And according to the Orbitz Summer Travel Insider Index, which ranked Orlando as the most popular destination for summer 2013 with affordable hotel rates ($131 per night) and airfare ($295), there’s never been a better time to visit Orlando.
“Orlando has long been considered the theme park capital of the world,” said Visit Orlando president & CEO George Aguel. “Year after year, travelers choose Orlando to make memories of a lifetime and spend quality time with family and friends. With all that’s new this year, there’s never been a better time to experience all that makes Orlando as attractive as it is.”
• May 24 – Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin opens at SeaWorld Orlando. It’s the biggest expansion in company history, highlighted by a state-of-the-art, interactive ride that takes guests on an exciting journey through the dangers and wondrous beauty of the Antarctic. More than just a new ride, the new “realm” will be the coldest theme park attraction in the world and will bring guests closer than ever to a colony of penguins.
• May 24 – Monstrous Summer begins at Walt Disney World Resort, where Magic Kingdom Park will stay open from 6 a.m., May 24 to 6 a.m., May 25, 2013, marking the beginning of a summer of fun inspired by the upcoming Disney•Pixar comedy adventure “Monsters University.” This is the first summer for New Fantasyland, which opened in December as the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Guests also will find new offerings for the entire family throughout Walt Disney World Resort this summer such as an interactive “Pirates Adventure” game at Magic Kingdom, the newly re-imagined Test Track at Epcot, the new Disney Junior – Live on Stage! show, featuring Sofia The First and Doc McStuffins, as a new addition at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, plus Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
• June 8 – 10-acre expansion opens at Fun Spot America, complete with White Lightning, Orlando’s first (and only) wooden roller coaster, Freedom Flyer, a suspended family coaster, and a 250-foot SkyCoaster, now the 10th tallest structure in Orlando.
• June 20 – TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D opens at Universal Orlando Resort. The attraction combines larger-than-life TRANSFORMERS characters and an exciting storyline with life-like HD CGI media, state-of-the-art 3-D technology and amazing special effects to place riders right in the middle of an epic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
• June 29 – Space Shuttle Atlantis opens at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The 90,000-square-foot, $100 million home of the historic spacecraft tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program, complete with up-close views of the vehicle that retired in 2011 and interactive features that reflect major accomplishments of the Space Shuttle program.
• July 3 – World of Chima opens at LEGOLAND Florida. Based on the Cartoon Network animated TV series and new LEGO product line, the park’s newest expansion follows animal warriors on magical journeys and centers around an interactive water ride, Quest for Chi.
For more information about vacation experiences in Orlando, to order a complimentary vacation planning kit that includes a comprehensive Official Visitors Guide and Orlando Magicard® or to purchase discount attraction tickets, visitors can log onto Orlando’s official website at VisitOrlando.com/more or call an Official Travel Counselor at 1-800-551-0181 (United States and Canada) or 407-363-5872.