Opening in 2016 – What’s new for Orlando, Attractions and More!

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As the summer of 2015 is just beginning I can’t help but to think about all of the wonderful new attractions that are opening in Orlando for 2016. Over the past few years we’ve lost some great attractions, and right on the heels of Universal Orlando announcing the closing of Wet ‘n Wild after 38 years I’m here to bring you ALL of the upcoming attractions to get excited about for 2016.

So where do we begin? How about with Universal Orlando Resort!

Fans of King Kong will be happy to hear that KONG is coming back to Florida in “Skull Island: Reign of Kong.” This amazing attraction set to open in the summer of 2016 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is truly a groundbreaking attraction meant to scare all those we dare explore the ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.

Skull Island Reign of Kong

Those that loved Wet ‘n Wild water park will be happy to hear that Universal Orlando already has plans for a new water park opening in 2017, Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort.  This new water park will offer guests innovative and thrilling attractions along with those moments of relaxation that we all love floating in the warm water surrounded by a very tropical island feel. It’s going to be located just south of their newest resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Universal's Volcano Bay

I’ve told you about Universal Orlando’s upcoming attraction that can scare any fan with its unspeakable terrors. I’ve told you about the amazing new water park that will send you on a tropical adventure. I’ve saved the best for last!

I’m a big fan of staying at any of the Universal Orlando property resorts, so you can imagine how happy I was to hear about the plans for the fifth onsite hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. This new resort will feature 1,000 rooms and suites with a casual Caribbean theme, built around a lagoon and towering waterfall. It’s expected to open in the summer of 2016, so stay tuned for more information on how you can visit this newest resort. I know I plan to be one of the first to stay at Sapphire Falls Resort, shhhh just don’t tell my kids!

Now let’s move over to SeaWorld Orlando, and Busch Gardens Tampa.

Are you a fan of big roller coasters? Well I am! If you are too I have some amazing news. SeaWorld Orlando AND Busch Gardens Tampa are getting a new coaster in each of their parks. Let me break them down for you.

SeaWorld Orlando is bringing us a new 200 foot tall coaster that is going to be Orlando’s tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster. The “Mako” will reach speeds of 73 mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track. This new coaster is named for one of the ocean’s fastest sharks, hence the need for SPEED! The new hypercoaster will be the centerpiece of SeaWorld’s newly themed two acre plaza which will be totally shark themed. Guest’s will also have the chance to learn about the impact humans have on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.

SeaWorld Mako

Busch Gardens Tampa also announced plans for a new thrill ride set to open in 2016. The Cobra’s Curse is a spin coaster featuring a vertical lift, and the only one of its kind in the world. I warn you now its key icon feature is an 80-foot snake! Riders go on a whirlwind adventure as they trek over the park’s Serengeti Plain and explore the mysteries of an Egyptian archaeological excavation. I might have to skip this one! NOT a fan of snakes! Who am I kidding; I’ll be the first in line!

Busch Gardens Tampa Cobra

What’s happening at the Walt Disney World Resort?

Time to talk about all of the new and exciting things going on with the lovable “Mouse!”  Walt Disney World Resort is currently adding a new “update” to a favorite ride in the EPCOT theme park as well as to Downtown Disney which is being transformed into something I believe Walt himself dreamed of for this area.

The Maelstrom ride, located in the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase of EPCOT is be renovated into a new attraction based on Disney’s popular animated film, “Frozen.”  The newest ride, “Frozen Ever After” sets to open in early 2016. The ride will take guests to Arendelle during the kingdom’s Winter Festival. It will feature favorite characters and music from the film. You’ll be amazed with cutting-edge technology too!


Disney Springs, as we will come to know is what’s replacing the “late” Downtown Disney area which is currently being developed into a multi-year transformation to include double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore You’ll have more than 150 establishments, and some you might know by name like APEX by Sunglass Hut, Art of Shaving, Chapel Hats, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, Havaianas, Sanuk and Sound Lion. Disney Springs will open in phases with expected completion in 2016.


Soccer Fans Unite! Orlando City Stadium opens in 2016:

While this might not be a theme park or a fancy new shopping complex it does have a major place in the Orlando area. Orlando can also be known for its sports events being home to the Orlando Magic as well as home to spring training for two Major League Baseball teams. The Atlanta Braves train at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, and the Houston Astros train at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. Well now Orlando will be home to a multipurpose Soccer Stadium. The stadium will be located in downtown Orlando, and scheduled to open summer of 2016. This developing entertainment center is just a short block away from the Amway Center, so you know it’s going to become very popular. The stadium will seat between 25- to 28,000 fans and serve as home to the Orlando City Lions soccer team.

Orlando City Soccer

For more information about planning a magical Orlando vacation with an many On-Site Hotel+ Ticket Packages for Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Parks, Busch Gardens Tampa, and Walt Disney World Resorts contact me anytime. I would love to help you plan the best summer vacation ever!

My name is Leigh Saleh. I’m a Travel Agent with World of Magic Travel. I’m a Universal Orlando Specialist, SeaWorld Parks Specialist, Legoland Florida Specialist and a Disney Destination Specialist as well as many more destinations including cruise lines. Email me today at to book your next “Magical” family vacation to your favorite destination.

You can also visit my Facebook page, click here for more details, and updates on special offersto your favorite travel destinations. You will also find a ton of pictures from Walt Disney World, DisneyCruise Line, SeaWorld, Universal Orlando, and Legoland Florida.

**Photographs property of Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Parks, Busch Gardens, Walt Disney World, and Orlando City Stadium**



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