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Here are 21 new reasons to visit Orlando this summer

by Attractions Magazine Staff

As summer approaches and new research shows that 81% of Americans are planning to travel in the next six months, Visit Orlando has shared a list of 21 new reasons to visit The City Beautiful this year.

visit orlando

“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.”

New Theme Park Thrills

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster is coming this summer to Universal’s Islands of Adventure! As Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster, it will feature an original story with intense maneuvers that send riders catapaulting up to 70 miles per hour and over 150 feet in the air with the swiftest of prehistoric predators
  • Aquatica Orlando is scheduled to open Florida’s first-ever dueling waterslide, Riptide Race, sometime this year. Guests will race side-by-side at top speeds as they navigate tight loops and accelerations through nearly 650 feet of splashing slides.
  • A historic transformation of Epcot is underway at Walt Disney World Resort. The latest update is a reimagined entrance fountain in front of Spaceship Earth. The resort’s newest attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, can be found at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and uses the latest technology to bring Mickey’s cartoon world to life.
  • The Flamingo Mingle at Discovery Cove is a new, exclusive animal experience where guests can learn about and feed flamingos in an outdoor setting.
  • At Legoland Florida Resort, the new Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show features a new female Lego pirate, original music and stunts! An all-new 4D movie will also premiere this spring.

New Beyond the Parks

  • Icon Park on International Drive
    • The Museum of Illusions Orlando, a mind-bending “edutainment” offering features 50 interactive and immersive exhibits based on math, science, and psychology, opened on 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 this March.
    • Icon Park Slingshot, opening this summer, will be the world’s tallest slingshot ride at 300 feet. The two-tower attraction will launch riders out of an “exploding volcano” 450 feet straight up, reaching 100 miles per hour.
    • Icon Park Drop Tower, also opening this summer, will be the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet tall. Riders will tilt forward, face the ground, and then free-fall nearly 400 feet at 75 miles per hour.
  • Multi-experience fun on International Drive
    • The new Dezerland Park indoor attraction offers the longest indoor dual go-kart tracks in Florida, plus a trampoline park and auto museum.
    • WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park known for its iconic upside-down building, will open a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) exhibit that explores 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 offers entertainment to audiences in outdoor pods. Patrons can book a private, elevated box for up to five people spaced 6 feet apart, and can order food and drinks delivered to their box.
  • New shopping experience
    • The Mall at Millenia is offering new, complimentary, two-hour Personal Stylist sessions, as well as Personal Shopping experiences that include hotel delivery of purchases.
  • Significant anniversaries
    • Annual Pulse Remembrance Week, June 5-12, will include a CommUNITY Rainbow Run, historical exhibits, local artist displays and the Pulse Annual Remembrance Ceremony to honor the five-year milestone of the 49 lives lost on June 12, 2016 at the Pulse nightclub.
  • Just a short drive away:
    • At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, a new, multiple-story experience designed for kids ages 2-12, Planet Play, is an indoor interactive area that will bring space down to Earth.

New Hotel Openings

  • Universal Orlando Resort’s new coastal-themed value hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, opened on Dec. 15, 2020, with rates starting as low as $79 per night.
  • For a taste of Orlando’s cityscape, AC Hotel Orlando Downtown, just opened, with a European-inspired design and the SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with 360-degree views.
  • Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs will open this spring, with the first phase of the 604-room hotel including 264 guest rooms.
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort will open a new 14-story hotel tower, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, later this summer. It will feature a new restaurant, health club, and 90-foot pool.

The Orlando Destination

When it comes to Orlando, visitors have a whole world of fun to choose from – be it the theme parks, water park, nature activities, and beyond. With 450 hotels, there are accommodations for every taste.

Orlando’s theme parks, attractions, hotels and businesses have developed safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Keep in mind that Orange County requires face masks to be work in public places by everyone over the age of 2. You can learn more from Visit Orlando at VisitOrlando.com/HealthyTravel.

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