1. Travel

Florida Ride Guide 2009

What's New for the 2009 Season at Florida Theme Parks

By

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster coming to Universal Studios Florida.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster coming to Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Orlando, 2008. Used with permission.
Updated June 08, 2009
The economy may be tanking, but that doesn't mean Florida theme parks will be keeping their wallets closed in 2009. Hoping to attract new and repeat visitors, even during difficult times, Florida parks are investing in their properties and will be debuting some impressive new features this season. The highlights include a couple of wild coasters and an attraction based on "American Idol." Amid the tanking economy, you'll probably appreciate the free theme park tickets you could score on your birthday.

Universal Orlando
Orlando, FL
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit - A thrilling coaster that will also be an interactive, multimedia experience.
Universal Studios Florida takes ride interactivity to new heights (167 feet, to be exact) with Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. The 65-mph thrill machine will give passengers the ability to control the attraction's soundtrack, and will allow them to "rip" a take-home memento of their wild coaster experience.

In early 2010 (and possibly soft opening in late 2009 for previews), Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando will be introducing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a lavish new land based on the wildly popular Potter books and films. Read more about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure.

SeaWorld Orlando
Orlando, FL
Manta flying coaster at SeaWorld Orlando
In summer 2009, SeaWorld will up the thrill quotient with Manta, a themed flying coaster. What's a flying coaster, you ask? Passengers will be harnessed in a prone position under the coaster train as they soar through the air and skim along the water.

Walt Disney World
Lake Buena Vista, FL
What will you celebrate?
The yearlong event will encourage guests to plan celebrations, including birthdays, true love, triumphs, reunions, and first visits, at Walt Disney World. To sweeten the deal, Disney is offering a one-day, one-park free admission to guests on their birthday.

The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios (used to be known as Disney-MGM Studios)
Two cultural juggernauts will join forces when Walt Disney World introduces a new attraction based on the hit show, "American Idol." To be housed in the now-vacant ABC Theater (which is ironic, considering Disney owns ABC, and "Idol" is on the rival FOX network) at Disney's Hollywood Studios, park guests will have the opportunity to audition for the chance to strut their stuff before a live audience on a mockup of the "Idol" set. Judges will winnow the contestants, and the park will stage a finale at the end of each day to crown a winner. The park's daily winners who want to pursue the real "American Idol" will receive a guaranteed reservation to bypass the lines at a regional competition.

Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure at Epcot
Using cell phones tricked out as "Kimmunicators," guests will receive video, text messaging, and audio clues to help them solve mysteries. Following the leads, participants will encounter actors, shopkeepers, and specially designed set pieces to uncover evidence hidden throughout the park.

Stitch’s SuperSonic Celebration, Hall of Presidents, and Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It! at Magic Kingdom
A new Stitch-themed show comes to Tomorrowland, President Obama joins the Hall of Presidents, and a new parade/street party will tie into the "What will you celebrate?" theme.

Walt Disney World's 2009 Ticket Prices: Get the lowdown on the Magic Your Way ticket program and discover how to get the most value for your vacation dollars.

Cypress Gardens
Winter Haven, FL
In a stunning development, the new owner of Cypress Gardens closed the park in November 2008 and will reopen it March 2009 without its coasters, other rides, or animals. The botanical gardens, which are the heart and soul of the park, will continue, as will the famous water ski show. Cypress Gardens plans to expand its water park as well.

Find Busch Gardens Africa and more Florida theme parks.

  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Theme Parks

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.