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Excitement Awaits

Magic Kingdom’s: Tron Lightcycle/Run

With spring upon us and summer not far behind, it’s time to take a look at some of the bigger things taking shape at Orlando’s theme parks and nearby attractions. From new rides, experiences, shows and more, there’s lots of reasons to eagerly await your next visit to any one of these destinations for family-friendly fun and lasting memories. 

Walt Disney World Resort

As Walt Disney World concluded its 50th anniversary celebration at the end of March, there was still plenty to be excited about for the rest of 2023. From new rides to new dining options to new shows, there’s a lot taking shape around the resort’s parks and properties. Perhaps most notable are the return of several Magic Kingdom character experiences, including Pete’s Silly Sideshow, Enchanted Tales with Belle and character dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table. 

Magic Kingdom 

The long-awaited Tron Lightcycle/Run, based off of Walt Disney Studios 2010 film, Tron: Legacy, will be opening to guests starting April 4 in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Guests will become part of the movie, climbing aboard your very own lightcycle and taking off on a high-speed adventure, racing against the Grid’s most menacing programs while experiencing “the energy, lights and excitement of Tron’s high-tech universe” in a “thrilling race through the digital frontier.” It is being billed as one of Disney’s fastest coasters at any of its parks around the globe.

A virtual queue will be in place when Tron Lightcycle/Run opens. Guests will need to use the My Disney Experience app to gain entry to the attraction as a standby queue will not be available. Each Guest can request to enter the virtual queue no more than once per day during regular park hours. Guests may also purchase Individual Lightning Lane entry for this attraction. 

After being sidelined during Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration, the popular nighttime show “Happily Ever After” will return to Main Street, U.S.A. on April 3.

Hollywood Studios 

Toy Story Land is growing with the addition of a new restaurant. Woody’s Roundup Rodeo BBQ was slated to open its doors in late March after facing various delays in recent years. The Western-themed table-service restaurant is designed to mimic a world as seen through the eyes of Andy’s toys from the wildly popular film series. The menu features house-smoked meats and traditional sides like mac and cheese, cole slaw and baked beans along with plant-based offerings. 

Animal Kingdom 

This year is one of note for Animal Kingdom as the park marks its 25th anniversary. And with the successful return of Avatar to movie theaters in 2022, visitors will surely be interested in reconnecting with Pandora – The World of Avatar. Additionally, two fan-favorite stage shows—Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue … and Beyond—are slated to return to Animal Kingdom in the near future.


There will be plenty of ongoing activity at Epcot this year, starting this fall when the park debuts Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana at its World Nature neighborhood. Guests can make their way through a self-guided outdoor trail where they can “play and interact with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again.”

Later this year, visitors will also notice the completion of the World Celebration neighborhood. Situated as the hub of the park, it will house both Communicore Plaza and Communicore Hall. The neighborhood will also be the focal point for the park’s various festivals throughout the year and introduce guests to Dreamers Point where they’ll find “Walt the Dreamer,” a new statue of Walt Disney.

Furthermore, Epcot will debut a new nighttime show later in 2023. Featuring a familiar mix of music, pyrotechnics, lasers and lighting, the nightly performance will showcase original music as well hits from Disney’s vast songbook. 

Disney Springs

There have been many new stores opening around Disney Springs, one being Salt & Straw Ice Cream, known for their creative flavors. They also offer new flavors every month based on a topical theme. A new restaurant will be opening this spring, Summer House on the Lake. This spot will feature a California-style menu based on simple, delicious ingredients. The full-service restaurant will also include an in-house bakery, as well as an extensive wine and handcrafted cocktail list.

Universal Orlando Resort

The focus at Universal continues to be on its upcoming addition of Epic Universe, its newest park which is slated to open during the summer of 2025. Epic Universe is already confirmed to be home to another Harry Potter-inspired Wizarding World area as well as a new Nintendo-themed attraction (more on that below). And it was recently announced that soon Universal Parks & Resorts will be rebranded as Universal Destinations & Experiences. 

Universal Studios

Universal Orlando has announced a new Minions attraction, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, set to open this summer. It is an interactive, blaster game experience that will invite guests to put their villainous skills to the test as they compete against each other. Within the recently developed Minion Land, a new Minion Café will be opening as well. 

And just as Universal Studios Hollywood gets ready to open its new Super Nintendo World, officials have announced Orlando will also soon welcome Mario and friends to the Sunshine State. Targeted for a 2025 opening, the themed world will be part of Epic Universe Park.


A unique twist on an escape room, Universal CityWalk recently introduced Universal’s Great Movie Escape. Visitors can choose from two exciting adventures, Back to the Future: OUTATIME or Jurassic World: Escape. These story-driven escape rooms are unlike their more traditional counterparts and are more interactive and immerse the players into the storylines, and by design are somewhat easier to solve.  

Additional Adventures


Almost a year since first welcoming riders, Sea World’s launched roller coaster Ice Breaker has re-opened with a lowered minimum height requirement. After the removal of the ride’s “comfort collars,” riders 48 inches tall can now ride the coaster while accompanied by an adult.

Elsewhere in the park, visitors this spring will see the debut of Pipeline, a new and exciting first-of-its-kind surf coaster. Its unique surfboard shape allows for an immersive experience and riders will be secured in surfing position and launched at top speeds 110 feet up. Riders’ seats will maneuver throughout the ride to mimic the thrill of catching a wave. 

On the marine life side of things, the park welcomed a new rescue dolphin to its Dolphin Nursery and a new hammerhead shark to its Shark Encounter as part of a collaborative effort to care for the shark species between the park and various aquariums and zoos throughout the country. 


Set sail through uncharted waters at Legoland’s Florida Resort as you board a boat to embark on the new Pirate River Quest. Sailing down the waters of Cypress Gardens, this 20-minute adventure if fun for the whole family. While aboard the ship, riders will be tasked with joining forces with Lego pirates in hopes of locating a lost treasure that was stolen by a group of mischievous monkeys.   

ICON Park: The Wheel

Old Town

Old Town is the perfect destination from a family-friendly afternoon to a night out with friends. With an abundance of shops, dining options and rides, there’s something for everyone. Old Town recently updated their North Plaza featuring their Ferris wheel and famous large jukebox entrance and some of the more popular destinations on the premises include Shoney’s Kitchen + Bar, Xtreme Ninja Challenge, Fat Tuesday, Garra Fish Spa and Sugars Gallery.

International Drive 

Orlando’s premier entertainment destination ICON Park is offering an all-new one-of-a-kind experience at The Wheel called The Great Florida Road Trip. Part game, part educational experience, guests follow along with the Flamingo family on a photo travelogue vacation through mid-century Florida. Snapping pics along the way, at the conclusion you can mail a postcard from your travels and those who score the most points along the way will be in line for a special prize. 

The Pointe Orlando will be gaining two new restaurants, KAVAS Tacos + Tequila and JoJo’s ShakeBar early 2023. Two new attractions have been added as well: Will to Escape, an immersive escape room which opened in February and the Greens Indoor Golf & Bar, an indoor golf simulator set to open April 5.

Looking ahead to 2024, Live! Hospitality & Entertainment will be developing a 36,000-square-foot indoor outdoor space at Pointe Orlando. Already booked tenants for the outdoor plaza include Sports & Social and PBR Cowboy Bar with more expected to be announced in the near future. 


This indoor playground and gym for kids up to age 12 is the perfect place for youngsters to let loose and have fun with friends and family. There’s an interactive game room, climbing wall, jungle gym and more for kids of all ages. 


The world-famous robotic show officially opened in Orlando earlier this year introducing the most popular robot in the world: Titan the Robot. This new experience educates and inspires visitors about the world of robotics and its impact on society through advanced technology. With the latest virtual reality technology, enjoy VR attractions that let you access and interact with artificial worlds like never before. 

Dezerland Park Orlando

A one-stop-shop for all things fun, Dezerland is Florida’s largest indoor attraction featuring a multitude of activities of all ages. There’s something for everyone: a 12-lane bowling alley, arcade, Florida’s largest indoor go kart track and glow-in-the-dark mini golf to name just a few of the attractions. 

It is also the home to a truly unique auto museum, showcasing a private auto collection of cars, including some recognizable from television and movies, that is valued at over $200 million.

Worth the Drive

McKee Botanical Garden 

The Children’s Garden at McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach features include the Scorpion Shipwreck in the Grand Discovery Tree, a Fairy Circle & Fairy Forest Trail, the Nautilus Shell Amphitheatre and much more.

Weekly children’s programs are held in the Children’s Garden and are free for McKee members as well as for non-members with a paid admission. Starting now through the end of May, McKee’s Botanical Garden is offering Nature Discovery Stations, Garden Sprouts Nature Playground and Home Education Fridays.

Vero Beach Museum of Art

Just under a two-hour drive from Orlando, the Vero Beach Museum of Art is the largest cultural arts facility of its kind on Florida’s Treasure Coast, with five art galleries, two sculpture parks, a gift shop, an art school, a café and much more. The nationally accredited museum also hosts several interactive and hands-on educational events for children.