ORLANDO, Fla. – If you thought the excitement surrounding Central Florida’s theme parks was coming to an end this year – think again.
Each of the Orlando parks has a line-up of special attractions and experiences yet to come this year and beyond.
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This summer, theme park fans have taken in a number of exciting thrills.
At Walt Disney World, guests were transported to the digital world of TRON: Lightcycle Run. At SeaWorld Orlando, surfers and tourists alike hit the waves on Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, and at Universal Orlando, guests are set to go bananas in the all-new Minion Land, featuring the new attraction Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast.
Get those calendars ready – there is much more to see and we’re detailing it all for you.
See the list below.
Walt Disney World
Beginning Aug. 11, Walt Disney World will kick off its spooky season with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
The separately ticketed event features a lineup of new things including meet-and-greets, food and drinks and entertainment.
This fall, EPCOT will play host to the Disney100 celebration. The limited-time celebration, which honors the centennial of the Walt Disney Company, is set to begin at the theme park on Sept. 22. Festivities include new murals, décor, exclusive food and drinks and meet-and-greets.
Also at EPCOT, guests will soon get the chance to splash around at the self-guided trail: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana. The new experience, which is scheduled to open sometime this fall, will allow guests to explore and engage with water as it travels from our skies to the ocean. The new experience will be located in the newly created World Nature neighborhood of the theme park.
First announced last year, Figment is also scheduled to get his own meet-and-greet at EPCOT sometime this year, although a date has not been announced yet.
Disney said later this fall, it also expects to complete the construction of the World Celebration neighborhood. This new area will feature seasonal gardens, the all-new Communicore Hall, Communicore Plaza and Dreamers Point, an inspiring overlook showcasing a statue of Walt Disney called “Walt the Dreamer.” Guests will also get the chance to see an all-new nighttime spectacular in World Showcase Lagoon.
Following its spooktacular fall events, Walt Disney World will roll into the holiday season with seasonal events including the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, Jollywood Nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom.
Other noteworthy things happening at Walt Disney World include the closure of the “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” in September and upcoming runDisney events in November and January.
Next year, Walt Disney World will open the highly anticipated new attraction, “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” at Magic Kingdom.
Beginning Sept. 1, Universal Orlando will welcome guests to its popular fall event, Halloween Horror Nights.
This year’s event will feature 10 all-new terrifying haunted houses, five sinister scare zones and live entertainment. During the month of August, foodies can enjoy terrifying foods ahead of the event during the park’s all-new “Taste of Terror” experience. Tickets for all the events are now on sale.
During select dates this winter, Universal Orlando will roll out its holiday events which feature live entertainment, food and drinks and more. Next spring, Universal Orlando will debut its all-new DreamWorks Land at Universal Studios Florida. The new area will feature colorful play spaces featuring characters including Shrek, Trolls and Kung Fu Panda.
Of course, all eyes are on Universal Orlando’s biggest project right now, Epic Universe. The theme park is scheduled to open in the summer of 2025 and will feature a number of highly themed lands including Super Nintendo World.
SeaWorld Orlando is gearing up for a number of fall and winter events.
Beginning Sept. 8, the theme park will begin its Howl-O-Scream event. The nighttime event features unique haunted houses, scare zones, bar experiences and a popular show. Full details surrounding the event will be released soon. For those looking for something a little less scary, the park will begin its daytime Halloween Spooktacular on Sept. 16.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will host its own Howl-O-Scream event beginning Sept. 8.
Beginning Nov. 10, SeaWorld will welcome back its Christmas Celebration. The festival will feature food and drinks, live shows and entertainment.
Following the success of Pipeline: The Surf Coaster this year, SeaWorld is already teasing its guests on social media that an all-new roller coaster attraction is coming in 2024.
The theme park said it plans to announce additional details at a later date.
Beginning Sept. 16, Legoland Florida will begin its Brick-Or-Treat event. Guests will see new and returning live shows, spooktacular LEGO décor, Halloween characters, trick-or-treat stations throughout the park and all-new fireworks show. Brick-or-Treat happens on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29.
Following the fall events, the park plans to bring back its Holidays at Legoland event this November. More details will be released at a future date.
On Aug. 16, the theme park will close its “Flying School” roller coaster attraction to make way for a new experience in the future.
TRON Lightcycle / Run
On April 4, Walt Disney World opened TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom. The attraction is one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world. Families fly through a dark, computerized world as they compete to be the first to race through eight Energy Gates and claim victory. The attraction can be found in Tomorrowland.
Guests need to have a virtual return time or purchase a Lighting Lane time through Disney Genie to ride the attraction.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant
Over in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, families are now dining in a rodeo-style environment. Walt Disney World opened the Rodeo Roundup BBQ restaurant back in March. First announced in 2019, the restaurant plates up barbecue-inspired comfort foods served family-style, including house-smoked meats, sides and some miniature desserts.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park 25th Anniversary
Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. Back in April, the theme park went wild with special experiences and entertainment.
The theme park first opened to guests in 1998, and since that time, the park has evolved and entertained guests through new and immersive magical experiences. The theme park also added a Moana character meet-and-greet to an area in Discovery Island, just steps from Flame Tree Barbecue.
Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast
The minions are taking over Universal Orlando on Aug. 11. The all-new Minion Land at Universal Studios Florida features the all-new attraction: “Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast.” When guests step onto the newly created “Illuminations Avenue,” they will not only find the immersive new experience, but also the unique Minion Café, various eateries, shopping and entertainment offerings inspired by some of Illumination’s hit films and character meet-and-greets at the new Illuminations Theater.
Pipeline: The Surf Coaster
SeaWorld Orlando debuted its latest roller coaster, “Pipeline: The Surf Coaster” back in May. The innovative design elements that make this a first-of-its-kind roller coaster are the surfing launch and “wave jumping” motions that riders will experience. The unique surfboard-shaped ride vehicle will also give guests an immersive experience from the moment the ride starts.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Over at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the park will welcomed the Serengeti Flyer this past spring. The attraction is one of the world’s tallest and fastest ride of its kind. With each swing, riders soar higher and higher above Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s expansive 65-acre Serengeti Plain while experiencing multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth. Serengeti Flyer features twin dueling arms that soar progressively higher, reaching speeds of 68 mph and a maximum height of 135 feet at the ride’s peak.
Guests are seated back-to-back in rows of 10 across two gondolas, allowing for 40 guests to experience the ride at once.
Pirate River Quest
A brand-new, swashbuckling quest awaits families visiting LEGOLAND Florida. The park opened its Pirate River Quest early this year. Captain-driven boats navigate guests through the natural passageways of Lake Eloise and the historic Cypress Gardens. Guests look to uncover the lost treasure of Captain Redbeard.
The attraction has exciting sequences that tell the tale of a rowdy Lego pirate crew, a troop of mischievous monkeys and even a fearsome kraken.
Gatorland is taking your adventure skills to new heights in an all-new experience. Back in March, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” announced the addition of the new interactive three-in-one experience called Croc Rock. Leaders said guests will ascend a 32-foot Croc Rock wall, cross a 150-foot swinging chain bridge and then take a 350-feet ride on a zipline.
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