Today’s travel tip sheet includes ideas for an Orlando summer getaway ranging from new attractions and accommodations to sports and cultural events and local neighborhoods to explore. For interviews and media info: media@visitorlando.com.  

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In this Issue:  

  • What's New this Summer in Orlando 

  • Summer of Soccer: Florida Cup 2022  

  • Walk on the Wild Side: Orlando’s Zoos and Gardens 

  • 33rd Annual ZORA! Festival in Historic Eatonville 

  • Like a local Spotlight: Ivanhoe Village 

  • What’s New This Month 

  • DYK? Orlando is home to the longest running fringe festival in the U.S. 

What's New for Summer 

Orlando, just named top US destination for summer travel by Allianz travel insurance company, offers an array of exciting new thrills, unique accommodations and more.  

New Theme Park Thrills 

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT’s first “other-world” showcase pavilion opens May 27, featuring a new storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. 

  • Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster features four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch with a 93-foot-tall spike with 100-degree angle, the steepest vertical drop in Florida. 

  • Aquatica Orlando’s newest water slide, Reef Plunge, offers eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings with twists and turn though 330 feet of fiberglass. A vibrant array of marine life, Commerson’s dolphins, leopard sharks and a variety of other cold-water fish are also part of the new dynamic habitat.   

New Accommodations 

  • The Tuscan-inspired, 126-room ette Hotel Orlando opens in June near Disney World. Focusing on wellness as an alcohol-free property, the hotel offers culinary experiences in partnership with Michelin Star Chef Akira Back, along with The Spa at ette, with services for everyone from the modern minimalist to the unruly naturalist. 

  • AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista will offer a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness facility, inventive chef-tailored dining and signature cocktail service in June. 

More new summer openings can be found here.  

Summer of Soccer: Florida Cup 2022 

Ranked by WalletHub as one of the country’s best cities for soccer fans, Orlando is a must visit destination for soccer fanatics, with Major League Soccer’s Orlando City Soccer Club and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Orlando Pride and international soccer tournaments. This year, the Florida Cup 2022 series will feature top clubs from Europe including English Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, competing for the title at Camping World Stadium on July 23 and Arsenal will play Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on July 20, a first-time meeting between the two clubs. Additional information on summer soccer events in Orlando can be found here

Walk on the Wild Side: Orlando’s Zoos and Gardens 

From fascinating reptiles and exotic species to mindfulness and sculpture gardens, Orlando offers up-close encounters with plants and animals from all over the world at zoos, wildlife ranches and gardens throughout the destination.  

Orlando’s Zoos and Wildlife Ranches 

  • Gatorland, the long-running Orlando attraction features fascinating reptiles, as well as large cats, gentler animals, exotic birds, plant life and fun attractions like the specially ticketed Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.  

  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, located about 30 minutes north of Orlando’s main tourism districts, presents a relaxing, entertaining and educational experience featuring more than 400 animals representing over 150 local and exotic species, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects. 

  • Wild Florida, best-known for its beautiful airboat tours, also features a gator park and a drive-thru safari featuring more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife that includes zebras, watusi, oryx, white-tailed deer, bison, cracker cows and more. 

Orlando’s Gardens 

  • The all-new Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, a 50,000-square-foot outdoor space located adjacent to the newly opened Lake Nona Wave Hotel, features lush landscaping and a collection of world-renowned sculptures including one of the most recognized in the world, the Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica. 

  • Harry P. Leu Gardens, located in Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District, features 50 acres of cultivated gardens boasting more than 40 diverse plant collections from around the world. It’s also the site of a 1880s-era family home, the Leu House Museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Additional information on Orlando’s zoos and gardens can be found here.

33rd Annual ZORA! Festival  

Historic Eatonville’s signature event, the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, will offer a three-day, open-air Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville June 4-5. The event will feature an African-American Women’s Trade Expo, Arts Walk, International Food Court, International Marketplace and live performances from national and local artists, among other fascinating and important cultural offerings. Additional information can be found here.   

Like a Local: Ivanhoe Village 

North of downtown Orlando and anchored by Lake Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe Village offers visitors unique bars, acclaimed dining, cultural venues, specialty shopping, outdoor activities and lots of indie flair.   

Dining & Nightlife 

  • NEW: The BANDBOX – Orlando, Central Florida’s first alcohol-free speakeasy cocktail tasting lounge and vintage shop, will open this summer at Ivanhoe Village.  

  • Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe offers upscale casual dining with a fresh, innovative menu, complemented by amazing views of the district’s central lake. 

  • The Imperial Wine Bar & Beer Garden is an upscale furniture store by day and a refined watering hole by night, featuring a wide range of craft beers and wine, as well as a gourmet food menu. 

  • A new full-service food hall, The Hall on the Yard, features nine diverse culinary offerings and three premium cocktail bars in an eclectic environment. 

Outdoor Fun 

  • The lakefront district offers unique paddleboarding excursions with Epic Paddle Adventures, including a guided sunset and night glow tours.  

  • The Ivanhoe Village community connects to the Orlando Urban Trail, a 3-mile path that runs from Lake Highland in Orlando to Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park, including six gorgeous lakes. 

Arts and Culture 

  • The Orlando Shakespeare Theater (aka Orlando Shakes) caters to young audiences and families, as each performance is based on classical and contemporary children’s literature.  

  • The Orlando Science Center, one of America's top hands-on science centers, offers hundreds of exhibits, programs and labs, planetarium shows, an observatory with the state's largest refractor telescope, the world's largest cinedome and 10 interactive halls with remarkable opportunities to explore, experiment and discover.  

What’s New in Orlando this Month? 

Stay up to date on Orlando's most recent announcements and openings - from accommodations and attractions to restaurants and events - available here.  

Did You Know?  

Orlando is home to the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival — aka Orlando Fringe — the longest running Fringe theatre festival in the United States. This year, the immersive cultural experience will be held in Loch Haven Park on May 17-20, featuring hundreds of ticketed theatrical performances from local, national and international artists, plus a free outdoor music festival.