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2017 is Going to be a HUGE Year for Universal Orlando Resort. Here's Why

2. Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Image: Universal Orlando Resort

Though many scratched their head when this attraction was first announced back in 2015, we are only a few months away from the opening of Race Throgh New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. And though much of this ride was shrouded in mystery during its development, Universal confirmed earlier this year that this attraction will use what they are calling a “Flying Theater”, ride system which will seat 72 guests at a time and allow visitors to "race" Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon through the streets of New York City.

However, this attraction won't be just a guided tour of popular New York icons like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the name, this new attraction will include a lot of references to NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and will feature cameos from Tonight Show announcer Steve Higgins as well as house band The Roots (who also scored the attraction). Jimmy Fallon will also be recalling some of the Tonight Show’s most classic bits during the attraction, including “Ew” with Sara and “Tight Pants” with Jimmy Fallon.

As of right now construction is still ongoing on this attraction at Universal Studios Florida, and while we know that the resort is targeting a mid-2017 grand opening date for this attraction, no specific launch target has been revealed just yet. 

3. Volcano Bay 

Image: Universal

Though we're excited about a (potentially) new Harry Potter show at Islands of Adventure and of course Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, undoubtedly the biggest new opening at Universal Orlando Resort in 2017 will be Volcano Bay, the resort's new water park. 

Universal is calling Volcano Bay the resort's third park and while we're not really buying that (Walt Disney World doesn't have six parks, after all), this new park is still going to be something amazing. Built from the ground up with no queue lines in sight, Volcano Bay will use a new wearable called "Tapu Tapu" to alert guests when it is time to ride, and encourage them to explore the park on their own in between experiencing the park's 18 different attractions. Though unconfirmed, rumors also suggest that this park will also have its own nightly fireworks display, which would be a first for a water park. 

You can read a lot more about all of the individual attractions that will be featured at this park here, and learn more about how Universal is hoping to get rid of queue lines with Tapu Tapu here. Much like Universal's other projects, there is no projected opening date for this new park, but given the fact that water parks are busiest in the summer (and given the speed with which construction is progressing), we'd assume that Universal is hoping to have this new park open by June or July to take as much advantage of the summer crowds as possible. 

Are you going to be visiting Universal Orlando Resort in 2017? Which of these three new projects are you most excited to check out in the new year? 

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