What’s New in Orlando for 2013

New Year means new attractions, new hotels and impressive expansions in Orlando! 2013 it's truly a lucky year in Orlando, giving you more reasons to add a visit to your bucket list. Here's an illustrated snapshot of all the "new news" in Orlando this year:


Opening this spring

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld Orlando

A state-of-the-art interactive ride will take guests on an exciting journey through the dangers and wondrous beauty of the Antarctic as they follow and mimic a young penguin's adventures. Attraction will open on May 24th.

New 2013 - Antarctica Rendering

Fun Spot America

Its first phase expansion includes the new White Lighting wooden coaster, the world's biggest SkyCoaster, a new suspended family coaster called Vekoma and a wide range of family-friendly racetracks and rides. Phase two will open by 2015 with the addition of a water park, dinner show and food court.

New 2013 - Fun Spot

Senses at the Walt Disney World Resort

Guests looking to be pampered can find relaxation at the Senses spa at the Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. Senses at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort is temporarily closed for renovation and is due to reopen in the summer.

New 2013 - Senses

East End Market

This will host ten local, independently owned food enterprises, including a butcher, seafood merchant, produce vendor, and baker. Inside the market, James Beard Nominated Chef Henry Salgado, along with his wife Michele, will open Txokos Kitchen, a dine-in restaurant featuring farm-fresh lunch and dinner options.

New 2013 - East End Market


Opening this summer

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride - 3D at Universal Orlando Resort

This attraction will combine the larger-than-life TRANSFORMERS characters and an exciting storyline with life-like HD CGI media, state-of-the-art 3-D technology and amazing special effects to place riders right in the middle of an epic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons.

New 2013 - Transformers

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Space Shuttle Atlantis, retired in 2011, found a new home. A new exhibition, opening June 29th, will provide up close views of the vehicle, along with interactive features that reflect the Space Shuttle Program's major accomplishments.

New 2013 - Atlantis

Aloft Orlando Downtown Hotel

The new 118 guest-room property, set to open September 26th located within walking distance of the Amway Center, Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts and a variety of restaurants and nightlife options, will feature a bar with cocktails and music, a lounge, free Wi-Fi and more than 5,000 square feet (464-square meters) of meeting and banquet space.

New 2013 - Aloft Rendering


Opening this year (dates to be announced)

Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland

Guests will have the opportunity to interact with princesses Aurora, Cinderella and others in the Castle Courtyard located in the heart of Fantasyland.


New stores at The Florida Mall

Clothing retailer Michael Kors, along with accessory and jewelry retailer Tous will be added to the more than 250 retailers at The Florida Mall.

New 2013 - The Florida Mall

New stores at The Mall at Millenia

Ranked in the top ten among the world's most successful shopping centers by Shopping Centers Today, the mall will debut open a new wave of internationally-recognized retailers including Prada, YSL, and Swiss watchmakers Hublot, Omega, and Breitling.

New 2013 - The Mall at Millenia

The Promenade at Orlando Premium Outlets - Vineland Ave

This 80,000-square-feet (7,200-square-meters) expansion will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, will include additional dining and an Information Center.

New 2013 - Vineland Outlets

Alfond Inn at Rollins

The boutique inn on the property of nationally ranked liberal arts school, Rollins College, will offer 110-rooms aside from a swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, lounge and 9,000 square feet (836-square meters) of meeting space.

New 2013 - Alfond Rendering


Recently Opened

Superstar Character Breakfast at Universal Studios Florida

Fans of the characters from the Universal Superstar Parade including the Minions from Despicable Me, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer will have the opportunity to dine with them at this new experience. Guests will also watch the parade at a special viewing area.

Cinematic Spectacular Dining Experience at Universal Studios Florida

Guests will enjoy dinner at Lombard's Seafood Grille and top it off with dessert in a private viewing area for Universal's Cinematic Spectacular nighttime lagoon show.

New 2013 - Cinematic


Another cool addition this year is Walt Disney World Resort's MyMagic+, a new Web site and free app (available at the iTunes Store, Google Play and Amazon) will give you opportunity to lock in seating for parades, fireworks and character interactions or even coveted FastPasses before leaving home. Once in Orlando, you'll wear MagicBand, a wristband that will be your room key at a Disney hotel and your theme park ticket/FastPass. The optional system also allows for changes through the app and customization so that characters may even be able to provide personalized greetings.


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Related Categories: Hotels & Resorts , Attractions & Theme Parks , Top Stories