So, you’re heading to Orlando in May? Good choice. It’s exactly the right time of the year to be lining up a Florida visit, and there’s a LOT in the offing this month.
In fact, it might just be the most exciting month of the year, as there are a dazzling array of experiences and adventures in store, several of them totally unique. Combined with the blissful weather at this time of year, you might just have hit the jackpot for vacation satisfaction.
Consider this – two of the theme parks are in full-on party mode; the restaurant profile is about to get another Michelin-inspired boost; and there’s a brand new attraction on International Drive that is sure to draw a lot of attention.
It all adds up to Real Florida Adventures‘ six reasons to experience Orlando in May, counting down from Number Six!
6. Viva La Musica
May is Latin Month in Florida, and there are a couple of great events to anticipate. The first, of course, is the annual Cinco de Mayo festival, which needs no introduction. SeaWorld then follows up this one-day merriment with its own Latin-flavored event, Viva La Musica. Held over two weekends from May 13-21, it features an evening concert series with Latino music stars such as Cuban-American singer Jon Secada and Puerto Rican merengue band Grupo Mania. For those who enjoy a few tastes of the region, there are also a series of Latin-inspired food and drink kiosks, paying homage to dishes and beverages from the likes of Chile, Peru, and Mexico. Menu details have just been announced and they include Bacalaitos, deep-fried cod fritters with fermented spicy aioli and micro cilantro; Arepas de Pabellon, traditional homemade arepa, sweet plantain, carne mechada, black beans, and salsa tartara; and Papa a la Huancaina, a Peruvian cheese sauce served atop a Yukon gold potato.
5. The Lonely Dog Experience
As unique attractions go, this is definitely WAY up there in terms of creativity and imagination. Fans of New Zealand artist Ivan Clarke and his lugubrious creation the Lonely Dog (aka Arthur Snout) will definitely want to check out this immersive experience featuring the canine in question. It surrounds visitors with multiple camera projections, photos and animation for a complete story-telling journey through Arthur’s world. The dazzling, high-definition projectors create a realm of sights and sounds, including original music, to bring the Dog’s journey to impressive life, and the theater also includes an art gallery, art studio, and gift shop, as well as a virtual reality lounge.
4. Flower & Garden Festival
Remember when Epcot’s big garden festival was purely a Spring event? That’s not the case anymore. It now runs for a record 127 days – more than a third of the year! – from March 1 to July 5. And, for May, there are some neat additions to this flowery fiesta, with the Farmers Feast outdoor kitchen switching to a new Springtime menu (Apr 9 to May 20) and a Summer Solstice menu from May 20 to July 5. The Garden Rocks concert series is in full swing, and key performers this month include Kool and the Gang, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, and Rick Springfield. The food booths open at 11 am each day, with the evening concert series on stage in three sets at 5.30, 6.45, and 8 pm.
3. Orlando’s New Michelin Guide Restaurants
Orlando finally got its own Michelin Guide-rated dining plaudits in 2022 (check out our February blog, highlighting this development), and we will welcome another eight this month, giving the city 41 in all. It’s a long-overdue accolade, as the quality of restaurants has done nothing but reach stellar levels in the past 10 years or so. The famous French dining guide woke up to the culinary delights of Florida as a whole last year, and their deliberations highlighted a brilliant cross-section of the city’s cuisines. Now we get to celebrate all over again as the Guide unveils its latest recommendations for fine dining on May 11, which will include Walt Disney World’s fabulous Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort, the sushi of Edoboy and the impressive Filipino cuisine of Kaya.
2. Pipeline: The Surf Coaster
The big news in every way for roller-coaster fans will be the official opening of SeaWorld’s latest ride, which promises to be a truly unique experience. This first-of-its-kind scream machine features a stand-up style of ride vehicle that allows riders to move with the curves and banks of the track as if they are actually “riding the waves.” It should be another step forward for a park that now calls itself “The Roller-Coaster Capital of Orlando,” as it will be their seventh out-and-out coaster, and it gives them a really high ride profile. It also makes for an iconic new entrance to the park, as it’s the first thing visitors will see as they reach the car park. Ready to go “surfing USA” in Orlando? Now you can!
1. The Weather
Ah yes, this is the key factor at this time of year. It’s easy to think that May is still Spring by the standards of elsewhere in the country and to end up packing for a range of changeable weather. Don’t bother. Apart from some suitable rain gear (a lightweight jacket, poncho, or just a decent umbrella), you can afford to pack light at this stage. The coolest temperatures you’re likely to encounter will be around 65 first thing in the morning, while it will probably heat up to 90 at some stage. That makes for some very, ahem, sweaty afternoons in the theme parks, so it’s important to dress light. Any rain will also pass through quickly, so don’t stress if you see a “60 percent chance of thunderstorms” in the forecast. We always joke that the weather folks post that forecast in mid-May and don’t take it down again until October!
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