Florida travel is bouncing back to beat pre-pandemic levels.
And is it really any surprise? With 237 sunny days a year, 11 national parks, and 12 major Orlando theme parks coming out of its Mickey ears, the Sunshine State will always be a family favourite. Find out what to expect on your Florida holiday in 2022 and beyond…
Europe might have seen a summer of travel chaos but escaping to the US has never looked better. 36 million people packed their suitcases to head to the Sunshine State in the first quarter of 2022 alone. That’s more than the number of tourists who visited pre-covid in 2019’s first quarter. The state even tops the list for most-booked Airbnb destinations, with places like Fort Myers and Mexico Beach hogging the top four slots.
Are there any travel restrictions?
We can only expect these tourism numbers to continue to grow, as the US entry requirements loosen even further. In June, the US announced that they were dropping pre-travel testing requirements, so vaccinated travellers can now visit without proof of a negative covid test. Now, you’ll just need to flash your NHS COVID Pass. Plus, you’ll need the usual visa or an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation visa waiver). You can read our Preparing to Travel Guide
for full details. And remember, our expert travel advisors are on hand for advice.
Why visit in 2022 and 2023?
There are a couple of big anniversaries coming up over the next year. The ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’ is becoming that little bit more magical, as Walt Disney World
marks its 50th birthday in Orlando. Mickey and friends are celebrating in true extravagant Disney fashion with 18 months of festivities, which started in October 2021 and will finish in March 2023. Each park’s icon – like EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth – will light up every night, becoming ‘Beacons of Magic’ beckoning you to join the party. Plus, you can spot golden character sculptures dotted around each theme park.
What’s more, Disney is currently offering 'The Magic is Yours
' early booking offer for 2023 holidays. All you have to do is book a selected Disney Resort hotel by 29th September 2022 and you’ll get up to $1,200 dining and merchandising credit per room for a 14-night stay, a 14-day Magic Ticket for the price of a 7-day ticket, $100 Disney spending money, and Memory Maker, worth $199. When you book through us, we’ll also throw in a free Disney Character autograph book. Read more about 'The Magic is Yours' offer here
The Everglades National Park
is also has an anniversary, marking 75 years. Here, you can plan a visit to America’s biggest subtropical wilderness, home to crocodiles, manatees and the elusive Florida panther. Anniversary highlights include the grand reopening of the Flamingo visitor centre, restaurant and lodging, and a re-dedication of the park in December – specific dates for these events are still to be confirmed, so you’ll need to keep an eye on their official website
What else is new at the theme parks?
There’s always something new at Florida’s theme parks, with lots of new rides or attractions arriving in 2022, 2023 and beyond.
If you haven’t visited Disney’s EPCOT
since before the pandemic, you can expect a total transformation. First off, it’s split into four new neighbourhoods – World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature and World Showcase. The main entrance is now even more spectacular, with more green space, a new fountain and colour-changing lighting. You can also expect a new Guardians of the Galaxy ride, which is Disney’s first reverse-launch ride and omni-coaster – basically, its cars rotate 360 degrees on the track. You can also now dine in the sky, thanks to the arrival of Space 220. And, hotel-wise, in a galaxy far, far away, you can book into the new Star Wars-themed hotel, which opened its doors in 2020.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
will soon be home to its fastest rollercoaster, TRON Lightcycle Run, which is set to reach speeds of nearly 60 miles per hour. There’s no official word on opening dates yet, but it’s expected to be sometime in 2022 or 2023. Plus, old favourite Splash Mountain will be getting a complete overhaul, transforming into a ride based on the 2009 film, The Princess and the Frog. The ride’s rumoured to be opening in 2024.
Over at Universal,
you can expect an exciting few years. We’re not talking just a few new rides, we’re talking a whole new theme park. Epic Universe will host four new lands, including Super Nintendo World. The universe was announced back in 2019 and originally planned to open in 2023. However, the pandemic paused construction, so it’s now looking likely to open by the summer of 2025.
seventh coaster is in the works for 2023. There aren’t many details out yet, so all we know is that it’s the first of its kind. The park’s already home to Mako – Orlando’s tallest and fastest coaster, so we’re sure to expect big things.
Why book with us?
Florida’s not the only one experiencing growth. According to the latest ATOL report for 2022, Ocean Holidays is the largest growing travel group in the UK
, when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
And more than ever, we understand a travel dream lies in the detail. Our personalised packages are tailor-made for your dream holiday from start to finish.
Begin your journey to the Sunshine State by getting in touch today.