Walt Disney World in 2017 opened its most ambitious theme park land to date. Pandora - The World of Avatar brings James Cameron's 3D aliens-vs.-developers film to life in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Visitors walk under floating mountains, fly with Mountain Banshees and float through a bioluminescent rainforest in the new land, which opened May 27, 2017. Also new in Disney's Animal Kingdom for 2017 is Rivers of Light, a night-time show on the park's Discovery River.
Other notable attractions debuting in 2017 include:
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout at Disney's California Adventure: Disney replaced The Twilight Zone theme for the park's Tower of Terror drop ride with the narrative from the Tokyo DisneySea version, swapping Taneleer Tivan for Harrison Hightower and bringing the popular Marvel franchise to a Disney theme park ride for the first time in the United States. It also opened May 27.
Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy at Efteling: Visitors collectively will choose one of three different routes within the palace, each offering unique adventures and interactive elements, in this US$38 million attraction — the Dutch theme park's fourth major dark ride.
Voletarium at Europa Park: Billed as Europe's largest flying theater, Voletarium takes visitors on a Soarin'-style journey to some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. The most expensive individual attraction in the history of Europa Park, the attraction will accommodate 1,400 visitors per hour in two theaters, each with 21-meter screens.
Nemo and Friends SeaRider at Tokyo DisneySea: Replacing the StormRider show, this attraction follows the characters of "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory" on an undersea adventure.
Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida: The heart of the new Tonight Show-themed attraction is a flying theater ride that allows visitors to "race" the Tonight Show host through the streets of New York. But the stuff before the theater ride is even more impressive, including a museum-like tribute to Tonight Show history and a "green room" with live appearances by Hashtag the Panda and the Ragtime Girls.
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Japan: Minion Park is a plussed version of the Minion-themed mini-land at Universal Studios Hollywood. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem will anchor the new land, which replaces the old Back to the Future ride.
Submarine Quest at SeaWorld San Diego: This kiddie track ride includes some light gaming elements and anchors the park's new Ocean Explorer children's land.
InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg: InvadR is be a Great Coasters International wooden roller coaster featuring a 74-foot drop, nine airtime hills and a top speed of 48 miles per hour.
Mystic Timbers at Kings Island: Also by Great Coasters International, Mystic Timbers is 3,265 feet in length, reaches 109 feet in height and weaves through the park's forested terrain at speeds up to 53 mph.
Ferrari Land at PortAventura: Phase one of this new Ferrari-themed land at the Spanish resort features Red Force, an Intamin Vertical Accelerator coaster, with a maximum launch speed of 112 mph.
Justice League Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Magic Mountain: Winner of the 2015 Theme Park Insider Award for Best New Attraction when in debuted at Six Flags Over Texas, Justice League Battle for Metropolis challenges riders to join Batman, Superman, and other Justice League heroes to fight The Joker, Lex Luthor, and their armies in a battle for control of the city, all while trying to escape The Joker's toxic laughing gas. The ride and its queue feature two animatronic characters in addition to multiple 3D screens and practical effects. The game takes place on 3D and fog screens, with a 360-degree virtual loop thrown in just for kicks.
Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort: Located on 28 acres next to the Cabana Bay Beach Resort hotel, Volcano Bay offers more than a dozen water-based attractions across four themed zones: Rainforest Village, River Village, Wave Village, and Krakatau.
Not included on this list: Disney's highly anticipated Star Wars Land, which is now under construction at Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida, both in 2019. On each coast, Star Wars Land will feature two major attractions: one where riders will fly the Millennium Falcon and another where they will be caught in a battle with the villainous First Order. The land also will include Cantina dining, character meet and greets, abundant retail, and role-playing cast members, creating the experience of visiting a new planet in the Star Wars universe.
Disney also is working on a Toy Story Land for Disney's Hollywood Studios, occupying the space where Catastrophe Canyon, the boneyard, and costume shop used to stand.
Universal Orlando also is building Fast & Furious - Supercharged for a 2018 debut. A plussed version of the Studio Tour encounter of the same name at Universal Studios Hollywood, the attraction will walk visitors through a garage filled with show cars from the popular Fast & Furious series before they board trams for a simulated high-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles. Fast & Furious - Supercharged replaces the old Disaster! attraction in the park.
Beyond 2018, Universal's next big announced project is Nintendo, for which the company has secured the in-park attraction rights. Universal has not announced any specific rides or attractions for its Nintendo project, which will include lands at Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan. The Japan version will open in 2020.
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