Why Orlando is the very best home vacation spot of the 12 months

To many vacationers, Orlando is the place to go for household holidays filled with sunny…

Why Orlando is the very best home vacation spot of the 12 months

To many vacationers, Orlando is the place to go for household holidays filled with sunny climate and theme park visits to see beloved characters like Mickey and Minnie, or Harry Potter and Hagrid.

However there’s a lot extra to The Metropolis Lovely lately.

Now dwelling to new additions like a world-class theater area in its important performing arts middle, a high-tech airport terminal and a soon-to-open high-speed prepare service that connects town to South Florida, Orlando is investing in itself to draw much more guests.

Better of all, Orlando’s location in Central Florida locations it inside an hour’s drive of all that is occurring on the Area Coast, akin to the brand new Gateway: The Deep Area Launch Complicated, an interactive, 50,000-square-foot addition to the Kennedy Area Heart. Plus, you will discover Port Canaveral close by, the place you’ll be able to step on board Royal Caribbean’s new Marvel of the Seas and Disney Want, Disney Cruise Line’s latest vessel — and winner of greatest new cruise ship in TPG’s Editors’ Alternative Awards within the TPG Awards this 12 months.

With so many new issues to do and expertise in Orlando, it is no surprise town is TPG’s choose for the highest home vacation spot of 2022.

Associated: The whole lot it’s worthwhile to find out about visiting Walt Disney World Resort

An improved airport expertise

Many journeys to Orlando begin and finish at Orlando Worldwide Airport (MCO). So, we’ll begin there, too.

In late 2022, the Orlando airport unveiled its shiny, new Terminal C, which now companies overseas airways flying to town, together with JetBlue.

With this new terminal, crowding ought to be much less noticeable all through the airport, which noticed an 87% leap in passenger visitors final 12 months, making it one of many busiest airports on this planet, in accordance with Airports Council Worldwide.

Join our every day e-newsletter

ETHAN KLAPPER/THE POINTS GUY

The brand new area contains a brilliant, ethereal design that is certain to assist reduce any stress you’re feeling throughout your travels. Facilities embrace a whopping 23 eating venues and 11 retailers, together with Starbucks, Shake Shack, a wine bar and Disney and Common shops. There’s even an immersive artwork set up and a state-of-the-art baggage facility that makes use of radio frequency identification so baggage are dropped into containers versus immediately on conveyer belts; this helps pace up processing occasions and scale back the variety of misplaced or misplaced baggage.

ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Terminal C can also be dwelling to an all-new Plaza Premium Lounge that is a step above different lounges on the airport.

However the updates to the Orlando airport aren’t restricted to its new terminal. A gasoline station and comfort retailer that expenses common (not inflated rental company) costs for gas can also be obtainable on-site — a welcome addition for vacationers renting a automotive to get across the spread-out metropolis.

Performing arts take middle stage

Many people who find themselves acquainted with Orlando could not first affiliate it with the performing arts, however now that Steinmetz Corridor on the Dr. Phillips Heart for the Performing Arts has opened, there’s a complete new motive to go to town.

This venue, which opened in 2022, is a big deal for vacationers who get pleasure from music, because it’s thought-about one of many world’s most acoustically excellent areas. Becoming a member of Steinmetz Corridor subsequent 12 months is a cabaret-style area that sits proper behind the corridor.

VISIT ORLANDO

And since Steinmetz Corridor can alter its form, seating preparations and sound to satisfy the wants of assorted performances, you’ll be able to catch every thing from “Moulin Rouge The Ballet” to a live performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra right here in 2023.

Past Steinmetz Corridor are a few extra performing arts options which have made Orlando a dream vacation spot for a complete new set of vacationers. Advantageous arts followers, for instance, can absorb an all-new Cirque du Soleil present titled “Drawn to Life,” which is now displaying at Disney Springs, whereas downtown’s new Art2 city pocket park is the right place for meals truck fare and dwell performances.

An out-of-this-world 12 months for Disney

After all, no point out of Orlando can be full with out Disney World, which started celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in late 2021 with occasions all all through 2022. The 12 months was marked with new nighttime spectaculars, the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and the debut of the next-generation MagicBand+, amongst different developments.

Probably the most thrilling was the debut of the groundbreaking Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser two-night immersive lodge expertise, which welcomed its first company in February of 2022.

SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

However there’s nonetheless a lot extra to come back.

Maybe essentially the most anticipated addition to Disney World anticipated for 2023 is Tron: Lightcycle Run, a thrill trip set to open within the Magic Kingdom within the spring of 2023.

“It is one of many quickest coasters at any Disney theme park on this planet,” Disney World’s senior vp of operations, Jason Kirk, mentioned when requested what company can get enthusiastic about on the park subsequent 12 months.

Kirk went on to level out that 2023 can also be the conclusion of a multiyear transformation of Epcot, the place guests can already discover new experiences, just like the aforementioned Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Journey (which opened in 2020).

As soon as accomplished, all the ever-present development partitions will lastly come down, plus company will be capable to get pleasure from the brand new walk-through Journey of Water space. This “Moana”-inspired addition ought to function a pleasant spot to get pleasure from some respite from the Florida solar and a dose of nature away from the remainder of the principally concrete theme park.

Those that love Disney’s nighttime fireworks exhibits will even be blissful to be taught that “Fortunately Ever After” is triumphantly returning to the Magic Kingdom in 2023.

Cruisers have new causes to go to

Orlando is not TPG’s high home vacation spot solely due to what’s occurring inside metropolis limits. Its proximity to Port Canaveral on Florida’s east coast makes it a handy add-on to a cruise on among the hottest new cruise ships within the business. Two of the 12 months’s most notable new cruise ships began up service out of Port Canaveral: Disney Want and Marvel of the Seas.

SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Disney Want, Disney Cruise Line’s first new ship in a decade, has an elevated model and strategy to eating, staterooms, bars and leisure that make it interesting to everybody (even non-cruisers) whereas nonetheless appeasing Disney followers with its integration of basic Disney characters, storytelling and signature fireworks present at sea.

Among the many highlights of this ship are the adults-only, infinity-edge pool on the ship’s aft (which is greatest loved with one of many housemade boozy popsicle drinks served close by) and the leisurely and indulgent nice eating restaurant, Palo. It’s going to be powerful, however remember to save room for dessert, as Palo’s chocolate souffle is outstanding.

Becoming a member of Disney Want at Port Canaveral is Royal Caribbean’s Marvel of the Seas — the latest vessel to carry the title of world’s largest cruise ship — which was simply christened within the port this week and can start crusing from there year-round.

Marvel of the Seas is greater than three soccer fields lengthy and about 4% greater than the earlier dimension chief within the business, its sister ship, Symphony of the Seas. Although they’re comparable in design, Marvel has a number of enjoyable new options together with a devoted suite space with a non-public lounge, restaurant and solar deck.

Extra pleasure within the years to come back

Although 2022 was an enormous 12 months for Orlando, it was additionally clearly only the start for this Central Florida metropolis.

Odds are many vacationers will discover Florida’s new Brightline prepare community extremely interesting. This multiyear undertaking has endured quite a lot of delays and adjustments in plans (such because the now-canceled station at Disney Springs) however is alleged to be on monitor for completion within the spring of 2023.

JEFFREY GREENBERG/UNIVERSAL IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

As soon as completed, Brightline will make it doable for passengers to zip between Miami and Orlando in about three hours, making the journey a lot faster than driving. Better of all, tickets are anticipated to value round $100 one-way, so you will not need to drop a ton of money to trip the rails.

And although it is not typically that we get to welcome a wholly new theme park land, one is coming to Univeral Orlando within the type of Epic Universe as early as 2025. Its 4 themed lands — considered one of which has been confirmed to be a Tremendous Nintendo World — will be a part of the three current Common theme parks (Common Studios, Islands of Journey and Volcano Bay).

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO

Till then, Common Orlando is providing a few new and thrilling experiences for 2023.

The just-opened Common’s Nice Film Escape at Common CityWalk offers guests the prospect to partake in an escape room-inspired journey with both a “Jurassic World” or “Again to the Future” theme. And in the summertime of 2023, a brand new Minions-themed land and attraction, together with a Minions-themed cafe, will open inside Common Studios. The land’s featured attraction (Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast), will likely be a “first-of-its-kind interactive, blaster sport expertise,” in accordance with a Common Orlando spokesperson who spoke with TPG.

Associated: These are the very best motels at Common Orlando

Backside line

It is simple to see why 2022 was such an enormous 12 months for Orlando, which has invested in its infrastructure, diversified its points of interest and, above all, continued to innovate.

“Orlando is an ever-growing vacation spot providing unimaginable new experiences, distinctive locations to remain and various eating for vacationers,” mentioned Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Go to Orlando.

Primarily based on town’s newest additions, it is arduous to argue with Matej. In spite of everything, Orlando isn’t solely dwelling to the basic points of interest and enjoyable within the solar chances are you’ll already know and love, nevertheless it has additionally developed a complete new aspect filled with tradition, comfort and high-tech improvements.

And town is not slowing down. Whether or not you wish to arrive by high-speed prepare or strap in to a brand new, quick coaster on the Magic Kingdom, 2023 could be the 12 months to lastly take that journey to Orlando.