Families and individuals who are traveling this summer can take note of these five new film- and TV-based attractions at theme parks around the world.
1. Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Orlando, Florida
Disney World Orlando’s Pandora is, according to L.A. Times writer Todd Martens, an immersive experience halfway between fantasy and reality. The attraction includes some real plants and a very real message about the importance of environmental conservation, but it also features several animatronics and plenty of handmade flora. The attraction, which opened on May 27, includes two rides, one restaurant and one drink stand.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at Disney’s California Adventure; Anaheim, California
Disney’s first Marvel-themed ride took the place of the beloved Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. While initially the subject of considerable controversy, the new attraction has received positive reviews from critics who praised the ride’s story and irreverent humor. The attraction kept the same basic structure of the Tower of Terror (it’s a scary elevator), but the new experience is one involving groovy music, likeable characters and several witty lines.
3. Fear the Walking Dead at the Fremont Street Experience; Las Vegas, Nevada
Fremont Street Experience leadership have been tight-lipped about what to expect from the new attraction, but one Las Vegas blog suggested the experience would be “part-thrill ride, part-escape room, part-maze, part-haunted house and part-video game.” The attraction is being created by the Montréal-based company Triotech, which also developed rides at Legoland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Fear the Walking Dead is set to open in July.
4. Forbidden Forest Expansion at Warner Bros. Studio Tour; London, England
On March 31, the Warner Bros. Studio in London introduced the Forbidden Forest as a new permanent expansion to the Harry Potter experience. The tour takes visitors through a replica of the popular detention spot (honestly, what were those teachers thinking?) and gives tourists the chance to see life-size models of Buckbeak the hippogriff and Aragog the acromantula. Arachnophobes are still welcome, though — visitors can request to take a spider-free path through the forest.
5. 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' dioramas at Legoland California; Carlsbad, California
Legoland’s new attraction isn’t a ride, but it’s nonetheless impressive. At Legoland, visitors can see a 16-foot long model of the Finalizer (a secret First Order spaceship) and browse six new Lego recreations of scenes from the film.