Updates in the Air
Orlando International Airport, the busiest airport in Florida, has approved the construction of the $2.1 billion South Terminal Complex. Featuring an Automated People Mover (APM), new aircraft taxiways and a six-story, 5,000-space parking garage, the development will be operational by 2021 and feature 16 new gates.
The city’s largest 2018 hotel opening will be Margaritaville Resort Orlando, a waterfront destination that will feature over 1,000 Florida Keys-inspired vacation homes and 300 timeshare units. The property will include an entertainment district, 12-acre water park and wellness center all accessible by an onsite water taxi system. Aventura Hotel, the sixth addition to Universal Orlando’s lineup of onsite resorts, is scheduled to open in August 2018. The 16-story glass tower will contain over 600 guest rooms and include family-friendly suites, a rooftop bar and exclusive access to Universal’s theme parks. At Walt Disney World, Coronado Springs Resort & Convention Center is adding a new 15-story tower that adds 500 guest rooms and offers stunning panoramic views of nighttime fireworks at Disney parks. Guests seeking a quieter stay should consider the new Delaney Hotel, a 54-room boutique property in Orlando’s SoDo district that provides easy access to the city’s nightlife and dining.
Orlando is cementing its “Theme Park Capital of the World” reputation with a slew of new and innovative attractions. Toy Story Land, slated to open summer 2018 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will bring the hit Pixar series to life with the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster and Alien Swirling Saucers. At Universal Studios Florida, Fast & Furious – Supercharged will take guests on a high-octane adventure with characters from the action film franchise. In January, LEGOLAND Florida Resort opened LEGO Ninjago—Master of the 4th Dimension, a short film that uses 3D animation and special effects to transport visitors to the martial arts realm of the LEGO universe. Visitors unafraid of getting wet should brave Infinity Falls, SeaWorld Orlando’s whitewater raft ride set to open summer 2018. Guests climb aboard a raft for a journey through a mysterious jungle full of fountains, waterfalls and the remains of a lost civilization. Attached to the Grove Resort, Surfari Waterpark will be a six-acre water playground that features dual water slides, wave simulators, a lazy river and children’s splash pads.
Celebrity Chef Hotspot
Welcoming celebrity chefs at an unprecedented rate, Orlando restaurants new for 2018 include Heirloom Deli, a plant-based comfort food kitchen overseen by vegan chef Mary Mattern, and JINYA Ramen Bar, a modern Japanese dining space serving authentic ramen specialties. Disney Springs will open The Edison, a steampunk-themed lounge serving craft cocktails, and Jaleo, a tapas restaurant featuring dishes from acclaimed Spanish chef José Andrés.