Happy New Year!


The City Beautiful is preparing for a fantastic 2018. From shrinking guests to the size of a toy and high-octane races with the stars of Fast & Furious, to tasting innovative creations from celebrity chefs, you and your family are in for a real treat.

A very Happy New Year to you and your family! Well, this is the time of year where we resolve to make changes in our lives. New habits, new behaviors, new vacations! And here you are in beautiful Central Florida during one of our best months. Winter in Florida is known for its fantastic climate and abundance of sunshine. With this wonderful weather, comes so many things to enjoy.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards Winter Music Series (Clermont)

When you have had enough hustle and bustle at the parks, how does spending an afternoon listening to live music, sipping delicious local wine and sampling great food sound? Well, every Saturday in January, Lakeridge Winery holds its Winter Music Series featuring local musicians performing live. Enjoy a variety of wines, beer and delicious food as well as a complimentary Winery tour and tasting. You can bring blankets and enjoy family time under blue skies on beautiful festival grounds. Admission is free. Saturdays in January. Noon to 4 PM.

Old Town (Kissimmee)

Old Town is the recreation of a classic Florida town showcasing historical architecture and charming storefronts. It’s an 18-acre mix of rides, shopping, dining and family-friendly attractions.

Located on 192 in Kissimmee, Old Town is just a short ride from your luxury vacation villa, so it’s easy to get to and even easier to stay when you see how much there is to do. Stroll through unique shops, enjoy a magic show at the Great Magic Hall, play games at Happy Days Family Amusement Center, watch live entertainment on Trophy Row Stage, revel in the coolest collection of old cars (Old Town is famous for their awesome Friday Night Muscle Car Show & Cruise and their Saturday Nite Classic Car Show & Cruise) and so much more. They host weekly events from outdoor movies to karaoke that the entire family can enjoy. Open daily.

Cher: Here We Go Again Tour

Relive your youth (she does!) and go see legendary performer Cher while you’re on vacation. She’ll rock our fantastic Amway Center (Home of the Magic) and give you an over-the-top show that you’ll never forget. I Got You, Babe, Dark Lady (I’ll be singing this for the rest of the day. Yes, I know all the lyrics!), Shoop Shoop Song and, of course, lots of famous ABBA tunes are just a few of the songs this icon will delight the family with. January 21 at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando.

International Drive

Enjoy the winter weather with a stroll down International Drive (I-Drive). Do some post-holiday shopping, dine in one of many restaurants—from fast bites to lingering repasts, discover wonders and oddities at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! or WonderWorks, sing Karaoke, view the city from the 400-foot ICON ORLANDO Observation Wheel, enjoy retro-chic bowling, shop to your heart’s delight and so much more. I-Drive is that one bustling strip that every vacation-centric city has that offers something fun for everyone. Every day.

New Dining Experiences to Enjoy in 2018

I’ve made myself hungry with the research I’m doing on local restaurants opening this year, so let’s start here. All of the following except Jinya Ramen Bar are located at Disney Springs.


This eatery will bring the spirit and flavors of Spain this summer. The restaurant will feature traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, and the first floor will have a “grab-and-go” storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches for those of you on the move.

Wine Bar George

Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his renowned expertise to this new Disney Springs destination in the springtime. It will be the only master sommelier-led wine bar in Florida. Deeply dedicated to vino, this is the place to be to “Stay, Sip, Eat” for every wine lover.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill

Slated to open this summer at Disney Springs, and replacing the Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe (which closed last August), this is an all-new venture from one of the world’s most famous chefs. You can expect a laid-back California ambience inspired by its flagship L.A. restaurant, Spago.

The menu will feature Mediterranean influences, including Puck’s signature dishes, inventive takes on comfort food, and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine.

Jinya Ramen Bar

If you ever subsisted on pre-packaged ramen noodles (and who hasn’t?), this is a thoroughly appetizing upgrade from your penny-pinching college days. Offering authentic ramen and a variety of tapas-style dishes, this restaurant is set to open in downtown Orlando’s trendy Thornton Park neighborhood. Worth coming to our beautiful downtown for.

The Edison

This restaurant is billed as a “lavish Industrial Gothic-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that features exceptional classic American food and artisanal craft cocktails.” It celebrated its official grand opening on New Year’s Eve ushering in 2018 to a sold-out crowd. Looks like I’m not the only one excited to visit this venue.

Let’s get to a few new additions to the local theme parks slated to open in 2018. As if the parks were not entertaining enough! Check these out:

Walt Disney World Resort

Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This creation will bring the hit Disney-Pixar films to life this summer, in part, by making you feel as if you’ve been shrunk to the size of a toy. The new land will also feature themed dining options and attractions.

Universal Orlando Resort

Fast & Furious Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida

Based on the blockbuster film franchise, this new ride is supposed to open in the spring. Using specially designed vehicles, it’ll take you on a high-speed ride with the movies’ top characters. Buckle up!

New Nighttime Lagoon Show at Universal Studios Florida

Replacing “Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 100 Years of Movie Memories” show, this extravaganza (yet-to-be-titled) will feature both a new storyline and music, animated characters, lighting, and special effects.

These innovative restaurants and fantastical events are part of a partial list that Im compiling. As the year goes on, I will continue to update you on new and exciting adventures that will open in 2018 in and around Orlando.

Stay with Reunion Vacation Homes

Don’t confine yourself to a hotel—relax and visit all of Orlando with a Reunion Vacation Home as your home base! Call us at 1-855-453-5400 to learn more about our offerings.