If you’re planning a trip to Orlando this year you’ll want to check out some of the amazing new attractions. Heaps of new rides have opened at the theme parks in 2019 and there’s still plenty more to come.
It’s not just the theme parks either. Dozens of other attractions have opened all over town including brand-new entertainment venues, top-notch dining options and exciting night spots. If you’re visiting Orlando on vacation you’ll also want to check out the new fun-packed places to stay.
New attractions in Orlando in 2019
We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you find your way around the best new attractions in Orlando in 2019. Read on to find out more about exciting new rides like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Resort and Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s new Star Wars Land.
Find out about them all or use the menu below to hop straight to the area you’re interested in!
New attractions at Disney World in 2019
Toy Story Land
This new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will make you feel as if you’ve been shrunk to the size of a toy and transported to Andy’s backyard. Based on the hit Disney Pixar film series, Toy Story Land features a toy-filled landscape complete with huge replicas of Woody, Buzz, Jessie and other beloved Toy Story characters.
Already hailed as one of the best new attractions in Orlando, the colorful land features two major rides: Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. The first is a family coaster adorned with giant building blocks and a huge Slinky-themed train which has springy coils that stretch as it bends around the various twists and turns. The second ride spins you around in your own alien ship, complete with futuristic tunes and pizza-themed styling.
Other highlights at Toy Story Land are meet-and-greets with the Toy Story characters. Woody, Buzz and Jessie are still in the process of finding their permanent homes but you’ll usually find them by the Toy Story Mania entrance, which makes a great backdrop for family photos. You’ll also see green army men (and women) marching to the beat of their drums throughout the land.
Look out for Early Morning Magic which is offered exclusively in Toy Story Land. The event takes place on select Mondays and Wednesdays from 7.30am and allows visitors more than 1 hour of VIP time in Toy Story Land before the park opens at 9am. This separately ticketed event includes a breakfast buffet at Backlot Express which is served until 10am. We recommend waiting to eat until after park opening to maximize your time on the rides.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay close by, there’s a wide range of villas near Disney World that are ideally located just minutes from the parks. You can also find some great-value attraction tickets through official suppliers like Top Villas.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
One of the best-new Disney attractions for 2019, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy has been open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a few months now. The famous car appears live on stage in a car-themed theater complete with a state-of-the-art entertainment system. During the 10-minute show, Lightning interacts with the audience via the brand-new racing simulator which has a huge wrap-around TV screen around the theater.
He shares fun facts and racing knowledge with the audience, and encounters friends like Mater and Cruz Ramirez. He also encounters one of his main foes, Chick Hicks who interrupts the show to challenge Lightning to a virtual race. We won’t give away how it all ends but you can probably guess it!
After the show, the fun extends into the courtyard outside. DJ, the film’s favorite party car gets everyone revved up with a party set.
Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy show runs continuously through the day. As with a few of the new Disney attractions there is no Fastpass+ available for this experience yet.
Star Wars Land
Star Wars Land at Disney World is the largest addition to the park in recent years. This vast 14-acre land features the Star Wars Launch Bay where you can check out movie props, snap photos and greet all your favorite characters from the films. There’s also a state-of-the-art flight simulator that takes you on a thrilling simulated tour of the Star Wars galaxy aboard an amazing replica Starspeeder.
Kids can train with lightsabers and fight Darth Vader at the new Jedi Training area. Star Wars Land has also launched its nightly Galactic Spectacular fireworks show complete with lasers, special effects and music.
Earlier this year, the special Star Wars Guided Tour was added to the park offerings. It takes you on an all-access tour of Star Wars Land led by a resident Star Wars expert. The tour offers VIP access around the Star Wars area, reserved film viewings, private character meets and themed dining experiences.
One of most highly anticipated new attractions at Disney World is Galaxy’s Edge, set to open at Hollywood Studios on August 29, 2019. Replacing the majority of the Streets of America section, the new Galaxy’s Edge land will takes guests on an adventure through the planet of Batuu, a remote world where a war is waging between the Resistance and the First Order.
Visitors can build their own lightsabers and droids, interact with aliens and enjoy lots of themed shopping and dining. The land will also feature some of the best new rides at Disney World in recent years. One lets you fly an exact replica of the Millennium Falcon. The other will immerse you in a battle to escape the First Order where you’ll come face-to-face with full-size stormtroopers, AT-ATs and even the evil Kylo Ren himself.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
After a lifetime as Walt Disney’s most famous mascots, Mickey and Minnie will finally get a theme park ride based entirely around them. Set to open early next year, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be the park’s first ride-through attraction starring the mice.
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With Goofy as your tour guide, you’ll embark on a train journey through a Mickey Mouse cartoon where dazzling special effects will immerse you into the story. With the new technology you’ll get the experience of 3D – no glasses required. This ride was set to open in fall 2019 but will open in spring 2020.
Wonderful World of Animation
Another top new attraction at Disney World is the Wonderful World of animation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This brand-new nighttime show pays homage to more than 90 years of Disney and Pixar animation. You’ll watch in wonder as the Chinese Theater is transformed with spectacular projection sequences starring scenes from beloved films like Sleeping Beauty, The Incredibles and many more. It takes place nightly from 9pm and lasts for around 15 minutes.
In addition, a new nighttime spectacular is set to open at Epcot in 2019. The show will be a celebration of Disney music and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers. There will also be a limited-time show called Epcot forever which will debut this fall 2019. Guests can expect an epic spectacle of fireworks along with music, lighting and special effects.
New Disney attractions coming in 2020 and beyond
Ratatouille fans will be pleased to know that the name of the new Ratatouille attraction at Epcot has been announced. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is coming the the France pavilion, along with a new Beauty and the Beast sing-along created by the film’s producer Don Hahn. The Canada pavilion is also in the process of updating the existing O Canada 360-degree show. These are set to open early next year.
No list of new rides at Disney World would be complete without mentioning Epcot’s Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, set to feature a new one-of-a-kind ‘storytelling’ coaster. On most coasters the vehicles point straight ahead throughout the ride, but on this one each individual cab will be programmed to direct your eyes to the story happening around you. This ride is set to be one of Disney World’s best new attractions when it opens in Future World in 2021.
Grand plans are also in place for a new Tron attraction set to debut in Magic Kingdom in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021. Based on the Tron Lightcycle Power Run at Shanghai Disney, the coaster-style attraction will allow riders to board a train comprised of glowing two-wheeled lightcycles for a thrilling race through a huge high-tech grid.
It’s not just amazing new rides that are opening at Disney World, there are some very cool innovations being revealed, too. Coming in late 2019/early 2010, Disney Skyliner gondolas will offer an amazing new way to get around the parks. This grand state-of-the-art system will conveniently connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway at Epcot to a handful of Disney hotels and restaurants.
What’s new at Disney Springs?
Dozens of shopping locations have already made their debut at Disney Springs including Havianas, Ugg, Uniqlo and Zara.
Restaurant-wise, new openings include The Polite Pig which is the sister restaurant to Orlando’s popular Ravenous Pig eatery, Paddlefish seafood restaurant (formerly Fulton’s Crab House), and Planet Hollywood, an observatory-themed emporium which dishes up casual American food alongside famous movie memorabilia, music and film screenings.
Other new additions at Disney Springs are Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel, a ‘secret’ underground venue serving Italian-inspired food and Prohibition-era cocktails and spirits. There’s also a Pizza Point, a new Spanish bistro, Jaleo, and the new Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. For drinks, Wine Bar George is a great new addition. It’s the only sommelier-led wine bar in Florida and serves perfectly paired wine and food opposite the Disney Springs waterfront.
Disney Springs has also welcomed The NBA Experience, a state-of-the-art restaurant complete with interactive games. The City Works Eatery and Pour House is also coming this summer; it will serve more than 80 beers on tap including rare, limited supply special tappings from local breweries and around the world.
What’s new at Disney’s water parks?
H20 glow nights
Water park visitors can enjoy a splashing time later into the evening at Typhoon Lagoon’s new H20 Glow Nights. Held on select dates from May through August, these fun-packed evenings are filled with fun surprises such as glowing lights, DJ-hosted dance parties, specially-lit slides and character meet-and-greets. A tempting array of food and drink is on offer, plus there’s an adults-only area with entertainment and a bar.
There are some stunning villas to stay at near the water parks, including options with their own pools and water slides.
The best rides at Universal Studios in 2019
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Set to open over the coming weeks, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is set to be one of the best rides at Universal, ever. You’ll join Hagrid on this highly themed adventure which takes you on a thrilling ride through the Forbidden Forest (featuring more than 1,000 real trees). Hagrid will talk to you along the way and introduce you to some of the Wizarding World’s rarest magical creatures.
The giant Hagrid figure is hyper-realistic with numerous different body motions and facial expressions that capture the essence of the character. Actor Robbie Coltrane voiced Hagrid’s script for this ride so the attraction is uber authentic.
At more than one mile, long this will be the longest ride in Florida and also the first coaster in the US to have a free-fall drop.
It also features another fun twist in that you can ride on Hagrid’s motorbike or in the side car.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will open on June 13, 2019 in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
For great-value stays near Universal Resort, the condos and villas in Kissimmee are a good option. The resorts in this area are home to great-value accommodation in a range of styles and sizes. You’ll also find some great deals on Universal attraction tickets.
Fast & Furious – Supercharged
Another great new ride at Universal is the highly-anticipated Fast & Furious ride now open at Universal Studios. Based on the popular film franchise, the attraction gives you the chance to ride along on a supercharged car chase that exceeds speeds of more than 120 miles per hour. You’ll be immersed into a world of cutting-edge hyper realistic special effects including 3D-HD imagery projected onto massive 360-degree screens.
The length of this attraction is 809 feet – that’s longer than two football fields from end to end! What’s more, the incredibly realistic HD scenes were filmed in and around Los Angeles.
Universal’s Cinematic Celebration
This nighttime water show has been officially open at Universal Studios since last summer. You can watch some of your favorite blockbuster films come to life in the colossal celebration over the huge Universal Studios lagoon.
The show features music and scenes from Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Despicable Me and the Fast and Furious films, to name just a few. You’ll see pyrotechnics, projection mapping and more than 120 colorful dancing fountains blazing with incredible movie moments.
The Today Cafe
Designed to be an exact replica of the Today program set, this brand-new cafe has opened its doors at Universal Studios. It serves speciality food and beverage options including fresh in-house baked pastries, salads, sandwiches and locally-roasted coffees including a unique blend made exclusively for the cafe.
What’s new at Seaworld?
Elmo and the whole Sesame Street gang have taken up permanent residence at Seaworld Orlando. The new Sesame Street land opened in 2019 giving little ones the chance to hang out with Elmo, Big Bird, Grover, Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster. The new land looks just like some of the most-loved parts of the Sesame Street set including the Big Bird’s nest, the famous stoop and Mr Hooper’s store.
There’s new themed dining and shopping, a new water-themed play area and a handful of new rides including Elmo’s Choo Choo Train, Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, Abby’s Flower Tower and Big Bird’s Twirl N Whirl. One of the biggest highlights is the new Sesame Street-themed parade which features an array of colorful dancers, characters and themed floats.
Sesame Street land is one of the best new attractions in Orlando for younger kids. It’s also a must-visit for anyone who’s seen the popular television program. Entrance is included with Seaworld park admission.
What’s new at Aquatica?
Aquatica’s newest ride Karekare Curl made its grand debut in April this year. It takes riders on a high adrenaline adventure along a huge vertical wave wall. To ride, you board a 2-person inflatable then drop down vertically before sliding back up the U-shaped wall. You’ll experience the feeling of weightlessness when you’re dropping and sliding on this thrilling water ride. No single riders are allowed, so grab a friend and check it out!
This new family raft ride offers three times the fun of a regular slide. First, water jets launch your raft from zero to fast in just seconds, then you take a twisting turn as you spin inside a massive water sphere. Finally you’ll slide around the huge open-air manta wings, swooping up and down and spinning around. This new ride joined the Aquatica line-up late last year and is suitable for riders of 42″ and above.
What’s new at Legoland Florida?
The Lego Movie World
Based on The Lego Movie, this brand-new land brings the film to life with new rides, character meet-and-greets and a colorful themed playscape. The park’s largest expansion ever, it also features shops, eateries and other experiences themed after the hit franchise.
The headline attraction is the new Masters of Flight ride, a family friendly hang-gliding simulator that features an innovative 360-degree loading system. Other rides include Unikitty’s Disco Drop, a bouncing tower themed on Cloud Cuckoo Land; and the Battle of Bricksburg, a re-imagined version of the park’s Chima water ride where guests spray cannons at Duplo invaders.
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The Great Lego Race
Lego fans start your engines! This unique new attraction at Legoland Florida lets you enjoy roller coaster thrills with virtual reality technology. Wearing a special virtual reality headset, you’ll enter a virtual world where you’re the star of an action-packed race against your favorite Lego characters. The action unfolds as you ride the real-life roller coaster making it seem extra-realistic.
Guests must be at least 6 years old and 48 inches tall in order to wear the VR headset (it’s also optional).
Other top new attractions in Orlando
The amazing new Drive Shack golfing range is located just minutes from Orlando International Airport. It features 90 full service all-weather hitting bays across 3 massive levels. There are 300+ TVs for game-watching and entertainment. There’s also a raft of facilities including interactive games, a restaurant and bar, a rooftop lounge and a golf academy.
The venue offers free use of golf clubs, unlimited golf balls and a complimentary game lounge.
Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure
This amazing new attraction in Orlando lets you board a 12-foot-high off-road monster truck for a rugged ride through the Gatorland park. It’s packed with fun surprises such as singing tour guides, Gatorland characters and exclusive tours around alligator enclosures.
Each truck is specially branded and named after real alligators and crocodiles at Gatorland including Bonecrusher, Cannibal Jake and Swamp Ghost. The attraction also features exclusive merchandise, snacks and beverages.
Dezerland Action Park
Florida’s largest indoor entertainment complex is now open on International Drive. This 800,000 sq ft attraction is packed with fun things to do such as go karting, bowling, arcade games, laser tag and kids’ play areas. It also has plenty of places to shop, dine and drink during your visit. Dezerland also features its own car museum where you can see an amazing collection of vintage, classic and military vehicles.
The new Orlando Starflyer clocks in at a whopping 425 feet tall making it the world’s tallest swing ride. There is no age limit, just a minimum height of 44 inches. Moving up and down and rotating around a giant tower at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, it’s a pretty exhilarating experience! Ride the Orlando Starflyer in the day and you’ll see the entire Orlando skyline. Ride at night and you’ll get to experience the amazing lighting system which features more than 240,000 LED lights and dances to creative displays.
The Orlando Starflyer is located at Icon Park and costs $12 to ride.
Wild Florida Safari
An array of new additions are set to be unveiled at Wild Florida this summer 2019. There’ll be a 75-acre drive-through safari park that’ll be home to more than 100 animals including deer, zebras, giraffes, water buffalo and wild boar. There’ll also be an expanded alligator habitat which will host gator feeding shows and educational exhibits.
The safari will allow visitors to drive through in the comfort of their own vehicle. For those wanting to experience it in a different way, a swamp buggy tour will also be offered. Along with the massive safari park, there will also be a separately ticketed zipline that will crisscross over the park and gator swamp.
Prices, hours and other details are yet to be shared but you can keep keep posted via the Wild Florida website.
Epic Axe Throwing
One of the newest spots for entertainment in downtown Orlando, Epic Axe Throwing is the place to go for something a little different. You can reserve your own axe-throwing area or walk in and share a lane. It’s a little like playing darts, but instead of a dart you throw an axe. And instead of a dartboard, you aim and throw at a specially designed wooden target board.
Places to stay near the new attractions in Orlando
If you’re planning on visiting the exciting new attractions in Orlando, you’ll want to stay close by. The good news is you’ll find a wide range of great-value accommodation located in some of the newest and most popular resorts.
Some of our newest villas are located in Reunion Resort, just 6 miles from Disney World and within easy reach of Orlando’s other attractions. The resort is home to an array of fantastic facilities including 3 championship golf courses, a water park, pro tennis courts, a boutique spa and a selection of restaurants and bars. Kids will love the on-site activity club and the whole family can enjoy biking around the woodland trails.
You’ll also find some fantastic newly-listed villas at places like Encore Resort and Championsgate. A short drive from the airport and also close to Disney, these resorts are packed with family friendly facilities. Book a stay at Encore Resort and you’ll benefit from free shuttle transfers to and from the theme parks.
Check out these newly-listed villas in Orlando:
Reunion Resort 1093
Offering enough space for up to 20 guests, this stylish villa is ideal for large families or big groups of friends. It has a spacious open-plan living area, a fully-equipped kitchen and large bedrooms including themed kids’ rooms. The property also boasts an exciting game room and a plush home theater. Outside there’s a private pool with a spillover tub and lots of poolside loungers. The sun terrace also features an alfresco dining area and a summer kitchen.
Reunion Resort 1105
Located just a short drive from Disney World, this beautiful 6-bedroom villa offers great-value accommodation close to Orlando’s best new attractions. It has a large private pool with a hot tub and sunken loungers perfect for relaxing in the warm Florida sunshine. The villa also has large open-plan living and dining spaces, a movie theater, a game room, themed kids’ bedrooms and an outdoor lounge/dining area.
This family friendly home has 6 spacious bedrooms, stylish open-plan living areas and a large fully-equipped kitchen. After long days at the theme parks it’s the perfect place to hang out with its cosy movie theater, fun game room, large pool and bubbling hot tub. Guests have access to a range of on-site facilities including a lagoon-style pool, a splash park, a fitness center and multiple sports courts.
Tempted to book?
Book your Orlando vacation home with us and not only will you get beautiful accommodation at great prices, you’ll also benefit from amazing round-the-clock customer service and access to a wide range of travel extras such as car hire, attraction tickets or help with arranging a special experience.
Follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. It’s easy to check availability, get a quote and book instantly online. Alternatively, submit an enquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.