What’s New in Florida 2024: Unveiling the Sunshine State’s spectacular new entries
Florida has been buzzing with excitement in 2023, capturing the attention of locals and visitors alike. From the arrival of the highly anticipated Brightline Orlando extension, to the second iteration of the MICHELIN guide, this year has been a whirlwind of fresh experiences.
But, as we approach 2024, the Sunshine State is gearing up for an equally exhilarating year, promising plenty of thrilling new additions to its diverse landscape. With an array of new attractions, hotels and restaurants – these latest updates will undoubtedly further solidify Florida’s reputation as a top destination for UK and Irish travellers.
Messi Experience – Miami
The Messi Experience is scheduled to debut in April 2024, commencing its global tour in Miami. This captivating attraction will immerse visitors in an exhilarating adventure, allowing them to discover the extraordinary life of Lionel Messi through interactive activities. Guests will have the opportunity to delve into the remarkable journey of Messi’s transformation from childhood to legendary status.
Penguin Trek, SeaWorld – Orlando
In Spring 2024, SeaWorld will introduce “Penguin Trek,” its highly anticipated eighth coaster. This family-friendly launch coaster offers a unique snowmobile-inspired ride car, taking riders on an exciting journey through Antarctica as part of a penguin research mission. With two thrilling launches and a twisty track spanning both indoor and outdoor sections, the coaster reaches speeds of up to 43 miles per hour along its 3,020-foot path. What makes this ride exceptional is its grand finale…instead of a simulated penguin area, guests will find themselves in the actual heart of SeaWorld Orlando’s penguin habitat.
Phoenix Rising Busch Gardens – Tampa Bay
Anticipate an electrifying spectacle in Tampa Bay as Busch Gardens unveils “Phoenix Rising,” its latest roller coaster creation and a significant addition to the Pantopia area. Created by Bolliger & Mabillard, this family-friendly suspended roller coaster achieves speeds of up to 44 miles per hour along its 1,831-foot course. Stewart Clark, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s President, explains, “This new attraction reinforces our commitment to providing guests with new, immersive, and one-of-a-kind experiences within our comprehensive coaster collection.”
DreamWorks Animation, Universal Orlando Resort – Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort is set to unveil an enchanting new world dedicated to the cherished characters of DreamWorks Animation, encompassing beloved figures from iconic franchises such as Trolls, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. This exciting addition reaffirms Universal’s dedication to captivating storytelling and creating immersive environments for visitors of all ages. With its vibrant colours, immersive sights, and captivating sounds, guests will be transported into a realm of limitless imagination. Aimed at families with young children, this park will be a captivating haven, boasting no less than four distinct themed lands, each brimming with attractions and entertainment inspired by Universal’s beloved tales and characters.
Announcing “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” an immersive journey that will transport visitors deep into the enchanting realm of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Princess and the Frog.” This magical experience is slated to grace Magic Kingdom in Florida by late 2024. Through extensive explorations of the French Market and the captivating bayou, as well as consultations with accomplished academics, chefs, musicians, and cultural authorities, Imagineers have drawn inspiration from the entire region and gleaned invaluable insights from local experts throughout this creative odyssey.
The Project Center– Florida Keys
The Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder (DPMMR) rescue team is diligently crafting the “Protect Centre Whale & Dolphin Hospital,” poised to become South Florida’s sole operational and instructional veterinary hospital dedicated to the care of injured whales, bottlenose dolphins, and various marine mammals. This innovative establishment will encompass a spacious 40-foot-diameter pool for extended marine mammal rehabilitation, an enlightening classroom for educational purposes, and an engaging 3,000-square-foot museum centred around marine wildlife conservation themes. The eagerly anticipated opening is scheduled for early 2024.
Popstroke – Palm Beaches
An extraordinary mini-golf experience backed by Tiger Woods, introduces three state-of-the-art locations in Delray Beach (2023), West Palm Beach (2024), and Wellington (2024), featuring synthetic turf putting courses with fairways and bunkers akin to traditional golf courses.
Daytona Aquarium and RainForest Adventure – Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is set to welcome the Daytona Aquarium and Rainforest Adventure in early 2024. This groundbreaking aquarium will provide an engaging, educational experience featuring creatures from both land and sea. Located at the heart of Daytona Beach, on the corner of International Speedway Blvd. and Nova Road, this 55,000-square foot facility boasts nearly 40 separate tanks, including a massive 110,000-gallon shark tank and a 12,000-gallon stingray touch pool. Visitors can explore habitats for alligators, crocodiles, frogs, snakes, and even an indoor rainforest filled with lush vegetation, sloths, armadillos, and various bird species.
Hotels, Resort, RV Parks
EVEN Hotel – Miami
Set to make its debut in summer 2024 in Greater Miami and Miami, EVEN Hotel will feature 125 rooms designed with a strong focus on traveller wellness. This innovative establishment aims to encourage fitness among its guests, offering three room categories equipped with exercise amenities such as Peloton bikes and yoga mats. Additionally, visitors can savour a selection of health-conscious meals and beverages from the EVEN Kitchen & Bar restaurant.
Bulgari Hotel Miami Beach – Miami
The upcoming Bulgari Hotel Miami Beach is poised to become the inaugural Bulgari Hotel in the United States. Nestled in the vicinity of the renowned Miami Art Deco district, this lavish hotel will provide approximately 100 rooms, predominantly luxurious suites. Guests can indulge in the opulence of spectacular ocean vistas and enjoy a range of upscale amenities, encompassing a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a rejuvenating spa, a serene outdoor swimming pool, and a Bulgari restaurant and bar.
Conrad – Orlando
The grand opening of Conrad Orlando at Evermore is set to unveil 433 rooms, consisting of 51 exquisitely crafted suites and 10 generous family suites, providing expansive, homely comfort. This luxurious establishment also boasts 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting facilities, a serene spa, and an array of dining choices, including a spectacular rooftop dining experience.
Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront – Palm Beaches
January – 2024
Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront Palm Beaches Resort is set to redefine luxury, re-emerging in January 2024 as “The Singer Oceanfront Resort,” complete with rejuvenated guestrooms, innovative dining concepts, enhanced meeting spaces, and a picturesque beachfront bar.
The Renaissance by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront – Daytona Beach
January – 2024
The Renaissance by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront, opening in 2024 on 640 North Atlantic Avenue, offers contemporary hotel accommodations with private balconies, a high-end seafood restaurant, cutting-edge design, a multi-floor parking garage with valet services, an infinity pool, an oceanfront ballroom with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, and outdoor event spaces.
Gordon Ramsay is about to make a culinary splash with the upcoming openings of Hell’s Kitchen and Lucky Cat this autumn and early 2024. Hell’s Kitchen, the seventh of its kind, will take residence at 300 SE 3rd Street, bringing the renowned fine dining concept to downtown Miami, adjacent to Silverspot Cinema. Meanwhile, Lucky Cat Miami will transport you to the vibrant atmosphere of 1930s Tokyo drinking dens with its Asian-inspired dining experience and late-night lounge. Hell’s Kitchen, based on the famous reality TV show, is set to be the first to open its doors this autumn, joining its sister locations in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Southern California, Lake Tahoe, Washington D.C., and Foxwoods. Lucky Cat, an equally exciting concept, will make its debut in early 2024.
Ash – Tampa
Ash is all set to tantalize taste buds with Italian-inspired cuisine, boasting a generous outdoor patio for diners to relish. This full-service restaurant, brought to you by Proper House Group and Chef Ferrell Alvarez, marks their third culinary venture in the neighbourhood, joining the ranks of Gallito Taqueria and Dang Dude at Sparkman Wharf.
RosaNegra – Miami
Miami’s gastronomic scene is in for a treat with the arrival of RosaNegra, masterminded by real estate visionary Robert Rivani, President of Black Lion. Slated to open in Spring 2024, this marks RosaNegra’s sixth location worldwide and its flagship in the United States. Celebrating Latin American cuisine and culture, this extraordinary restaurant combines gourmet dining with top-tier entertainment and personalized service. Set in a sprawling 13,634-square-foot space at SLS Brickell on South Miami Avenue, RosaNegra promises to be an epicurean haven at the heart of the city.
Plaza de Coco,Onboard the Disney Treasure – Orlando
Immerse yourself in the world of Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” with the world’s first theatrical dining experience inspired by the beloved film. Miguel and his familia will continue their story, taking guests on vibrant, music-filled journeys at Mariachi Plaza. Enjoy festive dinner menus featuring modern twists on traditional Mexican fare and live entertainment on two unforgettable nights.
Tutto Mare – Palm Beaches
Mediterranean concept by the Tutto il Giorno restaurant group that will open at The Royal Poinciana Plaza as Palm Beach’s first and only intracoastal waterfront destination.
Billy’s Tap Room – Daytona Beach
Billy’s Tap Room, located on the beachside along Granada Blvd., is preparing for a grand reopening in 2024. With a rich history dating back to 1922, this iconic restaurant of Ormond Beach is under new ownership and is set to return with a fresh atmosphere while retaining its historic charm. The menu will feature a delightful selection of seafood and steaks, complemented by beer and wine on tap and live entertainment.
The Disney Treasure – Orlando
Disney Cruise Line is thrilled to introduce the Disney Treasure, the latest addition to their fleet, set to embark on its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida on December 21, 2024. This enchanting vessel, a sibling to the Disney Wish, promises to unlock the boundless realms of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel, delivering unforgettable experiences inspired by beloved Disney Parks attractions. Guests can expect immersive adventures on the high seas, all in tribute to Walt Disney’s legendary passion for exploration. With design concepts celebrating beloved Disney characters and inspired by memorable tales like “Aladdin,” “Coco,” and “Zootopia,” the Disney Treasure is an adventure-themed dream come true.
Anniversaries, celebrations and events
Florida Manatee Festival – Crystal River
Situated in the renowned “Manatee Capital of the World,” the Florida Manatee Festival is a yearly celebration taking place each January in the picturesque heart of Crystal River. This event features two days (13-14th January) of live performances, exclusive discounts on guided manatee boat and kayak tours in Kings Bay, engaging children’s activities, and a bustling marketplace with hundreds of vendors showcasing their products.
Island Hopper Songwriter Festival – Fort Myers
Relax and unwind at the annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest. This 10-day festival, held in September, is a delightful blend of music and enjoyment, spread across various coastal areas. In 2023, they added a fourth location, Cape Coral, to the usual three venues: Fort Myers Beach, Captiva, and Downtown Fort Myers. The festival featured over 60 songwriters, including the UK’s ‘Next of Kin’ brothers, Kieran, Nate, and Mark Bass, hailing from Essex County. If you’re looking for a laid-back, beachside music event in 2024, Island Hopper is the place to be.