ATRACTIONS 2011 HIGHLIGHTS
What’s New at Theme Parks in 2011
Orlando theme parks and attractions are starting off 2011 with exciting enhancements and new additions. SeaWorld Orlando debuted "One Ocean," an all-new killer whale show, in April. This show, replacing "Believe," features simultaneous whale performances, including high-energy leaps and interactive stunts. Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently introduced a new parade called"Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun" and announced the new Star Tours 3-D attraction that opened May 20. Legoland Florida is scheduled to open in October 2011.
SeaWorld Orlando debuted "One Ocean," an all-new killer whale show at Shamu Stadium. The show features simultaneous whale performances, including high-energy leaps and interactive stunts. "One Ocean" replaced the "Believe" show at all three SeaWorld parks.
SeaWorlOrlando.com; 407-363-2280 (media); 888-800-5447 (public)
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT
Walt Disney World Resort introduced a new parade called "Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun" at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in January.The parade, replacing "Block Party Bash," features characters from Pixar movies, including "Up," "Monsters Inc.," "Toy Story" and "A Bug’s Life."
Disneyworld.com; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-1289 (public)
Walt Disney World Resort opened the new Star Tours 3-D attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 20. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue will feature new droids, a new Starspeeder, new destinations and even a new pilot.
Disneyworld.com; 407-566-6397 (media); 407-939-6244 (public)
CENTRAL FLORIDA ATTRACTIONS
Fun Spot Action Park, located off International Drive, announced its plans for an expansion. The 13-year-old, 5-acre (2-hectare) park purchased an adjacent 10 acres (4 hectares) to triple its size. The expanded park will include more tracks, rides and a smaller version of the SkyCoaster thrill ride located at the Kissimmee park location, Fun Spot USA. The Kissimmee location is also expanding its park with a new Soaring Eagle Ride, birthday/meeting room and its first rollercoaster, a Wild Mouse ride.
FunSpotAttractions.com; 407-363-3867 ext.110 (media); 407-363-3867 (public)
Gatorland recently announced its newest attraction, Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. Opening June 16,this attraction will offer a variety of zip line experiences that send guests flying over exotic scenery, alligators and crocodiles. The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line will carry riders along 1,200 feet (366 meters) of high-flying adventure. At heights exceeding seven stories (23 meters), guests will fly at speeds near 25 mph (40 kph) over many of the attraction’s exhibits and entertainment venues.Reservations are required for the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, they are $69.99 with park admission included.
Gatorland.com; 407-855-5496 , ext. 242 (media); 407-855-5496 (public)
Kennedy Space Center announced that it will transform NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex into a place where visitors can engage with the people and machines of space exploration. The marquee element of the renovation is a $100 million exhibit displaying one of three remaining flown space shuttle orbiters. The transformation is estimated to take 10 years and will include 10 interactive-themed areas, plus new and enhanced visitor amenities.
kennedyspacecenter.com; 321-449-4318 (media); 866-737-5235 (public)
LEGOLAND Florida is scheduled to open October 2011. General admission tickets are $65 for adults and $55 for children and seniors. Standard Annual Passes are offered at the children’s prices of $99 with no black-out dates.
Legoland.com; 877-350-LEGO (media and public)
Orlando Air Tour, Mauiva’s aerial tour division, added a new Celebration Tour excursion. This airplane expedition departs daily from Mauiva at the Kissimmee Airport and provides unique views of the Central Florida area and attractions. The tour, $60 per person, lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Orlandoairtour.com; 407-551-0577 (media); 407-551-0577 (public)
Broadway Across America announced its 2011-2012 season with the following shows to be performed at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando:
Nov. 1-6, 2011: "The Addams Family"
Dec. 6-11, 2011: "Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific"
Jan. 17-22, 2012: "Les Miserables"
Feb. 15-26, 2012: "Billy Elliott: The Musical"
April 17 – May 13, 2012: "The Lion King"
June 5-10, 2012: "La Cage"
Broadwayacrossamerica.com/Orlando; 800-448-6322 (media and public)
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art opened its new wing Feb. 19, 2011. The expansion includes 11 new galleries featuring art and architectural objects from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall, such as prize-winning leaded-glass windows, iconic Tiffany lamps and custom furnishings.
morsemuseum.org; 407-645-5311 (media and public)
Orlando Shakespeare Theater in partnership with UCF announced its 2011-2012 season:
"The Importance of Being Earnest," Sept. 14 – Oct. 9, 2011
"A Playfest Premiere," Oct. 12 – Nov. 13, 2011
"A Tuna Christmas," Dec. 1-24, 2011
"Romeo and Juliet," Jan. 25 – March 17, 2012
"Cymbeline," Feb. 18 - March 18, 2012
"A Modern Masterpiece," March 21 – April 22, 2012
Young audience series:
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," July 7 – Aug. 7, 2011
"Miss Nelson is Missing," Oct. 20 – Nov. 19, 2011
"Charlotte’s Web," March 29 – April 29, 2012
Ticket prices range from $10-$38. Single tickets go on sale June 14 and season subscriptions are now available for purchase online or by phone.
orlandoshakes.org; 407-447-1700 , ext. 215 (media); 407-447-1700 (public)
DINING & NIGHTLIFE
Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant is now open for lunch daily at 11 a.m. The restaurant expanded its hours in response to the amount of visitors in the area since the opening of the new Amway Center.
ceviche.com; 321-281-8140 (media and public)
Darden Restaurants announced the first "green" LongHorn Steakhouse to be built in the Lake Buena Vista area. Constructed from recycled materials, the restaurant will feature natural lighting and energy efficient appliances and fixtures. It will be Orlando’s ninth LongHorn and Darden’s tenth restaurant built to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
Darden.com; 407-245-5756 (media); 407-828-8976 (public)
Dave & Buster’s a dining and entertainment chain, will open its first Orlando location on July 18. Located on International Drive, the 80,000 square feet (7,432 square meters) entertainment facility will include more than 170 interactive games, dozens of flat-screen TVs for sports fans and an eclectic menu.
daveandbusters.com; 214-904-2201 (media)
Farris and Foster’s Chocolate Factory recently opened a new location in Waterford Towers. The new store features similar chocolate confections as the Baldwin Park location, along with additional space for parties.
farrisandfosters.com; 407-802-2947 (media and public)
The Peabody Orlando celebrated the grand opening of Rocks, its newest upscale lounge. Overlooking International Drive, Rocks offers an extensive wine list, bottled beers from around the world and specialty cocktails infused with fresh ingredients. The lounge also offers live music seven nights a week and a select bar menu.
PeabodyOrlando.com; 407-210-1507 (media); 407-352-4000 (public)
Pine 22, a create-your-own burger restaurant, recently opened in downtown Orlando. With 322,000 different combinations, diners can create a customized burger from locally grown ingredients. The restaurant also serves appetizers, sweet potato or pine fries, seasonal fried pies and wine and beer.
Pine22.com; 407-574-2160 (media and public)
Pinkberry, the popular frozen yogurt store, opened a second Florida location April 1 at Orlando Premium Outlets – International Dr. The new location will serve Pinkberry's six distinctive flavors, as well as a wide range of premium toppings, fruit parfaits and smoothies.
Pinkberry.com; 407-332-5212 (media and public)
Rosen Centre Hotel recently opened 98Forty Tapas & Tequila featuring 40 different brands of premium tequilas and fresh menu items, such as salsas, guacamoles, quesadillas, tacos and more. The restaurant is open daily at 5 p.m.
rosencentre.com; 407-332-5212 (media); 407-996-9840 (public)
Thai Thani Restaurant welcomes Groucho’s Comedy Clubto its Celebration Town Center location Saturday nights beginning Feb. 5. The comedy club will feature new nationally touring comedians. Shows begin at 8:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $12 per person or $25 for a dinner show package that includes dinner, show admission, choice of seating and a non-alcoholic beverage.
CelebrationTowncenter.com; 407-566-9444 (media and public)
SPORTS & RECREATION
Orlando City Soccer Club, a new local team that launched fall 2010, began its first regular season on April 9, 2011. Home games are played at Orlando’s Citrus Bowl
OrlandoCitySoccer.com; 407-536-5145 (media); 407-536-5368 (public)
Winter Park City Tours launched its group walking tours Dec. 2, 2010, featuring four distinct routes at about 1 mile (1.61 km) in length each. Winter Park showcases its unique history and architecture with visits to historical sites that feature stories about key people and events. Tickets are $18.87 for adults, $15.75 for students 13-18 and free for children 12 and under.
WinterParkCityTours.com; 407-896-9665 (media and public)
Allegiant Air announced it will consolidate all of its service to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) beginning Feb. 1, 2011. The company, which currently operates 29 routes to and from the Orlando area, will move the 10 routes it serves from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Sanford. The routes include: Allentown, Pa.; Des Moines, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Huntington, W.Va.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Lexington, Ky.; Springfield, Mo.; Tri-Cities, Tenn.; and Youngstown, Ohio.
allegiantair.com; 702-851-7370 (media); 702-505-8888 (public)
Orlando Sanford International, Inc. and Vision Airlines recently announced scheduled non-stop, low-fare service between Orlando Sanford International and Northwest Florida Regional Airport in Fort Walton Beach/Destin, Fla. Beginning April 1, this year-round service will also offer passengers the opportunity of continuing service to Baton Rouge, La., Columbia, S.C., Little Rock, Ark., and Shreveport, La., from the Northwest Florida airport.
VisionAirlines.com; 407-585-4010 (media); 877-359-2538 (public)
TAM Airlines and US Airways signed a codeshare agreement that increased itinerary options for their passengers flying from or to South and North America. Passengers of the Brazilian airline have new domestic flight options in Miami, New York and Orlando. Starting itineraries offer round trips between Miami and Philadelphia, New York and Phoenix, Orlando and Phoenix, Orlando and Philadelphia, and Orlando and Washington, D.C. The codeshare allows each company to sell seats in planes operated by the other as if they were their own.
usairways.com; tamairlines.com; 407-477-5997 ext. 237 (media); 888-235-9826 (public)
Disney Cruise Line welcomed the Disney Dream to its fleet. The 4,000-passenger ship sailed its maiden voyage out of Port Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 26. It joined the 2,700-passenger Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, with the Disney Fantasy scheduled to join the fleet in 2012.
DisneyCruise.com; 407-566-6397 (media); 888-325-2500 (public)
SeaWorld Orlando presents Summer Nights, an all-new summer nighttime adventure, which kicks-off June 18 - August 14. Guests can enjoy shows, rollercoasters under the stars, nightly fireworks and a fountain finale until 10 p.m. Summer Nights is included with daily admission. Admission is $79.99 for adults and $71.99 for children over 3.
SeaWorlOrlando.com; 407-363-2280 (media); 888-800-5447 (public)
Consumers can call or write the Official Visitor Center, 8723 International Drive, Suite 101,Orlando, FL 32819,
phone: 800-551-0181 (U.S. or Canada) or 407-363-5872