Busch Gardens Tampa
When you think of cheetahs, you think of graceful, sleek animals that are fast--really, really fast, right? Cheetah Hunt, the new roller coaster coming to Busch Gardens Tampa in spring 2011 looks like it will be sleek, smooth, and, yup, fast.
The Grand Reef
In 2011, the tony swim-with-the-dolphins park adjacent to (and run by) SeaWorld will introduce The Grand Reef, which will feature snorkeling among rays, starfish, and--yikes!--sharks as well as a unique underwater walking tour with dive helmets.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Star Tours II
Star Tours will get a complete makeover, including 3-D imagery and all-new footage. The re-imagined attraction will include a race aboard Starspeeders through the desert of Tatoonie as well as a variety of other destinations that will be chosen randomly for each ride (making for a huge array of different ride experiences).
- The new Star Tours ride is now open. Read my review of Star Tours - The Adventures Continue
- Video preview of Star Tours II
Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
OK, the Wizarding World is not new for 2011 (it opened to great acclaim in late spring 2010). But 2011 will be the first full year for the highly themed land. If you haven't made the journey to the richly detailed actualization of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, discover why it's cast a spell on park fans.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Overview- Discover the rides, dining options, and other features of the Islands of Adventure land.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Photo Gallery
- Exclusive About.com Video of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Wizarding World Grand Opening Photo Gallery
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey- Review of the groundbreaking ride.
Winter Haven, FL
To be built on the site of the former Cypress Gardens and scheduled to open in October 2011, the new Legoland Florida will be larger than any of the current four Legolands (including the sole US property, Legoland California). It will offer about 50 rides and shows. Like the other parks, it will be geared to the 12-and-under set, and will feature Lego-themed lands and attractions, many of which will be interactive and include hands-on activities.
All three SeaWorld parks (in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego) will debut a new killer whale show this spring called "One Ocean." As with past presentations, there will be giant LED screens, original music, and special effects to help tell an overarching story--in this case, that we all share the planet and need to play a role in its ecological stewardship.
Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Let the Memories Begin
"Let the Memories Begin" will be the theme for the 2011 promotion at the US Disney parks. Guests will be able to have their images projected onto the outside of it's a small world (sic) at Disneyland and Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom as part of a new nightly show. User-generated videos, images, and stories will also be featured on a Disney website and in television commercials to promote the parks.
Magic Your Way Ticket Program- Info about 2011 Walt Disney World Admission Tickets.
New Fantasyland Forest Attractions at the Magic Kingdom- They're not scheduled to open until 2012 and 2013, but get a sneak peek at some exciting new attractions coming to Walt Disney World.