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Visit Orlando
August 30, 2019

Hello Team,

Here's your weekly look at what's happening across America's most visited destination, from the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to how Visit Orlando is serving as a visitor resource during Hurricane Dorian.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opens to Great Fanfare

Yesterday marked another milestone for our destination, as the much-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. From its food and merchandise to attractions and characters, the new land features the kind of immersive, innovative experiences that visitors have come to expect from a trip to Orlando. Even a Star Wars-themed hotel, described as a “cruise ship in space,” is in the works — and I hear it will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Looking at the big picture, it’s wonderful to see this ongoing level of investment from our theme parks. The addition of exciting new experiences, combined with Visit Orlando’s strong global marketing efforts, will continue to drive our destination forward.

Preparing for Hurricane Dorian

As Central Florida braces for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, Visit Orlando continues to focus on serving the area’s tourism industry and sharing important information with visitors. We are working closely with our hotel members to assess available inventory and assist evacuees. These members represent more than 80 percent of the region’s hotel inventory and are a critical part of our emergency response system. We will also continue to update our severe weather page on with links to resources for the status of Orlando’s theme parks and attractions, airports, the Orange County Convention Center and more. In addition, our vacation guides are available via live chat or by calling 800-972-3304 for more information.

Momentum Grows for Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining

One week into Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining, which features $35, three-course meals at more than 120 area restaurants, we continue to see a tremendous amount of excitement for the program. To help generate buzz, our publicity team hosted three media preview dinners for food writers, social media influencers and local personalities at Reyes Mezcaleria, The H Cuisine and American Kitchen at B Resort & Spa. Coverage continues to roll in from several outlets, including a FOX35 morning segment featuring Enzo’s Hideaway and another on WKMG with Osprey Tavern. 

Video Interview: Visit Orlando Magical Dining Charity 

Part of the “magic” of Magical Dining is how $1 from each meal goes to support local charities that serve children and families. This year, half of all funds will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Orlando, whose “Ending the Silence” program helps raise awareness and change perceptions among teenagers about mental health and suicide prevention. It’s such an important area of concern, as 1 in 5 teens have, or will develop, a serious mental illness. We recently spoke with NAMI about how they’ll use the funds, and I think you’ll be inspired by this video. Next week, we’ll feature our second charity partner, Lighthouse Central Florida.

Visit Orlando Launches Campaign in Brazil

Now through the end of November, Visit Orlando will be targeting one of our top overseas markets, Brazil, with a campaign that promotes our destination’s abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Ads will run on national TV, digital platforms and social media. The campaign comes at a time when travel from the country has dropped off, both to Orlando and the U.S. overall, as Brazil struggles to find its economic footing after last fall’s election. Brazilians spend more, on average, in Orlando than visitors from any of our major core markets.


» Our publicity team provided story ideas to Newsweek, helping generate the recent article “Orlando, Florida: Beyond the Theme Parks.” The piece highlights how Orlando is a cultural hub with great food and nature activities.

» Visit Orlando attended the Meetings & Incentives supplier event in Chicago last week to help generate future business for our destination. Meeting planners from large corporations such as Kohl’s, Pampered Chef and Toyota were on hand, as were several pharmaceutical companies. 

» Visit Orlando and more than 5,000 industry professionals were in Ohio recently for the ASAE annual meeting and exposition. The American Society of Association Executives brings together association professionals to share ideas, trends and best practices.


George Aguel
All the best.

George Aguel
President & CEO
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