Central Florida Lifestyle counts down some of 2019’s most memorable moments.
1. Design team chosen for National Pulse Memorial & Museum
In March, the onePulse Foundation launched an international design competition for the National Pulse Memorial & Museum, which received 68 submissions from 19 countries. On Oct. 30, a jury comprised of community members, leaders and architects chose Coldefy with RDAI | HHCP because they felt their design best represented community interests, demonstrated design excellence and aligned with onePulse’s core values.
2. Autonomous shuttles introduced in Lake Nona
In February, a first-of-its-kind transportation option was announced for Lake Nona through a partnership with mobility solutions provider, Beep. Two autonomous shuttles hit the road on Sept. 18, running daily routes from Lake Nona Town Center to Laureate Park.
3. New attractions open to much fanfare
Two of the area’s biggest theme parks introduced new, exciting experiences this year. On June 13, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened with long wait times, reportedly up to 10 hours, at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Then, on Aug. 29, Disney’s Hollywood Studios welcomed guests to the planet of Batuu, where they could build their own lightsaber and even fly the Millenium Falcon.
4. Orlando Pride players compete in 2019 FIFA World Cup
Over the summer, nine Orlando Pride players represented five countries in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This included United States representatives, Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, who took home the trophy.
5. Tracking Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian formed on Aug. 24 and quickly took aim at Florida. As Orlando residents cleared stores of supplies, Dorian was projected to go straight through the city as a strong hurricane. While Orlando was spared, the storm battered the Bahamas. Since then, residents have donated supplies, chartered boats and offered support where possible to lend a helping hand.
6. On May 3, the City of Orlando opened rideshare hubs with late-night weekend service as part of a six-month pilot program aiming to manage downtown traffic during those hours.
7. On June 25, two black-necked male swans were introduced to Lake Eola park with the hope that one would become a companion to Queenie, the lake’s only female black-necked swan, in a Lake Eola love story.
8. In August, Universal Orlando announced plans for its fourth theme park, called Universal’s Epic Universe, which will be built south of Sand Lake Road and the its three sister parks.
9. Also in August, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Organizing Committee revealed its logo, which was designed by nine Special Olympics athletes. ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will host the games in June 2022.
10. In September, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando launched its Hound Around Town program, which allows residents to take a dog out of the shelter environment for fresh air and a fun outing.