Instead of reflecting upon the past, let’s focus on new attractions coming to Central Florida theme parks in 2016. After all, most tourists don’t research a destination after they’ve been there! If you will be visiting the Orlando area in 2016, you have a lot to look forward to.

New Attractions Coming to Disney


Frozen Ever After is being expanded with a new boat ride within the Norway pavilion. Climb aboard and be taken away to the kingdom of Arendelle. You will sail past “Frozen” characters from many movie scenes and hear the popular songs from the soundtrack. The experience will also take guests by Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, Sven’s Winter in Summer festival, the ever popular snowman Olaf, the giant evil snowman Marshmallow, Troll Valley and of course Elsa’s palace. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: A meet-and-greet opportunity with Elsa and Anna is also in the works which will provide a great opportunity for autographs and photo ops.

Frozen Ever After - new attractions coming in 2016

The “Frozen Ever After” ride will debut at Epcot early 2016. (Disney)

A third theater and new 4K projection system will be added to Epcot’s “Soarin’ Around the World.” At this updated attraction guests will be able to fly above some of the world’s most unique locations and famed wonders. The Great Wall of China, the plains of Africa and Monument Valley have been included in that list.

Animal Kingdom

“Rivers of Light” will be introduced in 2016 even though the World of Avatar will not be complete next year. This new attraction will expand the park hours later into the evening as it combines live performers with floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. Another new ride, Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris, will feature African wild dogs and hyenas for guests that brave the after-dark trek.

The Landing (Disney Springs)

STK will open in the spring. This modern steakhouse will join several other restaurants that have opened in this newly reimagined Disney property once known as Downtown Disney. This will be one of the largest STK’s in the country spanning 14,000 square feet, with two dining floors, a main level and rooftop dining. See our complete guide to Disney Springs…

New Attractions Coming to SeaWorld

Everyone is excited about the Mako Coaster coming to SeaWorld. The 200-foot-tall roller coaster will be the centerpiece of a two-acre shark exhibit with an underwater theme. For awhile it should be the tallest roller coaster, although a taller one is in the works just down the road called Skyscraper opening on I-drive in 2017 (500 feet). Mako Coaster joins Kraken and Manta and should quickly rank in the top 10 of roller coaster rides world-wide.

Mako Coaster coming to SeaWorld

New Attractions Coming to Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure

The next generation of King Kong attractions at Universal Orlando will open next year as Skull Island: Reign of Kong. This new attraction will take riders on a 1930s expedition into the jungle island home of the beast rather than bring the ape to civilization. There will be no chained captive here! ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Also opening in 2016 is a new hotel on Universal property called Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. It is being built around a tropical lagoon and towering waterfall. Universal is already accepting reservations for the summer of 2016.

New Attractions Coming to Busch Gardens

Cobra’s Curse is a new attraction coming to Central Florida at Busch Gardens in Tampa. This family spin coaster will take guests on a ride ascending vertically then turning to face an 80-foot snake prior to being taken on a ride of your life over the Serengeti Plain. Height requirement will be a minimum of 42 inches. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Be sure to experience Falcon’s Fury while you’re there!

Cobra's Curse new attraction coming to Busch Gardens

Let’s Peek Ahead to 2017

When attending a theme park next year, count on having to deal with construction. We already know a few of the new attractions coming to Central Florida in 2017. A few are going to be huge additions! They will include:

  • Skyplex Surf Park
  • Skyscraper Coaster
  • Jimmy Fallon Ride at Universal
  • Toy Story & Star Wars themed lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (including a ride which will place guests behind the controls of the Millenium Falcon)
  • Universal Studios Volcano Bay Water Park
  • Animal Kingdom’s Pandora, based on the movie “Avatar”

Be sure to check back here at Orlando Tourist Tips as your trip to Central Florida gets nearer. We’ll be posting news to help keep you up-to-date with our ever-changing theme park world. With so many great places to visit in Orlando and around the Central Florida area, you may have to take more than one vacation!

Happy new year, and we’ll see you in 2016!