It’s almost 2016, which means you’re probably wondering what new Orlando attractions are in store. A whole new line-up of thrilling attractions, top-notch entertainment and exceptional dining is coming to Central Florida. Read on to find new things to do and places to stay, as well as get the scoop on all of the exciting new theme park attractions opening in 2016.
Universal Orlando Resort
One of the most iconic movie creatures in history—King Kong—is making his debut at Universal’s Island of Adventure summer 2016. Skull Island: Reign of Kong journey deep into a mysterious island, exploring ancient temples and encountering hostile native, while the mighty beast fights to save you. It will be a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional new ride for your life.
Mako, Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster, will open at SeaWorld summer 2016. Named for one of the ocean’s fastest sharks, the ride will reach speeds of 73mph as it soars along a steel track of almost 5,000-feet. The hypercoaster, which induces a feeling of weightlessness, will be the centerpiece of a shark-themed two-acre plaza dedicated to educating guests on the importance of sharks to the environment.
Frozen fans are sure to love Epcot’s newest addition, a Frozen ride named “Frozen Ever After.” Located in the Norway pavilion of World Showcase, riders will travel to Arendelle during the kingdom’s Winter Festival. Through cutting-edge technology, they will share the journey and celebration with favorite character from the beloved film.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Cobra’s Curse, a new family thrill ride, will open at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2016. This unique spin-style coaster is the only one of its kind in the world. Riders will experience a vertical lift, forward-facing and backward-facing positions, and a free-spinning position. In addition, there is a face-to-face encounter with an 80-foot snake icon and trek over the Serengeti Plain.
Loews Sapphire Falls Resort
Universal Orlando Resort is opening its fifth resort, Lowest Sapphire Falls, in the summer of 2016. A laidback Caribbean theme gives way to a lagoon setting and towering waterfall. There are 1,000 rooms and suites, a 16,000-square-foot pool with waterslides and white sand beaches, as well as four on-site restaurant. Plus, resort guests enjoy exclusive Universal Orlando Resort privileges like early admission and shuttle services.
Orlando City Stadium
One of the other new Orlando attractions set to open in summer 2016 is the Orlando City Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium home to the Orlando City Lions. Located downtown, a block from the Amway Center, the stadium will be a welcome addition to the Orlando sports scene.
This revamped Downtown Disney, known as Disney Springs, continues to open in phases. In 2016, the remaining phases will open. The expansion, when finished, will more than double the number of shops, restaurant and other attractions which means more than 150 operators will be open for business. New tenants opening in 2016 include APEX b Sunglass hut, Art of Shaving, Chapel Hats, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, Havaianas, Sanuk and Sound Lion. Celebrity chef Art Smith will open Homecoming, a restaurant focused on southern specialties with a Florida twist.
Come 2017, I-Drive 360 will be home to the world tallest coast—SKYPLEX. The 570-foot tall attraction will feature the first polercoaster, a vertical ride with a skyscraper-style track. An observation deck, restaurant and lounge will be at the top of the complex.
Bonus: Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is meticulously working on the new Avatar-themed land, set to open in Animal Kingdom in 2017. Floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforest and a banshee flying attraction, as well as after dark entertainment, will immerse guests in the world of Pandora. Expansion on Star Wars and Toy Story attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are also in progress.
Bonus: Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort
Volcano Bay, a new Orlando water park, has opening date set for 2017. The highly-themed, immersive topical environment will be located within Universal Orlando Resort south off Cabana Bay Beach Resort.
These are some of the highlights of new Orlando attractions in 2016. Start making vacation plans now to be one of the first to experience these world-class additions to Central Florida.
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Orlando to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.