An estimated 75 million people visit Orlando each year. Some head to Walt Disney World. Some head to Universal Orlando. Some head to SeaWorld. Many stay for extended periods and visit all. Some just like the weather and mix up all the many attractions to visit or relax at any one of the many, many resorts.
It seems as if the Orlando theme parks and attractions have each been working endlessly to attract new visitors and in 2019 there will be a number of new additions – New attractions, new restaurants, new resorts, and more.
Below are the highlights of some of what you can expect:
Walt Disney World Resort
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The famous galaxy far, far away comes to Orlando in fall 2019, courtesy of this immersive land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Introducing a brand-new planet to the Star Wars mythos – Batuu – Galaxy’s Edge will invite Jedi and Sith alike to explore Black Shire Outpost, which is set to include two attractions (including the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon!), themed dining and shopping, and character meet-and-greets.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway: Believe it or not, Mickey Mouse has never starred in a Disney ride. That all changes once this family-friendly journey debuts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019! Using next-gen technology, the attraction will transport you to the world of Mickey’s classic cartoons.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy: Set to open in early 2019, this live show at Sunset Showcase in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will star Cars characters Lightning McQueen, Mater and Cruz Ramirez.
Universal Orlando Resort
New Harry Potter Ride: Anticipated to be one of the most heavily themed coaster experiences ever created at Universal Orlando Resort, this attraction is set to debut in 2019 at Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It will replace the former Dragon Challenge coaster.
New Live Experience: Although details are still under wraps, this live-action experience will be based on a high-energy Universal franchise and will replace Terminator 2: 3-D in 2019.
Sesame Street Land: Wondering how to get to Sesame Street? Starting in spring 2019, you’ll be able to find the iconic neighborhood at SeaWorld’s main Orlando theme park!
In addition to themed rides, this area will feature beloved characters, interactive experiences, wet and dry play areas, and SeaWorld Orlando’s first-ever parade.
KareKare Curl:This new family thrill ride at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, will offer a high-adrenaline, weightless adventure as you “climb” a vertical wave wall.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
The LEGO Movie World: The LEGO Movie was a box-office smash, and the blockbuster is getting a land of its own in spring 2019. This area will include two new rides, as well as character meet-and-greets and a giant themed playscape.
The Quest for Chi: One of LEGOLAND Florida’s most popular attractions is getting a makeover before it becomes part of The LEGO Movie World in 2019.
Other Orlando Attractions
Boxi Park: Built with re-purposed shipping containers, this unique outdoor food hall and outdoor entertainment venue is coming to Lake Nona, about 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport.
The 30,000-square-foot family (and dog-friendly) outdoor district will feature restaurants, bars and a live music stage, plus a playground, fenced dog park and beach volleyball courts.
Dezerland Action Park: Coming to Orlando’s International Drive area in 2019, this indoor theme park will feature the Orlando Auto Museum, one of the world’s largest, privately owned collections of “automobilia.”
Spanning 250,000 square feet, the experience will boast dynamic displays of cars made famous by Hollywood, including those from James Bond and Batman movies.
The facility will also have specialty car lounges spanning decades of restored vintage, classic and international vehicles, including displays on the cars’ impact on automotive history. Guests can also look forward to Florida’s longest go-kart track, as well as unique event space.
Epic Axe Throwing: A first-of-its-kind for the area, this unique attraction is bringing axe-throwing to downtown Orlando. The rustic “sport” is open to anyone over the age of 13, and coaches will be on hand to teach the art in a safe environment.
Nona Adventure Park: A new water-sports park featuring an inflatable, floating obstacle course and cable-assisted wake-boarding, is scheduled to open in February in Lake Nona.
Wild Florida: Offering adventures in Central Florida’s gorgeous outdoors, this attraction will expand by more than six times its current, 13-acre size and add a 2-mile, drive-through safari that will provide nose-to-snout encounters with giraffes, wild boars and other exotic creatures.
A total of 75 additional acres will debut in summer 2019, and the safari section will include a zipline over a grazing area.
New Orlando Restaurants for 2019
With more than 5,000 restaurants throughout the area, you never have to worry about going hungry in Orlando. Here are a few more locations that will added to the line-up:
The NBA Experience: Coming to Disney Springs in 2019, this state-of-the-art venue will include interactive games and competitions, immersive experiences, and a retail store.
City Works Eatery and Pour House: Also opening at Disney Springs, this option will boast 80 beers on tap, shareable American favorites and live sporting events on HDTVs.
The Hampton Social: Themed after New York’s coastal resort region, this Chicago original is coming to Pointe Orlando in 2019. Specializing in seafood, pizza and brunch, the eatery is known for unique dishes like Chicken and Doughnuts, and a signature “Rosé All Day.”
The District Gastro Bar: This new upscale restaurant and bar in downtown Orlando will offer an eclectic mix of gastronomy, mixology, art and entertainment while drawing inspiration from the mid-20th century African-American music scene. The venue will feature an open-air patio, beer garden and menu with Caribbean flare.
Lotus Asia House: Offering creative cocktails and Pan-Asian cuisine inspired by street-food vendors, this vibrant, energetic eatery is coming to Pointe Orlando with a warm, spacious dining room designed to encourage mingling.
Proper & Wild: The operators of one of Orlando’s most popular vegetarian restaurants, Sanctum Café, are bringing this new concept to Winter Park, serving plant-based dishes that focus on modern food trends.
Sette: Offering pastas made from scratch, this rustic Italian kitchen is being developed by the owners of local favorite and nationally recognized bakery, Se7en Bites.
New Orlando Hotels & Resorts for 2019
Orlando currently has more than 122,000 rooms which means you can usually find the right room at the right price to visit. Once these new accommodations open for business in 2019, you’ll have even more options when you’re in town!
Universal’s Surfside Inn and Suites: Universal Orlando Resort will open this hotel in summer 2019 as the first of two properties in Universal’s Endless Summer Resort. Surfside Inn and Suites will offer some of Universal Orlando Resort’s most affordable accommodations.
Margaritaville Resort Orlando: Parrotheads, get ready to party at a resort based on Jimmy Buffet’s signature brand! Coming in January 2019, this waterfront destination will feature 175 guestrooms, 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes and 300 timeshare units.
It will also boast a dining and entertainment district, a 12-acre water park, a wellness center, miles of fitness trails and a unique water taxi system.
Will you be visiting Orlando in 2019? I know I’m looking forward to some of these new experiences!