Orlando is always new, that’s a fact and in this post I tell you about the 15 attractions, hotels, restaurants and more in Orlando that I have personally tested and approved! I go to Orlando at least three times a year and there’s always something new to see and do.
There are many lodging options in Orlando and almost every month there is a new hotel or condominium opening its doors, but here are the new options that I recommend.
Four Seasons, Orlando
Four Seasons Orlando was probably the most anticipated hotel in recent months and did not disappoint. I stayed there for two nights and it was hard to leave. The hotel is wonderful, with a very nice leisure area for children, pools only for adults and details that make the difference. I
f you choose the room overlooking the parks, you can see Epcot and Magic Kingdom and watch the night skyrocket fires from the bedroom balcony. Ravello, a restaurant where breakfast and dinner take place, also has breakfast with characters on Thursdays and Saturdays with Goofy and his friends. See the complete review of the hotel here.
Address: 10100 Dream Tree Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32836
To make reservations on Booking.com: Four Seasons Orlando Hotel
CLC Encantada Resorts
CLC Encantada Resorts – is a resort composed of 2 and 3 bedroom houses in Kissimmee, with two bathrooms and a bathroom with modern decoration and very good for those going with a big family, since the 2 bedroom houses can accommodate up to 6 people and the 3 bedroom houses, 8 people. It has pools, a club and an area for children. See full review of Encantada Resorts here.
Address:3070 Secret Lake Drive – Kissimmee, FL
Prices: from US$108.00 (for a minimum of 7 nights)
To make reservations on Booking.com: Encantada – CLC World Resort
CLC Regal Oaks Resorts
CLC Regal Oaks Resorts is a resort composed of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses in Kissimmee, with two bathrooms and a toilet. It is brand new, newly built and from the same group as CLC Encantada, the only difference between them at the moment besides the larger 4 bedroom house, is the Regal Oaks location which is in Old Town Kissimmee and this one still has the pool and club being built.
Address: 5780 Golden Hawk Way – Kissimmee, FL
Prices: from US$100.00 (for a minimum of 6 nights)
To make reservations on Booking.com: Regal Oaks to CLC World Resort
Cabana Bay at Universal Studios
Cabana Bay at Universal Studios Universal’s newest hotel belongs to the value category, i.e. the cheapest and has besides normal rooms, suites with two bedrooms and a small kitchen. The decoration is in the style of the 50’s and there is transport to Universal Studios and access to the park an hour earlier.
I did not stay there, but I did a guided tour to the rooms, leisure areas and I found it nice for those who are looking for a more affordable option, but want to stay in a brand new hotel near the Universal Orlando parks.
Address: 6550 Adventure Way – Orlando, FL
Prices: from US$93.00 (for rooms) and US$158.00 (for suites)
To make reservations on Booking.com: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Harry Potter Diagon Alley
Harry Potter Diagon Alley was one of the most expected attractions this year by fans of the witch Harry Potter who has London and Diagonal Alley as background. Besides the new attraction “Escape from Gringotts” that can be even better than the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” that is on Islands the Adventure, the new area has the details of the diagonal alley, the dragon that releases fire and the various scenarios where you can use the wand mágina.
The Hogwarts Express train takes visitors from one park to another, from London at Universal Studios to Hogmeade on Islands of Adventure. Not to be missed by those who like it and go to Orlando.
Frozen is one of the sensations of the last months around the world with children and besides the Frozen Summer Fun that is happening daily at Hollywood Studios until September 28th, there is a little shop with several products of sisters Elsa, Anna and the snowman Olaf.
Among the attractions that will continue is Sing along which is a show where storytellers sing along with the audience and show scenes of the songs in the movie. At Magic Kingdom, the 3pm parade also features the sisters Anna and Elsa and various activities are being planned for the end of the year as a show where Elsa turns Cinderella’s castle into an ice castle and the sisters also take place captively at Princess Hall.
In addition to the events in the parks I went to see the Disney on Ice Frozen that was in Orlando and is now touring the United States.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is part of the last phase of the New Fantasyland expansion and is a super fun roller coaster ride that passes inside the mine. It is currently one of the most popular toys in Magic Kingdom and as it no longer had Fast Pass+ and the queues were lasting up to over an hour, it is worth the wait.
Magic Band and Fast Pass+ were introduced gradually over the last year and became one of those things that we don’t understand how everything worked before. Magic Band, the “electronic” bracelet that stores your hotel information, tickets and Fast Pass+ is also super fun to “decorate”. Fast Pass+ replaces the previous paper Fast Pass and makes life a lot easier for those who want to plan their day in the park.
9th Festival of Fantasy Parade is the new Magic Kingdom parade and has been completely remade. New cars, new characters and colorful and impressive costumes. I used to love the parade time before, now I don’t miss it for anything and I look for new details every step of the way.
Mickey not so Scary Halloween Party 2020 happens every year, but it was the first time I participated and every year they add little details. This year the bags had Big Hero on one side and Sleeping Beauty on the other. The bad guys won a club in Frontierland where they dance, called Club Villain.
There is a limited edition of Magic Bands and even Mickey is dressed in character for Halloween and speaking Halloween related jokes. In Boo to You Parade there is now Wrecked Ralph and Venelope. This year the party will start, September 1st and goes until October 31st on some nights.
Food and Wine Festival
The Food and Wine Festival (2020) also happens every year, I’ve been to other occasions, but being Disney of course there is always something new. The festival is even bigger: it will be 53 days in total with 7 more days than last year. This year the new countries are Puerto Rico and Patagonia, as well as a Fresh Market kiosk.
Brazil is back again this year with Moqueca de pescado, Pão de queijo, Feijão com barriga de porco and a cocada that was so successful that I couldn’t buy it at any of the times I passed by the kiosk. The event has pins and a special Magic Band and also a lot of themed items from home and kitchen.
Spice Road Table Restaurant
Spice Road Table Restaurant is the newest restaurant at Epcot in World Showcase. Based on Mediterranean cuisine and the concept of mezza (small dishes as if they were tapas) it is in Morocco and with a wonderful view of Epcot Lake where you can see the fires of the Illumination. Delicious and very worthwhile for a different dinner in the park. The restaurant does not accept reservations so the tables are for whoever arrives first. See here the menu and more details.
VIP Tour and Backstage Magic
VIP Tour and Backstage Magic are two separate things, but they were one of those discoveries on this trip that I don’t know how I’ll live without on my next trips.
The VIP Tour is a Disney service for groups of up to 10 people and allows visitors to discover the park in the company of a Disney specialist. Besides the super knowledge about the parks, the guides put you inside the most popular rides, there are special places during the shows on stages or fireworks and also at the stops.
The VIP Tour costs from US$315 to US$500 per hour for a minimum of 6 hours. For more information, see here. The Backstage Magic tour takes visitors to know a bit of the backstage of the parks and we made a modified version for the press, with some different things and that didn’t have some things in this program, but the premise is the same… know a bit of what happens backstage! It costs $249 per person.
Senses Spa which is the spa of the Grand Floridian Hotel opened more than a year ago, but it was still news to me and to many people right? After days of walking through the parks, with my feet and legs devastated, closing the week at the Spa was sensational. If you just want a foot massage, it costs US$30.00 and for a Swedish full body massage (which I did) besides being able to use the sauna and the heated indoor pool it costs US$135.00. See more details of treatments here.
It’s been two intense weeks in Orlando seeing all these things, photographing and getting details to tell you everything! So, did you enjoy the update?