Though most theme parks in the United States and around the world are currently open and operating, most theme park operators are writing 2020 off as a loss. And while early reports seemed to indicate that some parks may continue seeing losses into 2021, it looks like theme parks are hoping for some kind of tourism rebound next year, as there are almost a dozen new attractions, shows, lands, and even a new park scheduled to open next year!
1. Cirque du Soleil: Drawn to Life
Park: Disney Springs
Opening Date: February 10, 2021
Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Disney Springs closed forever at the end of 2017, but just before it did, Disney confirmed that a new Cirque du Soleil production was being developed for this theater. But this time, this all-new show will have a uniquely Disney flair, and be unlike anything else either Disney or Cirque du Soleil have produced in the past. Based around some of Disney's most iconic films, this new show will “draw its inspiration from Disney's heritage of animation,” and will “celebrate Disney’s legacy of storytelling in Cirque du Soleil’s signature way, with a tribute to the one-of a kind craftsmanship that makes Disney so extraordinary.”
As long as there are no snags between now and early next year, this will be one of the first new attractions to open worldwide, as Cirque du Soleil is scheduled to begin performances at Disney Springs on February 10, 2021. Shows are currently scheduled from that day through March 31, 2021.
2. LEGOLAND New York
Park: LEGOLAND New York
Opening Date: Spring 2021
Though we've seen delays announced for rides, restaurants, and full lands, LEGOLAND New York resort, which includes a whole theme park and hotel, delayed its grand opening a full year, and will now welcome its first guests in the spring of 2021. When open, this park will have over 50 rides, shows & attractions, including the Lego Factory Adventure, a one-of-a-kind trackless ride that shrinks guests down to the size of a minifigure!
3. New LEGO 4-D movie
Park: LEGOLAND Florida
Opening: Spring 2021
LEGOLAND Florida is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021, and in addition to special limited time entertainment, new LEGO City structures, and more annual events, the park has announced that it will be debuting an all-new 4-D movie, premiering at LEGOLAND Fun Town Theater in spring 2021! We don't know what the theme or story will be yet, but new details should be revealed soon!
4. Super Nintendo World
Park: Universal Studios Japan
Opening Date: Spring 2021
One of the most anticipated new lands to be built anywhere is Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, which features a new "realistic" Mario Kart ride, a Yoshi omnimover dark ride attraction that will be a hybrid indoor/outdoor attraction, and plenty of interactive experiences that make guests feel like they are inside their favorite Nintendo games. And though this land was originally supposed to open in July 2020, Universal Studios Japan has confirmed that this new land will welcome its first guests next spring.
5. Universal Studios Beijing
Park: Universal Studios Beijing
Opening Date: May 2021
Universal's fifth worldwide resort is set to open next Spring, and will contain a collection of exciting lands based on popular IP like Jurassic World, Waterworld, Kung Fu Panda, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Transformers, and Despicable Me. The theme park's list of attractions has not yet been officially announced, but based on construction photos and concept art, this park will feature a Transformers-themed roller coaster, a Jurassic World 3D attraction, and recreations of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, and Transformers The Ride: 3D
6. Ice Breaker
Park: SeaWorld Orlando
Opening: TBA 2021
SeaWorld has been betting big on their new Ice Breaker roller coaster attraction which was supposed to open this spring, and will blast guests through four different launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida — a 93-foot tall spike with 100-degree angle.
And though this new record-breaking roller coaster has been fully built and its trains placed on the track, SeaWorld's recent financial woes may keep it from testing for awhile. During a recent earnings call, SeaWorld confirmed this attraction's opening will be delayed until next year, when the park can return to full operation, so we'd guess that this new ride will be open by mid-year.