Coming Later This Year
Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen · Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
This Jungle Cruise-themed restaurant will open in the old Adventureland Veranda space by the end of the year.
Hello Kitty Experience · Universal Studios Florida
This shop and meet-and-greet location is taking over the recently closed "Lucy: A Tribute" exhibition space.
Star Wars Launch Bay · Disney's Hollywood Studios
Featuring meet and greets, shops, and exhibits based on the new movies, the Launch Bay will open in the old Animation building.
Coming in 2016
Frozen Ever After · Epcot
This overlay of the old Maelstrom ride will open next spring, along with a new Anna & Elsa meet-and-greet building next door.
Mako · SeaWorld Orlando
Orlando's first Bolliger & Mabillard hyper coaster, which will be the city's tallest and faster, opens next summer.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong · Universal's Islands of Adventure
Kong returns to the Universal Orlando Resort next summer, in this dark ride that will blend 3D imagery and animatronics.
Sapphire Falls Resort · Universal Orlando
Universal Orlando's fifth on-site hotel opens in July 2016.
Soarin' Over the World · Epcot
The new version of Disney's Soarin' film opens sometime next year, along with a third theater for the show, to provide addition capacity for what is often Epcot's longest wait.
Rivers of Light · Disney's Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom's first night-time spectacular also debuts sometime in 2016.
Disney Springs · Walt Disney World
The transformation of Downtown Disney will wrap up by next year, with coming additions of the Indiana Jones-themed Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, Morimoto Asia, The Edison, and STK Orlando.
Coming in 2017
Volcano Bay Water Park · Universal Orlando
Universal's new 33-acre, on-site, themed water park opens in 2017 and replaces Wet n' Wild, which will close at the end of next summer.
Fast & Furious · Universal Studios Florida
You'll walk through the warehouse where Dom and his gang work on their high-performance cars, then we are guessing you'll be invited to test-ride a new, experimental vehicle. When you do, of course, something goes terribly wrong as arch-enemy Shaw attacks... and the gang has to save the day.
Pandora - The World of Avatar · Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's next new land will open in two years, transporting visitors to the planet Pandora, the setting for James Cameron's Avatar. The land's highlight will be a new Soarin'-style, 3D Banshee ride called "Flight of Passage." There also will be a boat ride through a bioluminescent forest, and of course, those massive, floating mountains outside.
Coming in 2018 (more or less, we think)
From this point forward, we are guessing on opening dates.
Toy Story Land · Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney will recreate Andy's backyard in this new land, will will feature a new entrance to the popular Toy Story Midway Mania ride, as well as a new spinner and a family coaster.
Nintendo · Universal Orlando
Universal has announced plans to bring Nintendo-themed attractions to Universal Orlando, but hasn't yet said where or when. If someone's taking bets, we'd wager a Butterbeer on Nintendo becoming the replacement for Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone, in 2018 or 2019.
Coming in 2020 (you think)
Star Wars Land · Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's largest new themed land expansion will feature two new rides, one placing you in the middle of a battle with the First Order, and another where you take control of the Millennium Falcon. Immersive locations, stores, restaurants and a cantina bar complete the land, for which Disney has yet to announce an opening date.
Of course, this list includes only new developments that parks have officially announced. It doesn't include planned refurbishments, including the announced improvements to the Hulk coaster at Islands of Adventure, or upcoming special events, such as the Star Wars-themed Seasons of the Force at Walt Disney World. The rumor mill also adds several other potential new attractions onto the schedule for the next five years, including a replacement for the Twister show at Universal Studios Florida, new Marvel-themed rides at IOA, and maybe even another Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion.
When will be your next trip to Orlando, and for what?Tweet
Now, if Universal goes and announces a big expansion for Jurassic Park or something of that magnitude for 2019 my plans may change, but for now 2018 is the plan. I'm also determined to visit by the end of the decade so if it won't be ready until beyond 2020 it will just have to wait until next time.
Hmm... tough call.
Despite rumors that Pandora: World of Avatar may be delayed to 2018, there may be a renewed sense of urgency to open it in 2017 as originally planned especially now that Universal Orlando will have not only Volcano Bay open but the Fast and Furious attraction as well in 2017.
Given how Universal has publicly stated of spending half a billion annually as well as how fast they bring attractions to reality, they will probably open Nintendo attraction(s) in 2018. Disney will probably open Toy Story by then hopefully to respond.
As it has been reported that Disneyland will not start construction on Star Wars Land till 2017, they probably plan to open it in 2020 in time for their 65th anniversary and Star Wars Land should open in 2021 in WDW for its 50th anniversary.
Universal could also open a Jurassic attraction in 2018 to coincide with the release of Jurassic World 2.. Just saying
I put the over/under on your first Florida visit at 2026. :P
There is an interesting article on TPT predicting what WDW might look like in 2025?
It made me think; will Seaworld Parks and Entertainment (SPE) still remain intact in 2026 given their lacklustre performance lately.
I do recall an article now in the TPI archives mentioning that SPEs competitors purchasing it very remote and highly unlikely.
However, if Blackstone ever decided to break up SPE and sell off the assets piecemeal (they are a private equity company after all!) my scenario below might not be that bizarre after all.
Busch Gardens Tampa becoming Six Flags over Tampa. BGT rides would look good with the DC comic theme.
SPE's San Antonio Assets may appeal to Six Flags increasing Six Flags' dominance in Texas.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg becoming Disney's America. At least they should be less opposition there and could always retheme certain rides and move them to Disneyland Paris and World Showcase at Epcot both of which are in dire need of TLC.
Seaworld Orlando becoming Jurassic World connected to Universal Studios Orlando via a monorail running along International Drive. The Antarctica attraction could become a Minions ride. Would be a shame to put that trackless ride system to waste.
A publicity stunt could be a fast and furious style street race in the middle of the night down international drive! Mind you rides based on animatronic dinosaurs might have the same technical issues that once plagued Jaws the ride did way back when!
I do indeed realize that my surreal scenario has its faults such as what to do with the sea animals at SPE and who would want Seaworld San Diego given the development restrictions there. Merlin Entertainment perhaps? Orlando Eye etal might not have happened so soon without Legoland Florida in place already.
But I think that only a seismic shifting event like this would seriously compel Disney to "bite the bullet" and buy back the Eastern US Marvel theme park rights from Universal. Or speed up the development of Star Wars Land at the very least. The same TPT article stated that not having Avengers at the Florida theme parks is clearly and I quote "killing Disney"
Just really wishful thinking I know, but it doesn't hurt to dream, does it?
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