New theme park rides & dining experiences: 25 things to look forward to next year

ORLANDO, Fla. — More than 25 new experiences will open in Central Florida next year, including a new theme park, a unique hotel experience and new dining experiences.

Here’s a list of things to look forward to in 2022, according to Visit Orlando.

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Theme parks

  • Peppa Pig Theme Park opens at LEGOLAND Florida Resort on Feb. 24.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is set to open at EPCOT.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open a new show called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond.”
  • Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, will open in February.
  • The Reef Plunge water slide at Aquatica Orlando launches in spring 2022.
  • Pirate River Quest opens at LEGOLAND Florida.

Entertainment

  • Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will open Jan. 14.
  • Art² (“art squared”), an urban park featuring a two-story shipping container structure, is coming to downtown Orlando in spring 2022.
  • The Orlando Slingshot and Orlando Free Fall open in December 2021 at ICON Park.
  • Cirque du Soleil - Drawn to Life premiered at Disney Springs in November 2021.
  • Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex will open at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in March 2022.

New hotels opening

  • Walt Disney World’s immersive Star Wars-themed hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, will open March 1, 2022.
  • The Tuscan-inspired, 126-room ette Hotel Orlando opens spring 2022 near Disney World.
  • The Lake Nona Wave Hotel opened in late December.
  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort opened a 14-story, 349-room hotel tower, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, in fall 2021.

SEE: Disney World reveals ‘Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’ experience for 2022

New dining experiences

  • Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen opened December 2021 at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. The restaurant, from the Top Chef All-Stars winner, features cuisine inspired by tropical flavors and ingredients from Florida, including native fruits, vegetables, seafood and more.
  • Pointe Orlando will open two new restaurants including Kavas Tacos & Tequila in spring/summer 2022 and JoJo’s Shake Bar in fall/winter 2022. Kavas features a menu paying tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary history, featuring savory comfort food, fresh tableside experiences, and recipes handcrafted from the freshest ingredients.
  • Sloppy Joe’s, the legendary Key West saloon, opened at ICON Park on Dec. 6, offering live music and island-inspired food and libations.

READ: 9 facts about Orlando’s new Packing District

New in local neighborhoods

  • New York Beer Project, built to resemble an indoor beer garden from the 1900s in New York’s Lower East Side, will open in March in Winter Garden. The brewery will feature a gastropub, indoor beer garden, tap room, brewery, sidewalk bistro, as well as three New York City themed event spaces.
  • AVA MediterrAegean, a new Mediterranean restaurant and lounge from executive chef Hung Huynh, Top Chef’s season 3 winner, is slated to open early 2022 on Park Avenue in Winter Park.
  • Café-Boutique PIANO, a restaurant featuring European cuisine and live nightly piano shows, is coming to Winter Park’s Hannibal Square in 2022.
  • The BANDBOX - Orlando, Central Florida’s first alcohol-free speakeasy cocktail tasting lounge and collectibles/vintage shop, will open in spring 2022 at Ivanhoe Village in downtown Orlando.
  • The Hall on the Yard, located in downtown Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village, is a new full-service food hall delivering nine diverse culinary offerings, five curated event spaces, and three premium cocktail bars in an eclectic environment.
  • Founder of 4 Rivers Restaurant Group, John Rivers, will open the first phase of the 4Roots Farm Campus in late 2022. When complete, the 18-acre urban farm, located in The Packing District, will include classrooms, a community green space, farm to table restaurant and more than 49,000 square feet of greenhouses and a diverse range of growing systems focused on innovation, sustainability and education.
  • The Milkhouse, located in the Milk District in downtown Orlando, opened in late-2021. The unique dining space houses some of the most notable Central Florida food & beverage brands like Bagel Bruno, Foxtail Coffee Co. and Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream.

SEE: Publix to open in Orlando’s Packing District next year

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.