Travel news from Orlando

With many exciting additions, Orlando always offers new ways to enjoy its abundance of world-renowned attractions, resorts and dining options. And with so many ways to cool off, there are more reasons than ever to visit Orlando this summer.

IN THIS EDITION

Visit Orlando’s New Website and Planning Tools
What’s New
Hot Ways to Cool Off This Summer
Summer Happenings
Did you know?

VISIT ORLANDO’S NEW WEBSITE AND PLANNING TOOLS

Visit Orlando unveiled a new VisitOrlando.com ( http://VisitOrlando.com ) that provides a more comprehensive and user-friendly vacation planning experience. Featuring a fresh new look, enhanced planning tools and a booking engine through a partnership with Travelocity®, the new website is now the one-stop solution for researching, planning and booking vacations to Orlando. To kick-start the planning process, travelers can use the “Trip Ideas Generator,” which provides a range of customized ideas based on areas of interest. For those ready to dive deeper into vacation planning, the “Trip Itinerary Builder” allows travelers to browse through VisitOrlando.com ( http://VisitOrlando.com ) and add accommodations, activities and restaurants to a saved itinerary. In addition to the new website, Visit Orlando also launched a mobile solution, VisitOrlando.mobi ( http://VisitOrlando.mobi ) , that offers planning tools tailored to mobile devices.

To experience the new website features, visit VisitOrlando.com ( http://VisitOrlando.com ) .

WHAT’S NEW

Orlando theme parks and attractions continue to add thrills with exciting enhancements and new additions. SeaWorld Orlando will debut “One Ocean ( http://www.seaworldparksblog.com/news/one-ocean-opening ) ,” an all-new killer whale show, at the end of April. This show, replacing “Believe,” will feature simultaneous whale performances, including high-energy leaps and interactive stunts. Discovery Cove announced the addition of a new attraction, The Grand Reef ( http://www.discoverycove.com/grandreef.aspx ) , opening in June 2011. SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour, was also announced where guests in dive helmets will experience one-on-one interactions with unique animals as schools of fish and rays swim by. Walt Disney World Resort will open the re-vamped Star Tours 3-D ( http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/01/new-star-tours-attraction-at-disneys-hollywood-studios-debuts-in-may ) attraction May 20 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2012 is the reveal of new Fantasyland expansion ( http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/01/update-on-new-fantasyland-at-magic-kingdom-park ) in Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort ( http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/art-of-animation-resort/?int_cmp=SOC-intDPFY11Q1ArtOfAnimationResort16-12-10@0001 ) , the newest family-friendly resort on property. Gatorland broke ground on its new zip line, slated to open summer 2011. The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line ( http://gatorland.com/blogs/construction ) will carry riders along 1,200 feet (366 meters) of high-flying adventure. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art recently opened its new 12,000-square-foot (1,115-square-meter) Tiffany wing ( http://www.morsemuseum.org/collection/tiffany_chapel.html ) , offering public access to the recently restored Daffodil Terrace from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island home, Laurelton Hall.

HOT WAYS TO COOL OFF

As summer heats up in Orlando, experience exciting ways to cool off with world-class water parks and attractions. Orlando’s newest water attraction is Fantasy Surf ( http://www.ultimateindoorwave.com ) , the first interactive water sport activity where participants of all ages can catch the “ultimate” indoor wave on the patented FlowRider system. For an all-inclusive day experience, Discovery Cove ( http://www.discoverycove.com ) provides an exclusive island oasis where guests can swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish and rays, and hand-feed exotic birds. CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort – Orlando ( http://www.cocokeywaterresort.com/Locations/orlando/index.aspx ) , a new resort located off of International Drive, features thrilling slides, splash-tastic play areas and relaxing pools in their 54,000-square-foot (5,016-square-meter) water park. Guests are welcome to stay overnight at the tropical-themed resort or just splash around at the park for the day. When the sun goes down, Orlando keeps things cool at ICEBAR Orlando ( http://www.icebarorlando.com ) , the United States’ largest bar made entirely of ice. The bar is kept at a frosty 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.8 Celsius), to keep the ice sculptures and furniture intact. A warm thermal cape and gloves are provided to each guest to extend the thrill of the chill.

SUMMER HAPPENINGS

20th Annual Orlando International Fringe Festival
May 19 – 30
The oldest, non-juried festival in the United States, the Orlando International Fringe Festival is a 12-day celebration of theater, art and music. Fringe encompasses hundreds of shows, the Visual Fringe, outdoor concerts and “The Kids Fringe Tour.” Events are held at various venues in and around downtown Orlando. True to Fringe roots, all acts remain uncensored, exposing patrons to performances from mild to wild. Admission: $5-$10 per show.
orlandofringe.org ( http://orlandofringe.org ) ; 407-648-0077 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              407-648-0077      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Gay Days
May 31 – June 6
Orlando’s Gay Days celebration is a renowned gay and lesbian vacation experience. Gay Days is comprised of multiple events staged at world-famous attractions, gay and lesbian clubs and unique venues.
gaydays.com ( http://gaydays.com ) ; 407-896-8431 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              407-896-8431      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Star Wars Weekends
End of May – Early June
Star Wars characters come to life at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where guests of all ages can come face-to-face with Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Queen Amidala as well as other favorite sci-fi characters from the famous film series. Star Wars Weekends are scheduled for four consecutive weekends. Admission: Included in regular park admission. Adults $82, children ages 3-9 $74, children ages 2 and under free.
disneyworld.com ( http://disneyworld.com ) ; 407-824-4321 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              407-824-4321      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Florida’s Juneteenth Music Festival
June 12 – 19
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Events are held at Wells’ Built Museum, Wells’ Heritage House and Lake Eola Park. Enjoy family friendly activities including a jazz, blues and gospel concert at Lake Eola Park featuring local artists. Admission: Free.
floridajuneteenth.com ( http://floridajuneteenth.com ) ; 407-245-7535 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              407-245-7535      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at EPCOT
June – July TBD
Families can gather together for an unforgettable night of music and memories in the open-air America Gardens Theater at Epcot. Admission: Included in regular park admission. Adults $82, children ages 3-9 $74, children ages 2 and under free.
disneyworld.com ( http://disneyworld.com ) ; 407-824-4321 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              407-824-4321      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

DID YOU KNOW?

•The dolphin lagoons at Discovery Cove hold 3 million gallons (11.3 million liters) of water – enough water to fill four Olympic-size swimming pools.

•More than 30 tons of fruits and vegetables grown at The Land pavilion at Epcot are served in Walt Disney World restaurants.

•The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art houses the most comprehensive collection of Tiffany glass in the world

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