A whopping 75 million people traveled to Orlando last year, making it the most visited vacation spot in America and one of the most popular places on earth. Sure, Disney World and Universal grab a lot of headlines, but they’re only two of many reasons to visit the Theme Park Capital of the World. My favorite kid reporter, my 6-year-old daughter Lucy, and I recently went down for a fun-packed trip to check out all the new reasons to plan a trip to Orlando now. Here’s the low down on the best new things to do, from thrill rides to cool hotels to restaurants that the whole family will eat up. And a tip: when you're planning a trip to Orlando, make sure to check out tourism bureau websites and social media channels like visitorlando.com and @visitorlando for tips and special offers. Now read on for my favorite 15 new Orlando experiences — they're guaranteed to blow your kids away.
Probably the biggest news of all is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which just opened at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Less-frequented (though not for long), this park has previously been known for attractions like the Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Toy Story Land. With the new Star Wars-themed land, the Magic Kingdom can expect competition. You'll find an out-of-this-galaxy experience that brings Star Wars to life with cool rides like the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, where guests climb into the cockpit, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where kids can battle with Kylo Ren. There are also themed treats, like the Green Milk that Luke Skywalker drank onscreen, and plenty of souvenirs. At Savi’s Workshop, guests have the opportunity to craft and customize their very own lightsabers. Whatever you do, don't leave before dark — the nightly fireworks are otherworldly.