In this edition of the Orlando Media Newsletter, we’re focusing on Orlando’s continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. This September and October, visitors can discover ways the destination celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and National Gay and Lesbian History Month through festive events, special exhibits, cultural celebrations and more. 

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  • With nearly 35% of Central Florida’s population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, Orlando is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in unique ways to highlight the Hispanic cultural influence seen in our region through several events, festivals and art exhibits

  • The Orlando Salsa Festival will pulsate with electrifying rhythms through the Amway Center with performances by salsa legends Willie Colón and El Gran Combo on Sept. 22. 

  • The 14th Annual Día De Los Muertos & Monster Party at CityArts will feature a themed street party, live mariachi music, theatrical and ballet performances and more on Oct. 19.  

  • Osceola County Welcome Center & History Museum’s ¡Hola History! exhibit will showcase the stories, achievements and impact of our Latin American community on Central Florida’s growth.  

  • City of Orlando’s Hispanic Heritage Month Gallery will showcase an art exhibition dedicated to dominoes, a popular pastime in the Americas and the Caribbean, and a gallery featuring visual art by local artists. The gallery is running now through Nov. 13 at the Terrace Gallery at Orlando City Hall.  


  • From Hispanic-owned businesses to MICHELIN Guide eateries with Spanish flair, visitors can also taste the diverse flavors of Hispanic culture throughout many restaurants and bars. 

  • The Papa Llama (a value-packed MICHELIN Bib Gourmand eatery in Orlando’s Curry Ford West District) offers delicious Peruvian-inspired quick eats, while Toledo (a Michelin-recommended restaurant located at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort) offers a charming, surrealistic rooftop dining experience inspired by the Spanish city it’s named after. 

  • Additional Michelin Recommended options include BACÁN at Lake Nona Wave Hotel and Black Rooster Taqueria in Orlando’s Mills 50 District.  

  • Meanwhile, celebrity chef-owned favorites like José Andrés’ JALEO and Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, both located at Disney Springs, offer can’t-miss flavors inspired by Spain and Mexico.  

  • Other Hispanic and Latin-inspired favorites throughout Orlando include Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit at ICON Park, Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park, and Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar at Pointe Orlando. 


  • Visitors can also join the city-wide celebration and support Central Florida’s LGBTQ+ community during National Gay and Lesbian History Month this October during the Most Colorful Parade at the annual Come Out With Pride Festival in Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park (Oct. 21). Beyond the parade, Come Out With Pride boasts three stages around Lake Eola Park – each hosting live entertainment throughout the day featuring local artists and celebrity headliners – and the Fireworks Grand Finale over Lake Eola for all to enjoy.  

  • While in Orlando, visitors can support local LGBTQ+ owned restaurants, like The Glass Knife – known for their beautiful, handcrafted pastries and scratch-made savory dishes; Se7en Bites – a MICHELIN Recommended restaurant serving Southern comfort dishes; and Hungry Pants – a “plant curious” restaurant serving up comfort food made with clean, high-quality ingredients.  

  • Other LGBTQ+ owned businesses to support this month and all year round include Out Of The Closet thrift store in Winter Park, Maffrey’s gift store in Ivanhoe Village and Lacastro men’s clothing store on Mills 50. 

What’s New and Upcoming Around Orlando 

  • Zymarium, Orlando’s first meadery, opened in Mills 50 on Aug. 19. The shop, owned by one of the top 10 mead makers in the world, specializes in alcoholic beverages made with fermented honey mixed with water, fruit, spices, grains or hops. The new meadery boasts more than two dozen meads, including options brewed with pineapple, mango, raspberry, blueberry, coffee and meads brewed in the style of IPA and smoothie beers. 

  • Brightline will begin service to Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Sept. 22. The intercity rail will connect Orlando and South Florida (Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach) with inaugural rides.    

  • Zaru, a 25-seat noodle house from James Beard-nominated restaurateurs, will open this month in the Mills 50 district next to Tien Hung Market. The new shop will specialize in scratch-made udon noodles handcrafted from premium Japanese flour sourced from Kagawa prefecture, the birthplace of udon. The menu will feature an array of specialties, including house-made crab gyoza, zaru udon, ikura shiso udon, Edo-style tempura and more. 

  • The City of Orlando will debut the new, eight-passenger self-driving SWAN (Shuttling with Autonomous Navigation) shuttle bus this month as part of a six-month trial. The electric, self-driving shuttle will whisk passengers around a one-mile loop in the downtown area for no charge. 

  • Walt Disney World announced news and updates for Orlando parks at the D23 event. Moana’s Journey of Water at Epcot will open Oct. 16, and a new nighttime show, “Luminous The Symphony of Us,” will start on Dec. 5. Magic Kingdom will welcome the Hatbox Ghost to Haunted Mansion this fall.

For more of the latest Orlando news, visit our media site


Did You Know? 

Visit Orlando received TravelAbility's "Accessibility Superstar Award" during the Emerging Markets Summit. The award recognized Visit Orlando’s special needs services and online resources—including complimentary trip planning assistance and information on service providers offering medical and mobility equipment rentals—for travelers and more found on the Orlando: Accessible Fun For All landing page.