If you think that Disney World and the other theme parks in the Orlando area just stay the same from year to year, then you are wrong. There is always a new ride, a new attraction and sometimes even a whole new theme park to make this year’s visit to the Orlando area much more exciting than your last visit. Let’s take a look at the latest offerings from the major entertainment centers in the greater Orlando area.
Starting with Universal Studios the big news is that they unveiled a new ride based on Fox’s blockbuster hit series, The Simpsons. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson — stars of TV’s longest running series — ride along with guests in the new attraction, which takes them on a hysterical, almost unimaginable adventure. If you or anyone in your family is a big Simpsons’ fan, then this ride is not to be missed.
Not to be outdone by Universal Studios, Disney World has a long list of new features and attractions. First of all, Disney-MGM Studios theme park has been renamed Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The new name, which reflects how the park has grown from representing the golden age of movies to a celebration of the new entertainment that today’s Hollywood has to offer, debuted in Jan., 2008. The park will unveil the following attractions in the coming months:
* Toy Story Mania! involves an interactive “Toy Story” competition inspired by the film. 3-D glasses put guests in the middle of the action as they board vehicles and zip into a world of exciting midway-style games hosted by their favorite characters. The ride opened in summer 2008.
* “Block Party Bash” encourages guests to play, party and dance at the new interactive Disney parade, which opened in March, 2008.
* “Playhouse Disney — Live on Stage!” introduces a whole new cast of friends engaging children in singing, clapping and dancing. The new show opened in Feb., 2008.
* At “The American Idol Experience,” guests will experience the challenge of auditioning, the rush of performing and the thrill of judging performances live on an interactive set. Guest performers with the highest votes will win a guaranteed reservation for future “American Idol” auditions. The attraction is slated to open in Jan., 2009.
The third great entertainment player in the Orlando area, The Busch Entertainment Corporation family of adventure parks, is now known as Worlds of Discovery. Worlds of Discovery parks include Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Waterpark, Busch Gardens Africa, SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove, as well as the company’s other theme parks throughout the country.
Aquatica – SeaWorld’s WaterparkAquatica — SeaWorld’s Waterpark opened in March 2008. The one-of-a-kind park includes up-close animal experiences, high-speed thrills and wide, sandy beaches. Aquatica is the first new water park to open in Orlando in 12 years. It features 36 water slides; six rivers and lagoons and more than 80,000 square feet (7,432 square meters) of beach area. Guests are immersed with live animals in the park, including Commerson’s dolphins, brilliant macaws and colorful fish.
Busch Gardens Africa unveiled an exotic jungle area in the theme park, called Jungala. The four-acre (1.6-hectare) attraction area is to be located in the existing Congo area and includes tiger, orangutan and gibbon habitats mixed with dense landscaping.
As you can see, there are plenty of new things to see at the Orlando theme parks, so now is the time to plan your next visit there. And if you have never been to Disney World and other Orlando venues, then what are you waiting for?