Discover fresh reasons to visit Orlando in 2021, including all-new experiences, dining options and places to stay at our theme parks and all over town.
Updated August 18, 2021
Anyone looking ahead to brighter days in 2021 will be delighted to discover brand-new reasons to enjoy a getaway in Orlando, recently named the top trending U.S. destination for 2021 by Sojern. Ranging from fresh theme park thrill rides to tantalizing restaurants to innovative places to stay, the Theme Park Capital of the World continually evolves, and 2021 will be no exception. We don’t want you to miss a second of it!
Featuring theme park rides and shows, attractions beyond the parks, incredible hotels, and innovative dining, here are your new reasons to visit Orlando in 2021!
Learn more: What’s New in Orlando
Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy travel in Orlando, and check with your favorite attractions and other Orlando businesses for their current status.
See what’s coming to Orlando’s open-air theme parks in 2021, including new rides, shows and more!
Learn more: Orlando’s Theme Parks Welcome You Back
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort added a thrilling new show in 2020 that Jason Bourne and action fans won’t want to miss, and a brand-new ride for thrill-seekers and dinosaur fans alike. Plus, check this blog’s “New Hotels & Resorts” section for details about Universal’s Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites!
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Jurassic World VelociCoaster
Based on the blockbuster movie franchise, this new species of coaster has arrived at Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort! Spanning more than 4,700 feet of track, it is now Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster, featuring a story that expands what you’ve seen on the big screen. It also boasts a series of intense maneuvers that will catapult you up to 70 mph and 155 feet in the air with the swiftest of prehistoric predators, including two pulse-pounding launches and a 360-degree barrel roll, a zero-gravity inverted stall, and going airborne during the towering "Top Hat," propelling you 155 feet in the air before an 80-degree drop. Brave the hunt!
Jurassic World franchise ™ & © 2021 Universal City Studios LLC and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
The Bourne Stuntacular
In 2020, Universal Studios Florida debuted this all-new, cutting-edge, live-action stunt show based on the blockbuster Bourne film franchise. Using a never-before-seen hybrid of stage magic and cinema, the edge-of-your-seat experience follows Jason Bourne around the globe as he’s pursued by sinister characters.
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Although it’s debut date was recently pushed back to February 2022, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster will feature four airtime-filled launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond-vertical drop in Florida — a 93-foot-tall spike with a 100-degree angle!
Florida’s first-ever dueling waterslide is now open at Aquatica Orlando! You and a family member or friend can race side-by-side at top speeds, navigating tight loops and accelerations through indoor and outdoor sections of nearly 650 feet of splashing slides.
Learn more: Orlando Water Parks
Now available at Discovery Cove, this exclusive animal experience invites you to feed and learn about flamingos in an outdoor setting.
Learn more: Orlando Ecotourism
Walt Disney World® Resort
In late 2019 and early 2020, Walt Disney World Resort gained two new attractions that will be brand-new to most Orlando visitors. They’re also gearing up for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” — a 50th anniversary gala that’s set to kick off on October 1, 2021!
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The milestone is such a big deal that Walt Disney World has coined a new word — “EARidescence” — to describe what you’ll see when you visit. In addition to golden bunting and a 50th anniversary crest at Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom® Park, the celebration will also include special nighttime magic at all four Disney parks’ icons, including the Tree of Life® at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, and Spaceship Earth at EPCOT®.
All this, plus sparkling new looks for Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and a wealth of other surprises. Stay tuned for more details as they’re announced!
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Billed as one of the most ambitious, immersive experiences ever undertaken by Walt Disney Imagineering, this groundbreaking attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will place you aboard a Resistance transport that’s captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer. Accordingly, expect plenty of action when you visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
Learn more: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Believe it or not, Mickey Mouse never starred in his own ride at a Disney theme park until the premiere of this attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Using cutting-edge technologies to transform classic 2-D cartoons into immersive 3-D adventures, it’s your ticket to entering the worlds of Mickey and Minnie’s beloved animated films.
Learn more: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Everyone’s favorite “Little Chef” is cooking up something really big for Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary, because the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT is set for October 1 of this year — coinciding with the anniversary’s exact date! In this delicious new attraction, you will feel like you’ve shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as your scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant on a wild adventure for the whole family (no height requirement!). When rounding the corner into this new portion of the pavilion, you will be transported into a fanciful version of Paris that feels straight out of the animated film.
Based on Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-winning Ratatouille, the experience will be part of a newly expanded France pavilion inside EPCOT that will also open October 1. Joining the pavilion on the same day, La Crêperie de Paris will be a new restaurant offering both table- and quick-service options, featuring sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes (naturally gluten friendly), and authentic French hard cider.
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort
Live the pirate’s life at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort with a brand-new stunt show that’s already available!
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Brickbeard’s Watersport Stunt Show
Ahoy! Watch Brickbeard’s buccaneer recruits pass swashbuckling skill tests on the high seas at this epic water stunt show, new at LEGOLAND Florida Resort! Thrill to a never-before-seen female LEGO® pirate character, original music, and gravity-defying water stunts that include wakeboarding, barefoot-skiing, jump acts and an iconic ski pyramid. Plus, an all-new flyboard act takes this show to heroic heights above the legendary Lake Eloise!
This immersive new experience invites kids and their parents to build, unbuild and rebuild the world of their dreams with LEGO bricks! Inside, you’ll find a 6-foot-wide LEGO globe built out of more than 200,000 bricks, plus four themed stations where you can create your masterpieces: Vehicles, Ninjas, Creatures and Animals, and Dragons, Knights and Princesses. There’s even a DUPLO station for younger guests! Once complete, you’ll have the chance to take a selfie with your model and share it on social media using #RebuildTheWorld.
See what else is new in Orlando for 2021, including attractions, restaurants, resorts and more!
Learn more: Things to Do Besides Theme Parks
ICON Park is adding four more reasons to visit in 2021! Located on International Drive, the open-air entertainment, dining and shopping hub on International Drive is already home to The Wheel, Orlando StarFlyer and other popular attractions, as well as enticing restaurants such as Blake Shelton’s Ole Red (which opened in 2020), Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit, and more.
Learn more: ICON Park
Museum of Illusions
Now open, Museum of Illusions is a mind-bending “edutainment” experience with 50 interactive, immersive and mentally deceptive exhibits based on math, science, and psychology. Fun for all ages!
Learn more: Museum of Illusions
In the Game ICON Park
This brand-new, 7,000-square-foot family entertainment center and arcade features 70 games, an interactive mirror maze, interactive virtual reality experiences, themed escape rooms and more.
ICON Park Slingshot™
Set to open later in 2021, this 300-foot-tall, two-tower attraction will be the world’s tallest slingshot ride! Expect to be launched out of an “exploding volcano” 450 feet straight up into the sky while reaching speeds up to 100 mph.
ICON Park Drop Tower
This new attraction will become the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet when it opens later in 2021, tilting you forward 30 degrees to face the ground before free falling nearly 400 feet at speeds exceeding 75 mph.
An all-new indoor entertainment center on International Drive, Dezerland Park offers several experiences, including the longest indoor dual go-karting tracks in Florida, bowling, arcade games and a trampoline park. Its signature attraction, The Auto Experience at Dezerland Park, is home to over 2,000 vehicles featuring the world's largest collection of Batman vehicles, plus James Bond vehicles, micro cars, motorized bikes and more.
Axecelsior Axe Throwing
Part of Dezerland Park, Axecelsior Axe Throwing puts a fun twist on the standard activity with moving targets, a variety of games and end-grain wood. They also have traditional-style scoring targets for competitive throwers, and kids can even get in on the fun with safety axes for little ones. It’s a true axe-perience!
Sky Hawk at Fun Spot America
In May 2021, Fun Spot America’s Orlando location has added a new, 90-foot family swing ride, Sky Hawk, featuring both traditional, side-by-side, two-passenger ride seating, as well as side-by-side, two-passenger horizontal (prone) seating. Also boasting a programmable LED package with vivid colors such as purple, magenta, yellow and orange, the new ride will elevate you to new heights while spinning at 10 RPMs.
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Frontyard Festival™ at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Through December 2021, enjoy the country’s first socially distanced music festival with this innovative series that keeps safety top of mind while providing world-class entertainment that includes music, comedy, movies and more. Taking place at downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and presented by AdventHealth, the outdoor Frontyard Festival series invites you to book a private, elevated box for up to five people, spaced 6 feet apart from other boxes, where you can order food and drinks from local restaurants while watching the show.
Learn more: Orlando Events
Personal Experiences at The Mall at Millenia
Close to Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, The Mall at Millenia is now offering complimentary Personal Stylist and Personal Shopping experiences. The two-hour Styling sessions are available during mall hours, and Personal Shopping experiences include in-person hotel delivery, if desired.
Planet Play at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Located on Florida’s east coast about an hour’s drive from our tourism districts, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has opened a fully immersive, multiple-story play experience. Designed for a younger generation of space explorers ages 2 – 12, Planet Play is an indoor, interactive activity and learning area that brings space right here to Earth.
Many high-profile eateries opened in Orlando over the past year and will still be new to you if it’s been a year or more since your last visit — including these standouts!
Part of ICON Park, Ole Red is a restaurant headed by country superstar Blake Shelton, merging southern hospitality, good food and live country music.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
Learn more: Top Orlando Chefs
Knife & Spoon
A fresh addition at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, this restaurant is a new concept from Chef John Tesar, a James Beard Award semifinalist and Top Chef contestant.
The Hampton Social
Offering lively dining experiences that seamlessly transition from day-to-night, The Hampton Social features exceptional food, cocktails and live music in a beautifully designed atmosphere. Located at Pointe Orlando on International Drive, this is Florida's first outpost of the famous Chicago original.
Learn more: Pointe Orlando
City Works Eatery & Pour House
New to Disney Springs, City Works Eatery & Pour House is a premier sports restaurant and bar boasting unique menu items and 90 craft beers on draft.
Fish & Chips
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has brought his take on classic English street food to ICON Park.
With more than 450 hotels and resorts to choose from, plus vacation home and condo rentals, you’ll always find perfect accommodations in Orlando — especially now that we’ve added even more options! Keep in mind that these join other new properties that debuted in 2020, including JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa and Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center.
Learn more: Stay With Confidence in Orlando
Universal’s Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites
Universal Orlando Resort’s 2,050-room Universal’s Endless Summer Resort — Dockside Inn and Suites opened in December 2020, joining its sister hotel, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort — Surfside Inn and Suites.
Learn more: Universal Orlando Resort’s Awesome Hotels
Disney’s Riviera Resort
Celebrating the grandeur of Europe, this Deluxe Villa Resort and Disney Vacation Club property opened in late 2019 with studios, one- and two-bedroom villas, and three-bedroom grand villas. You can also look forward to numerous resort benefits depending on the time of your visit, including immediate access to the new Disney Skyliner gondola system.
Learn more: Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando
New to downtown Orlando, AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando has 180 modern guest rooms with a sleek European-inspired design and a SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with 360-degree city views and creative mixology, creating a true high-rise experience in the heart of the city.
Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is expected to open Walt Disney World Swan Reserve this summer. The 14-story, 349-room hotel tower will feature meeting rooms with rooftop terraces, a restaurant, full-service health club, 90-foot-long pool and more.
These are some of the best new reasons to visit Orlando in 2021, but keep in mind that we add fresh rides, resorts, restaurants and more every year. See what else is new in Orlando since your last visit, and refer to our blog or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest for the latest updates from the Theme Park Capital of the World!
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