Orlando Unplugged: October News & Updates

October is here, and Orlando's allure is calling. Aponte Group at Compass, your trusted real estate guides, are also your passport to the city's thriving culture. Together, let's dive into the headlines that influence Orlando's path and the vibrant events that light up its streets. We're here to offer you a front-row seat to all things 'The City Beautiful.' Join us on this exhilarating ride through Orlando's dynamic heartbeat.

Unleash Your Creativity: Craft a Visionary Mural at New Eola Pocket Park

Unleash Your Creativity: Craft a Visionary Mural at New Eola Pocket Park

Thornton Park District and ArtHaus issue a call for artists to adorn the upcoming Lake Eola pocket park. The chosen mural will grace the side of the building, facing a bustling intersection. Artists of all levels are encouraged to apply, with a focus on reflecting Orlando's diverse cultural tapestry. Apply by October 6th; the winner announced on October 16th. Mural completion by October 2023. Compensation details are available on the project website, here. Don't miss this chance to leave your mark on Orlando!

Orlando Airport's Terminal C Opens to All with New Visitor Pass Program

Orlando Airport's Terminal C Opens to All with New Visitor Pass Program

Orlando's Terminal C, renowned for its art, dining, and shopping, is now accessible to everyone via the Experience MCO Visitor Pass Program. You can explore its attractions, dine at places like Sunshine Diner, and accompany friends or family to their gates. Apply online up to seven days in advance, and if approved, receive a digital pass for access between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Standard security screening applies, and passes are limited. Learn more, here.

Indulge in Decadence: AJ Chocolate House Now Open

Indulge in Decadence: AJ Chocolate House Now Open

Treat yourself at the newly opened AJ Chocolate House on Winter Park's Park Avenue. Located at 552 S. Park Avenue, this artisanal chocolate shop offers over 150 varieties of handmade Belgian-style chocolates in a charming boudoir-like setting. Indulge in a selection of cakes, pies, coffees, ice cream, and more. Stay tuned for delightful wine and chocolate pairings by following them on Instagram and visiting their website.

Agave Azul Set to Ignite Mills 50 Corridor with 'Live Fire' Cuisine

Agave Azul Set to Ignite Mills 50 Corridor with 'Live Fire' Cuisine

The Armstrong Locks building in Mills 50 corridor finds a new owner in Juan Rios of Agave Azul. This $3.15 million deal promises a thrilling addition to the culinary scene. Rios plans to introduce a "live fire restaurant" inspired by the rich flavors of the Yucatan Peninsula and Riviera Maya. This 0.37-acre property, complete with a 2,900 SF warehouse and storefront, offers ample space for this exciting venture.

Test Track at EPCOT to Undergo Spectacular Reimagination

Exciting Update: Test Track at EPCOT to Undergo Spectacular Reimagination

In a thrilling revelation from the D23 Parks Panel at Destination D23, it was announced that Test Track in World Discovery at EPCOT is set for a complete reimagining! Drawing inspiration from the original World of Motion, Imagineers, in collaboration with Chevrolet, are poised to infuse this iconic attraction with the spirit of optimism and innovation. Chevrolet will continue its sponsorship of this exciting project.

Society of St. Andrews at Long and Scott Farms Corn Harvest Volunteers

Volunteers Needed: Harvest Corn for a Cause

The City of Orlando's Office of Sustainability, Resilience, and Future Readiness is calling for volunteers on October 6th to participate in a gleaning event with Society of St. Andrews at Long and Scott Farms. Help collect leftover corn to support local organizations and food banks. This act of gleaning, gathering excess produce after a harvest, ensures that no food goes to waste. Your efforts can make a real difference in our community! Learn more, here.

Leu Gardens' Inaugural Dog Day

Leu Gardens' Inaugural Dog Day: Fun, Contests, and Canine Companions

Leu Gardens invites all dog lovers and their furry friends to the inaugural Dog Day on Saturday, October 14th, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the lush 50-acre gardens with your canine companion. Each dog will receive a special goody bag and a charming Gardens' bandana. From 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., join in the excitement with dog contests like Best Dressed, Most Talented, and Best Kisser, where winners will receive fantastic prizes. Numerous community pet organizations, including Bonapet Treat, Dog Training Elite Orlando, and more, will be present to provide valuable information and fun interactions. And don't forget to indulge in some delightful Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream! General admission applies, and remember to keep your dogs on a leash and clean up after them. For more details, visit leugardens.org.

New Japanese Omakase Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, Nami, to Open in Orlando

New Japanese Omakase Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, Nami, to Open in Orlando

Located at 6004 Artist Ave. within Lake Nona Wave Hotel, Nami features a 67-seat dining room and an exclusive 10-seat omakase counter. Chef Jason Beliveau blends traditional Japanese ingredients with a modern European twist, offering dishes like lobster donuts and tuna pizza. Culinary talents include Freddy Money, Eli Kaimeh, and Stuart Whitfield. Nami operates from 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with last dinner seatings at 10 p.m. Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. After the last dinner seating, a shorter late-night menu will be available. Advance reservations are required for the omakase counter and can be made, here.

Disney World Celebrates Over 300 Adorable Additions to Its Animal Family in 2023

Disney World Celebrates Over 300 Adorable Additions to Its Animal Family in 2023

Disney World is experiencing a delightful baby boom in 2023, with over 300 new animal births at the resort. From zebras and Shetland ponies to cuttlefish and more, this diverse array of newborns includes Pixie, a pure white Shetland pony destined to pull Cinderella's carriage. The Animal Kingdom also welcomed new arrivals, including Hartmann’s mountain zebras, yellow-backed duikers, and critically endangered cotton-top tamarin twins. These births not only bring joy to visitors but also contribute to vital conservation efforts, exemplifying Disney's commitment to animal welfare and education.

The Courtesy Bar: Transforming for Halloween Thrills

The Courtesy Bar: Transforming for Halloween Thrills

Get ready for a month-long Halloween takeover at The Courtesy Bar! From October 3rd-31st, Nightmare on Orange will captivate your senses with a transformed interior, new cocktails, and themed staff costumes. As November rolls in, the decorations will give way to a Christmas-themed Miracle on Orange, starting November 21st until December 31st. Located at 1288 N. Orange Avenue in Winter Park, this seasonal transformation promises a unique and immersive experience. Join the festivities and savor the magic of The Courtesy Bar!

Orlando Field Day: City District Invites Adults to Relive Recess on November 2nd

Orlando Field Day: City District Invites Adults to Relive Recess on November 2nd

The City District Main Street is set to host the inaugural "Downtown Orlando Field Day" at the vibrant Seneff Arts Plaza on Thursday, November 2nd. Geared towards adults, this event promises a playful blend of relay races, "Office Olympics," obstacle courses, and more. With 50 team slots available, participants will vie for ultimate bragging rights. "Imagine the Corporate 5k, but with a Field Day twist! We aim to unite local businesses and teams in the heart of the city for an evening of nostalgic competitions, delicious food, and boundless fun," stated Nikki Aviles, Executive Director of City District Main Street. The festivities commence at 3 p.m., and further details can be found here.

Zaza Cuban Comfort Food: A Decade of Delicious Delights

Zaza Cuban Comfort Food: A Decade of Delicious Delights

Join the celebration as Zaza Cuban Comfort Food commemorates 10 years of culinary excellence this October 10th! Starting today, October 1st, enjoy a series of discounts and specials. Indulge in a diverse menu, from Cubano grilled cheese sandwiches to Cuban coffee drinks. Don't miss this opportunity to savor the flavors of Zaza! Explore their special anniversary menu, here.

Orlando Museum of Art Adds Award-Winning Piece by Elliot and Erick Jiménez to Its Collection

Orlando Museum of Art Adds Award-Winning Piece by Elliot and Erick Jiménez to Its Collection

The Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) announced the acquisition of an exceptional work by the acclaimed twin artists Elliot and Erick Jiménez. The dynamic duo, recipients of the 2023 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art People’s Choice Award, presents a distinctive fusion of photography and painting inspired by European art and their Cuban heritage. Their piece, "The Grand Odalisque," a reimagining of a renowned work by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, captures the essence of their artistic vision. The acquisition was made possible through the Orlando Museum of Art’s Acquisition Trust, supported by the Charles E. Meiner Acquisition Trust Endowment Fund. This latest addition further solidifies OMA's dedication to contemporary art and artists shaping the cultural landscape of our state. For more information, please visit omart.org.

Free Downtown Parking Continues Until Year's End with Code

Free Downtown Parking Continues Until Year's End with Code

The Downtown Development Board/Community Redevelopment Agency has decided to extend its free parking program downtown until the end of this year. Downtown patrons can make use of this offer at both metered and non-metered on-street parking spaces by utilizing the ParkMobile app and entering the code "ParkDTO." Each account on the app can use the code up to four times. Visitors can also have their valet parking validated at select downtown restaurants between 5:30 PM and 9:00 PM. Participating restaurants include AC Skybar, Artisan’s Table, Ember, Kres Chophouse, and Thrive Cocktail Lounge and Eatery. The program will conclude once the allocated funds are depleted or on December 31st, 2023, whichever occurs first.

Get Ready for 13 Nights of Halloween Thrills at Enzian

Get Ready for 13 Nights of Halloween Thrills at Enzian

Enzian Theater is back with its annual "13 Films of Halloween" showcasing a spine-chilling lineup throughout October. From cult classics to family-friendly flicks, there's something for everyone. Don't miss out on free outdoor screenings, parties, midnight films, and more. Plus, Eden Bar offers 13 ghoulishly delightful cocktails to complement the films. Attendees can also participate in a punch card contest for a chance to win a $100 bar tab. Check out the full schedule of events, here.

Light On The Sugar Bakery Cafe Expands to Waterford Lakes

Light On The Sugar Bakery Cafe Expands to Waterford Lakes

Winter Park's beloved Light On The Sugar Bakery Cafe is spreading its wings to Waterford Lakes! Renowned for blending French pastries with Asian-inspired flavors like Matcha, Ube, Taro, and Black Sesame, they're set to enchant a new audience. Already adored with two locations in Winter Park and one in Jacksonville, the forthcoming spot, nestled beside Regal Cinemas and Zaza Cuban Cafe, is slated to open by year-end. Keep an eye out for exciting collaborations, including one with John Rife, the visionary behind East End Market. Indulge in delectable pastries, all freshly baked in-house daily, and savor delightful breakfast croissant options at the upcoming Waterford Lakes location.

New Walt Disney World Make-A-Wish License Plate Spreads Pixie Dust Across Florida

New Walt Disney World Make-A-Wish License Plate Spreads Pixie Dust Across Florida

Now available at local county tax collector's offices and license plate agencies throughout Florida, this unique plate supports Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, helping fulfill wishes for children battling critical illnesses. Not only can you add a touch of magic to your car, but you can also contribute to a wonderful cause. Since its launch during the 50th-anniversary celebration, Disney's license plate has raised over $2 million for Make-A-Wish. As Disney continues to be the world's largest wish granter, this new license plate is another way they're bringing joy and hope to families in need. For more information on how to purchase the Walt Disney World Make-A-Wish Specialty License Plate, visit flhsmv.gov.

Portillo's Expands! New Location Coming to Lake County, FL

Portillo's Expands! New Location Coming to Lake County, FL

Central Florida is about to welcome another Portillo's location, this time in Lake County. Approved by Lady Lake commissioners, this 7,800-square-foot restaurant along US-27/441 will feature a drive-thru, seating for 212 guests, and parking for 131 vehicles. Get ready to indulge in iconic Chicago-style fare, from Hot Dogs to Italian Beef Sandwiches and more. With plans for additional locations in Sanford and Waterford Lakes Town Center, Portillo's is solidifying its place as a Central Florida favorite. Don't miss out on the deliciousness!

Breeze Airways Launches Non-Stop Orlando-Springfield Flights

Breeze Airways Launches Non-Stop Orlando-Springfield Flights

Starting December 1st, Breeze Airways offers non-stop flights between Orlando and Springfield, IL, providing seamless travel at budget-friendly rates. Enjoy an introductory fare of just $49 one-way. Flights operate twice weekly, with schedule adjustments starting January 10th. Don't miss out – book by September 25th for travel through April 30th, 2024. Reserve your seat at flybreeze.com.

Night Owl Cookies: Miami's Late-Night Sweet Spot Now in Orlando

Night Owl Cookies: Miami's Late-Night Sweet Spot Now in Orlando

Night Owl Cookies, Miami's late-night cookie sensation, has landed near UCF. Located at 1325 University Blvd., Suite 101 (close to State Road 417), this cookie haven is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sink your teeth into signature delights like Dark Chocolate S'Mores, Cookies & Cream, and Ave Maria. But wait, there's more! Every month, indulge in limited edition cookies such as Cinnamon Chocolate Churro, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake, and Red Velvet Brownie. Join the Night Owl experience and savor these sweet moments.

Disney Files Permit for 350 New DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort

Disney Files Permit for 350 New DVC Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort

Walt Disney World has submitted a permit for the construction of 350 new Disney Vacation Club cabins to replace the existing ones at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The project, expected to be completed by 2024, focuses on environmental considerations and energy efficiency. These cabins, designed to accommodate up to six adults, will feature a bedroom, bathroom, living room, full kitchen, and private patio. Some cabins will also be designated as dog-friendly. The resort will remain open for reservations to all guests, irrespective of Disney Vacation Club Membership, based on availability.

Norma Canelas Roth's Debut Exhibition at OMA

Celebrating a Visionary: Norma Canelas Roth's Debut Exhibition at OMA

The Orlando Museum of Art proudly presents "Norma: Selected Works by Norma Canelas Roth," an exhibition dedicated to the artistic legacy of Norma Canelas Roth. This inaugural showcase pays tribute to her profound influence on OMA, highlighting her talent and benevolent spirit. Opening on October 20th and running until January 28th, 2024, the exhibit dives into Roth's distinctive style, reminiscent of the Pattern and Decoration Movement of the 70s and 80s. Her impact as an artist, educator, and patron resonates deeply, shaping the cultural landscape.

City Hall Approves Generous Grant for Downtown Arts District Courtyard Project

City Hall Approves Generous Grant for Downtown Arts District Courtyard Project

The City of Orlando has greenlit a substantial grant to revamp an alleyway near the CityArts building in downtown Orlando, which has faced sanitation challenges. The forthcoming arts courtyard is conceptualized by the local firm Interstruct Design and Build, also involved in the Church Street Station Tower Two project. Notably, elements salvaged from the former Church Street Ballroom will grace the new plaza. These include cast iron fencing, glass lattice structures, antique bricks, and steel trusses. Although the pandemic momentarily stalled fundraising, the Downtown Arts District is now poised to move ahead. The City of Orlando's contribution totals $161,632, with an annual additional $25,000 for the next three years. Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs has also pledged an extra $318,000 for the endeavor. CityArts is situated at 39 S. Magnolia Avenue.

Brightline Teams Up with Mears Transportation for Effortless Door-to-Door Service

Brightline Teams Up with Mears Transportation for Effortless Door-to-Door Service

Brightline, the latest rail service connecting Central and South Florida, has forged a collaboration with Mears Transportation to offer passengers a seamless door-to-door travel experience. Through the Brightline+ service, travelers can now effortlessly arrange transportation with Mears to and from the Orlando station, enhancing the overall journey. This partnership aims to provide not only convenience but also the renowned hospitality associated with both brands. Additionally, Brightline offers exclusive rates for Avis Car Rental, further enhancing the travel experience.

IAAPA Expo 2023: Thrilling Aerial Displays and Cutting-Edge Innovations Await

IAAPA Expo 2023: Thrilling Aerial Displays and Cutting-Edge Innovations Await

From November 13th to 17th, the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando will be abuzz with the best and brightest in the global attractions industry. This premier event gathers industry leaders for networking, education, and exploration, unveiling the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of attractions worldwide. Exciting features this year include a Hasbro-sponsored CLUE Game, a new Alcohol, Beverage, and Innovation Pavilion, mesmerizing SkyElements Drone Shows, and dazzling ShimmerTech Photo Ops. Don't miss out on this unparalleled expo! Learn more, here.

Free Pink Tabebuia Trees: Winter Garden's Blossoming Initiative Continues

Free Pink Tabebuia Trees: Winter Garden's Blossoming Initiative Continues

The Bloom & Grow Garden Society is generously giving away pink tabebuia trees to Winter Garden residents on October 4th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Head over to the city facility at 238 W. Smith St., behind Crooked Can Brewery, with your driver’s license for address verification. Each household can claim one three- to four-foot tree in a three-gallon pot for free, and additional trees can be purchased for $15. This initiative aims to blanket Winter Garden in the delightful pink trumpet tree blossoms come early spring, creating a vibrant and picturesque landscape. Don't miss this chance to enhance your yard while contributing to this beautiful community effort.

Ready to make the most of your October in Orlando?

Explore our October Events Guide blog post for an insider's look at all the exciting events happening in 'The City Beautiful' and surrounding areas. Click here to dive into the festivities and plan your October adventures!