New & Upcoming: September Edition

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 named the Best U.S. City for Families, according to United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine’s Readers Choice Awards

ATTRACTIONS

SeaWorld Orlando is launching its 2022 annual passes with new benefits ranging from no blackout dates, up to six free guest tickets and access to new exclusive preview events, such as the 2022 Ice Breaker Passport to Thrills VIP event and early ride preview. Passes for Florida Residents start at $12.50 a month, plus tax, with no down payment required.

Crayola Experience launched the True Blue Heroes Annual Pass Program, offering active, retired and veteran military personnel, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical technicians a free Bronze level annual pass. The annual pass gives members unlimited visits for interactive, creative play at any of the five Crayola Experience family attractions across the country.

ICON Park completed renovations of The Wheelhouse with a new grand entrance and bars. The remodel features a circular bar in the center of the building along with a new Sky Bar, where guests can pick up a drink before boarding The Wheel. The entertainment complex also expanded the ICON Park Promenade, adding 30 new kiosks for guests to enjoy more open-air and walkable spaces.

WonderWorks Orlando’s Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show will launch its first-ever Halloween-themed show beginning Oct. 1. The new Outta Control Spooktacular Magic Dinner Show will feature family friendly spooky content including two new characters presenting a monster mashup of magic and comedy with a Halloween twist.

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

A new Asian eatery, Saisei Kitchen & Bar, opened Sept. 9 in Downtown Orlando. The restaurant specializes in Asian street fare and noodles. The decor is bright and vibrant and boasts a number of nods to the popular anime franchise, “Naruto,” from which it draws its name, which also means “rebirth” in Japanese.

Sam and George Co., a coffee shop with adoptable dogs to cuddle while sipping on coffee, will open in a new space near Kaley Avenue. The soft opening is expected to take place later this fall. More details and exact location soon to be announced.

A second location of Light On The Sugar will open in Winter Park this fall. The new bakery will feature scratch-made cream puffs, macarons and crepe cakes with a rotating menu of seasonal flavors of creme brulee, ube cheesecake and matcha. The shop will also offer specialty drinks like Lychee Rose Lemonade, the Tiger Sugar Latte and the Tiramisu Float. Light on the Sugar is expected to open in time for Thanksgiving 2021.

New York Beer Project officially broke ground in Orlando last week and will feature a gastropub, indoor beer garden, tap room, brewery, sidewalk bistro, as well as three New York City themed event spaces. The brewery is being built to resemble a 1900's indoor beer garden in New York's lower East Side. The brewery will pay homage to beer gardens and breweries in the U.S.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar Orlando is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with menu and drink specials, including its new “Esperanza Sparkling Mojito,” a limited time offering. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the new cocktail will benefit Cuba Decide, a non-profit, non-partisan citizen driven organization working to bring change to Cuba’s political system.

RareTea, a California-based tea shop, is now open in Thornton Park. The shop features a variety of innovative tea beverages using real cane sugar, in-house jams and purees.

EVENTS & FESTIVALS

Halloween Overview: Ghost adventures, haunted roads, spooky science and much more. Discover all of the frights and fun that Orlando has to offer this Halloween season here.

The Renaissance Theatre Company will present, Nosferatu, a one-of-a-kind theatrical event from select dates Oct. 1-31. The immersive horror experience will take place in the theater’s new Ivanhoe performance space.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will return to Orlando’s Amway Center this holiday season, playing two sets as part of a 59-city anniversary tour. Both take place Saturday, Dec. 18, with tickets on sale Friday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m.

Universal Orlando’s Rock the Universe – Florida’s biggest Christian music festival – will return to Universal Studios Florida Jan. 28-30. Festival attendees will enjoy performances by some of Christian music’s top artists, powerful worship experiences and thrilling theme park attractions during an unforgettable weekend of faith and fun. The festival will feature performances by Matthew West, for KING & COUNTRY, Casting Crowns, Zach Williams, Big Daddy Weave and more.

SeaWorld’s Craft Beer Festival has been extended to run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31 (originally slated to end Sept. 12). This year’s event features more than 100 craft beers, wines, seltzers and cocktails as well as more than 20 food items. With the extension of the event, Craft Beer Festival will now be happening at the same time as SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular.

Enzian and The Asian Cultural Association will present Beyond Bollywood: The 27th Annual South Asian Film Festival Oct. 2-4. The festival will showcase diverse images of the Indian subcontinent and its culture and heritage through acclaimed independent films from across the globe. This year’s event will present four features and seven shorts, and includes 10 premieres.

The 2022 ZORA! Festival Season will consist of a new year-round calendar featuring three key events. The season will kick off with the 33rd ZORA! Festival -- a month-long celebration beginning Jan. 7 -- and continue with programs like “Traditions” Weekend: Middle School and High School Students Celebrate Black Music Month June 17-18; as well as HATitude Cultural Flair, an African and African-American “Design” event serving as a fundraiser for after school and summer academic support for K-12 students, on Oct. 29.

Lake Nona’s Hispanic Heritage Food Festival, taking place at Nona Adventure Park on Sept. 25, will feature authentic dishes from over seven different Latin American countries, live entertainment, an interactive kids zone, cooking demos and more.

Walt Disney World’s Candlelight Processional will return as part of EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth Nov. 26 – Dec. 30. The event will include a live orchestra, cast choir and celebrity narrators.

Dazzling Nights, the holiday lights spectacular, will return to Harry P. Leu Gardens Nov. 19 – Jan. 9. The all-new, redesigned event will feature a forest lit with hundreds of handmade Moroccan lanterns, a 7,000-square-foot light maze, a 65-foot tunnel of 12-foot-tall stars, new entertainment, delicious food offerings and more. The event will also offer a sensory friendly option with adjusted lighting and sound. 

The 19th annual Global Peace Film Festival is happening now through Oct. 3, featuring a well-curated slate of movies exploring themes of peace and conflict resolution, a series of in-person and virtual Q&A sessions with filmmakers, and two art exhibitions.

TRANSPORTATION

The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is expecting to exceed the pre-pandemic traffic numbers from 2019 by approximately 7% for the six-day Labor Day travel period.

The Orlando International Airport (MCO) unveiled new details for its South Terminal arrival experience. The new terminal will feature an innovative baggage handling system offering an immersive gate to curb experience that will bring luggage to the same level the passengers deplane, allowing visitors to retrieve their checked bags upon arrival.

The Orlando International Airport (MCO), in partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County, will feature a new art display in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope” exhibit includes 18 paintings from a selection of Central Florida artists originally from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.