The latest Orlando happenings updated weekly using information provided by partners and destination press releases. Stay up-to-date on Orlando's most recent announcements and openings from accommodations and attractions to restaurants and more.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES:
For the eighth consecutive year, Orlando has been ranked the top domestic destination for U.S. travelers on Allianz Partners’ Top 10 Spring Break Destinations Review List.
Evermore Orlando Resort, the next generation vacation rental resort, and Conrad Orlando, the latest addition to Hilton’s contemporary luxury hotel brand, are now accepting reservations for stays beginning from Feb. 5, 2024 in anticipation of a late-2023 grand opening. The re-imagined, 10,000-bedroom complex will offer an array of stay experiences from single homes and villas to flats. The Conrad Orlando, will feature 433 rooms, including 51 regular suites and 10 spacious family suites. Other features include 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a tranquil spa, various water amenities, numerous dining options and a signature rooftop experience.
The Orlando Magic’s, mixed-use sports complex, dubbed the Sports + Entertainment District, is expected to break ground this year. The complex is slated to include a hotel tower and more than 420,000 square feet of office space, alongside restaurants, shops and other amenities.
Freehand Goods, the local retailer which specializes in 100% American-made goods and handmade pieces, opened its new “sip and shop” store in College Park this month. The space includes a retail storefront and a bar serving Florida canned beers and wine.
Pirates Dinner Adventure will host Mermaid Tales, a new adaptation of the famous show featuring a deep dive into the legend of the magical mermaids, now through April 16. Throughout the run of Mermaid Tales, guests also have the opportunity to take part in a meet and greet with the mermaids and enjoy specialty beverages and merchandise.
DINING & NIGHTLIFE:
City Works Eatery & Pour House will feature St. Patrick’s Day themed dishes for guests to enjoy from March 8–17. Signature dishes included Irish Loaded Fries, Irish Bangers & Mash, Pastrami Reuben and a special drink – The Mega Irish Mule.
JoJo's ShakeBAR, the Chicago-based restaurant and bar serving 80s and 90s nostalgia, diner fare, hand-crafted cocktails, decadent desserts, and over-the-top Biggie Shakes opened on March 18. The new location will be the first in Florida, offering a full menu of diner classics with gluten-free and vegan options.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ, the world’s first “Toy Story” table service restaurant, is now open at Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The restaurant features barbecue-inspired comfort food served family style along with miniature sweet surprises.
AVA MediterrAegean will offer a la carte Easter brunch, from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., featuring a special Easter-inspired dessert. Signature brunch plates will include baklava, the Greek pastry served with a smooth, orange blossom ice cream; “Croque Madame Bagel,” a twist on the traditional Croque Madame; Sea Bream Carpaccio from the raw bar; and a special L'agrume, the chocolate egg of your dreams filled with Pistachio pain de Gêne, Calamansi cream, candied citrus and vanilla ganache, Sesame Nougat, Macaron and Pates de fruits.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS:
Gatorland will unveil new water features for its Gator Gully Splash Park on March 3. Visitors can enjoy a new colorful collection of water sprayers, gator sculptures and shade chairs. Florida residents can receive half-off a single day admission ticket to the park ticket between March 3–31.
ICON Park is offering a week of deals on its more than 50 attractions, restaurants and entertainment venues. Now through March 31, guests can enjoy “The Wheel Deal” at ICON Park and receive over 45 percent savings. The entertainment destination is also hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl from 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday, March 17. Guests will receive a complimentary lanyard and pass with all the participating venues and their drink specials. At each location guests purchase a drink from, their pass will be stamped. After receiving stamps from all the participating venues, the pass can be turned in for a free ride on The Wheel.
Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness, a week-long series of educational and public events inspired by the nationally renowned children’s television host and American icon, is set to commence March 20 throughout the greater Orlando area on what would have been Fred Rogers’ 95th birthday. The free public events, held March 23-25, for the inaugural year of Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness include Remember the Rogers Afternoon Tea at the Woman’s Club of Winter Park, Mister Rogers’ Prayer Breakfast of Thanksgiving and Celebration at First Baptist Orlando, a Lunch & Learn with David Newell (Mr. McFeely) at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Inside Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Screening and Q&A at the Winter Park Library and more.
The 10th annual Uptown Art Expo returns to Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs March 24-26. The free celebration of art and music will feature 140 artists with displays of glass, jewelry, mosaics, paintings, photography, pottery, sculptures and more. The event will also showcase chalk street artists; live musical performances, including local rock band, Rockit Fly, Beyond Frontiers featuring Joey Belladonna, Legendary Firefall; and more.
Old Town Kissimmee celebrates 33 years of classic cars with a full day of festivities on March 18 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The event will recognize the car owners and enthusiasts who have helped keep America’s longest running weekly car show going. Guests can expect live entertainment, giveaways and a classic Car Cruise for this year's celebration.
The 32nd annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, themed Festival Beautiful, will return to Loch Haven Park May 16-29. The 14-day immersive cultural experience will feature over 2,000 ticketed performances of dance, spoken word, musicals, comedy and more. Free festival highlights include an outdoor music festival, Visual Fringe (an outdoor art display), and Kids Fringe (play and entertainment for the young and young-at-heart) and more.
Universal Orlando Resort will offer additional Mardi Gras food and beverage offerings across eight of its hotel properties. From Cajun Jambalaya Pasta at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel to Bourbon Street Beignets at the Hard Rock Hotel, guests are sure to enjoy what the rest of Mardi Gras season has to offer outside of the in-park festivities.
The 15th Annual Winter Park Paint Out will be hosted at The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens April 23–29. The paint out welcomes over 24 professionally acclaimed plein air artists that will paint at the Polasek Museum and other locations throughout Winter Park and Orlando. Guests are invited to watch the artists at work and attend free painting demonstrations. All artwork created during the week will be available for purchase and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Polasek Museum.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will unveil a new All Systems Are Go Edutainment Experience on March 24 at its Universe Theater. The show will feature characters from the iconic cartoon show, Snoopy, and other Peanuts characters. This immersive experience includes talented puppetry, lights, sounds and plenty of fun-filled moments for families and children of all ages.
Amway Center will present its Orlando Magic Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on March 23, featuring inductee Dennis Scott, a former player of the Orlando Magic for seven seasons from 1990-1997. The ceremony will honor exceptional players, coaches and executives who have had a major impact throughout the team’s 34-year history.
Amway Center will present a debut performance of Alejandro Sanz, the award-winning Latin artist, for the U.S. leg of his Sanz En Vivo tour on September 21. Sanz will take the audience on a journey through his extensive repertoire, performing some of his most popular hits including "Corazón Partío," "Amiga Mía" and "Mi Persona Favorita," and will include more recent songs from “Sanz,” his latest album.
Re:Charge, the ambient, relaxing event meant to rejuvenate with amazing sounds and soft lighting, will return for its third year, running on weekends between April 7-16. Harpist Timbre Cierpke will lead a live ensemble of orchestral musicians playing a 60-minute concert of peaceful and reflective music, as guests will bring their own pillow and blanket to lie down during this restorative night.
Orlando Hospitality Alliance (OHA) is set to host its inaugural fundraiser, Taste of OHA, on April 17 in downtown Orlando. The fundraiser will highlight local restaurants, celebrate first year accomplishments and provide an engaging networking setting. The night will include food and beverage pairings from Central Florida small businesses as well as live music, art installations and raffles.
The Greatest Show on Earth, presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, will feature seven performances at Amway Canter Jan. 12-15. 2024. The debut will feature stunning feats of human achievement, musical performances blended with aerial artistry, modern comedy, and never-before-seen acts on a 360-degree arena. The reimagined show will offer enhanced technology that will amplify each performance on a scale like never before.