Here are 25 new reasons to visit Orlando, Florida this winter

flamingoes in FloridaOrlando provides the perfect backdrop to escape the looming winter chill. The Theme Park Capital of the World offers visitors more than 25 new reasons to plan a trip when they feel comfortable travelling again, ranging from new theme park thrill rides to innovative places to stay.

Below, find some of the newest Orlando openings including:

  • Theme parks – Disney’s 50th anniversary and new record-breaking attractions
  • Attractions beyond the parks – including outdoor adventures
  • Hotels – innovative properties opening soon
  • Dining – new celebrity chef establishments

Thrills at the Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary celebration brings new experiences to all four theme parks and beyond. Guests can enjoy new nighttime spectaculars, specially themed entertainment, the opening of much-anticipated attractions and more. Some of the most anticipated experiences include:
    • Disney Enchantment, an all-new nighttime extravaganza at Magic Kingdom Park, featuring captivating Disney music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
    • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction at Epcot, shrinking guests to the size of Chef Remy and racing through Gusteau’s restaurant.
    • Harmonious at Epcot, the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park, featuring massive floating set pieces, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
    • Disney KiteTales at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, featuring elaborate kites and windcatchers dancing through the air to the beat of Disney songs.

Universal Orlando Resort

  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure opened Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster, featuring intense maneuvers sending riders catapulting up to 112 kilometers and over 45 meters in the air with the swiftest of prehistoric predators.
  • DreamWorks Destination, an all-new, interactive character experience, opened in the KidZone area of Universal Studios Florida. Guests can interact, dance and be photographed with multiple beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation’s hit film franchises, including Trolls, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda – all in one location.

SeaWorld Orlando

  • SeaWorld Orlando‘s first launch coaster, Ice Breaker, will open February 2022. Riders will shiver through family-friendly adventures featuring four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch with a 28-meter tall spike with 100-degree angle, the steepest vertical drop in Florida.
  • Aquatica Orlando opened Riptide Race, Florida’s first-ever dueling waterslide. Starting atop a nearly 21-meter tower, guests race side-by-side at top speeds, navigating tight loops and accelerations through indoor and outdoor sections.
  • The Flamingo Mingle at Discovery Cove is a new, exclusive animal experience where guests can feed and learn about flamingos in an outdoor setting.

LEGOLAND Florida

  • The world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park  will open Feb. 24, 2022 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The standalone theme park will feature multiple rides, interactive attractions, fun live shows, themed playscapes and water play areas.
  • Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show opened in the spring at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, featuring a new female LEGO® pirate, original music and stunts from wakeboarding to ski pyramids.
  • LEGO® MYTHICA 4D Journey to Mythica, an all-new 4-D movie, premiered in the summer. Following the movie, guests can see the creatures of LEGO® MYTHICA come to life as they take part in an AR (Augmented Reality) scavenger hunt in MINILAND U.S.A. to find them!

Fun Beyond the Theme Parks

  • ICON Park, located on International Drive and home to The Wheel and Starflyer attractions, welcomes two major thrill rides, an arcade and a selfie museum:
    • The Museum of Illusions Orlando features optical, photographic, holographic and interactive illusions, perfect for selfies.
    • The Orlando Slingshot and Orlando Free Fall – two world-record-setting attractions – are set to open in December. The Orlando Slingshot™ at 300 feet, will be the world’s tallest slingshot. The two-tower attraction will launch two riders out of an “exploding volcano,” approximately 450 feet straight up into the sky, reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. The Orlando Free Fall™ at ICON Park will stand 430 feet, making it the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower.
    • In The Game ICON Park is a new family entertainment center and arcade featuring 70 games, virtual reality experiences, themed escape rooms and more.
  • Wild Florida doubled the size of its Drive-thru Safari Park this summer to be 170 acres with 4 miles of driving space. With the expansion, the attraction added gemsbok, kudu and springbok to its lineup of 150 animals.
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex‘s new Planet Play is a multiple-story interactive activity experience designed for space explorers ages 2-12.

Unique Accommodations

  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will open a new 14-story hotel tower, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, this fall, featuring a restaurant, full-service health club, 27-meter-long pool and more.
  • Lake Nona Wave Hotel, a new leading-edge hotel, opens this fall. Guests can expect an experience elevated by technology yet grounded in wellbeing, including the world’s first Chopra Mind-Body Zone.
  • For a taste of the Orlando cityscape, AC Hotel Orlando Downtown opened earlier this year with a sleek European-inspired design and the SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with 360° city views.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort will renovate all nine floors of guest rooms this fall. The rooms will receive a new look inspired by the Disney-Pixar film “The Incredibles,” featuring futuristic and modern custom artwork in guest rooms and guest corridors along with décor elements from the films.

New Celebrity-Inspired Flavors Throughout Orlando

  • Celebrity chef restaurant Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, featuring fried favorites including shrimp, chicken, sausage and a variety of “dirty” chips, opened its first location outside of Las Vegas at ICON Park Orlando over the summer.
  • Ole Red, a new restaurant by country superstar Blake Shelton, opened at ICON Park and merges southern hospitality, good food and live country music.
  • AVA MediterrAegean, a new restaurant and lounge from executive chef Hung Huynh, Top Chef’s season 3 winner, is slated to open early 2022 on picturesque Park Avenue in Winter Park. The menu will feature Mediterranean and Cycladic Islands cuisine.
  • The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress announced a new restaurant concept by Richard Blais, the first winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars. The unnamed tropical concept, which replaces the Hemingways’s restaurant, is coming later this year. It will offer nightly dinner and brunch on Sundays.

Updated health and safety information can be found at VisitOrlando.com/healthytravel.

Source: Visit Orlando

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