Exciting Happenings at Orlando Theme Parks This Year

SeaWorld’s new Ice Breaker ride is its first launch roller coaster, with four separate launch elements, both backward and forward. Photo courtesy SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld’s new Ice Breaker ride is its first launch roller coaster, with four separate launch elements, both backward and forward. Photo courtesy SeaWorld Orlando

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 Epcot, SeaWorld Orlando, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Little ones can soon spend the day with Peppa Pig at her first-ever theme park. Plus, Disney has new and returning shows at Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Read on for information on what's new or coming soon to Orlando in 2022.

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New Theme Park Attractions in Orlando, 2022

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Epcot

Opening Summer 2022
This Marvel-themed roller coaster is currently under construction at Disney’s Epcot, replacing the Universe of Energy dinosaur attraction. This will be Disney’s first reverse-launch coaster, and one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world. This storytelling coaster will be able to rotate 360 degrees as riders are taken on an intergalactic journey through space and time alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Ice Breaker — SeaWorld Orlando

Opening February 18, 2022
SeaWorld’s first launch roller coaster officially opens on February 18, with pass member ride previews already taking place. 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.

Iron Gwazi
Be prepared for airtime on the new thrill ride Iron Gwazi!

Iron Gwazi — Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Opening March 11, 2022
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.

Your little piggies can play, splash, and practice their jumping skills at the Peppa Pig Theme Park.

Peppa Pig Theme Park – Winter Haven

Opening February 24, 2022
Visit Peppa Pig and her friends at the all new Peppa Pig theme park, situated just outside of Legoland Florida in Winter Haven. Geared toward the toddler and preschool crowd, the amusement park includes tot-sized rides, themed playscapes, daily shows, character meet-and-greets, and of course, a muddy puddle splash pad.

Pirate River Quest – Legoland

Opening 2022
In celebration of Legoland Florida’s 10th birthday, the theme park is debuting its new Pirate River Quest ride. Guests will set sail with Lego pirates on a treasure hunt through the beautiful canals of Cypress Gardens.

RELATED: Florida's Legoland Pirate Island Hotel: An Arrr-some Vacation

Reef Plunge – Aquatica

Opening March 2022
This new water slide at SeaWorld’s water park, Aquatica, features twists and turns through an underwater adventure where riders can spot sea life such as leopard sharks and Commerson’s dolphins. This ride will be situated next to the park’s most popular water slide, Dolphin Plunge. Guests must be at least 42 inches tall to ride.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort Hotel
 Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort Hotel

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Experience  — Walt Disney World Resort

Opening March 1, 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.

Fantasmic – Hollywood Studios

Returning 2022
After major renovations to the lagoon, Hollywood Studio’s Fantasmic nighttime spectacular is returning this year after a two-year pause due to the pandemic. This extravagant show features over 50 performers, larger-than-life sets, amazing pyrotechnics, all sprinkled with the Disney magic we know and love.

Festival of Fantasy Parade – Magic Kingdom

Reopening March 9, 2022
Magic Kingdom’s popular Festival of Fantasy parade returns to Magic Kingdom after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic —it fittingly reopens on the anniversary of its original debut in 2014. This parade features beloved Disney characters on elaborately decorated floats, designed as if the characters created them themselves. Among these floats is the famous fire-breathing Maleficent dragon.

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond – Animal Kingdom

Opening 2022
Animal Kingdom's new stage show follows Nemo and his friends from a new perspective, complete with live performers, puppets, animated backdrops, lighting, and special effects, to immerse guests in Nemo’s underwater world.

Visitors will experience the interstellar space travel of tomorrow at Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex.

Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex – Kennedy Space Center

Opening Spring 2022
This new, 50,000-square-foot, multi-level attraction at Kennedy Space Center offers space fanatics of all ages first-hand views of modern-day spacecrafts such as a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster and Orion Crew vehicle. The main concourse features a 4D motion theater offering four different journeys for guests to experience, including Cosmic Wonders, Daring Explorers, Red Planet, or Uncharted Worlds.

Photos courtesy of the venues

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