The Year of Unique Orlando; New Places to Stay, Play and Dine in 2018
ORLANDO, Fla. – A big year awaits travelers to Orlando, Theme Park Capital of the World®. Thrilling new attractions will launch guests further and faster than ever, new resorts will feature additions like future-forward “smart rooms” and rooftop lounges for firework-watching, and unique new dining experiences will arrive, ranging from a Master Sommelier’s wine bar to a 100 percent all-vegan deli.
“Every Orlando vacation is unique, with so many attractions and activities for visitors to mix and match, but 2018 will be an exceptional year for experiences that really stand out,” said George Aguel, President and CEO for Visit Orlando. “A great vacation lets you escape from the everyday and experience something new, and there is no shortage of that this coming year, ranging from being immersed in a high-speed car chase with the Fast & Furious to plunging down the world’s tallest river rapid drop.”
Visitors can get continuous updates on new attractions as well as planning tips, tickets and discounts at VisitOrlando.com, the official visitor information source for the destination.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open Toy Story Land in summer 2018, featuring two new themed attractions, the “Slinky Dog Dash” roller coaster and “Alien Swirling Saucers.”
- Fast & Furious – Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida will take guests on a high-octane adventure into the world of underground racing, right alongside stars from the Fast & Furious films.
- A new nighttime show is coming to Universal Studios Florida, replacing Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular-100 Years of Movie Memories. This new lagoon show will feature animated characters, a new storyline, lighting and special effects.
- Infinity Falls, a new rainforest river rapids ride, is coming to SeaWorld Orlando in summer 2018, featuring the world’s tallest river rapid drop.
- Ray Rush will provide three new ways to slide, splash and soar at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark. With wild water jets, a colossal water sphere and swoops into giant manta wings, the raft ride is scheduled to debut in spring 2018.
- The Great Lego Race VR Coaster will debut as the first virtual reality roller coaster designed for children. It will open in place of the Project X roller coaster at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, re-imagined with a new story plus special effects.
- LEGO NINJAGO – Master of the 4th Dimension will debut Jan. 12, 2018, at the LEGO Showplace Theater at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The new short film combines 3D computer animation with 4D real-world effects, for an amazing new ninja adventure.
- Nona Adventure Park will be a new water-sports park featuring an inflatable, floating obstacle course, wakeboarders pulled along by cables and a 60-foot climbing tower with a ropes course. The park is scheduled to open in summer 2018 in the Lake Nona area of Orlando.
- The Delaney Hotel, a 54-room boutique hotel in the Sodo district of downtown Orlando, will offer unique high-tech conveniences for guests such as remote check-in, digital tablet-based concierge services in every room, smart phone room keys and smart TVs. It is expected to open in March 2018.
- Universal’s Aventura Hotel, a new value property and the sixth onsite hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, will feature a 16-story gleaming glass tower with 600 guest rooms, including 13 kids’ suites, and the first-ever rooftop bar and grill on Universal property. It is expected to open in August 2018.
- Margaritaville Resort Orlando, a new waterfront destination resort, will feature 175 rooms, 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes and 300 timeshare units. A new dining and entertainment district is also planned, along with a 12-acre water park, a wellness center, and more. It is expected to open in 2018.
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the largest of the six convention hotels at Walt Disney World Resort, is expanding in 2018 with a new 15-story tower of 500 additional rooms, a new rooftop restaurant and lounge atop the tower with panoramic views of nighttime fireworks and new meeting space.
- Disney Springs will add even more new dining experiences in 2018 including:
- The Edison, themed around a 1920s-era electric company with live entertainment, classic American food and craft cocktails
- Jaleo, a Spanish Tapas concept by world-renowned Chef Jose Andres
- Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, a new location in Town Center capturing the essence of laid-back California dining
- Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida
- Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, offering Sicilian cuisine and set in a 1930s abandoned airline terminal
- Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar, serving Prohibition-era cocktails along with a menu of Roman dishes, all inspired by the true Florida history of rum-running
- JINYA Ramen Bar, a modern Japanese restaurant featuring authentic ramen along with a variety of tapas dishes, is expected to open in 2018 in the Thornton Park neighborhood of downtown Orlando.
- Heirloom Deli will open as an all-vegan restaurant in spring of 2018, where everything from drinks to bakery items will be 100 percent plant-based.
The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States and, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area’s leading industry. Visit Orlando is responsible for branding, selling and marketing the Orlando destination worldwide, and serves as the official visitor information source.
Editor’s Note: Find high-resolution downloadable images here.