New attractions, experiences coming to Central Florida theme parks in 2023

News 6 has your must-see list

New attractions coming to Central Florida theme parks in 2023 (WKMG)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The lineup of new attractions and experiences coming to Central Florida’s world-class theme parks is looking strong in 2023.

In 2022, theme park guests had a handful of new things to check out, including Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a Peppa Pig theme park, Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens, Ice Breaker at SeaWorld Orlando and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Walt Disney World.

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In 2023, visitors to Central Florida will see everything from new roller coasters to family attractions and dining locations.

See the list of attractions at each of the theme parks below:

Walt Disney World

TRON Lightcycle / Run

TRON Lightcycle Run (Disney)

Opening on April 4, guests visiting Magic Kingdom will finally get the chance to board a Lightcycle and race into the Grid. Walt Disney World said TRON Lightcycle / Run will be one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world. Families will fly through a dark, computerized world as they compete to be the first to race through eight Energy Gates and claim victory, Disney described. The ride was first announced five years ago at the D23 Expo and has faced a number of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New EPCOT neighborhoods, experiences

Moana figure unveiled at EPCOT, 16 foot tall Te Fiti statue is part of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (Disney Imagineering/Instagram)

Opening in late 2023 at EPCOT will be the all-new World Celebration and World Nature neighborhoods. In World Celebration, guests can now experience the theme park’s newly renovated entrance, complete with new lightning, landscaping and water features. World Celebration will also offer a beautiful hub divided into several different gardens, with a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Just a few steps from World Celebration will be World Nature, which will be home to the all-new “Journey of Water” experience.

Disney said “Journey of Water, inspired by the hit Disney film ‘Moana,’ will be a lush exploration, trail inviting EPCOT guests to meet and play with magical living water.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant

Rodeo Roundup BBQ restaurant (Disney)

Over in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, families will soon have the chance to dine in a rodeo-style environment. In the spring of 2023, Walt Disney World is preparing to open the Rodeo Roundup BBQ restaurant. First announced in 2019, the restaurant will plate up barbecue-inspired comfort foods served family-style, including house-smoked meats, sides and some miniature desserts. Walt Disney World plans to share more details about the one-of-a-kind dining experience as the opening gets closer.

Other exciting additions:

Hat Box Ghost at Disneyland (Disney)

Universal Orlando

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast

Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast (Universal Orlando)

The minions are taking over Universal Orlando in the summer of 2023 as the resort is set to open an all-new attraction: “Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast.” According to Universal, the interactive blaster-game experience will combine innovative screen technology, state-of-the-art gaming interactivity and elaborate physical sets to create a unique, game-based adventure. It will be located at the former spot of Shrek 4-D, which closed to guests in 2021. Along with the new attraction, Universal Orlando said guests can continue their mischievous day by visiting the all-new Minions Café. Universal Orlando has stated even more surprises inside the new Minion Land will be announced in the coming months.

SeaWorld Orlando

Pipeline: The Surf Coaster

SeaWorld Orlando's “Pipeline: The Surf Coaster" to open in 2023 (SeaWorld)

Opening in Spring 2023, SeaWorld Orlando is set to debut its latest roller coaster, “Pipeline: The Surf Coaster.” The innovative design elements that make this a first-of-its-kind roller coaster are the surfing launch and “wave jumping” motions that riders will experience. The unique surfboard-shaped ride vehicle will also give guests an immersive experience from the moment the ride starts.

According to the park, all pass members will have the opportunity to be among the first to experience “Pipeline” with SeaWorld Orlando’s Passport to Thrills program.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Serengeti Flyer

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Announces Serengeti Flyer (Busch Gardens)

Over at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the park will welcome Serengeti Flyer in the spring. The attraction will be the world’s tallest and fastest ride of its kind, a screamin’ swing. With each swing, riders will soar higher and higher above Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s expansive 65-acre Serengeti Plain while experiencing multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth. Serengeti Flyer will feature twin dueling arms that soar progressively higher, reaching speeds of 68 mph and a maximum height of 135 feet at the ride’s peak.

Guests will be seated back-to-back in rows of 10 across two gondolas, allowing for 40 guests to experience the ride at once.

Legoland Florida

Pirate River Quest

LEGOLAND Florida Resort announces Pirate River Quest (Legoland Florida)

A brand-new, swashbuckling quest awaits families visiting LEGOLAND Florida. On Jan 12, guests will get to experience Pirate River Quest. Originally scheduled for a 2022 debut, the attraction was delayed due to issues caused by Hurricane Ian. When the attraction opens, captain-driven boats will navigate guests through the natural passageways of Lake Eloise and the historic Cypress Gardens. Guests will look to uncover the lost treasure of Captain Redbeard. The attraction will have exciting sequences that tell the tale of a rowdy Lego pirate crew, a troop of mischievous monkeys and even a fearsome kraken. Pirate River Quest will open before the resort welcomes back its popular event, Pirate Fest Weekends.

Other attraction additions

Icon Park in Orlando

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.