Orlando’s theme parks are being sprayed with a big fat ‘money hose’ to entice us all to spend more time there and less time elsewhere!
2017 has seen a huge bump in new attractions, but for every new one, there’s often a casualty or two along the way!
Here’s a very quick look at the biggest changes inside the Orlando Theme Parks!
Pandora – Land of Avatar (CAME)
The biggest thing in Walt Disney World right now is affectionately known as Animal Kingdom’s ‘Avatar Land’.
Long gone, is the old ‘Camp Minnie Mickey’ as it made way for a painfully slow transformation into the themed land of Pandora.
Based upon James Cameron’s 2009 Avatar blockbuster, guests are delighted by what’s best described as ‘engulfing’ rather than an ‘immersive’ experience.
Valley of Mo’ara
The towering blend of rock work, natural landscaping and artificial detailing brings this incredible movie landscape to your very own world.
The scenery itself is an attraction in its own right.
Avatar Flight of Passage
If you love Epcot’s Soarin’ then this will blow your mind.
Climb on to the back of your carefully chosen banshee and you will embark upon a thrill ride that’s literally in another world.
The realistic (can an imaginary world be realistic?) landscape is breathtaking, and you will see the true beauty of Pandora’s landscape!
Note: The motion can make certain guests feel nauseous!
Na’vi River Journey
A laid back night time boat ride through the gently flowing rivers of Pandora.
Nice visuals and a charming way to slow down and appreciate the flora and fauna of this surreal landscape. By night, Pandora’s bioluminescence is stunning.
The Great Movie Ride (WENT on August 13th 2017)
Some loved it, others didn’t.
Whatever your thoughts were about the attraction, The Great Movie Ride’s Chinese Theater was indeed one of the most impressive buildings within WDW.
The slow moving cars took you through gangster ridden streets, old western settlements, past the Wicked Wizard of the East/West and into outer space, as the attraction paid a polite nod to some of the finest movies of the silver screen.
The good news?
The location will finally make way to Mickey and Minnie’s first ever roller coaster!
Even better news, the Chinese Theater might be left intact!
No completion date has been announced for the new roller coaster, but it won’t be soon knowing Walt Disney World!
One Man’s Dream (REPURPOSED from Hollywood Studios September 2017)
Some time in September, One Man’s Dream will be the home of the model displays of Toy Story Land (due 2018) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (due 2019).
Ellen’s Energy Adventure (WENT from Epcot August 13th 2017)
Oh boy, has there ever been a more loved and hated attraction at Epcot?
We love the ride, but many didn’t.
It was light hearted, air conditioned and featured the wit of Ellen DeGeneres and Jamie Lee Curtis alongside unlikely hero ‘Bill Nye the science guy’.
The result was a slow, fun, vehicular meander through prehistoric Earth in the quest of sustainable energy.
We respectfully salute the ride, but look forward to its replacement. It’s time had come.
Guardians of the Galaxy will ultimately appear in that spot, and we are awaiting timing and details from WDW. So far however, it is expected to differ from the Guardians of the Galaxy themed Disneyland ‘Tower of Terror’ ride.
Volcano Bay (CAME Early Summer 2017)
Yikes, Universal know how to hustle along a big project.
The brand new Volcano themed water park has a brand new location by the Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Sapphire Falls and it looks amazing.
The theme rocks!
A few major teething problems at opening are being dealt with and so long as you visit Volcano Bay out of peak times, you will have a fantastic time!
Its fun ‘Island Theme’ and innovative water slide rides are a refreshing addition to Central Florida’s water park scene!
The price we all paid was to say goodbye forever to Wet n Wild though!
Read our full review with video.
Rivers Of Light (CAME to Animal Kingdom Feb 2017)
Animal Kingdom was always criticized for being a ‘half day park’.
So Disney responded with the Avatar Land, plus a much needed evening show that relied on lighting effects rather than fireworks. Even Disney animals simply hate fireworks!
The result is a truly adorable spectacle, that’s worthy of your time on an evening.
Read our full review with video here!