Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Twenty-One Theme Park Attractions to Look Forward to 2021

November 27, 2020, 3:40 PM · Reports that effective Covid-19 vaccines are on the way have many fans feeling optimistic about theme park vacations in the summer of 2021. So let's look at 21 new (or new-ish) attractions that many theme park fans will get to experience for the first time in 2021.

Our list of 21 for 2021 include attractions that many fans missed because they opened in late 2019 and 2020, as well as new the rides and shows we expect (or, at least, hope) to see opened by the end of next summer. And this is just our U.S. list — we have not counted great new attractions outside the United States, including Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan and the new Universal Studios Beijing.

Which of these attractions are you most looking forward to seeing next year?

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland — These are the Star Wars rides you've been looking for. While fans have been snapping up all available virtual queue slots, millions more Disney and Star Wars fans have not yet had the chance to experience what we think is one of Walt Disney Imagineering's greatest recent creations.

West Coast Racers, Six Flags Magic Mountain — Six Flags' fun Premier Rides quad-launched, Mobius-track, street-racing coaster ran only for a couple of months before the park closed due to Covid-19, so it will be a new experience for most riders when the park eventually reopens.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, Disney's Hollywood Studios — The first theme park ride devoted to Disney's First Couple provides a potent one-two punch with Rise of the Resistance, which is located just around the corner.

Magic Happens, Disneyland - The park's new parade only got a couple of weeks before the park closed in March. But it's a winner and we hope that it can return soon after the park reopens.

The Bourne Stuntacular, Universal Studios Florida — Universal's new stunt show replaces Terminator 2: 3D with next-generation tech.

Hershey's Chocolatetown & Candymonium, Hersheypark — Hersheypark got a new entrance this year, as well as its tallest, fastest, and longest coaster yet.

Orion, Kings Island — Meanwhile, Kings Island welcomed 2020 with a new Bolliger & Mabillard Giga.

Mystic River Falls, Silver Dollar City — The Missouri park took the record for the tallest drop on a rapids ride in North America.

150th Anniversary, Cedar Point — Moving on to what is coming in 2021, Cedar Point postpones its 150 anniversary celebrations to this summer, highlighted by the new Snake River Expedition boat ride and Celebrate 150 Spectacular parade.

Legoland New York — Legoland's new park opens this year north of New York City, highlighted by the Lego Factory Adventure trackless dark ride, on which riders will be turned into Lego Minifigs.

Iron Gwazi, Busch Gardens Tampa — SeaWorld pushed back four of its new-for-2020 coasters until next year, led by the Rocky Mountain Construction makeover of the former Gwazi into the tallest hybrid roller coaster.

Ice BreakerSeaWorld Orlando — In Orlando, the new coaster is a Premier Rides Sky Rocket.

Pantheon, Busch Gardens Williamsburg — While Williamsburg is getting an Intamin Blitz.

Emperor, SeaWorld San Diego — And San Diego is getting California's first B&M dive.

The Lego Movie World, Legoland California — Up the road in Carlsbad, Legoland California was about to debut its installation of The Lego Movie World when the parks closed, including Emmet's Flying Adventure, known as The Lego Movie Masters of Flight in Florida.

Knott's Berry Tales — Return to the Fair, Knott's Berry Farm — Knott's is celebrating its 100th birthday with a Triotech reboot of its classic Knott's Berry Tales dark ride.

The Secret Life of Pets — Off the Leash!, Universal Studios Hollywood — The park closed the very day that this animatronic-driven dark ride was scheduled to open to annual passholders.

The Secret Life of Pets — Off the Leash!

Avengers Campus, Disney California Adventure — Stark Industries sets up shop in the heart of DCA with an interactive new Spider-Man ride, Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure.

Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, Epcot — At Walt Disney World, Epcot expands its France pavilion with an installation of the Ratatouille trackless dark ride from Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.

Harmonious, Epcot — And the World Showcase Lagoon gets a new nighttime spectacular. (Fingers crossed for this one in the summer 2021.)

Harmonious

Jurassic World Velocicoaster, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure — Finally, we close our 21 for 2021 list with Universal's latest Intamin creation, a double-launched coaster with a Top Hat, a 360-degree barrel roll, and a zero-gravity inverted stall.

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Replies (12)

November 27, 2020 at 6:36 PM

Firstly, just wanted to let you know that you mistyped Hershey as Herhsey in the Candymonium title. Secondly, 2021 looks very promising! I think I’m personally most excited for Secret Life of Pets and Spidey, but they all look quite exciting.

November 27, 2020 at 7:51 PM

I’m definitely most excited for Spider-Man, and Velocicoaster. The Secret Life of Pets looks like fun too.

November 27, 2020 at 8:10 PM

I actually managed to make it to a fair number of these this year...

-Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
-Mystic River Falls
-Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (on both coasts)
-The Bourne Stuntacular
-West Coast Racers

Based on current plans for 2021, I intend to hit the following at some point next year...

-Avengers Campus
-Emperor
-Hershey's Chocolatetown
-Ice Breaker
-Iron Gwazi
-Jurassic World Velocicoaster
-Knott's Berry Tales - Return to the Fair
-Magic Happens
-Orion

Of the bunch, I'd say Velocicoaster is the one I'm most excited about, Chocolatetown is the one I'm most looking forward to outside of Florida, and Avengers Campus the local attraction I'm most intrigued by.

November 27, 2020 at 10:23 PM

Of these, I only done

-Rise of the Resistance(Opening Day Disneyland)
-West Coast Racers
-Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash(Select few Team Members were allowed to test it and I was among them. It’s a fun family dark ride and UHS’s most ambitious attraction in the park since Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey).

November 29, 2020 at 12:59 PM

'Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind' at EPCOT. Strange that it is missing from this list. If Harmonious merits a nod under a "fingers crossed" level of confidence, then one of the most exciting new attractions of 2021 certainly should garner some attention.

November 29, 2020 at 3:13 PM

Great looking list. But I’m with TH on this and think Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be completed and belongs on the list.

November 29, 2020 at 6:11 PM

Am I the only one a little disturbed by that mid-ride lift in Mystic Falls? That lift system seems sketchy, as does the move to deposit your boat on that high platform.

November 30, 2020 at 11:17 AM

Iron Gwazi, Ice Breaker and Jersey Devil (conspicuously missing from this list) are the ones that intrigue me the most. So Jersey Devil is not entirely original because we already have Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster & RailBlazer but Jersey Devil will be somewhat more ambitious and accommodate more riders.

November 30, 2020 at 1:14 PM

@thecolonel it looks frightening, and I hope they have more than the standard velcro straps that most raft rides have to keep people from standing up because that would be a huge drop off the side of that lift if someone decided to do something stupid.

December 1, 2020 at 3:26 PM

I sincerely hope I am proven wrong on this one, but I don't believe GotG Cosmic Rewind is expected in 2021. I think this is hype to keep the drool factory going and keep those reservation lines active. I think we would be fortunate to see it Oct 1st 2022.

I think we are going to be lucky to see 1 new major attraction every year for the next 3 years.

I think they will keep the Harmonious project going because the progress is significantly far in. Has while we know the ride building has been completed for a significant amount of time, the set pieces (specifically the interior ride queue building were not even fabricated)

When have you guys ever missed set pieces being moved into show buildings?

2021: Ratatouille, Harmonious
2022: GotG
2023: Tron

December 1, 2020 at 3:46 PM

@Angryduck agreed. I thought to myself, "Gosh, they're going to need seatbelts that can't be opened by the people on the ride," and then I remembered that horrible tragedy a few years ago where a rapids boat flipped over and the people who couldn't escape their seat belts were drowned . . .

Either way, not going on that, haha.

December 4, 2020 at 10:18 AM

Is Tron really only opening in 2023? It looked (at least) half completed in recent construction pics.

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