by Troy Petenbrink

Orlando, the home of Mickey Mouse and sunshine, is the No. 1 tourist destination in the US. It attracts over 50 million annual visitors — and it’s gearing up for more. As Orlando approaches its summer season, it is launching many new and exciting upgrades to its amusement park attractions.

The Amazing Spider-Man at Universal Studios Orlando

Sea World
At SeaWorld Orlando, Orca has some new friends, with the introduction of TurtleTrek, a mix of uber-technology and naturalistic habitats. On the tech side, visitors can experience a 3-D/360-degree film in a cool dome theater that uses dozens of projectors to immerse the audience in an underwater journey of a sea turtle’s life. Real rescued sea turtles, along with thousands of fish and manatees, can also be seen as are part of 2 new habitats — one saltwater and one freshwater.

EcoSafari’s EcoPark
Fans of roller coasters might enjoy The Rattlesnake at Forever Florida EcoSafaris’ expanded EcoPark. The roller coaster-style zipline launches from a 65-foot-high platform before whipping around a 1,000-foot course and reaching speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.

Universal Orlando
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, one of the most popular attractions at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, has been updated with high-definition animation as well as improved audio and lighting. In addition, on May 8, Universal Orlando Resorts will debut the Superstar Parade, a daily parade featuring larger-than-life floats, hundreds of street performers and characters like the minions from Despicable Me, E.B. from Hop, Nickelodeon’s Dora & Diego and SpongeBob SquarePants. Guests will have the opportunity to attend meet-and-greets prior to the parade at select locations throughout the day.

Legoland
Visitors to Legoland can plan to make a splash with the opening of a waterpark on May 28. Just in time for the summer heat, the park will feature a wave pool, an intertwining pair of water tubes, a “build-a-raft” lazy river and 3 waterslides with 60-foot drops. In addition, the DUPLO Splash Safari will be a special water-play area specifically designed for toddlers.


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Kwin MosbyKwin is Managing Producer of TravelChannel.com. His multimedia career has included working as a TV news reporter/producer and publications editor. What inspires Kwin to travel? It’s relaxing beach locations, vibrant...

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