What’s New In Orlando’s Theme Parks

300x200 total_ad1Isn’t it just great when you book a vacation only to miss a great new ride by a couple of days?
Or worse still, an old favorite is relegated to the history books without you even knowing it?
Our quick look at what is coming or going in and around Orlando’s theme parks can help you pick the best time to visit.
Please note that dates are sometimes firmly set, but others are just estimates, but we always try our very best to keep this list as up to date as possible.
Also note that attractions may ‘soft open’ much earlier than expected if the work has gone well and the program is ahead of schedule!


Current Events & Closures in Orlando

Permanent Studio Backlot Tours Permanently Closed
After years of rumours, one of the original MGM Studios attractions will close forever to make way for a yet to be announced new attraction.
Permanent American Idol Experience
Permanently Closed – Will become The Hyperion Theater
Frozen’s Singalong Celebration will take place here from June 17th through September 7th
Permanent Epcot’s Maelstrom Closed Permanently From Oct 5th 2014
Will make way for a new Frozen themed ride.
Permanent NASCAR Grille at CityWalk – Permanently Closed
Rumors of an NBC Sports theme!
Permanent A’lure’s final show rumoured at SeaWorld
Rumoured last day for the show as SeaWorld cuts costs.
Permanent Test The Limits by UL – Closure at Epcot
Innoventions East will lose it’s destructive testing exhibit area.
Permanent Removal Date For Sorcerer’s Hat
Hollywood Studios’ park icon will disappear in Jan 2015
Major Revision Vision House Closed At Epcot’s Innoventions East
Permanent closure of EPCOT’s environmentally friendly home!
Mar Apr May 2015 Serengeti Railroad Closed For Construction
Busch Gardens‘ Railroad takes a break until Mayor June while the tracks are moved to accommodate a new attraction in the Egypt area of the Tampa Bay theme park.
Major Revision Innoventions West – Permanent and Full Closure
No news yet as to what will come in its place!
June 8th 2015 Pirates of the Caribbean Major Repairs
Disney will close the Magic Kingdom boat ride for a very lengthy refurb to improve ride reliability and animatronics.
Rumoured to re-open September 26th 2015.
Aug 9th 2015 Richard Petty Driving Experience – Permanent Closure
It’s widely reported that the racing experience at WDW will close in June.
Rumours suggest that Disney need additional parking lot space for the Magic Kingdom
Jun Jul Aug Busch Gardens Summer Nights
Roller coasters and Fireworks every Night!
From Late June through Mid August – dates TBA


July 6th 2015 Liberty Tree Tavern Major Refurb
Reopens November 20th 2015
Rumored to become a part of a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant.
July 19th 2015 Dream Along With Mickey – Temporary Closure
Reopens August 23rd 2015
A month long break for the 6 times a day stage show below Cinderella Castle


Aug 4th 2015 Liberty Square Riverboat Refurb
A very brief closure for essential annual maintenance. Re-opens Aug 11th 2015


Sept 8th 2015 Epcot’s Living With The Land – Short Closure
Short closure – re-opens September 17th
Sept 7th 2015 Voyage Of The Little Mermaid Show – Hollywood Studios
Short closure – re-opens September 11th
Sept Oct 2015 Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios present an Adult Halloween Event
Special Ticket Event on select evenings only
2015 Dates TBA
More information about Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights
Sep Oct 2015 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
2015 Dates TBA
Special Admission Event
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party main article
Sept 2015 Magical Dining 
3 Course Meals at the best restaurants in Orlando for only $33/person
Sept 4th 5th 2015 Night of Joy Christian Music Festival
Our main Night of Joy page has all of the latest information
Sep Oct Nov 2015 Epcot’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series
A huge selection of live music performers this year!
Select dates from Sept thru Nov (more info….)
Sep Oct Nov 2015 Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival
Special kiosks selling dishes from around the world.
Mid Sept thru Early Nov
Main International Food & Wine Festival article
Sep 2015 Cinderella Castle Crane In Place at Magic Kingdom
If you are hoping to grab an unbroken view of the famous castle, you may have to wait a until some time in October as the Christmas lights are lowered carefully into place at this time of year!  If all goes well, the crane should be down by the end of September!


Oct 12th 2015 Walt Disney Railroad Rehab
The Magic Kingdom railroad takes a long break, re-opening Nov 21st 2015
Oct 25th 2015 Typhoon Lagoon Annual Rehab
Disney’s idyllic Typhoon Lagoon water park typically reopens early Jan 2016 (Blizzard Beach remains open)
Oct Nov 2015 Magic Kingdom’s Disney Railroad Annual Maintenance
The Magic Kingdom’s amazing Railroad takes it’s annual break
Oct 2015 Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Mid Oct
A great food and Wine Festival reaches out into the Epcot Resort areas!
Dates TBA (Probably Oct 30th/31st from 5:30pm – 9:00pm)
For more on the Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic


Early Nov 2015 Mickey’s Very Special Christmas Party begins
The Magic Kingdom’s Christmas season begins with evening events
Special admission required – Ends Dec (Before Christmas)
Mickey’s Very Special Christmas Party main article
Early Nov 2015 The Jingle Cruise Returns in 2015
The Magic Kingdom’s cheesy jungle cruise help you ‘get the point in the end’
Adaption of the Jungle Cruise – Ends Dec (Before Christmas)
Dec 2015 Disney’s Glow With Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights
A spectacular Christmas light show in the streets of Hollywood Studios also join the Glow with the Show illuminated ears! through early Jan 2016
Dec 2015 Polar Express Returns to SeaWorld
Wild Arctic gets a stunning makeover and uses the Polar Express theme to reach Santa at the North Pole! This is the real deal! Unmissable! Ends late Dec
Dec 2015 Santa is Coming to Downtown Disney
Festival of the Seasons Christmas Event until late Dec
More information can be found here….
Dec 2015 ICE at Gaylord Palms
Stunning Ice carvings on an unimaginable scale!
Perfect for ‘cool’ escape from that hot Winter Sunshine! Ends late Jan
Dec 2015 LEGOLAND Florida Christmas Bricktacular
On selected Fridays & Saturdays LEGOLAND celebrates Christmas in its Orlando theme park for kids! More……
Dec 2015 Candlelight Processional
Christmas celebration at Epcot on select evenings through December
Free to regular park guests
Ends late Dec Main Candlelight Processional article
Dec 2015 Universal Studios Christmas Celebrations
Daily events including Macy’s Parade through January 4th.
Early December 2015 ABC Network’s Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade Recording
Be a part of the annual Christmas day broadcast as they pre-record the show!
Dec 31st 2015/td> Universal’s CityWalk New Year’s Eve Party
CityWalk closes to the public for a special New Year’s Eve celebration.
This requires a special ticket ($99 in 2014) and includes food, fireworks, music, nightclubs
Read more over at our Beyond the Parks CityWalk New Year guide.

January 2016

Jan 2016 Disney Quest to Permanently Close
Expected to become an NBA Experience
Jan 2016 Planet Hollywood- closed 1/1/2016- 6/1/2016
Expected to close from January 2016 through until June
Jan 2016 Blizzard Beach Annual Rehab
Expected to close from January 2016 through until March
Typhoon Lagoon remains open.
Early January 2016 Splash Mountain Annual Refurb
Usually from early Jan thru early Feb

February 2016

Feb 21st 2016 The Daytona 500 Race
Daytona Speedway Racing
Feb Mar Apr May Universal Studios Mardis Gras
Mardi Gras event runs from early Feb thru Late May

March 2016

Mar 2016 Atlanta Braves Spring Training
At ESPN Wide World of Sports ends early April
Mar Apr May 2015 22nd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
Disney’s Annual Gardening and Topiary festival arrives in Epcot
From early March 5th through mid May 2015
Mar 2016 2016 Bands Brew & BBQ at SeaWorld
2015 Dates and Bands will be announced here when available
March 4th – 13th 2016 Daytona Bike Week – Daytona International Speedway
A huge spring motorcycle festival and races over at the Atlantic Coast – Including the Daytona 200


May –
June 2015
Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Live appearances, competitions, meet and greet opportunities for dedicated fans of the Classic Star Wars Movies at Walt Disney World’s Star Wars Special Event
Dates TBA (Fri Sat Sun only)
Jun Jul Aug Busch Gardens Summer Nights
Roller coasters and Fireworks every Night!
From Late June through Mid August – dates TBA
June 2015 Magic Kingdom’s Unofficial Gay Day
Although not an official Disney event, WDW Hosts thousands of Gay visitors
Gay Days Orlando some time in early June. (Saturday is the big day at MK)
Expect larger than normal crowds and a lively atmosphere!
May –
June 2016
Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Live appearances, competitions, meet and greet opportunities for dedicated fans of the Classic Star Wars Movies at Walt Disney World’s Star Wars Special Event
Dates TBA (each Fri Sat Sun only)
2016 Disney Springs Complete
Downtown Disney is going through a huge expansion to add more
Shops, Restaurants, Entertainment and multi level parking
Disney Springs latest news
2016/7 Avatar Land in Animal Kingdom
Disney are spending $0.5bn on what looks set to be an amazing area
Preparations are already moving the Lion King show to make way
Avatar related blog posts
2016/7 Star Wars Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Almost certain to appear somewhere in Hollywood Studios
No firm info or dates, just cryptic clues from Disney!


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