What’s New in Orlando to Love Now

You all know my love for Orlando. I was born in Central Florida, and have called it home for nearly my whole life. What’s not to love? It’s tropical and sunny. And it is so family friendly! I love how children are welcome nearly everywhere in Orlando. Whether it’s a fancy restaurant or a theme park, Orlando caters to both kids and adults. And there’s always something coming soon or something being created. So I am so happy to help share what’s new in Orlando in Summer of 2021. And you can find even more details at Visit Orlando!

what's new in Orlando summer

What’s new in Orlando?

Summer is coming! And new research shows that 81% of Americans have travel plans in the next six months. So just in time, Orlando offers 21 new reasons to visit in 2021. And these range from new theme park thrill rides to innovative places to stay. With more than 150 at VisitOrlando.com, this is also a prime time for an affordable escape. 

“We know that people are ready to travel and want to feel safe while not sacrificing the fun and magic of an escape from their daily routine,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “In Orlando, travelers will find a destination committed to safety alongside an incredible collection of new experiences from thrilling rides and attractions to brand new resorts, creating the perfect summer vacation people have been dreaming about for a while.” 

Home to some of the most trusted tourism brands and hotel companies in the world, Orlando takes safety extremely seriously. Masks are required for everyone over the age of 2 while in a public space. And social distancing measures are strictly enforced. Information can be found at VisitOrlando.com/healthytravel

Theme Park Thrills Coming Soon

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster is coming summer 2021 to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. And we are so excited for this one! It will be Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster. In fact, it will feature an original story with intense maneuvers sending riders catapulting up to 70 mph and over 150 feet in the air. Soar with the swiftest of prehistoric predators! 
Universal Orlando Velocicoaster
Photo Courtesy Universal Orlando
  • Aquatica Orlando is scheduled to open Florida’s first dueling waterslide, Riptide Race, in 2021. Guests will race side-by-side at top speeds, navigating tight loops and accelerations through nearly 650 feet of splashing slides. 
  • A historic transformation of EPCOT is underway at Walt Disney World Resort! And with the latest update, a reimagined entrance fountain in front of Spaceship Earth is featured. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the newest attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And it uses new technology to bring the cartoon world to life!
  • The Flamingo Mingle at Discovery Cove is a new, exclusive animal experience. In fact, this is where guests can feed and learn about flamingos in an outdoor setting. 
Photo Courtesy SeaWorld Orlando
  • At LEGOLAND Florida Resort, the new Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show features a new female LEGO® pirater, original music and stunts from wakeboarding to ski pyramids. And an all-new 4-D movie will also premiere spring 2021. We loved our visit to the Legoland Pirate Island Hotel and can’t wait to go back!

Beyond the Parks

While theme parks are such a draw for Orlando, there’s so much more to love! And in Summer of 2021, you can find so many new experiences.

ICON Park Experiences

what's new in orlando
  • ICON Park on International Drive- The Museum of Illusions Orlando is a mind-bending “edutainment” experience. In fact, this experience offers 50 interactive, immersive and mentally deceptive exhibits based on math, science, and psychology, opened Jan. 9. 
  • In The Game ICON Park, a family entertainment center and arcade featuring 70 games, virtual reality experiences, themed escape rooms and more, opens March. 
  • ICON Park Slingshot™, opening this summer, is the world’s tallest slingshot ride at 300 feet. The two-tower attraction launches riders out of an “exploding volcano” 450 feet straight up, reaching 100 mph. 
  • ICON Park Drop Tower also opens this summer, as the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet tall. Brave riders tilt forward, face the ground, then free fall nearly 400 feet at 75mph. 

Around Orlando

  • Multi-experience fun on International DriveThe new Dezerland Park indoor attraction includes the longest indoor dual go-karting tracks in Florida. And it also features a trampoline park and auto museum!
  • WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park known for its upside-down building, opens a new STEM exhibit exploring the layers of Earth this March. 
  • Nation’s largest outdoor music festival As the first socially distanced music festival in the U.S. Dr. Phillip Center’s outdoor Frontyard Festival provides entertainment from musical concerts to comedy to audiences in innovative outdoor pods. Patrons can book a private, elevated box for up five people. And these are spaced 6 feet apart, and can order food and drinks delivered to their box. 
  • New shopping experiences at The Mall at Millenia is offering new, complimentary, two-hour Personal Stylist sessions. Also, they are offering Personal Shopping experiences that even include hotel delivery of purchases. 
  • Just a short drive away at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, a new, multiple-story experience designed for space explorers ages 2 – 12, Planet Play, is an indoor, interactive activity area that brings space down to earth. 

What’s New in Orlando at Hotels?

  • Universal Orlando Resort’s new coastal-themed value property, Dockside Inn and Suites, opened Dec. 15, 2020, with rates starting at $79 per night. 
  • For a taste of the Orlando cityscape, AC Hotel Orlando Downtown, just opened, with a sleek European-inspired design and the SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with 360° city views. 
  • Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs opens in spring 2021; the first phase of the 604-room project will include 264 guest rooms. 
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will open a new 14-story hotel tower, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, this summer with a new restaurant, health club and 90-foot pool. 

Why Orlando?

Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the country’s No. 1 favorite family vacation destination with legendary theme parks, world-class water parks, outdoor thrill rides and activities in nature. With 450 hotels, visitors have choices from multi-acre resorts to themed boutique hotels. I love Orlando! And I know you will love these new experiences in Orlando!

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