Universal's velociraptor-themed coaster promises extreme thrills. Image courtesy of Universal Orlando
Universal's velociraptor-themed coaster promises extreme thrills. Image courtesy of Universal Orlando

All the Best Orlando Theme Park Openings in 2021

There are several exciting new additions coming this year to Orlando theme parks and other attractions around Central Florida. 

Get ready for new thrills, twists, and turns, with new coasters debuting at Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Plus, guests will soon be able to enjoy new shows at both Epcot and Legoland, as well as a new Cirque Du Soleil show at Disney Springs. Read on for information on what's new or coming soon to Orlando in 2021.

Looking for a place to stay while in Central Florida?  Check out our list of the best Orlando hotels for families. For more ideas on what to do while visiting the area, take a look at our Orlando Family Guide and be sure to sign up for our FREE Orlando newsletter.

If you prefer to stay in, remember to browse through Poppins@Home. Kids can find entertaining hip-hop dance classes, planting workshops, art lessons, and a comedy workshop especially for girls.

As COVID circumstances unfold, check directly with a venue website for updates before heading out. Keep your family and others safe by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing measures. If an event appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find other exciting options. 

Enjoy water tricks of all kinds at Brickbeard's Watersports Stunt Show. Photo by Chip Litherland/Legoland Florida

New Attractions Coming Soon to the Orlando Area, 2021

Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show — Legoland Florida

Open as of February 12, 2021
Legoland’s new watersports stunt show stars a brand-new female Lego pirate character and features new water stunts, including a flyboard act. Wakeboarding, barefoot-skiing, the iconic ski pyramid, and, of course, pirates, are also part of the show.

Cirque Du Soleil: Drawn to Life — Disney Springs

Opening date TBD, 2021
This new show is the first-ever collaboration between Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Cirque du Soleil. The premise is an adventure into an animator’s world, where the drawings come to life. While an official opening date has not been released, the show is listed as part of Disney Park Blog’s 21 Ways to Kick Off 2021.

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The new “Harmonious” show is one of Disney's most elaborate creations. Image courtesy of Disney

Harmonious Nighttime Show — Disney’s Epcot

Opening date TBD, 2021
The new nighttime spectacular coming to Epcot (replacing Epcot Forever) is one of the largest shows ever created for a Disney park. It incorporates Disney music from artists all around the world, and visuals from Disney films, including classics such as Hercules and Pocahontas to newer hits such as Moana and Brave.  The show includes five barges spread across the World Showcase Lagoon, each with pyrotechnics, lighting effects, lasers, and moving fountains. Although a premiere date has yet to be released, testing has already began so we expect to have more information soon.

Ice Breaker — SeaWorld Orlando

Opening date TBD, 2021
SeaWorld’s first launch coaster opens this year. Appropriately named after the ice-covered Arctic peaks, Ice Breaker features four separate launch elements, both backward and forward, including a reverse beyond-vertical drop. The ride is located near the Wild Arctic attraction.

In The Game — ICON Park

Open as of May
Known as “Orlando’s hometown playground,” ICON Park has no shortage of fun attractions suitable for all ages. And coming soon is a 7,000-square-foot entertainment attraction called In The Game, complete with advanced arcade games that take you on adventures through cyberspace.

Iron Gwazi — Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Opening date TBD, 2021
This crocodile-themed hybrid coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay features a 206-foot drop, speeds up to 76 mph, three inversions, and a dozen moments of airtime. The thrill level is rated as high and riders must be at least 48 inches tall to ride.

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Expect speeds of more than 70 mph aboard the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

Jurassic World VelociCoaster — Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure

Opening June 10, 2021
Universal’s new velociraptor-themed coaster is set to be the fastest and tallest launch coasters in the state, with speeds topping 70 mph and heights of more than 150 feet. This is the world's first roller coaster based on the Jurassic Park hit films. It has an original storyline with familiar characters, while riders embark on a high-speed adventure alongside a pack of raptors.

Museum of Illusions — ICON Park

Open as of January 9
With locations across the world, the Museum of Illusions is a walk-through attraction with interactive exhibits designed to play tricks on your eyes and brain. Get an insider's look at how holograms and other optical illusions work. This new Orlando location is the latest attraction at ICON Park and joins several other family fun attractions such as Sea Life Orlando and The Wheel at ICON Park.

Planet Play — Kennedy Space Center

Open as of January 1
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex recently debuted its new indoor play attraction called Planet Play. This multistory interactive play area allows kids to “play on the planets.” Kids ages 2-12 can climb through a wormhole, slide through an asteroid field, map a constellation, and walk on Saturn’s rings, all while learning about the solar system. 

RELATED: 15 Things to Do in Orlando with Toddlers

Embark on a "miniaturized"  journey aboard Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. Photo courtesy of Disney

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure — Disney’s Epcot

Opening October 1, 2021
This trackless 4D dark ride is based on the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille and is similar to the Ratatouille attraction at Disneyland Paris. The premise is to shrink guests to the size of Remy as they embark on an adventure across Gusteau's famous restaurant while riding in a rat-shaped vehicle. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is located in the France Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. 

Riptide Race — Aquatica

Open as of April 3
At Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park, guests can enjoy Florida’s first dueling water racer. Riptide race starts at the top of a 68-foot tower, where guests load into their raft and get ready to race.  Each raft holds two riders who rally side-by-side with another raft through high-speed tunnels and loops, racing to see who will be the first to the finish line. This ride is rated as a family thrill ride, and riders must be at least 42 inches tall.

Slingshot & Drop Tower — ICON Park

Opening summer 2021
ICON Park is adding new heights to its family of attractions, with two new experiences coming this summer.  The ICON Park Slingshot lowers riders into a volcano and as it erupts, riders are launched 450 feet into the air at 100 mph. The world’s tallest drop tower joins the group of attractions, which already includes the world’s tallest swing ride and one of the world’s tallest observation wheels. Guests can ride the tower 40 stories up, then experience a free fall at 75 mph.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort Hotel — Walt Disney World Resort

Opening date pushed to 2022
At this one-of-a-kind hotel experience, guests stay aboard a starship for a two-night adventure.  The journey begins on a launchpad with a simulated blast off into space. The launch paddocks at the Halcyon starcruiser, where guests have their own passenger cabin complete with bunk beds and a galactic view. Guests can get a sneak peek of the inner working of the ship, encounter stormtroopers in the ship's atrium, wield a lightsaber, and navigate the ship with the crew's help. There is also be a Silver C lounge retreat for all ages to enjoy.

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