Which New Theme Park Attractions Are Opening Soon?

June 17, 2020, 9:12 PM · Even though theme parks around the world are operating with sharply reduced capacities as they return, some parks are going ahead with their new attractions for the 2020 season. Let's look at the new thrills on the schedule for the month ahead.

The first new attraction to debut after the shutdowns was The Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios Florida, which is now in soft-open technical rehearsals. The mixed-media, live-action stunt show features a 130-feet wide by 28-feet tall LED screen, an advanced projection mapping system, and a variety of high-tech props to recreate the action and intensity of a Jason Bourne film.

Also at Universal Orlando, the Cinemark website now says that the Universal Cinemark at Universal CityWalk Orlando movie theaters will be reopening on July 3. Back to the Future, Ghostbusters and Jaws will be on the schedule, as the theaters use the lack of any new Hollywood releases to pay tribute to three franchises that used to have attractions at Universal Studios Florida.

Elsewhere this month, Efteling in The Netherland will open its new Max and Moritz dual family coaster from Mack Rides on June 20.

Coming up in July, Hersheypark kicks off the Independence Day holiday weekend with its return, featuring the debut of Candymonium on July 3. This Bolliger & Mabillard coaster will be the park's longest, fastest, and tallest when it opens.

The next day, in Santa Claus, Indiana, Holiday World reopens its Splashin' Safari water park for the season, welcoming its new water coaster, Cheetah Chase. This will be the park's third water coaster, making Holiday World and Splashin' Safari the self-proclaimed water coaster capital of the world.

At the end of the month, Germany's Europa Park will open its new version of its Pirates in Batavia ride on July 30. The park has rebuilt the indoor water ride that was destroyed by fire in 2018, this time adding new tech and animation throughout.

And sometime this month, Ohio's Kings Island aims to open its new thrill ride for 2020, Orion - a Bolliger & Mabillard giga coaster with a 300-foot drop and a top speed of 91 mph. Update: Kings Island announced Thursday that the ride will open on July 12, with passholder previews staring July 2.

For more on upcoming attractions at leading parks around the world, please visit our What's Under Construction at Disney, Universal and Other Top Theme Parks page.

Replies (6)

June 17, 2020 at 9:23 PM

When do you think Disney will finish Avengers Campus?

June 17, 2020 at 10:25 PM

I’d guess early next year. But who knows yet?

June 18, 2020 at 12:44 AM

Hmm I wonder about Emperor at sea world san diego. That one seemed to have been making good process. Secret life of pets was ready to go too at Universal studios hollywood.

June 18, 2020 at 1:06 AM

The latest updates I've heard...

About 75% of the attractions announced by Six Flags have been postponed to 2021. Those in Georgia and Texas will likely still open this year, but expect the rest of them to be delayed. It's also possible that some may change parks as other capital projects in 2021 get reworked.

SeaWorld has had liens placed against a majority of their 2020 projects, so it is unknown when those will be opening even if the parks do. My guess is they'll pay them off one at a time, and I had previously heard about half are still intended for 2020 while the other half will likely be 2021.

Disneyland is hoping to have Avengers Campus open around Black Widow's release date in November of this year, but only if the park has room to accommodate the additional visitors. Otherwise, expect it to open sometime in the first half of 2021. WDW is postponing all attraction openings until out of area tourism returns to sufficient levels to justify doing so.

Most other parks are moving ahead as planned, with 2020 attractions planned to debut at some point this summer. However, that is contingent on them being allowed to open, and we're at the point where I expect seasonal parks that have yet to confirm an opening date may start announcing that they're remaining closed for the year.

June 18, 2020 at 9:02 AM

The construction liens on the SWE coasters are a very odd development, and there's some speculation that they will prevent any of the new coasters from opening in 2020. It's very strange that a major corporation to allow a situation like this become so contentious and public. Either SWE is truly broke or they are trying to leverage the current financial climate to renegotiate contracts to create a more favorable financial outcome by either reducing the overall costs of the projects or spread the costs out over a longer term.

Regardless of the reasoning, this is not a great look, particularly when combined with impressions of guests who have returned to their parks since they reopened and were unimpressed with their commitment to safety and enforcement of the new rules established to keep guests and employees safe and healthy.

June 18, 2020 at 9:10 AM

Cash flow definitely appears to be an issue at SWE. We had signed up for a couple summer camps that got cancelled in May and we requested refunds, which were being offered to us. This is one of very few things SWE is allowing refunds on, and the response to the refund request is telling:

"We have submitted your order for a refund request. As you might imagine, given the current environment we are experiencing an unusually high volume of requests. Your request is extremely important to us and will be processed in the order in which it was received."

Perhaps I also need to file a lien?

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