Look What’s Coming to Orlando in 2017

Orlando Travel Attractions 2017

Orlando is one of my favorite destinations. Since I live in South Carolina I can pop down to Orlando for a long weekend, for special events and to visit friends. There is so much more to Orlando than theme parks and 2017 will bring lots of new things for visitors to the area to see. New theme park attractions, a new water park, new entertainment and unforgettable sporting events – 2017 is going to be a great year for family fun and travel to Orlando.

The NFL Pro Bowl game returns to the traditional NFC – AFC conference match up with the inaugural game scheduled at the Camping World Stadium in downtown Orlando on Sunday January 29, 2017. Along with the game the NFL is also introducing a brand new Pro Bowl Week, which will include accessible team practices at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, along with a variety of youth football and family fun activities across Orlando.

The highly anticipated new addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the recreation of the mythical world Pandora, which is the largest expansion in the history of Animal Kingdom. This AVATAR-inspired land is a visual experience of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests, and soaring Banshees for guests to see, hear, and touch. In addition, Pandora includes a family-friendly attraction called Na’vi River Journey. Take an adventure and set out in a canoe to explore a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. Gaze your eyes upon the exotic glowing plans, amazing creatures, and even experience an encounter with a Na’vi shaman!

universalUniversal Orlando Resort is well underway with building a new water park opening in 2017, called Volcano Bay. This new breathtaking water park will offer innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation, and an entirely new guest experience. A highly themed, completely immersive environment is planned, inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands. The new park will be located within Universal Orlando Resort, just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Universal Orlando Resort announced a new ride set to open in 2017: “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon”. The ride will invite guests to join the Tonight Show’s studio audience on the ultimate race through the streets-and skies-of New York City, from the deepest subway tunnels to the tallest skyscrapers with colorful characters, famous landmarks and more from the mind of Jimmy Fallon.

As virtual reality continues to grow in popularity, SeaWorld Orlando will be the first in Florida to apply the technology to a roller coaster ride experience. Beginning next summer, guests can have the option to wear specially designed headsets and take part in an digitally immersive deep sea mission and encounter mythical sea creatures, including the Kraken itself. The ride vehicle itself will also be getting a facelift with the debut of the new experience in the summer of 2017. Better get Kraken!

Enhancing the way that guests can see the park’s youngest dolphins, SeaWorld’s Dolphin Nursery will also get new enhancements next year. Guests will be able enjoy above water and under water viewing of the baby dolphins and nursing mothers through newly installed acrylic windows designed for young children to get up close and personal encounters. Included in the expansions will be all new educational and conservation elements.

One of the most exciting restaurants at Disney Springs is nearly ready to open! The Edison is currently under construction inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, which has a lavish “Industrial Gothic” style restaurant and bar. The Disney Springs location will replicate the themed 1920s-period power plant for a nighttime destination recreating era of invention and imagination. In addition, it will have classic American food, crafty cocktails, and live entertainment such as cabaret and musical acts.

Orlando’s newest family-friendly raft attraction will be located at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, which is set to be among one of the longest in duration at any Disney water park. This new high seas adventure is called Miss Fortune Falls. Once aboard their treasure rafts at the entry point, guests will take an adventure through Captain Oceaneer’s past right before they plunge into a white-water rafting voyage! Guests will see rare artifacts that Miss Fortune collected on her many worldwide treasure hunts!

legoland-florida

Coming to LEGOLAND Florida early next year is a new immersive land and dark ride. LEGO NINJAGO World is where guests can live their ninja LEGO adventures. The interactive ride will include opportunities for gests to blast fire, lightning and ice with their hands.

New over-night accommodations are coming to LEGOLAND Florida. Opening spring 2017, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat will feature 83 single-story duplexes. The property will include a themed pool, sandy play area and new restaurant.

Attention all American soccer, football if you prefer, fans! One of the leading teams in Major League Soccer will be getting their very own multipurpose Soccer Stadium right before the 2017 Major League Soccer season. It will be located in downtown Orlando around the corner from the Amway Center, which is quickly becoming an epic entertainment center! The new soccer stadium will seat 19,500 fans and serve as home to the Orlando City Lions soccer team.

Orlando’s continued expansion of leisure resorts welcomes the Margaritaville Resort Orlando with much enthusiasm! This massive waterfront destination resort is a welcomed addition to Central Florida’s thriving attraction and tourism scene. This resort is unique in that it not only boasts a 187-room hotel but also 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes, 550 condominiums, 300 timeshare units, 30,000 square-feet of function space, 170,000 square feet of festive retail space, a dining and entertainment district, a 12-acre water park, a wellness center, miles of fitness trails and a destination water taxi system. The resort will also host destination weddings. Once you arrive you will never want to leave.

The new openings continue even after 2017. Get a sneak peek at what’s coming to Orlando in 2018!

A new entertainment complex on I-Drive, is set to break world records by bringing the world’s tallest roller coaster to Orlando in in 2018. The 570-foot-tall (174 meter) structure will be the tallest in Central Florida, and feature the first Polercoaster, a vertical ride dubbed the Skyscraper, weaving in and around the whole tower on coaster-length tracks. The SKYPLEX tower will also offer views of the city via an observation deck, restaurant and lounge at the top. Additionally, a second ride, called Skyfall, will be the world’s tallest drop ride once it opens, rising up to 460 feet (140.2 meters) and then dropping riders at 90 miles (144.8 km) an hour.

Universal Orlando Resorts reeves up the thrills with the new action-packed ride experiences inspired by one of the most successful film franchises of all time, The Fast & Furious! The official name is “Fast & Furious: Supercharged” and will join its remarkable lineup of attractions in 2018, adding to the unprecedented growth of the destination.




Westgate Resorts to Give Away 1,000 FREE Orlando Vacations to Military Families on Veteran’s Day

Westgate Free Vacations Military Families

Westgate Resorts will dedicate an exclusive weekend in May at Westgate Town Center in Central Florida to honor U.S. military who have recently served in combat and Gold Star families

For the sixth year, Westgate Resorts and CEO David Siegel are continuing the company tradition of honoring our U.S. military personnel and their families by giving away 1,000 free vacations on Veteran’s Day. For the first time, the complimentary vacations will be part of an exclusive weekend-long celebration at Westgate Town Center in Central Florida from May 5-7, 2017. The free vacations are specifically for current active duty military personnel who have served in combat and their families, as well as Gold Star families. Eligible candidates can register at www.WestgateSalutes.com starting at 9 a.m. EST on Nov. 11.  

All eligible military personnel and families will receive complimentary accommodations in a spacious villa, access to special activities and events including live entertainment, a pair of passes to Westgate Town Center’s Shipwreck Island, the resort’s exclusive on-site waterpark, as well as access to resources that support veterans, all free of charge.

“We owe so much to our U.S. military and their families. Our desire is to give those active military personnel who have served in combat a chance to spend some quality time with their loved ones,” said Siegel. “Dedicating a special weekend to these men and women who have served on the front lines allows us to really go all out and give them and their families the special attention and recognition they deserve.”

Beginning November 11 at 9 a.m. EST, the first 1,000 eligible service members who complete the online military appreciation form at www.WestgateSalutes.com and place a fully refundable $75 deposit will receive a complimentary three-day, two-night vacation for up to four people at Westgate Town Center May 5-7, 2017.

With the addition of this year’s families, Westgate has honored our nation’s heroes with more than 23,000 free room nights for military families over the past six years.

In addition to the 1,000 complimentary vacations, Westgate Resorts will offer a special 25 percent savings on Veteran’s Day for rooms across their entire portfolio of 28 properties for all U.S. military veterans. For more information, visit www.WestgateSalutes.com.

About Westgate Resorts

Founded in 1982 by David A. Siegel, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest resort developers in the United States. Westgate features 28 themed destination resorts with over 13,000 luxury villas in premier locations throughout the United States such as Orlando, Florida; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; Miami and Cocoa Beach, Florida; Branson, Missouri; Mesa, Arizona; and Tunica, Mississippi. Most Westgate Resorts locations feature a variety of unique restaurant, retail and spa concepts, including Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, Westgate Smokehouse Grill, Edge Steakhouse, Westgate Marketplace & Deli and Serenity Spa by Westgate. For more information about Westgate Resorts, visit www.westgateresorts.com.

* Offer valid as of November 11, 2016, at 9 a.m. EST. Offer available by going online and filling out an availability form at www.WestgateSalutes.com. Based upon availability. Valid military I.D. required upon check-in. A credit card and $75 refundable deposit is required to book the reservation. Deposit is refundable if vacation is canceled at least seven (7) days prior to stay. Only ONE reservation per family. Complimentary vacation limited to four guests. Additional guests may be added as an upgrade. Offer valid for the first 1,000 reservations. No resort fee will be charged. No Resort Preview Required. Not valid for Westgate employees. Upgrades and additional nights available at discounted rate. Two Water Park Passes provided complimentary with offer.




Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach Pier

As summer winds down, those looking to maximize every last minute on the beach can do so at the Cocoa Beach Pier with direct-to-beach food service and equipment rentals. A visit to the Pier offers a hassle-free beach day, with access to all the food, drinks, beach equipment and activities offered right on the sand.

Beachgoers can enjoy more sand and surf at

Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Direct-to-beach food service and beach equipment rentals give guests little reason to leave the sand 

Beachgoers at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier can make the most of their beach visit by spending all their time where they want most – on the beach. With the Pier’s unique equipment rental program and direct-to-beach food service, guests have little reason to leave the sand.

Cocoa Beach Pier beach visitors can enjoy restaurant-quality food and beverage service without having to leave their spot on the beach. Starting at 11a.m. daily, wait staff roam the beach, taking orders and serving directly to guests. Food and drink are available from any of the Pier’s restaurants and bars, including items such as the locally sourced jumbo shrimp, popular lobster roll and signature Pieradise cocktail.

In addition to not worrying about having to pack a meal, beachgoers also don’t have to pack equipment. The Cocoa Beach Pier offers a range of popular beach items available for rent right on the beach, including lounging items, such as beach chairs and umbrellas, to sports equipment, including surf boards, body boards, volleyballs and bicycles.

Since purchasing the Cocoa Beach Pier in 2014, Westgate Resorts has invested millions of dollars into renovation and new offerings, transforming the Pier into a top family-friendly beach destination for vacationers and locals. With easy parking, convenient and clean restrooms, five restaurants and bars, shops, an art gallery, volleyball courts and more, the Cocoa Beach Pier is a one-stop beach day experience on the Atlantic Ocean.

Cocoa Beach Pier restaurants feature top quality food and beverage service, featuring locally sourced products from the Space Coast’s own M&B Seafood and Wild Ocean seafood suppliers whose crews can be seen in action near the Pier in season.

The culinary team is led by award-winning Chef John Flaherty, whose menus include burgers, a variety of seafood and even fried gator. Dessert offerings include the Florida classic key lime pie, from the local favorite, The Florida Key Lime Pie Company.

About Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Built in 1962, the Cocoa Beach Pier is an iconic landmark on Florida’s Space Coast, stretching 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. In 2014, Westgate Resorts purchased the pier and launched a multi-million dollar renovation to restore the Pier to its historic glory. Today, the Pier draws more than one million visitors annually and is home to five restaurants and bars, as well as gift shops and boutiques. For more information, about the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier visit www.cocoabeachpier.com orwww.facebook.com/cbpier.




It’s Orlando’s Most Delicious Time of Year!

Orlando Magical Dining Month
Photo Credit: uppercasemagazine.com

Magical Dining ~ Dine for Less During Orlando’s Most Delicious Time of Year

Orlando is my favorite destination! And . . . There is so much more to Orlando than theme parks! You can visit Orlando and find something to do everyday without ever stepping foot in a theme park. You can find some of the best food around each and every corner.

Food lovers can experience tasty deals at some of the area’s most popular restaurants during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining® Month sponsored by American Express®,  August 29 through October 2, 2016. In its 11th year, you can choose from our largest variety of participants with over 90 restaurants to enjoy three-course dinners for $33, including some of Orlando’s newest dining locations, as well as local favorites.
New dining adventures wait to be discovered around every corner in Orlando as part of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining® Month sponsored by American Express® with 19 new restaurants to the program, including:
  • STK Orlando, 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.
This delicious 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. Go to OrlandoMagicalDining.com for the full list.
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Dine for a Cause
Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining® Month sponsored by American Express® will benefit The Russell Home for Atypical Children in 2016, with $1 from every meal donated to the local charity. Learn more »
 
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Official Visitor Center
Our Official Visitor Center on International Drive, or The Mall at Millenia Concierge desk, offers vacation planning assistance, currency exchange and more from our courteous staff. Plan your trip »



Pete’s Dragon Opens Today! Check Out These Activity Sheets and Dragon Cupcakes

Pete's Dragon Activity Sheets Dragon Cupcakes

The most magical movie of the year, PETE’S DRAGON is finally opening in theaters everywhere TODAY! August 12th! This is one of the best family movies of the year and equally perfect for kids and adults alike!

 

Check out these Pete’s Dragon Activity Sheets and Dragon Cupcakes!

“Bryce Dallas How-To” with Bryce Dallas Howard – Dragon Cupcakes!

Pete's Dragon Activity Sheets Dragon Cupcakes

 

 

“Bryce Dallas How-To” with Bryce Dallas Howard – Dragon Cat Costume!

 

Like PETE’S DRAGON on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon

Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypetes

Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneypetesdragon/  

Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr: http://disneyanimation.tumblr.com/

Visit the official PETE’S DRAGON website here: http://movies.disney.com/petes-dragon-2016

And don’t forget your Disneybound outfit when you hit the theaters this weekend!

Petes Dragon Activity Sheets Dragon Cupcakes