universal Orlando Resort invites guests, wizards and elves (Nov. 17 - Jan. 6) to the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios. Families will light up with Christmas cheer as Grinchmas comes to life at Universal's Islands of Adventure. And back this year, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be transformed with wondrous, holiday spirit at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
  •  

  • Waves of holiday spirit splash during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration (Nov. 17 - Dec. 31), where guests of all ages can enjoy stunning live shows, a glittering sea of lit Christmas trees and meet and greets with beloved Christmas characters.
  •  

  • Families will celebrate the season during LEGOLAND's Christmas Bricktacular (select dates TBA), featuring LEGO building activities, live themed entertainment, Christmas-themed photo-ops, twinkling lights throughout the park, plus other holiday surprises.
     
  •  

    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.

    ###

    Editor's Note: High-resolution downloadable images are available here.  

      

     



    07/30/2018

    Orlando Delivers Spooky Surprises, Fun Food and Holiday Cheer This Fall and Winter

     Ghoulishly-themed events, holiday festivities and restaurant month deals delight visitors seeking a winter escape

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The Theme Park Capital of the World® is gearing up to be a top winter escape hot spot this year, delivering one-of-a-kind Halloween events and delicious food events this autumn alongside festive holiday celebrations this winter. For a full schedule of what's on this year, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.ca.

    ORLANDO'S FOOD & WINE FEASTS

    The destination's reputation for top-notch dining grows with each passing year - and 2018 is no exception. From a month-long discount dining program to theme park and resort events, there are flavors to satisfy every foodie's palate this fall.

  • Guests can dine on haute cuisine without burning through their budget during Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month (Aug. 24 - Sep. 30), when more than 100 of Central Florida's top restaurants feature three-course, prix fixe dinner menus for $35.
  •  

  • At the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Aug. 30 - Nov. 12), guests can savor unexpected flavors from around the globe as they circle World Showcase. This year's new additions include a character dance party, savory new acts in the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, a mimosa bar and more.
  •  

  • Food and Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek (Sept. 7 - Nov. 11) returns with signature guest favorites including a macaron bar, traditional Royal Tea and the Bar du Chocolat with champagne. Tasting dinners at the hotels' signature restaurants - Bull & Bear, La Luce and Zeta Asia - will give both aspiring foodies and serious epicureans a chance to experience authentic dishes inspired by American, Italian and Asian cuisine.
  •  

  • The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic (Oct. 26 - 27) features wines from around the world and a variety of culinary dishes prepared by award-winning chefs. And back for its second year is the Sunday Bubbles Brunch, serving traditional and not-so-traditional dishes prepared by award-winning chefs.
  •  

    SPOOKY FUN THROUGHOUT ORLANDO
    Orlando - Halloween Vacation Capital℠ - is ready to make things a little "stranger" this year with spooky soirees and ghoulishly themed fun and thrills during the 2018 Halloween season.

  • Universal Orlando® Resort's Halloween Horror Nights (select nights Sept. 14 - Nov. 3) will bring Netflix's mega-hit "Stranger Things" giving guests the chance to experience the Upside Down parallel universe and encounter iconic scenes, characters and environments from the mesmerizing series.
  •  

  • During Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (select nights Aug. 17 - Oct. 31), Magic Kingdom Park comes alive with jack-o-lanterns, not-so-scary characters and family friendly entertainment. Visitors can trick-or-treat, masquerade with costumed characters and end the night with a "Boo-tacular" fireworks show, and enjoy new ghostly surprises throughout the park.
  •  

  • Spooky Empire (Oct. 26-28), the nation's largest horror convention, invites celebrity guests David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson of X-files fame, KathyNajimy of Disney's Halloween classic Hocus Pocus and others, and features a tattoo festival, costume contest, zombie walk and film festival.
  •  

  • SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular (weekends Sept. 22 - Oct. 28) returns for family friendly trick-or-treating, not-so-spooky live shows, whimsical sea creatures, playtime fun with favorite Sesame Street friends and more.
  •  

  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort's Brick or Treat (select nights Oct. 6-31) will frighten things up with larger-than-life LEGO models, a costume parade, trick-or-treating, a themed fireworks show and more.

  • HOLIDAYS AT ORLANDO'S THEME PARKS

    Visitors can trade the winter snow for warmer holiday celebrations in Orlando's sunshine. Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with spirited live entertainment, specially themed festivities and, of course, a lot of holiday cheer.

  • Holidays at Walt Disney World Resort offers an array of joyous fun (Nov. 8 - Dec. 21), including the magical transformation of Cinderella Castle into a glistening ice palace at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party; an exciting line-up of celebrity narrators at Epcot's Candlelight Processional; a holiday wonderland at Disney Springs and more.
  •  

  • Holidays Universal Orlando Resort invites guests, wizards and elves (Nov. 17 - Jan. 6) to the Macy's Holiday Parade at Universal Studios. Families will light up with Christmas cheer as Grinchmas comes to life at Universal's Islands of Adventure. And back this year, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be transformed with wondrous, holiday spirit at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
  •  

  • Waves of holiday spirit splash during SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration (Nov. 17 - Dec. 31), where guests of all ages can enjoy stunning live shows, a glittering sea of lit Christmas trees and meet and greets with beloved Christmas characters.
  •  

  • Families will celebrate the season during LEGOLAND's Christmas Bricktacular (select dates TBA), featuring LEGO building activities, live themed entertainment, Christmas-themed photo-ops, twinkling lights throughout the park, plus other holiday surprises.
  •  

     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.

     

     

    ###

    Editor's Note: High-resolution downloadable images are available here.  

      

     



    07/12/2018

     

    100+ Restaurants Offer Great Rates
    through Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month
    Sponsored by American Express

     

    19 New Additions for 2018; Plus First-time Vegan Options

     

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Starting today, foodies can begin making reservations for Orlando's most popular restaurant month: Visit Orlando's Magical Dining Month, sponsored by American Express. The program returns Aug. 24 - Sept. 30 with several "firsts" including:

  • 19 new participating restaurants including numerous diverse cuisines;
  • vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu options
  •  

    The program was designed by Visit Orlando to showcase the wide variety of upscale and diverse dining throughout the destination, while also helping children in need.

     

    More than 100 restaurants across the destination participate, with each offering a three-course, prix fixe dinner menu for just $35 per person. And, one dollar from every meal served is donated to a local charity. 

     

    "Our Magical Dining program has become so popular that we now have visitors and residents wanting to make reservations well over a month in advance, just to ensure they get their top choices," said Visit Orlando President and CEO, George Aguel. "We are delighted to see that people are eager for the program to kick off. That's good news as it helps spread the word about Orlando's incredible dining options, and also gives back to children in our local community."

     

    The updated website OrlandoMagicalDining.com launches today, which includes the full list of participating restaurants, menus and - for the first time - designated options for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free diets. OpenTable reservations are also available now.    

     

    The wide range of venues spans areas from Disney Springs to Restaurant Row near the convention center, as well as burgeoning neighborhood districts in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and beyond.

     

    Through Visit Orlando, one dollar from every meal served during Magical Dining Month is donated to children in need. This year, the program will help children affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities, though donations to Best Buddies and The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.

     

    For more information, go to OrlandoMagicalDining.com.

     

     

    About Orlando Dining

    From internationally renowned chefs to home-grown venues, 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.

    ###

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

      

     



    05/10/2018

    A New Record for U.S. Travel: Orlando First to Surpass 70 Million Annual Visitors

    Solidifies Rank as America's Most-Visited Destination

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Tourism officials announced today a historic milestone in the travel industry as Orlando became the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million annual visitors. In 2017, 72 million visitors traveled to Orlando, an increase of more than 5 percent over the prior year, once again making it America's most-visited destination.  

    Visit Orlando, the region's official destination tourism and marketing organization, shared the number today at a special gathering of more than 1,000 tourism and community leaders.

    "Our record-breaking year was achieved despite international headwinds and the statewide effects of Hurricane Irma," said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. "In 2017, our destination launched new consumer experiences on a significant scale and our marketing efforts leveraged increasing consumer confidence in the United States. We also continued our focus on communicating the unique emotional connection visitors have with Orlando."

    "Orlando's record-setting visitation affirms the city as a leader in the U.S. travel industry," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "The success in Orlando is great, not just for this iconic destination, but for travel as a whole. As the U.S. overall looks to regain its share of the global travel market, this new milestone in Orlando is a welcome reminder of the resiliency of this industry."

    Orlando reached a host of new milestones in 2017 including:

    -  Record number of U.S. visitors.

    -  Record convention attendance: The Orange County Convention Center welcomed an unprecedented 1.53 million attendees (+5.0 percent).

    -  Record airline arrivals: Orlando International Airport became the busiest airport in Florida, with 44.6 million passengers (+6.4 percent).

    In addition to the openings of new attractions, resorts and dining venues, Orlando's visitation benefited from new and adjusted destination marketing strategies from Visit Orlando.

    Domestically, Visit Orlando recognized the potential of the country's growing positive economic indicators and increased marketing initiatives focused on U.S. audiences, with a special emphasis in the important Northeast region. Domestic visitation for 2017 grew to an all-time record total of 65.86 million.

    Internationally, with several key markets facing uncertainties, Visit Orlando maintained its extensive marketing, brand and publicity programs to retain Orlando's leading position as a top international destination, with 6.15 million visitors.

    Swiftly addressing potential concerns after Hurricane Irma struck in September, Visit Orlando quickly launched initiatives to demonstrate how Orlando tourism areas rebounded. This was accomplished through social media and publicity campaigns that used authentic visuals of real guests, in real-time, enjoying and commenting on the status of the destination.

     

    About Visit Orlando
    Visit Orlando, The Official Tourism Association®, represents the most visited destination in the United States, with a presence in more than a dozen countries around the world. Visit Orlando, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents every segment of the area's leading industry.

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

    ###