16 new theme park attractions opening in 2023

Pirate River Quest at Legoland Florida Resort. Image courtesy of Legoland Florida Resort.

New rides, lands, and other adventures are debuting at theme parks across the country in 2023.

From the world's first "surfing" roller coaster to a 135-foot-tall swing that soars over giraffes and zebras, we look at 16 of the most exciting new experiences coming to U.S. theme parks this year—and how you can enjoy them for less with discounts from AAA Tickets.

1. TRON Lightcycle / Run

Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, Florida

Opens April 4, 2023

Ever wanted to ride your very own Lightcycle? Soon you'll be able to in the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World. Based on the 1982 and 2010 TRON films, this roller coaster will be among the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world. Each rider will straddle their own Lightcycle as they race to be the first team through all 8 Energy Gates—or risk permanent deletion.

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2. Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast

Universal Orlando Resort
Orlando, Florida

Opens summer 2023

Guests at Universal Orlando will soon get to see how good they are at being bad. Villain-Con Minion Blast is an upcoming interactive blaster attraction in the new Minion Land that invites you to see how much mayhem you can cause. Step onto a motion-based pathway, hit the right targets on the attraction's state-of-the-art screens, and you just might find yourself rewarded with a spot as the newest villain on the notorious Vicious 6 supervillain team.

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3.  Super Nintendo World

Universal Studios Hollywood
Los Angeles, California


Ever wondered what it's like to be inside a video game? Now you can find out at Universal Studios Hollywood's new Super Nintendo World. Collect coins, fling fireballs from your fingertips, battle Koopas and Goombas, and take on Bowser in a real-life Mario Kart race—all while competing with other visitors for a high score. We look at how it works and ways to make the most of your visit to the Mushroom Kingdom.

4. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California


This ride in Mickey's Toontown, the first to feature Mickey and Minnie Mouse, is a love letter to classic Disney animation. Mickey and Minnie invite you to the "prem-ear" of their latest cartoon at the El CapiTOON Theater, but a relaxing ride aboard Goofy's train goes off the rails and takes passengers through a smorgasbord of animated scenes. The ride queue also doubles as an exhibit celebrating the nearly 100-year career of Mickey Mouse.

5. Disney100

Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, California

Open throughout 2023

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, Disneyland will be taking part in the Disney100 celebration with special limited-time attractions around the resort. This includes an all-new World of Color – ONE nighttime spectacular, the first to feature content from Walt Disney Animation, Pixar, the Avengers, and Star Wars together. The Magic Happens parade also makes a return, and the park will be adorned with special platinum decorations and statues to mark the occasion.

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6. Serengeti Flyer

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Tampa, Florida


Guests soar 135 feet in the air and reach speeds up to 68 mph aboard this new pendulum swing, currently the tallest and fastest "Screamin' Swing" ride in the world. While suspended weightless at the end of each swing, take in the giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and other African animals of Busch Gardens' Serengeti Plain.

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7. DarKoaster

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia

Opens spring 2023

This new roller coaster will be housed entirely inside Busch Gardens Williamsburg's imposing DarKastle, the former home of the Curse of DarKastle ride. Picking up where that story left off, the coaster invites riders aboard snowmobiles to explore the former home of the mad King Ludwig. A supernatural blizzard has set in, and riders will speed through 4 different accelerated launches as they navigate the storm. A 48-inch height requirement means more of the family can come aboard this ride.

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8. Pipeline: The Surf Coaster

SeaWorld Orlando
Orlando, Florida

Opens spring 2023

The world's first-ever surfing roller coaster, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster will let riders experience the thrill of riding the waves while standing aboard a giant articulated surfboard. Free-floating chest restraints will allow riders to rise and fall with the motion of the board, just like in surfing, and speeds up to 60 mph will recreate the rush of shooting through a crashing pipeline.

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9. Arctic Rescue

SeaWorld San Diego
San Diego, California

Opens spring 2023

SeaWorld is billing this new roller coaster as the "fastest and longest straddle coaster on the West Coast." The ride will begin in the Wild Arctic exhibit, home to beluga whales, walruses, and seals. Riders will each board their own snowmobile and race through progressively faster acceleration launches, reaching speeds of 40 mph.

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10. Wildcat's Revenge

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Opens summer 2023

Hersheypark's longtime Wildcat wooden roller coaster will be reborn this summer as Wildcat's Revenge, a hybrid coaster adding a new steel track to the iconic wooden framework. Riders will drop from a 140-foot hill at speeds up to 62 mph. The new track adds 4 upside-down inversions, including the world's longest "underflip," a segment where riders climb into a 270-degree corkscrew before diving off to one side. 

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11. Big Bear Mountain

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Opens spring 2023

This coaster stretches across 6 rolling acres of Dollywood's Wildwood Grove area and will feature multiple launch zones, tight carousel turns, and even a pass behind a waterfall. You'll be hot on the heels of Big Bear, a legendary but elusive bear said to live in the Great Smoky Mountains, and audio throughout the ride will tell the story. With a height requirement of just 39 inches, it's a family-friendly adventure, too.

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12. Lego Ninjago Training Camp

Legoland California Resort
Carlsbad, California


Brand new to Legoland California in 2023 is the Lego Ninjago Training Camp. It has play areas for kids of all ages to climb up high and spot invaders, spin down slides to battle imaginary dragons, and go on endless adventures in a giant play ship. Parents can join in the fun or take a break on the shaded benches in this fully fenced play area.

RELATED: What to do & see at Legoland California Resort by age range

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13. Pirate River Quest

Legoland Florida Resort
Winter Haven, Florida


Sail around the historic canals of the former Cypress Gardens, Florida's first theme park, in pursuit of Captain Redbeard's lost gold. Along the way, your free-floating boat expedition will encounter Lego creatures such as spiders, colorful birds, troublesome monkeys, and even a massive kraken. The family-friendly adventure is equal parts Lego story and tour of the lush botanical gardens on Lake Eloise.

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14. Water Playground

Legoland New York Resort
Goshen, New York

Opens Memorial Day Weekend 2023

Legoland New York Resort's new Water Playground area is opening just in time for the start of summer over Memorial Day weekend. The new oasis will feature waterslides, a cascading waterfall splash with 318 gallons of water, and an area to build your own Lego boat to float and race. The playground will also have a changing area for families.

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15. MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress

Knott's Berry Farm
Buena Park, California

Opens summer 2023

As part of a larger renovation of the Fiesta Village area, Knott's is renovating the former Montezooma's Revenge coaster into MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress. Visitors will find themselves in possession of Montezuma's legendary golden treasure, but how can they escape his fortress? A high-speed launch station slinging coasters at 55 mph may be the only way out, so be sure to hold on tight.

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16. The Boardwalk

Cedar Point
Sandusky, Ohio

Opens 2023

Cedar Point got its start in the late 1800s welcoming visitors to enjoy the lakeshore, so it's fitting that the park's latest expansion will be The Boardwalk. The brand-new beach resort-themed area will include a new Grand Pavilion with dining options and a view of the lake, and decorations meant to evoke the 153-year history of the park. Also included will be the Wild Mouse, a new roller coaster with teacup cars that rotate 360 degrees while careening around a topsy-turvy track.

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