10 New Theme Park Attractions We’re Looking Forward To In 2023 From Disney, Universal And More

Mario, Luigi and Peach characters at Super Nintendo World entrance
(Image credit: Universal Studios Hollywood)

2022 was a great year in the theme park industry that saw some impressive new attractions, from Marvel roller coasters to Jurassic World escape rooms. But 2023 is shaping up to be one of the biggest years ever for fans of theme park attractions. And while Disney Parks and Universal Parks and Resorts certainly have new experiences worth having, they are far from the only ones with rides worth taking. 

From Disney World and Sea World, to Dollywood and Hershey Park, there is a lot of new stuff currently in development that promises to make 2023 more fun than we can handle, but we’re certainly going to try.  

Tron Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Tron Lightcycle Run - Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Finally, after more than four years (it’s almost impossible to believe), Tron: Lightcycle Run will open in early 2023. Due to a combination of its massive size and the pandemic delay, this coaster has been under construction since 2018. As the name indicates, the attraction will put Users on the Grid to experience a high speed Lightcycle race in what is sure to be the most thrilling roller coaster at Disney World. With speeds of around 60 miles per hour, Tron will be the fastest, and almost certainly most thrilling, roller coaster at Walt Disney World.

Entrance to Super Nintendo World

(Image credit: Universal Studios Hollywood)

Super Nintendo World - Universal Studios Hollywood

When Universal Parks & Resorts announced a partnership with Nintendo fans went crazy. The home to some of the most exciting characters in the world able to use Universal Creative to bring popular games to life was too good to be true. The first Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan, but North America will finally get to enter the Mushroom Kingdom in March 2023 when Super Nintendo World arrives at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway - Disneyland

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened at Walt Disney World just a couple weeks before the global pandemic closed the park, and the same closure caused significant delays to the version set to be built across the country at Disneyland. The attraction that sees guests board a train that goes crazy, surrounded by the modern animated versions of Mickey Mouse and friends, is expected to be largely identical to the Florida ride, but the Disneyland edition will have an entirely new facade and aesthetic, as it will be located in a newly-redesigned Mickey’s ToonTown

Big Bear Mountain promo image

(Image credit: Dollywood)

Big Bear Mountain - Dollywood

Dollywood has quietly become one of the most popular theme parks in the country, and in 2023, it’s likely to become even more popular with the opening of the park’s longest ever roller coaster, Big Bear Mountain. It will also mark the first coaster at Dollywood with an onboard soundtrack. Big Bear Mountain is being called a family coaster, so while it should still be thrilling, those thrills will be suitable for all. An exact date for the opening has not been set, but the coaster will open sometime in the spring of 2023.

Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast

(Image credit: Universal Orlando Resort)

Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast - Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando Resort

Last year, Universal Orlando Resort closed down and demolished the Shrek 4D theater to make way for a new attraction. And while Universal provided some strong hints that something Minions-related was on the way, it wasn’t until recently that we learned what we would be getting. In some ways, Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast is a new attraction made up of things we’ve seen before. There's already one Minions attraction at Universal Studios Florida, and the ride will have guests firing blasters at targets in an attempt to earn their way into the Vicious 6. However, Minion Blast will also have some very unique elements, starting with the fact that there is apparently no ride vehicle and guests will progress through the attraction on a moving walkway. It’s certainly an intriguing twist on an old formula, and that makes it worth checking out.  

Catapult Falls promotional image

(Image credit: SeaWorld San Antonio)

Catapult Falls - SeaWorld San Antonio

Is it a water ride? Is it a log flume? Is it a roller coaster? The answer to all three of these questions appears to be yes. Catapult Falls at SeaWorld San Antonio is what’s being called a flume coaster, and it looks like what would happen if Splash Mountain was strapped to the train of Big Thunder Mountain. It’s without question one of the most unique attractions set to debut in 2023, and one that will probably be in very high demand on hot summer days. 

Te Fiti model at Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Journey Of Water, Inspired by Moana - Epcot, Walt Disney World

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Epcot’s new Journey of Water attraction is that it’s less than a year away, and we don’t even really know what it is. Set to be some sort of walk through experience that will give guests the ability to interact with water like Moana, and including an absolutely gorgeous model of Te Fiti, the experience is sure to be a beautiful centerpiece of Epcot’s new World Nature pavilion.  

Pipeline: The Surf Coaster concept art

(Image credit: SeaWorld Orlando)

Pipeline: The Surf Coaster - SeaWorld Orlando

Standing coasters are nothing new, but Pipeline: The Surf Coaster at SeaWorld Orlando certainly looks to be different. As the name indicates, the idea here is a coaster that gives the rider a feeling of surfing. As such, the bottom of the ride vehicle looks like a massive surfboard, and while a harness will hold you in place, riders will have some degree of vertical movement in the vehicle allowing you to bend your knees and move with the momentum of the coaster as you would if you were actually riding the waves.  

Wildcat's Revenge Concept art

(Image credit: Hershey Park)

 Wildcat’s Revenge - Hershey Park

While every other attraction on this list is entirely new, as in either a completely new addition or a replacement for something else, Wildcat’s Revenge is technically not new. It’s actually an update of the previous Wildcat coaster, which itself was an homage to Hershey Park’s original Wild Cat coaster. However, when Wildcat’s Revenge reopens, it won’t exactly be recognizable. The classic wooden coaster is being given a steel makeover, and the new coaster will be bigger, longer, faster and in every other conceivable way an upgraded experience. 

Arctic Rescue promo video screen shot

(Image credit: SeaWorld San diego)

Arctic Rescue - SeaWorld San Diego

Disney World’s Tron: Lightcycle Run may be the biggest attraction opening in 2023, but it’s not the only motorbike style roller coaster set to open in 2023. SeaWorld San Diego will open its own coaster, Arctic Rescue, where riders strap into snowmobile-like seats and take on a coaster inspired by SeaWorld’s own wildlife rescue work.  

These are just 10 of the most exciting and high profile attractions coming in 2023. From Carowinds to Knott’s Berry Farm, there’s even more happening on the theme and amusement park front that's going to make every park a place worth visiting. 2024 is going to have a very tough act to follow.   

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.