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
Orlando is 2022's Second Best City for Thanksgiving, according to a recent study by the personal finance outlet WalletHub.com.
Orlando was named the No.1 Thanksgiving Destination according to a study by AAA, based on flight, hotel, and rental car bookings for Thanksgiving week.
Orlando (Central Florida) was selected as one of The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023 by Travel + Leisure.
Unicorp’s O-Town West will be the site of Tao Hotel, Orlando's first Tao-branded resort, expected to open in 2025. The property will feature a Tao Asian Bistro, rooftop experience, suites, meeting space, a fitness facility and more.
Museum of Illusions Orlando will put a twist on the classic holiday tradition Elf on the Shelf” by hosting “Elves Off the Shelf Fridays.” For the price of regular admission, guests will be able to explore the museum’s exhibits and take photos with elves on select dates and times Dec. 9-23.
Universal Orlando Resort will debut an all-new holiday tribute store with four themed rooms inspired by “Who-ville,” The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Earl the Squirrel and New York vintage holiday decor. The immersive store will be stocked with a variety of new merchandise - such as a Grinchmas popcorn bucket, Hogwarts House-themed holiday ornaments, Earl the Squirrel spirit jersey and more – plus a variety of unique sweet treats in each themed room.
DINING & NIGHTLIFE
Paddlefish Restaurant, located in Disney Springs, will offer a special Thanksgiving menu offering a feast complete with herb roasted turkey breast, andouille cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes and more. The menu will be priced at $29 per adult and $12 per child.
Cafe Tu Tu Tango will offer a special Thanksgiving Day bottomless brunch with a carving station from 11am-4pm and their regular dinner menu from 4-10pm. The bottomless brunch - plus holiday carving station - will include roasted mojo Turkey with giblet gravy and house made cranberry sauce; pineapple glazed ham served warm potato rolls and cherry-pineapple sauce; and bottomless sides.
Visitors can save 10% on tickets for Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit’s annual New Year’s Eve party through Nov. 28. The Spanish-style festivities will include a multi-course dinner, champagne toast and live flamenco performances.
Taverna Opa will offer savings of 10% off tickets for its annual New Year’s Eve party through Cyber Monday, Nov. 28. The celebration will include a full Mediterranean-style holiday feast and all-night live entertainment.
Pirates Dinner Adventure will be spreading Christmas cheer with special holiday offerings Nov. 25 – Dec. 31. Guests can experience the classic dinner show with a holiday overlay featuring Christmas music and a ship-side visit from a special holiday guest at the end of the show.
Teatro Martini, Pirates Dinner Adventure’s adult-only, burlesque-inspired dinner show, will get a holiday overlay throughout the season featuring top performers in a variety of arts including aerial, comedy, magic and more.
Framework Craft Coffee House will open a shop in the Mills 50 district this month. Serving sustainable, locally sourced and quality brews, the coffee shop will offer drinks on a pay-what-you-can model, believing that everyone should have access to a good cup of coffee or tea.
Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken, a Southern breakfast and lunch chain, will make its Orlando area debut in Winter Park early 2023. The location will be the first in the state, featuring Southern comfort food including chicken sandwiches, biscuits, and donuts.
Capital Tacos, the Tampa-based Tex-Mex restaurant, opened its first Orlando location on Nov. 8. The new restaurant features a variety of menu items including tacos such as “Shrimply the Best’s” fried shrimp with bacon and “Catawampus” with fried chicken and a double meza, including fajita chicken and house-made chorizo or ground pork.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS
The Mennello Museum of American Art will present “In Conversation: Will Wilson,” a new exhibition, from Oct. 28- Feb. 12. The exhibition presents a compelling contemporary exploration of self-representation through the science of photography and digital media in response to the continuing impact of early 20th century photographer Edward S. Curtis’s images.
Deck the District, presented by City District Main Street, will kick off the holiday season in downtown Orlando with the annual tree lighting and gingerbread building contest on Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m.
FusionFest, a free two-day festival, will return to the open-air Seneff Arts Plaza at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts located in downtown Orlando, Nov. 26-27. Featuring over 1,000 local artists, galleries and interactive installations and representing more than 110 global cultures, the festival exists to honor each person’s heritage while also exploring and celebrating how we influence each other, creating our own unique identity.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights revealed the first all-new haunted house of its 2023 lineup, inspired by the USA & SYFY hit series, “Chucky,” will debut next fall at Universal Orlando Resort.
The Renaissance Theatre Company will present the return of “The Office Party Musical Extravaganza Show", playing Dec. 1-23, at the Ren in Orlando. The show, featuring all-new original songs and a comedic cast of characters, makes light of the stereotypical office holiday party, complete with mingling, drinks, gift-exchanges and also a little bit of holiday spirit.