A land of over sized toys where a slinky-dog roller coaster shoots you past a tower of monster Jenga blocks and Toy Story characters.
A harrowing chase through San Francisco with the characters from “Fast and the Furious.”
A ride up the side of a waterfall — before a 42-foot drop, then a giant splash.
Orlando-area theme parks are sharing some details of new rides coming in 2018 to Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando.
Using scale and technology, each aims to take parkgoers into settings they’ve never experienced.
If 10 means drenched, then Infinity Falls — SeaWorld Orlando’s second water ride that opens in early summer — scores a 7, said company vice president Brian Morrow.
“We want this water ride to be wet but not soaking,” Morrow said.
The more than 5-minute long ride centers on a group of young researchers who want to learn more about a river in a tropical jungle — a lesson on fresh water ecosystems.
Riders will sit in eight-person round rafts that start out in gentle waters, moving past a flock of flamingos. It builds up to one of the most intense parts of the ride — about 40 seconds rushing through Class 3.5 to 4 rapids. After that stretch, riders get a chance to catch their breath, Morrow said, and then the raft lifts into the air and travels up the side of a waterfall.
At the top comes Infinity Falls’ big reveal — a 42-foot drop, which SeaWorld called a record-breaking plunge for such a water ride. The raft moves on a slide, similar to the feel of the drop at Disney World’s Splash Mountain.
There are some thrills, but Morrow called it a family-friendly ride. “It’s got a big drop but it’s not going to be intimidating,” he said.
At Disney World, Toy Story Land is opening at Hollywood Studios in the summer with the goal of making visitors feel like they shrunk to the size of a toy and are zapped into Andy’s backyard.
“For more than 20 years, Toy Story’s beloved characters have captured the hearts of people of all ages,” a Disney spokeswoman said in a statement.
The land, which took several years to create, features two attractions and a quick-food restaurant. An estimated 15-foot tall Woody will greet visitors at the entrance past the oversized tinker toys decorating the perimeter of the park.
The Slinky Dog Dash track runs through a significant part of the the 11-acre site, so Disney’s intent is for the roller coaster to be seen and heard throughout the land.
Disney is still testing the roller coaster and has not determined the exact speed, although it will likely be a similar thrill level of Magic Kingdom’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. One part of the ride travels past an arch of oversized colorful blocks and large-scale figures of Toy Story’s Jessie and Rex the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The second attraction will be space-themed, based off the alien toys trapped in the vending machine at the Pizza Planet from the movie.
On the Alien Swirling Saucers ride, visitors ride in rockets spiraling around to the backdrop of electronic space music. The family-friendly ride, located in a covered venue, will have a similar feel to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.
A Universal Orlando executive described Fast and the Furious — Supercharged, a ride that opens in spring, as heavily immersive and fast-paced. It takes visitors into the heart of the underground operations of the franchise’s star Dominic, played by Vin Diesel, and his team. Characters played by Jordana Brewster and Ludacris also appear in the attraction.
But drama arises — que villain Owen Shaw, played by Luke Evans — that disrupts the festivities and leads riders on a chase in a party bus through the iconic scenes of San Francisco, on the freeway and over water. Riders will feel the elements, such as wind, water and heat as they watch images on high-defintion 360-degree screens.
“It’s about bringing you into this experience and making you feel like you’re smack in the middle of it,” said Thierry Coup, senior vice president of Universal Creative.
A rendering of the new Fast & Furious — Supercharged ride that will open in 2018 at Universal Orlando Resort. (Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort)
A typical ride at Universal runs about four minutes, although Supercharged lasts a bit longer, Coup said.
Riders will use a virtual reservation system for queuing, similar to the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon attraction, he added.
None of the parks have set opening dates for these attractions. Last year, Disney and Universal opened major attractions — Pandora and Volcano Bay, respectively — just as Memorial Day visitors came to town.