Guests considering a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise from Port Canaveral know they’re in for a magical time on the islands: aquamarine sea with talcum-powder beaches, colonial architecture, waterfalls and rainforests.
But it’s easy to add another dash of magic: add a pre- or post-cruise stay in Orlando. Often called the City Beautiful and Theme Park Central, Orlando overflows with magic —unveiling new attractions for visitors each year.
Here are some new attractions, a few already open and others on the horizon, all of which can be combined with a cruise out of Port Canaveral.
Walt Disney World
The new Skyliner, which debuted in September 2019, carries up to 10 guests high above the park in cable-suspended cabins. The semi-spherical glass cabins glide like gigantic colored bubbles across the sky. This astonishing transportation system, like a theme park attraction in itself, is equipped with the latest technology and connects the parks of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and EPCOT to four Disney World hotels: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort.
Some gondolas are decked out like beloved Disney characters, giving the impression that Disney friends are traveling with park guests. Skyliner offers excellent bird’s-eye views of Disney World, including the Tower of Terror, as gondolas approach Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
And speaking of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the park is sending visitors to a “galaxy far, far away” at “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” a whole new section of the park that Bob Iger, Disney CEO calls the largest ever single-themed land expansion at Disney Parks.
In this section, visitors will travel to Batuu, a far-away planet settled by adventurers and scoundrels. As they visit, guests can stop at Oga’s Cantina to sip “intergalactic” drinks like the “Jedi Mind Trick Cocktail” along with other out-of-this-world beverages and discover exotic artifacts at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, among other experiences from the blockbuster Star Wars series.
A big highlight is the already unveiled attraction, “Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.” Here visitors take the controls of the iconic spaceship from Star Wars, the Millennium Falcon, as it launches into the cosmos on a smuggling mission. Visitors may take one of three roles in the ride: pilot, gunner or flight engineer, to enjoy the attraction in multiple ways.
A second attraction in Star Wars Land, “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance,” is slated to open in early December 2019. This attraction will place visitors in the middle of the action during a big battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The new Star Wars Land and its attractions will be subject to capacity, so be sure to plan ahead with your travel professional.
Other novelties at Disney World include the “Wonderful World of Animation,” a new 12-minute show which has already debuted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A tribute to the art of animation, it presents a journey of more than 90 years of unforgettable moments of animated films from Disney and Pixar on the front of the park’s Chinese Theater. Scenes from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Sleeping Beauty” and other popular movies are projected on the theater’s facade, and Mickey Mouse is there too — opening and closing the show which also features fireworks. It is presented every evening at 9:05 p.m. in the park.
Still other new attractions at Disney World include a new fireworks, lasers and sound nighttime show at Epcot and Mickey’s & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad, the first ever ride-through attraction featuring the world’s most famous mouse and his girl, coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in spring of 2020.
Elsewhere in Orlando
At Universal Orlando Resort, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure takes riders inside the “Forbidden Forest” of the Harry Potter series. This new roller coaster features engaging storytelling, state-of-the-art technology and a real forest with more than 1,200 trees. And at SeaWorld Orlando, Infinity Falls is a novel raft adventure down a jungle river featuring fountains, waterfalls and the remains of a lost civilization — along with a precipitous drop.
What can I say? Pure magic to make a cruise from Port Canaveral even more magical!
Learn more about Caribbean Cruises.