What’s New at Theme Parks for Summer 2016

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May 17, 2016

Summer is almost here and families everywhere will soon be gearing up for fun excursions to theme parks around the U.S. According to the IAAPA Global Theme and Amusement Park Outlook 2015-2019, more than 390 million people are expected to visit theme parks in the United States and Canada, generating $22 billion. Every year hundreds of new attractions – from virtual reality roller coasters to trendy new 3-D, guest-immersive rides – promise that theme park guests will never grow bored. Get ready for a summer of fun and thrills as you test out these amazing new attractions at theme parks across the country.

In California

Celebrate kid-favorites Cars and Frozen at Disney California Adventure Park.

“Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters” will roll into Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim for a fun, non-stop Cars style dance party, giving guests the chance to hop in and dance along with Luigi and his cousins as they move and spin their gears to Italian hits. Meanwhile, Elsa, Anna, Olaf and friends hit the stage with a brand new spectacular based on Frozen. 4-D “Soarin’ Around the World,” which once focused solely on California, will now take visitors around the world.

Get into the ninja action at Legoland California.


If you’ve got a Lego lover on your hands, head to Legoland California: Ninjago World, a ninja-themed area, will feature rides and interactive attractions, including the high tech “Ninjago: The Ride” which gives guests the chance to take down animated Lego villains thanks to color-coded fireballs and digital screens.

Travel to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” just recently opened to the delight of Harry Potter fans everywhere. A 3-D adventure, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” as well as the “Flight of the Hippogriff” family coaster are the main attractions, while the incredible Hogwarts castle and themed shops and cafes truly make you feel as if you’ve stepped into the beloved books.  

In Florida

Meet the sharks of Sea World Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando ushers in “Mako,” its shark-themed coaster this summer. At 200 feet, this hypercoaster reaches speeds up to 73 mph and cuts through 7 acres on a 4,760-foot-long track. At the “Shark Encounter” visitors will have the rare opportunity to meet the sharks up close through underwater viewing tunnels.

Say “Hello!” to the Hulk and Kind King Kong at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The latest Universal Islands‘ adventure, “Skull Island: Reign of Kong,” is immersive multi-sensory ride featuring animatronic figures and 3-D screens. The immersive “Incredible Hulk” launch coaster now holds a new story, change the adventure but amping up the thrills. .


Coast with the heroes and villains at Six Flags Over Georgia.  

Six Flags over Georgia adds a number of new elements this year: While on board “Dare Devil Dive” be prepared to fight for your life in your private jet in a war to save the planet from alien invasion. For the little ones, the DC Super Friends kids’ area features all the heroes and villains you love thanks to a 65-foot-tall “Superman Tower of Power” and “The Joker Funhouse Coaster,” a fun family-friendly coaster . This summer Bugs Bunny World transformes into Bugs Bunny Boomtown, where seven family attractions, including “Bugs Bunny High Sea Adventure” flying ride; “Yosemite Sam’s Wacky Wagons,” a junior Ferris wheel; and the “Looney Tunes Adventure Camp” interactive playground all celebrate the beloved rabbit. 

Experience an all-new Legend

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari turns 70 this year and The Legend” wooden roller coaster is ready to celebrated with its new double down, a fifth tunnel, and close to 1,400 feet of track work. The park’s first ride, The Freedom Train, has also been restored to its original splendor.

Immerse yourself in chocolate. 

Learn more about all things sweet on the “Hershey’s Chocolate Tour” at Hershey’s Chocolate World: new cars, enhanced sets incorporating the latest in digital technology, more animals in the barnyard scene, and new photo features will all be unveiled this summer. Also opening this summer: Hershey’s Water Works, a year-round 30,000 square feet indoor pool complex, part of the Hershey Lodge.

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