Summer holidays are in full swing and the plans of thousands of people who booked tickets for their admission to the Florida theme parks are coming into fruition. There’s no doubt that Florida remains the world’s top spot for family fun and unforgettable experiences as it plays host to the most popular attractions.
2012 has been a very busy year for the parks. Universal Studios has new shows and events with the Cinematic Spectacular and SuperStar Parade. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter still remains as one of the most popular attractions of all the parks however.
SeaWorld opened the widely anticipated TurtleTrek this year and recovered some lost ground from previous years. The was also timed well with the opening of SeaVenture and FreshWater Oasis in Discovery Cove, which is in high demand due to its small number of admittance each day.
Walt Disney World has also planned big things this year with the expansion of Fantasyland which includes the ‘Come Dine with Me’ restaurant, inspired from the film Beauty and the Beast.
What’s more, we’ve also seen the arrival of a whole new theme park, LEGOLAND Florida. Not only did this new park arrive late in 2011, but it recently opened its waterpark this summer with admission included in the regular Legoland tickets.
But true Florida park fans won’t be lingering on what’s new for this year. They will already be looking towards 2013 and booking their tickets well in advance. With the high levels of competition between the theme parks, we can always expect them to ‘one-up’ each other, announcing amazing new rides and shows to keep the guests coming. So what can we expect from next year?
As previously mentioned, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has seen a massive success since it opened in 2010 and continues to exceed expectations. It’s no wonder that Universal Studios has plans to expand on this, with a new Harry Potter themed area in its main park. With rumours spreading at the end of 2011, the news was officially announced early in 2012 and work began on the new area with the closure of the Jaws ride.
Although it has been announced, fans are still gathering information on what this new attraction will include. We know that it won’t be a duplicated Hogsmeade and Hogswart adventure, so will most likely include scenes from Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾ instead.
Walt Disney World
Although Walt Disney World has opened its first phase of Fantasyland, this is an on-going project which will run through to early 2013. It will offer a better experience for guests, allowing them to see more, including new rides and restaurants, however, the Disney Resort also has some bigger things in the pipeline.
It wasn’t too long ago that they announced a new area for the Animal Kingdom park based on the blockbuster movie ‘Avatar’. They even called in James Cameron to become a creative consultant for the project. It’s also been debated that this new attraction will be open in 2014 or 2015. Could we expect an Avatar sequel in the meantime? We will have to keep our ears close to the ground on this one.
Not only is the Disney Resort building brand new attractions, but they are also providing a new way in which you buy your tickets. The new xPASS is due for next year and will bring a whole new interactive experience, allowing you to allocate times when you want to go on the rides and meet characters. It even allows you to book in advance when you want to dine at specific restaurants.
You would think that with the roaring success of TurtleTrek this year, SeaWorld would have a breather, but they’re not stopping there. 2013 will see an even bigger attraction open in the form of the Antarctic – Empire of the Penguin area. Who doesn’t love penguins? This new attraction will give you a fantastic insight into the world of the penguin and will also allow you to meet a few of the inquisitive birds along the way.
Set for 2013, this new SeaWorld attraction will put the park in amongst the big hitters and will rival the likes of Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these new attractions for the years that follow, but judging from recent activity, we can start to predict what the future will hold already. Expect more interactivity, 3D and dark rides as technology innovates and paves the way we experience parks as a whole and we can expect Florida to be on the forefront of this.
FloridaTix – Copywriter
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