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.
Marriott Village Orlando will host a wide range of spooky and not-so-spooky fall activities, select dates Sept.1 – Oct. 31, including crafts, games, scavenger hunts, movie nights, a haunted maze, trick-or-treat opportunities and more. Adults can also enjoy the “Witches Brew” happy hour with themed drinks including the Hocus Pocus martini and the Nightmare on Bourbon Street.
Meliá Orlando Celebration will feature new offerings this fall including the expansion of its “Wellness at Melia Orlando” program, with complimentary fitness classes, access to top-of-the-line exercise equipment and spa services including in-room massage therapy. In addition, an all-new kids club will feature arts and crafts; music; sports; and the installment of an Eco-Rink, a sustainable alternative to a traditional ice rink with synthetic ice panel, which will be available to the public and hotel guests Oct. 15 – Jan. 3.
Caribe Royale Orlando Resort will debut its all-new, sports-centric facility, Stadium Club, in January 2024. The two-story, 500-seat sports bar area will nr an interactive, immersive sports entertainment destination featuring eight pro-level sports simulators, two bars, two 165-inch XHD projector displays and a 110-foot-long ribbon display television.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will offer free admission for kids ages 3-11 throughout the entire month of September for Future Voyagers Month. Children will be able to experience the all-new immersive experience, All Systems Are Go!, featuring lights, sounds and state-of-the-art puppetry. The free, one-day admission will be available with the purchase of at least one adult admission ticket and valid for up to three complimentary children’s tickets, per adult.
Walt Disney World announced new and upcoming plans for 2023 and beyond:
- At Magic Kingdom Park, the Hatbox Ghost will materialize in the Haunted Mansion attraction as guests pass the Endless Hallway starting this November; the Country Bear Jamboree Bears will reinterpret iconic Disney songs in different genres of country music that pay tribute to Nashville’s musical revues in the new show “Country Bears Musical Jamboree” debuting in 2024; and Adventureland will extend the story of Pirates of the Caribbean with a Pirates of the Caribbean- themed lounge featuring the return of Peg-Leg Pete, also known as the Barker Bird, who was once stationed outside of the attraction.
- At EPCOT, Figment, the iconic purple dragon, will begin meeting with guests at the Imagination Pavilion this month; Journey of Water, inspired by Moana, the all-new walk-through exhibit will officially open on Oct. 16, featuring character appearances in dedicated spaces around World Nature; New nighttime spectacular, “Luminous The Symphony of Us,” will debut on December 5 replacing “EPCOT Forever” featuring fireworks, fountains, lasers lighting effects and music; World Celebration will unite the front of the park, tying together the other two new EPCOT neighborhoods, World Discovery and World Nature, this December; and Test Track will be reimagined as imagineers in partnership with Chevrolet reach back into history for inspiration.
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Dinoland U.S.A. will be reimagined into a new land inspired by a region referred to as “tropical Americas” that has been the inspiration for many magical stories over the years. And a new show based on “Zootopia” will take over the Tree of Life Theater. The experience will have guests visiting the different biomes from the film, traveling along with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde and other characters.
Sea Life Orlando Aquarium will bring back its mermaid event beginning Oct. 6 on select times every weekend. Guests will be able to see mermaids swimming in the aquarium’s large ocean habitats alongside sharks, stingrays and sea turtles.
LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park will introduce the seasonal Monster-to-Merry Season Ticket for $119 per person that allows unlimited admission through Dec. 25 and access to all Halloween and Christmas events, including Brick-or-Treat, Veterans Day weekend, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
DINING & NIGHTLIFE:
Exploria Stadium’s new “Orlando Made” local food and beverage offerings will expand with the addition of 13 new local vendors to the program. Soccer fans can find these offerings at different locations in the venue or as part of the “Orlando Made” rotating vendor cart. New vendors include Dexter Birdland, SusHi Eatstation, Cholo Dogs, NOSH, Norma’s Italian Eatery, Pattie Lou’s Donuts, Chill in Tacos and Fortuna Bakery. Local vendors such as Adelita’s Mexican Cocina, Guacamole Mexican Grill, Kappy’s Sandwiches, Mecatos Café and Bakery, and Phat Ash Bakes will be coming soon. The new additions join the five previously announced permanent concession stands, including 4Rivers Smokehouse, Black Rooster Taqueria, Harrell’s Hot Dogs, Teak Neighborhood Grill and The COOP by 4Rivers.
Night Owl Cookies, a Miami-based concept, is expected to open an Orlando location. The shop features signature cookie flavors such as Chocolate Chip, Ave Maria, Cookies & Cream, Rainbow Over Bedrock, Birthday Cake and more.
City Works Eatery & Pour House in Disney Springs will celebrate Oktoberfest Sept. 16 – Oct. 3 with German-inspired beers and bites such as the Smokehouse Currywurst, Pork Schnitzel and German Flatbread.
Big Chicken, a chicken chain owned by NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, will open in the SODO district in late-2023. The restaurant will feature some of the star’s favorite home-cooked meals and his namesake dish, The Shaq Attack, a crispy chicken sandwich stacked with pepper jack cheese, jalapeno slaw and spicy chipotle BBQ sauce.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar will introduce the all-new weekend Tropical Beats Brunch on available on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The brunch with feature a new menu featuring Cuban-inspired brunch specialties, dessert parades, a daytime DJ, bottomless pitchers, mimosa bottle service and more.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS:
Orlando Fringe announced its programs for the new Fringe ArtSpace as it embarks on its 2023-2024 season. The new season will feature full theatrical runs; limited engagements; an 18-month accelerator core artistic program; The Collective Incubator Program at Fringe ArtSpace, which will foster and mentor emerging local arts groups; touring shows; educational experiences; and the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival and Winter Mini-Fest. The fall season will begin with a three-night cabaret series, Sept. 22-24, presented by Central Florida Vocal Arts. The remainder of the season will include a residency for Velvet Toreador Company’s productions, Winnie’s Rock Cauldron Cabaret (WRCC) and Winnie's Full Moon Burly-Q show, Oct. 5-31; along with other productions including The Coldharts’s dark and critically acclaimed Poe Trilogy, Nov. 10-19, featuring performances of their self-written works: Edgar Allan, Eddie Poe, and Edgar Perry; and Ophelia the Musical presented by Phoenix Tears Productions, Dec. 1-18. Orlando Fringe will also host the 8th annual Winter Mini-Fest, Jan. 11-14, featuring shows that will span a wide-variety of genres, a visual arts market and a Kids Fringe mini-fest.
Camping World Stadium will showcase one of the nation’s greatest football rivalries as it hosts the 2023 Florida Blue Classic on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. This year includes the 78th meeting between Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) and the 43rd official “Florida Classic.”
Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company will host a pop-up market and a food truck party Sept. 9-10. On Sept. 9, The Orlando Parking Lot Party will feature various local food vendors including Cholo Dogs, Conrad’s Shanty, Hot Asian Buns and more. On Sept. 10, The Florida Vintage Market will feature a curated variety of vintage clothing, sustainable fashion, streetwear, custom clothing, sneakers, makers, artists, food trucks, drinks from the brewery and more.
CityArts Gallery will host Opera del Sol’s production of Dracula The Musical in downtown Orlando Oct. 20-29. The non-traditional, immersive experience will explore the audience’s deepest fears and darkest desires, while questioning reality itself, in an intimate space.
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will host The Residency Festival at Steinmetz Hall on Oct. 3-8. This event will feature six memorable evenings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a cross-section of iconic artists such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Beck, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Ross, Broadway Royalty, and The Bach Festival Choir.
Old Town Entertainment District Kissimmee will host several events throughout October, including the 18th Annual VetteFest. The series honors classic and new Corvettes, featuring live music from Rocktown and Blue Stone Circle on the Old Town Main Stage on Oct. 7; the AutoFest Judged Car Show, featuring show quality 1964 and newer muscle and high-performance cars and trucks, older antiques, hot rods and more on Oct. 14; and the Annual Halloween Event, featuring free trick-or-treating, live entertainment and a costume contest on Oct. 31.
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has released its menu for the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, taking place Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11. This menu features a lineup of delectable new dishes such as a smoked American lamb and a red chile chicken taco, along with the return of festivals favorites like the Dragon Roll and the signature classic guacamole en molcajete.
Universal Orlando Resort will host Rock the Universe, Florida’s biggest Christian music festival, Jan. 26-27, featuring performances by award-winning artists including We The Kingdom, LECRAE, Casting Crowns, Phil Wickham, Brandon Lake and more. Attendees can immerse themselves in a weekend full of worship experiences – including a Sunday morning service, dedicated fan zone featuring live performances from up-and-coming acts and autograph sessions with participating bands and artists.
Canada Jetlines will launch new service operating four days a week, from Toronto (YYZ) to Orlando (MCO) beginning October 30.
Porter Airlines will launch two new daily services, starting November 21, from Toronto (YYZ) and Ottawa (YOW) to Orlando (MCO).
Lynx Air will be increasing their service from Toronto (YYZ) to Orlando (MCO) from three times a week to a daily service starting Nov. 1. The company will also begin three new flights to Orlando (MCO) over the course of November: Montreal (YUL) to Orlando (MCO) operating four times a week beginning November 2; Calgary (YYC) to Orlando (MCO) operating two times a week beginning November 7; and Vancouver (YVR) to Orlando (MCO) operating weekly beginning November 18.
Brightline will begin service to Orlando International Airport on September 22. The intercity rail will connect between Orlando and South Florida (Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach) with inaugural rides available for booking at gobrightline.com.