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Coming Attractions

The Theme Park Capital of the World continues to evolve in new and exciting ways. From the latest in rides and experiences to a brand-new theme park, the best is truly yet to come for Central Florida.

One big perk of living in the Orlando area is being in the center of all the amusement park action. With a wide range of upcoming rides and shows to experience, there is surely something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s a look at what’s new and what’s to come at the major theme parks and area attractions that Central Florida has to offer.




Set to open next year, Universal Orlando’s long-awaited fourth theme park, Epic Universe, promises to “transport guests to expansive worlds featuring more than 50 awe-inspiring attraction, entertainment, dining and shopping experiences that come together to create an unforgettable adventure that is nothing short of epic.” The new “worlds” will include Celestial Park, the heart of Epic Universe and the first world guests will encounter at the new park.

Comprised of lush living gardens nestled along shimmering waters and surrounded by architecture inspired by astronomical and mythological elements, Celestial Park will offer “portals” to the other worlds, which include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of MagicSuper Nintendo World, How to Train Your Dragon  Isle of Berk, and Dark Universe, where monsters roam in a world of myth and mystery. Also, inside the park will be the Universal Helios Grand Hotel, designed to transport guests to a world where the heavens and earth unite. The hotel will feature 500 rooms, one-of-a-kind views and its very own dedicated entrance into the theme park.



Debuting this summer will be DreamWorks Land, a new themed area inside Universal Studios. The expansive space features new rides, attractions, retail opportunities and eateries inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s beloved characters from Shrek, Trolls and Kung Fu Panda. Guests of all ages will be able to explore Shrek’s Swamp just outside of his 35-foot-tall tree-stump cottage. The nearby play area is best suited for “little ogres” and features four fun slides, wet play areas and a playground where guests can climb, bounce and splash around as well as venture into Shrek’s outhouse. The area also features King Harold’s Swamp Symphony, where guests can create their own melodious masterpiece as they trigger a choir of ever-changing frog ribbits by continually stomping on an array of interactive lily pads.

In the center of Trolls Village sits a fountain featuring Trolls characters Poppy and Branch, where “fantastamazing” energy flows and guests can relax and “find their happy place.” The area also includes a family-friendly rollercoaster, Caterbus, where riders will escape evil spiders as they speed along a bright orange and yellow track. Younger fans will be able to play in Poppy’s Playground, a shaded play area nestled under a giant, 20-foot mushroom. This area will be comprised of colorful flowers and bugs with an array of bouncing and climbing structures.

Inspired by the hit Kung Fu Panda films, Po’s Kung Fu Training Camp brings the Panda Village to life. Within both wet and dry play areas, visitors will have the opportunity to help the pandas wash and dry their laundry with enormous water cannons, dump buckets, giant fans and more. There will also be oversized merry-go-round noodle bowls from Mr. Ping’s Noodle Shop. Additionally, Po Live!, is a digital, interactive meet-and-greet experience that gives guests the opportunity to interact with the famous Dragon Warrior himself.

DreamWorks Land will also feature DreamWorks Imagination Celebration, a multisensory adventure that combines hit pop songs, high-energy dancing, advanced technology and more to create an imaginative party atmosphere that will transport guests to the worlds of their favorite characters within the all-new DreamWorks Theater. At DreamWorks Character Zone, guests can meet and interact with their favorite DreamWorks characters like Gabby from Gabby’s Dollhouse and more.




This past October, Journey of Water, an all-new attraction inspired by Moana, opened at the park. Offering a lush and tropical walking trail, the interactive experience allows guests to see water in its various forms throughout the water cycle and have the chance to interact with it in magical ways like Moana did with the ocean. An attraction for all guests, the area features accessible pathways, wet and dry path options, and shaded areas to rest in. As guests walk along the trail, they will come across Te Fiti, who is seen protecting water as it travels through the water cycle. Other beloved characters from the movie are carved in rock formations. Across the way, guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with Moana in a new area of World Nature.

Guests of Epcot will also enjoy seeing a new statue of Walt Disney. Unveiled late last year, the statue, entitled “Walt the Dreamer,” can be found at a new area of the park, Dreamers Point (behind Spaceship Earth) overlooking another new section, World Celebration Gardens, which includes lots of greenery, shade and seating.



Coming this summer is the highly anticipated musical boat ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, where New Orleans artist Sharika Mahdi’s artwork served as inspiration for the attraction. As they enter the queue, guests will be treated to the sweet scents of beignets frying and artwork from Louisiana artist Malaika Favorite as well as an original metalwork weathervane from third-generation master blacksmith Darryl Reeves and his apprentice, Karina Roca. The ride picks up right after the end of The Princess and the Frog film. As guests float through the cypress trees and Spanish moss of a beautiful Louisiana bayou, they will encounter dozens of entirely new audio-animatronics figures as well as authentic New Orleans music. This ride takes over for Splash Mountain, which permanently closed last year.



One of the newest additions to the park is not a ride or an attraction but rather a precious baby elephant born this past December. Corra, the 3-foot, 300-pound-plus baby, made her park debut in February and enjoys staying close to her mother Nadirah, who was also born at Animal Kingdom, while exploring her new surroundings at Kilimanjaro Safaris. Corra joins three generations of female elephants living together, one of the few herds to do so at a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


SeaWorld is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first park’s opening in San Diego in 1964, as well as SeaWorld Orlando’s 50th anniversary, which took place this past December. The company is currently commemorating the special occasions with its “So Much More to Sea” campaign, which includes many new shows and attractions, such as a new Cirque-style live entertainment show. Coming to the park later this spring is Penguin Trek, an immersive family coaster. Riders will board unique snowmobile-styled ride cars transporting them on an expedition through the Antarctic wilderness with two launches, at speeds of up to 43 mph, on a 3,020-foot track that traverses both indoors and outdoors, with a grand finale arrival at the penguin habitat, where guests can see real live penguins.



The first-ever life-sized Lego Ferrari 296 GTS arrived at the park last month as part of the resort’s new Lego Ferrari Build and Race attraction. The interactive attraction promises to put the “power, speed, and luxury of Ferrari directly into the creative hands of guests of all ages.”

As guests approach the garage of the new attraction, they are greeted by the lifelike vehicle, which has working headlights, a driver’s door that opens and a roaring engine. It is 15 feet long by 7 1/2 feet wide by 4 feet tall and weighs almost two tons. Creating this masterpiece took a team of 10 nearly 1,900 hours to build. Designed for visitors to “stretch their minds and creativity,” the attraction features three unique zones for guests to build, test and customize their car before participating in a virtual race for the coveted checkered flag. Younger drivers are also able to create their own designs in the Lego Duplo build zone, complete with larger bricks for smaller hands.

This fall, Legoland will also feature a brand-new freestanding aquarium, Sea Life Florida Resort. It will offer a diverse range of marine life, captivating exhibits and a voyage of oceanic exploration, complete with the ultimate seascape: The Theme Park Under the Sea.




International Drive is expected to have a unique new animal encounter attraction later this year. Cool Zoo Wildlife Center will offer 10,000 square feet of indoor wildlife experiences and interactive education. Guests can explore the exhibits and learn about animals up close, such as sloths, kangaroos, lemurs, alligators, snakes, capybaras and porcupines. There will also be educational attractions and activities ranging from gemstone mining to fossil finding in a 360 virtual reality machine. Also, coming to I-Drive later this year will be SENSO Beach Club, a new 40,000-square-foot entertainment complex, featuring two pools, multiple bars and a rooftop area.



For over 30 years, Old Town has been a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The 18-acre property is comprised of over 70 unique shops, restaurants, bars, rides and family-friendly attractions. Strolling the tree-lined brick streets feels as though you have stepped back in time, especially with events such as the weekly car show, Saturday Nite Classic Car Cruise.