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Rides opening and closing at Florida theme parks in 2023

Here are the new rides coming to Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens, Legoland and SeaWorld this year.

ORLANDO, Fla. — It's out with the old and in with the new for Florida theme parks in 2023.

Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios Orlando, Legoland and SeaWorld Orlando are clearing out current attractions to make way for revamped rides in the new year.

Here's what's opening and closing at Florida theme parks in 2023.

Busch Gardens

Opening: Serengeti Flyer

The world's tallest and fastest "screamin' swing" ride is set to open at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Spring 2023. 

Riders will swing above Busch Gardens' 65-acre Serengeti Plain while experiencing "multiple negative-G moments before plunging back toward the Earth," the park wrote in a release. The ride will feature twin dueling arms that will reach speeds of 68 miles per hour and a height of 135 feet at the ride's peak. 

Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay "Serengeti Flyer" concept art

Opening: Springs Taproom

This all-new taproom will serve guests a variety of classic cocktails, frozen beverages, small bites and more. Spring Taproom is set to replace Garden Gate Café in early January.

"The new venue has been rethemed with a mix of modern decoration and classic photos, taking guests on a journey down memory lane," Busch Gardens said in a release.

Credit: Busch Gardens

Disney World

Closing: Splash Mountain

Walt Disney World's Splash Mountain — as we now know it — will be closing for good on Jan. 23, 2023. Parkgoers will get another chance to get back on the thrilling log flume ride, but not until 2024, when it's reimagined as Tiana's Bayou Adventure. 

Credit: AP
The character Brer Rabbit, from the movie, "Song of the South," is depicted near the entrance to the Splash Mountain ride in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, March 21, 2007. Walt Disney Co.'s 1940s film "Song of the South" produced one of the brand's most famous songs _ the Oscar-winning "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" _ and inspired two theme park rides. Each lives on, but the movie remains hidden in the Disney archives, never released on video in the United States and criticized as racist for its depictions of Southern plantation blacks. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Opening: TRON Lightcycle / Run

Inspired by Disney's futuristic 1982 film "TRON" and its 2010 sequel, "TRON Legacy," this high-speed ride will take guests on an epic quest across the Grid—the dark, computerized movie world with no horizons.

Set to open April 4 in Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland, this ride "will be one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world," the park wrote.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog
TRON Lightcycle/Run

Opening: Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Based on the Disney animated film "Moana," this self-guided, interactive trail will let guests of all ages "explore the wonders of water."

This attraction is set to open in late 2023 within World Nature—the EPCOT neighborhood dedicated to the beauty of the natural world.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

Opening: Dreamers Point

This attraction will allow guests to explore lush gardens and listen to musical performances along with a statue of the most famous dreamer — Walt Disney himself. This peaceful pavilion is set to open in late 2023 in EPCOT's World Celebration neighborhood. 

Credit: Disney Parks Blog
Walt Disney statue at Dreamers Point

Opening: Roundup Rodeo BBQ

This "Toy Story" table service restaurant will bring your favorite toys from the series to life, from Buzz Lightyear to the barrel of monkeys. This family-style restaurant is set to open in Spring 2023 in Hollywood Studios' Toy Story Land.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog
Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land

Universal Studios

Closing: Fievel's Playland, Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster, Curious George Goes to Town, DreamWorks Destination, and Shrek and Donkey's Meet & Greet

Universal Studios announced in November that it will be closing five attractions on Jan. 15, 2023, to make way for a new immersive experience. 

As for the new experience, we don't know exactly what to expect yet. According to Universal, the "new family entertainment" will "immerse guests in the adventure of beloved animated characters." 

Opening: Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast

Guests will blast their way to "supervillain stardom" in this game-based attraction. It will take the place of Shrek 4D and join the existing Despicable Me Minion Mayhem attraction and Minion Café for an all-new Minion Land. Villain-Con Minion Blast is set to open in Summer 2023.


Opening: Pirate River Quest

Set sail through the "uncharted waters" of Cypress Gardens with a rowdy crew of pirates to recover lost treasure. This "family-friendly treasure hunt" opens on Jan. 12, 2023.

SeaWorld Orlando

Opening: The Surf Coaster

Ride the waves as you shoot 110 feet in the air on this first-of-its-kind coaster. An "inventive harness" will keep you secure while this extreme thrill ride takes you up to 60 miles per hour. The coaster is set to launch in Spring 2023.

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