This post may be a bit late since so many announcements are happening within the world of themed entertainment that it’s hard to narrow down and keep up of what’s going on. 2017 is a fresh start and a new year to kick off of where to travel and get to able to experience new and exciting theme parks, attractions, and expansions.
This list may focus mainly within the area of North America parks but, if there is something not included in this list leave it down in the comments section below. So here is my own personal list about the Top 10 experiences you should travel towards within the theme park world for 2017.
10.) Pandora: The World of Avatar (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Set to open up this Summer 2017 from the global blockbuster of James Cameron’s Avatar and in partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment to bring the planet to life. Ground broke for construction in January 2014 and followed up details of it at the biannual D23 2015 Expo in Anaheim, California. Guests can walk through the stunning bioluminescent environment, come face to face with the native Na’vi people, and be able towards to ride the alien like Banshee that visitors of Pandora can experience.
This 12 acre, $500 million dollar expansion will also feature a river journey through the planet of Pandora with a similar experience like the classic Pirates of the Caribbean through the gorgeous and mysterious planet. This is defiantly a must do and something I recommend because the engineering and technical challenges of this expansion were not easy and if you saw that trailer with the animatronic Na’vi that, it looks ridiculously too realistic to believe.
Artist Concept Only, River Journey of Pandora. (Source: ©Disney)
9.) Wave Breaker-Jet Ski Roller Coaster (SeaWorld San Antonio)
Also new for Summer 2017 in the Southwestern part of Texas at SeaWorld San Antanio will be the first ever jetski roller coaster added towards the SeaWorld roller coaster family that was announced back in September 2016. This $18 million dollar coaster is inspired by SeaWorld’s animal care team and veterinarians to put riders of what it’s like to rescue sick or endangered aquatic animals in the wild and educating there guests about it.
Artist Concept Only, Wavebreaker. (©SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment)
8.) InvadR Roller Coaster (Busch Gardens Willamsburg)
InvadR is set to join the Busch Gardens roller coaster line up this 2017 and it will be the park’s first wooden coaster to be supported by a steel structure and to give it that classic wooden coaster feel towards it. The coaster will be a top speed of 48-mph with a 74 foot drop and a 46 inch height requirement to ride and a 81 foot hill with nine airtime hills. This will be using the former Gwazi coaster from Willamsburg’s sister park at Busch Gardens Tampa and having a viking theme behind it.
Artist Concept Only, InvadR. Source: (©Busch Gardens Willamsburg)
7.) Volcano Bay (Universal Orlando Resort)
Now this will be a big one here folks because this will be Universal Orlando’s first and third water (park) set to open this Summer 2017 (scheduled date June 1st, 2017) right next towards the Cabana Bay Beach Resort and taking over the Wet N’ Wild Water park (official closing date December 31st, 2016). This third gate park will bring in new technologies of virtual queue lines, a 200 foot tall Krakatau volcano inspired from the Polynesian Islands as the focal point of the park, and so many other endless water slides that will fit in within the 53 acre park.
Artist Concept Only, Volcano Bay. Source: (©Universal Orlando Resort)
It’s being built right by a highway which kind of makes this a somewhat dangerous and then again fun park that Universal Orlando is building and which the details were announced back in July 2016. So this water park will make you feel like your in paradise and also with interactive features that this will be something new and exciting that Universal Orlando guests can look forwards this summer.
6.) Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon (Universal Orlando Resort)
The late night talk show host from NBC’s of The “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” set to open up this Spring 2017 in taking a guests through a virtual ride through the streets and subways and more through New York. This took over the “Twister: Ride It Out” attraction and if you haven’t been following Jimmy himself on social media where, he has been posting himself using motion capture and working with ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) to make his attraction come to life.
Artist Concept Only, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Source: (©Universal Orlando Resort)
The interesting pitch behind this attraction and was announced earlier in November 2016 of a “flying theater” concept and where Universal fans were a bit confused behind this idea. Since the outer facade is taking shape now and progress is getting there that, it’s all matter of time when we take a tour through New York with the talk show host himself Jimmy Fallon. So let’s just see and wait what Jimmy has in store with us this Spring 2017.
5.) Ocean Explorer Expansion (SeaWorld San Diego)
The “Ocean Explorer” expansion will set debut either Spring or Summer 2017 is the guess even though no official date has been confirmed yet by SeaWorld Entertainment & Parks at SeaWorld San Diego. This will also include a simulator ride called “Submarine Quest” about a underwater research mission about the education of wild aquatic animals in our oceans.
Artist Concept Only, Ocean Explorer and Submarine Quest. Source: (©SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment)
“Embarking on these mini subs, visitors will become researchers on a mission to collect data and learn how they can help protect animals. This three-minute experience will include an onboard digital navigation dashboard, as well as a few other surprises along the journey, enhancing the riders’ understanding of our fragile ocean ecosystem.”
The expansion will be filled with large scale aquariums filled with spider crabs, jellyfish, and octopuses and many more coming soon this year.
4.) Finding Dory Simulator (Tokyo DisneySea)
Heading over towards the Asian region of theme parks where probably one of the best and highly detailed Disney Park in the world of Tokyo DisneySea where later this year will debut a Finding Dory simulator attraction from the hit Pixar-sequel animated film. Located in the Port Discovery location of the park and announced officially two years ago on the Disney Parks Blog that:
“Guests will board a submarine that “shrinks” to the size of a fish and uses a ride system that seamlessly blends visuals from the films with a motion system. In this immersive underwater experience, guests will be able to explore the vast ocean from the same point of view as Nemo and Dory and meet different characters and make new discoveries each time they ride.”
Artist Concept Only, Finding Dory Simulator. Source: (©Disney)
This will replace the current Stormrider attraction that was close down last year in May and for you take part of a deep blue adventure with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and rest of the fish-fun filled gang through the oceans in this upcoming attraction. No official opening date but, do keep posted towards the Disney Parks Blog for more updates.
3.) Miss Fortune Falls (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort)
The next addition added towards many of Disney fans’ favorite water park of Typhoon Lagoon of adding a new water slide called “Miss Fortune Falls” set to debut this Spring 2017. This family water raft ride will be located near the current Crush N’ Gusher water slide and will be one of the longest that the company has ever built according towards the Orlando Sentinel, last year in August.
“The back story for Miss Fortune Falls features (fictitious) Capt. Mary Oceaneer, a treasure hunter stranded at Typhoon Lagoon after a storm. Visitors will float through the captain’s past and see artifacts she collected on her treasure hunts.”
Miss Fortune Falls Logo. Source: (©Disney)
This will be the first newly added water raft slide that has introduced towards the park in quite some time and if your excited about this new water slide, leave it down in the comments section below.
Proposed plans of where the new slide of “Miss Fortune Falls” will be built in the water park at Typhoon Lagoon.
2.) More Shopping and Dining Experiences at Disney Springs (Walt Disney World Resort)
Disney Springs (former Downtown Disney) has defiantly improved since the newest addition of the Town Square expansion last year in the summer with recently new shops, restaurants, and entertainment has been added towards the area at the Walt Disney World Resort. Keep in mind most of these restaurants were supposed to open up last year but got delayed for most of them. New for 2017 this year will be the Planet Hollywood Observatory, Paddlefish (former name Fulton’s), The Polite Pig, Wine Bar George, and The Edison (rumored Neverland tunnels with a speakeasy).
Artist Concept Only of Planet Hollywood and The Edison. Source: (©Disney)
Okay so these are not attractions but, this is the next phase of expansion for the Disney Springs area and for one that myself I am looking forwards towards The Edison the most later this year.
1.) Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission: Breakout! (Disney California Adventure)
To wrap up our list at our last and final spot which is Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout! opening up this Spring 2017. This was a tough one to narrow down because some and some are not fan of Marvel comics despite Disney owning the franchise. This controversial announcement was made at least year’s San Diego Comic Con as a overlay for the classic The Twilight Zone that we have known for many years at Disney California Adventure.
Artist Concept Only for Guardians Of The Galaxy: Mission: Breakout! Source: (©Disney)
Sadly yesterday was the final day for attraction at the park and will be cherished by many Twilight Zone fans to remembered forever and the next phase for the Marvel IP to come next. This will be hopefully in time for this year’s sequel for the film with visual effects and music from the official soundtrack according towards Disney.
In my mind that I am still torn from classic attraction that I’ve known for many years and did get a chance to ride DCA’s Tower. Then again I do love the film for Guardians but, hopefully the next time I am in Southern California at the Disneyland Resort that I will get experience to see how it is.
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