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A look at exciting new openings for 2021 and beyond

OPENING IN 2021

ATTRACTIONS

Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary celebration will begin Oct. 1, bringing new experiences to all four theme parks and beyond, alongside shimmering EARidescent décor. Guests can enjoy new nighttime spectaculars, specially themed entertainment, the opening of much-anticipated attractions and more. Some of the most anticipated experiences include:

  • Disney Enchantment, an all-new nighttime extravaganza coming to Magic Kingdom Park. The new nighttime spectacular will feature captivating Disney music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot, where guests will shrink to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure.
  • HarmonioUS, at Epcot, the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park, featuring massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
     
  • Disney KiteTales at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, featuring elaborate kites and windcatchers dancing through the air to the beat of beloved Disney songs.
  • La Crêperie de Paris, a new restaurant located in the France pavilion at Epcot, offering both table and quick-service options and featuring a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.

SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

  • Aquatica Orlando’s Riptide Race, Florida’s first-ever dueling waterslide, opened in spring 2021. Starting atop a 68-foot tower, guests race side-by-side at top speeds, navigating tight loops and accelerations through indoor and outdoor sections.
  • The Flamingo Mingle at Discovery Cove is a new, exclusive animal experience where guests can feed and learn about flamingos in an outdoor setting. 

Universal Orlando Resort

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster, opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in June. The ride features intense maneuvers sending riders catapulting up to 70 mph and over 150 feet in the air with the swiftest of prehistoric predators.
  • DreamWorks Destination, an all-new, interactive character experience, opened in the KidZone area of Universal Studios Florida. Guests can interact, dance and be photographed with multiple beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation’s hit film franchises, including Trolls, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda – all in one location.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

  • Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show opened in the spring at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, featuring a new female LEGO® pirate, original music and stunts from wakeboarding to ski pyramids.
  • LEGO® MYTHICA 4D Journey to Mythica, an all-new 4-D movie, premiered spring 2021. Following the movie, guests can see the creatures of LEGO® MYTHICA come to life as they take part in an AR (Augmented Reality) scavenger hunt in MINILAND U.S.A. to find them!

Beyond the Theme Parks

  • ICON Park, located on International Drive and home to The Wheel and Starflyer attractions, welcomes two major thrill rides, an arcade and a selfie museum:

 

  • The Museum of Illusions Orlando features optical, photographic, holographic and interactive illusions, perfect for selfies.
  • The Orlando Slingshot™ and Orlando Free Fall™ – two world-record-setting attractions – are set to open this December. The Orlando Slingshot™ will stand at 300 feet, making it the world’s tallest slingshot. The two-tower attraction will launch two riders out of an “exploding volcano,” approximately 450 feet straight up into the sky, reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. The Orlando Free Fall™ at ICON Park will stand at 430 feet, making it the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower.
  • In The Game ICON Park is a new family entertainment center and arcade featuring 70 games, virtual reality experiences, themed escape rooms and more.
  • Wild Florida doubled the size of its Drive-thru Safari Park this summer to be 170 acres with 4 miles of driving space. With the expansion, the attraction added gemsbok, kudu and springbok to its lineup of 150 animals.
  • Sunset Walk Slingshot™, a new volcano-themed attraction, opens fall 2021 in Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Resort Orlando. The attraction’s towers will stand at 240 feet tall and launch two riders up to 400 feet in the air, reaching speeds of up to 100 mph in under two seconds. 
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex unveiled a new, multiple-story experience designed for space explorers ages 2-12. Planet Play is an indoor, interactive activity area that brings space down to earth.

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

  • The largest White Castle in the world opened its first Florida location since the 1960s in Orlando near Walt Disney World in May 2021.
  • Celebrity chef restaurant Gordan Ramsay Fish & Chips, featuring fried favorites including shrimp, chicken, sausage and a variety of “dirty” chips, opened its first location outside of Las Vegas at ICON Park Orlando in summer 2021.
  • Ole Red, a new restaurant by country superstar Blake Shelton, opened at ICON Park and merges southern hospitality, good food and live country music.

HOTELS & RESORTS

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort opens a new 14-story, 349-room hotel tower, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, this fall. The new property will feature meeting rooms with rooftop terraces, a restaurant, full-service health club, 90-foot-long pool and more.
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort will be renovating all nine floors of guest rooms this fall. The rooms will receive a new look inspired by the Disney-Pixar film “The Incredibles,” featuring futuristic and modern custom artwork in guest rooms and guest corridors along with décor elements from the films.

Beyond the Theme Parks

  • Lake Nona Wave Hotel, a new leading-edge hotel featuring 216 guest rooms, 16 one-bedroom suites and two penthouse suites, opens this fall. Guests can expect an experience elevated by technology yet grounded in wellbeing, including the world’s first Chopra Mind-Body Zone.
  • For a taste of the Orlando cityscape, AC Hotel Orlando Downtown opened earlier this year with a sleek European-inspired design and the SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with 360° city views. 
  • The Tuscan-inspired, 126-room ette Hotel Orlando will open later this summer near the theme parks. Ette hotel will offer unparalleled culinary experiences in partnership with Michelin Star Chef Akira Back, along with The Spa at ette, providing services for everyone from the modern minimalist to the unruly naturalist.
  • Cambria Hotel Orlando Airport opened in spring 2021. The five-story, 108-room hotel is located less than two miles from Orlando International Airport.

TRANSPORTATION

  • The largest construction project in airport history is underway at Orlando International Airport, The South Terminal Complex. Phase one of the $3.82 billion, multi-year project is expected to be substantially completed in the first quarter of 2022.The project will add 15 gates and includes features such as interactive digital media, a state-of-the-art radio frequency baggage system, numerous shops, restaurants, lounge facilities and the Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF), which is designed to accommodate up to three train systems including the Brightline train with service to Miami. The ITF complex also features the “C” parking garage and the Automated People Mover (APM) Complex with continuous APM tram service to the north terminal complex.

WHAT’S NEXT IN 2022

ATTRACTIONS

SeaWorld Orlando Parks & Entertainment

  • Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, will open February 2022. Riders will shiver through family-friendly adventures featuring four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch with a 93-foot tall spike with 100-degree angle, the steepest vertical drop in Florida.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

  • The world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park  will open in 2022 at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The standalone theme park will feature multiple rides, interactive attractions, fun live shows, themed playscapes and water play areas.

Beyond the Theme Parks

  • Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will open in early 2022. The facility achieves an N1 sound rating—the lowest level at which humans can detect sound

HOTELS & RESORTS.

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Walt Disney World unveiled plans for its immersive Star Wars-themed hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, opening in 2022. Guests will "board" the starship Halcyon for an experience that puts them into an all-immersive world of Star Wars. The hotel will debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept that gives each guest a storyline upon arrival.
  • Walt Disney World Resort announced plans to build a nature-inspired, mixed-use resort on Bay Lake. Expected to open by 2022, the deluxe resort will include more than 900 hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club villas themed to complement the property’s natural surroundings.

NEW WITHIN THE PAST YEAR

ATTRACTIONS

Walt Disney World Resort

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, opened the second ride planned for the area, called Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where an escape from The First Order turns into all-out battle.
  • The first-ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March 2020. Guests enter the world of “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts using new technologies that bring the flat cartoon world to life.
  • Mickey Shorts Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios shows an original short film in the style of the popular Disney Channel animated series “Mickey Mouse,” and features photo-opportunity locations for guests.
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along opened January 2020 in the France pavilion at Epcot. The 15-minute film features songs from the animated classic, Beauty and the Beast.
  • Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360, located in the Canada pavilion at Epcot, debuted January 2020 with new scenes and a new story taking guests on a journey through Canada’s landscape, culture and scenery.

Universal Orlando Resort

  • The Bourne Stuntacular debuted at Universal Studios Florida spring 2020. This live-action stunt show based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne film franchise blurs the lines between stage and cinema in a hybrid form of entertainment never seen before.
  • Universal Orlando Resort opened Dockside Inn and Suites as part of Universal’s Endless Summer Resort in December 2020. This coastal-themed hotel joins its sister property, Surfside Inn and Suites, in the destination’s all-new value hotel category. Dockside Inn and Suites offers 2,050 relaxed and casual guest rooms and suites, including two-bedroom suites.

Beyond the Theme Parks

  • Dezerland Action Park, Orlando's largest indoor entertainment, events museum complex is now open. The Orlando Auto Museum, one of the largest privately-owned collection of automobilia in the world, boasts over 100 TV and Movie Cars, including dynamic displays of Hollywood Cars, 007 James Bond, Batmobiles, Vespa Scooters, Military and Micro Cars. The indoor entertainment venue also offers a variety of family activities, including glow-in-the-dark mini golf, an indoor trampoline park, a bowling alley, an indoor karting track, axe-throwing games and more.

HOTELS & RESORTS

  • JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa opened in March 2020 and features a Spa by JW®; resort pool with splash pad; specialty restaurants; and a rooftop terrace boasting nightly views of theme park fireworks.
  • LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s new Pirate Island Hotel opened April 2020. The hotel, located just steps away from the main entrance to the theme park, features 150 rooms, an expansive pool and pool deck, hundreds of LEGO models and numerous character experiences.

About Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, Visit Orlando represents 1,200 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.

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Editor’s Note: For additional press information in multiple languages or high-resolution downloadable images, please visit VisitOrlando.com/media.