A Look Back at Orlando’s 2017 New Additions

to the debut of new theme-park features, attractions, restaurants, resorts and
more in 2017, Orlando is bigger and better than ever!

Erin Connett

The past year was one for the books in
Orlando. New attractions, new resorts and new restaurants made it an
unforgettable 2017 for those who were here to experience it – and if you
weren’t among them, these improvements provide plenty of reasons to visit
Orlando soon. Here’s a look at the many ways Orlando got bigger, better and
bolder in 2017.

New at
Orlando’s Theme Parks in 2017

Walt Disney
World Resort

Pandora – The World of Avatar: Inspired by James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar motion picture and its upcoming
sequels, this highly anticipated new land opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in May and marked
the theme park’s biggest expansion yet. Pandora features floating mountains,
bioluminescent rainforests and flying Banshees, plus the Na’vi River Journey
attraction and after-dark entertainment.

Miss Adventure Falls: This new ride
at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon opened in
March. Now one of the lengthiest attractions at both Disney water parks, the
family-style raft ride takes you to the top of the attraction before plunging you
into a white-water adventure.

Guided Tour
: This new, all-access tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios started in
January. It includes two stage shows, “Star
: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” and “March of the First Order,” as well as a
nighttime fireworks spectacular, themed dining experiences, character
meet-and-greets and more.

Happily Ever After: Combining the
magic of Disney storytelling, beloved Disney characters and fireworks, the Magic Kingdom‘s new nighttime
spectacular features moments from Aladdin, Moana, Zootopia and other favorites.

Orlando Resort

Volcano Bay Water Park: Having
opened in May, Orlando’s newest water park offers thrilling adventures and
peaceful relaxation. Additionally, the all-new TapuTapu wearable technology
enables you to wait in a virtual line for the park’s attractions, with the
device alerting you when it’s time to head to your chosen ride.

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon:
This new ride at Universal Studios Florida opened in
April. The attraction invites you to join the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show on the ultimate ride
through the deepest subway tunnels and tallest skyscrapers in New York City.
You can also stock up on themed merchandise at The Tonight Shop.


Kraken Unleashed: In June, the
Kraken roller coaster transformed into Kraken Unleashed, enhancing it with
virtual-reality technology. Now, the thrill ride takes you on a deep-sea
mission alongside creatures inspired by extinct and legendary beasts of the
past, including the featured monster.

Dolphin Nursery: The Dolphin
Nursery at SeaWorld Orlando has always been a
visitor favorite, but the sanctuary underwent updates in 2017, including larger
windows and more levels. As a result, you can now get up close and personal
with mother and baby dolphins in all-new ways.

Electric Ocean:
This brand-new, summer-nighttime spectacle immerses you in a sea of wonder
courtesy of bioluminescent lighting, music, dancing and pathway entertainment.


Lego Ninjago World: This extensive
new land opened in January. It features Lego Ninjago The Ride, which invites
you to shoot foes with fireballs, ice and lightning using the innovative
attraction’s hand-gesture technology.

New Orlando
Attractions in 2017

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games:
Ever since this expansive entertainment center opened on Universal Boulevard in
September, visitors have been racing to try it out. It features indoor
go-karting, zip lines, bowling, racing simulators, a sky bar, rock climbing,
laser tag, video games and a full-service restaurant.

iFly Indoor Skydiving: The attraction
relocated to a new facility on International Drive and opened its doors in May.
It’s equipped with two all-glass wind tunnels in an open, single-story floor
plan that allows passersby to see tourists in action.

Topgolf Entertainment Group: Featuring
230 high-definition TVs, 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can host up
to six players at one time, and advanced technology to track the accuracy and
distance of players’ shots, this attraction opened on Universal Boulevard in

New Orlando Dining
& Nightlife in 2017

Ace Café Orlando: The first outpost
of the iconic, London-based motor diner opened in May. The menu, inspired by
American roadside diners, has made-from-scratch comfort food and some British
favorites, plus locally sourced and green options, all at an affordable price
point. It also features a coffee bar and a memorabilia gallery.

Luke’s Kitchen and Bar: Luke’s is
the third restaurant for Chef Brandon McGlamery, famed for his Luma on Park and Prato
in Winter Park. Making its Maitland debut in January, Luke’s offers cocktails
and American cuisine.

Paddlefish: Board an iconic
paddleboat anchored on Lake Buena Vista to check out this new Disney Springs restaurant. It
opened its doors in February and has been wowing visitors with contemporary
seafood dishes and American classics.

Planet Hollywood Observatory: The
newly renovated restaurant in Disney Springs reopened in
February. The expanded outdoor terrace and bar lets you look out over the heart
of the surrounding entertainment district while enjoying beverages.
Additionally, Guy Fieri of Food Network fame has partnered with the eatery for
select menu offerings.

The Polite Pig: Sister restaurant
of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park,
The Polite Pig opened in Disney Springs in April. Both are
the work of James and Julie Petrakis, the James Beard-nominated husband-and-wife
culinary team. This eatery features a variety of wood-fired, smoked and grilled
items. It also introduces an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks
on tap.

Wonderland Cookie Dough Co.: Florida’s only scoop shop
specifically dedicated to edible cookie dough opened in August. Located a short
distance from Walt Disney World in Celebration, the eatery offers a variety of
flavors and toppings, in addition to gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free options.

New Orlando Hotels
& Resorts in 2017

Legoland Beach Retreat: Conveniently
located next to Legoland Florida, this all-new
resort opened in April. It offers 83 single-story bungalows, plus a themed
pool, lighthouse, sandy play area and restaurant.

The Grove Resort & Spa: Just
five minutes from Walt Disney World, The Grove Resort & Spa offers 878,
two- and three-bedroom residential-style suites with full kitchens, washers and
dryers, and multiple bathrooms to provide all the comforts of home. It opened
in March.

New Orlando Sports
Complexes in 2017

Orlando City Stadium: Home to the Orlando City Soccer Club and Orlando
City Pride
teams, the stadium opened in downtown Orlando earlier this
year. It seats 25,500 people and is located a block away from the Amway

United States Tennis Association (USTA)
National Campus
: In January, the USTA debuted its new headquarters in
Lake Nona, which is 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport. The
63-acre complex encompasses more than 100 courts and a multi-use building with
a pro shop, fitness center, locker rooms, cafeteria and players’ lounge.

Something New Every Time You Visit Orlando

No matter when you visit Orlando, you’ll
discover something new to explore and enjoy. Stay up to date on the latest
developments with Visit Orlando’s blog. Furthermore,
you can find discounts and deals for a wide range of Orlando theme parks and
attractions at our website’s Discounts page

Title: Florida Russian Lifestyle Magazine Author: Aurous Publisher: Aurous Publishing
Published: 29 May, 2010 Language English Average Rating 4.9
ISBN 978-0-9971291-9-9 Genre Travel Reviewer Rating: 5
Review Date July 18, 2017     Votes: 459