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21 New Reasons to Visit Orlando this Summer

With summer approaching and new research showing that 81% of Americans have travel plans in the next six months, Orlando offers 21 new reasons to visit in 2021, ranging from new theme park thrill rides to innovative places to stay. And, 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.

Below, find the newest adventures including:

  • Theme parks
  • Attractions beyond the parks
  • Hotels

NEW THEME PARK THRILLS

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster is coming summer 2021 to Universal’s Islands of Adventure. As Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster, it will feature an original story with intense maneuvers sending riders catapulting up to 70 mph and over 150 feet in the air with the swiftest of prehistoric predators.
  • 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 with the latest update, a reimagined entrance fountain in front of Spaceship Earth. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the newest attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and uses new technology to bring the cartoon world to life.
  • The Flamingo Mingle at Discovery Cove is a new, exclusive animal experience where guests can feed and learn about flamingos in an outdoor setting.
  • 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. An all-new 4-D movie will also premiere spring 2021.

NEW – BEYOND THE PARKS

  • ICON Park on International Drive
    • The Museum of Illusions Orlando, a mind-bending “edutainment” experience offering 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.
  • Multi-experience fun on International Drive
    • The new Dezerland Park indoor attraction includes the longest indoor dual go-karting tracks in Florida, 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, 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 even include hotel delivery of purchases.
  • Significant Anniversaries
    • Annual Pulse Remembrance Week, June 5-12, includes a CommUNITY Rainbow Run, historical exhibits, local artist displays and the Pulse Annual Remembrance Ceremony to honor the 5-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 space explorers ages 2 – 12, Planet Play, is an indoor, interactive activity area that brings space down to earth.

NEW HOTEL OPENINGS

  • 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.

The Orlando Destination

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. Orlando’s trusted theme parks, attractions, hotels and businesses have developed comprehensive safety measures and worked closely with medical experts to create safe travel experiences. Please note Orange County requires face masks in public places.

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