After a two-year travelling hiatus, tourists are ready to explore far and wide and thanks to Florida’s ever-expanding offering, it’s no wonder that more than one million British and Irish holidaymakers visited Florida between January and September last year.
In June 2023, the launch of the first-ever MICHELIN Guide in Florida was announced – an accolade only four other states have received. There’s also been increased airlift, billion-dollar developments transforming the state’s hotel and accommodation portfolio, ongoing efforts to highlight experiences suitable for those with accessibility needs through the VISIT FLORIDA Accessibility Hub and of course, plenty of exciting new activities and attractions.
What to Expect in 2023…
Brightline train on-track to bring passengers to Orlando in 2023
Expected Summer 2023 | Orlando extension
High-speed rail system, Brightline, which already has stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, is actively constructing a new rail line to bring passengers to Orlando. The service connecting South Florida to Central Florida is expected to open in early Summer of 2023. Additional plans are underway to expand the rail line to Tampa and the Gulf Coast.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Serengeti Flyer – tallest and fastest ride of its kind!
Coming Spring 2023 | Busch Gardens | Tampa Bay
Serengeti Flyer will be the world’s tallest and fastest ride of its kind, a screamin’ swing, upon opening in spring 2023. With each swing, riders will soar higher and higher above Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s expansive 65-acre Serengeti Plain while experiencing multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth. Serengeti Flyer will feature twin duelling arms that soar progressively higher reaching speeds of 68 mph and a maximum height of 135 feet at the ride’s peak.
Florida’s second Mandarin Oriental property to open in Boca Raton
Coming early 2023 | Boca Raton, Palm Beaches
The 158-room hotel will be Mandarin Oriental’s second property in Florida and seventh in North America. All rooms and suites will be designed in a sophisticated and contemporary style, with exacting attention to detail that is reflective of the Group’s oriental heritage, complemented with golf course or downtown views. The hotel will feature two rooftop pools; fine dining restaurants and bars, including Mandarin Oriental’s signature MO Bar + Lounge, located on the rooftop with an outdoor terrace; and a Mandarin Oriental cake shop. Inspired by both ancient Asian and European traditions, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental will offer holistic rejuvenation and relaxation, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre.
New Pirate-Themed Ride coming to LEGOLAND Florida
Coming early 2023 | LEGOLAND Florida | Central Florida
A brand-new, swashbuckling quest awaits families visiting LEGOLAND® Florida Resort when the Pirate River Quest opens early 2023. Board a family-friendly boat ride to search for Captain Redbeard’s lost treasure through an all-new hilarious adventure. The quest to uncover the lost treasure unfolds brick by brick as families face a variety of exciting sequences built within lush gardens telling the tales of the rowdy LEGO® pirate crew. Riders will sail through the natural waterways while following the all-new story featuring the newest LEGO pirate friend, Calico Jade, and other exotic LEGO creatures, including a flamboyance of bright flamingos, a troop of mischievous monkeys and even a fearsome kraken.
SeaWorld Orlando, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster – the world’s first surf coaster
Coming Spring 2023 | SeaWorld Orlando | Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando is excited to announce the opening of the theme park’s NEWEST roller coaster, “Pipeline: The Surf Coaster”, in the Spring of 2023. This attraction is the world’s first “Surf Coaster”. Riders will feel the power of the ocean in a whole new way, making “Pipeline” every thrill-seeker’s newest obsession. “Pipeline” will take them on an unparalleled journey and will keep them coming back for more. Each rider will get the rush of cutting through waves as they race up to heights of 110-feet in the air and feel like they are about to wipe out when they go upside down on a wave curl along the 2,950-feet of track. “Pipeline” will send riders on a journey reaching max speeds of 60-miles-per-hour, with five different airtime moments and lasting a total of 1 minute and 50 seconds.
Moana Inspired Attraction Coming to EPCOT in 2023
Coming late 2023 | Orlando
Journey of Water, inspired by Moana will open in late 2023. Guests will take a self-guided stroll along an outdoor trail where they can play and interact with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again. Along the way, learning about the importance of water and discover its playful personality—just as Moana did on her heroic voyage. Journey of Water, will open within World Nature, the EPCOT neighbourhood dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world.
Coming Early 2023 | Singer Island, Palm Beach
Spanning over seven beachfront acres of the Atlantic shoreline on Palm Beach County’s picturesque Singer Island, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences is a new paradigm of mindful living for those pursuing the best in proactive wellness. Amrit’s team of personal wellness coaches will create individualized programs utilizing the resort’s 100,000 square feet of wellness amenities including: the Aayush Hydrothermal water therapy circuit, indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, an ocean-view demonstration kitchen and plant-centric restaurant, float tank, IV and sound and light therapies, acupuncture, curated skincare, body therapies from around the globe, an extensive hair and scalp rejuvenation program, an array of fitness classes and arguably the most sophisticated, spa-centred Ayurvedic and yoga program in the US. The property’s two new towers – aptly named Peace and Happiness – are home to a resort/residential mix of 155 wellness resort guest rooms and 182 condos.
Coming Summer 2023 | Orlando
Evermore Orlando Resort will be a massive and all-encompassing 10,000-bedroom resort complex. The property is scheduled to open its first phase by the summer of 2023 with Conrad Orlando, following the injection of roughly $1.5 billion in upgrades that includes brand new vacation homes and villas on the 1,110-acre site bordering Walt Disney World.
Coming 2023 | Daytona Beach
After a $30 million investment, spanning a mile of Intracoastal waterway, the Riverfront Esplanade is a premier gathering space and botanical garden in the heart of Daytona Beach. Composed of more than a mile of waterfront running trail with comfortable benches and swings overlooking the Halifax River.
Surf simulation hub, PerfectSwell Edgewater coming to New Smyrna Beach
Coming late 2023 | New Smyrna Beach
Construction planning has begun on surf simulator "PerfectSwell Edgewater", which is set to open in 2023. Surrounded by natural resources and wildlife corridors, PerfectSwell Edgewater will unite exciting high performance surf technology with the serene natural environment of Edgewater, featuring a world-class PerfectSwell Surf Pool, surf-inspired food and beverage, surf shop, surf training facility, clubhouse, meeting rooms, and cabana and day lounge areas. The development will include a 125-room hotel next to PerfectSwell Edgewater.
In case you missed it in 2022…
Virgin Atlantic opened new direct route from London Heathrow to Tampa
November 2022 | Tampa Bay
Virgin Atlantic continues its transatlantic expansion with a new direct route from London Heathrow to Tampa, launching 3rd November 2022, further cementing the airline’s commitment to its Florida heartland. The new year-round Florida service will initially fly four times a week before increasing to daily from 28th November, complementing the airline’s up to four daily flying to Orlando and double daily flying to Miami.
Aer Lingus restarted direct flights from Dublin to Miami
October 2022 | Miami
As of 21 October, Aer Lingus has restarted direct flights to Miami for the first time in two and a half years. The route will operate three times weekly, as part of the airline’s winter schedule. Reinforcing Dublin as the natural European transatlantic gateway, Aer Lingus will offer connections from key UK and European airports to Miami via Dublin where travellers will experience the benefits of pre-clearing US immigration ahead of their long-haul flight.
The Arlo Wynwood Hotel is the first hotel to open in the cultural district of Wynwood
November 2022 | Miami
Arlo Hotels, an independent, experience-driven hotel brand with locations in Miami Beach and New York City’s Midtown, NoMad and SoHo neighborhoods, debuted the Arlo Wynwood this November. The property is the first hotel to open in Miami’s preeminent creative and cultural district, which is home to the largest concentration of street art in the world. With guest rooms starting at $239 per night, the all-new 217-room, nine-story hotel serves as the cultural hub for residents and visitors while offering savvy travellers prime access to the best of the region. Designed by Meyer Davis, an award-winning firm at the forefront of global, upscale commercial design, the property will offer a steady beat of programming, including daily yoga sessions, meditations and a weekly lineup of local guest DJs and live music activations.
November 2022 | Central Florida
The new Florida Children’s Museum opened on 4 November 2022 at Bonnet Springs Park. The 47,800 square feet space has six main galleries full of interactive exhibits that give children a taste of everything from agriculture to music and engineering. The new world-class museum promises to be one of the greatest of its kind in the United States. Spread over two floors there are amazing, fun interactive galleries for children of all ages and abilities where they will be able to learn, play and develop skills in the most enriching of environments. Admission is $15 per person, children under two go free.
Luxury guest house, Victoria 1883, opens in New Smyrna Beach
October 2022 | New Smyrna Beach
Victoria 1883 is a brand-new luxury guesthouse and wedding venue, opened in October 2022. Located in a waterfront location overlooking the Indian River, Victoria 1883 has been beautifully crafted from a home built around 1883. The main house is the longest standing structure in the district. A chic bed and breakfast experience will be offered across seven elegant, individually themed rooms and suites, and come complete with gorgeous outdoor gardens, artful gathering spaces, a speakeasy, wedding venue and more.
September 2022 | Tampa Bay
The opening marks the debut of EDITION's 15th property worldwide, and Tampa's first-ever five-star hotel. The hotel joins other new developments and will usher in a new generation for this burgeoning destination as part of Water Street Tampa, a $3.5 billion urban development project transforming the city.
Launched June 2022 | Miami, Orlando, Tampa
The very first MICHELIN Guide Miami, Orlando and Tampa launched with 15 new MICHELIN-Starred restaurants—four One Star restaurants in Orlando, 10 One Star restaurants in Miami, and one Two Star restaurant in Miami. Read the guide to find out where to tuck into sushi, Korean barbecue, Colombian fare, and more, then start making your reservations. Click through to see all the new MICHELIN Guide restaurants in Florida, and including 29 new MICHELIN Bib Gourmands.
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium opened third land-based coral nursery
August 2022 | Florida Keys
Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s third land-based Keys coral nursery has opened at Reefhouse Resort & Marina, expanding the Upper Keys’ resilience-focused coral restoration efforts. Mote – raising brain, star, and branching corals both onshore and offshore – outplants coral along the entirety of the Florida Keys reef tract. A separate Mote satellite land-based coral nursery is at Bud 'N Mary's Marina in Islamorada and public tours are available each Tuesday at 2 p.m. Reservations can be made at mote.org/Islamorada. At the Keys’ Mote Marine Laboratory base on Summerland Key, Mote offers public tours Tuesdays at 10 a.m. with reservations.
About VISIT FLORIDA
VISIT FLORIDA is the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing corporation and travel planning resource for visitors across the globe. As Florida’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming over 122 million visitors in 2021, an increase of 54 percent from 2020. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs, and serves more than 13,000 travel industry partners throughout the state. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow @FloridaTourism on Facebook and Twitter, or go to visitflorida.org. For inspiration in the Sunshine State follow @VISITFLORIDA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.visitflorida.com. For media resources, visit www.visitfloridamedia.com.