Ultimate 2017 Family Theme Park Bucket List

Every year I am excited for what new attractions will be at my favorite theme parks. This year we are planning a few visits to Orlando, Florida and I wanted to share my 2017 theme park bucket list. Some of these attractions have already opened and others will be opening later this year.

Walt Disney World

Rivers Of Light

This year Walt Disney World is bringing great attractions to its Animal Kingdom park. Rivers of Light has been a long process to get to it’s opening date. We visited last year and it was supposed to be open but we never got to see it. It appears the show is worth the wait. With glowing reviews, Rivers of Light has opened as the first night show at Animal Kingdom. With lights and floats it looks awe inspiring and I can’t wait to see it this year. If you are planning a visit consider a River of Light Dining package to secure a spot at the evening show. You can make reservations here.

Theme Park Bucket List
Image Courtesy of WDW News, David Roark, photographer

Pandora: The World of Avatar

I have to let you in on a little secret. I have never seen Avatar. When Disney announced this my reaction was meh…but after seeing the concept art I am genuinely excited to see this new land at Animal Kingdom. There will be two headlining attractions. The first is Na’vi River Journey and will be a boat ride through the world of Pandora. The art work is gorgeous and I think this will be a family favorite. The second is AVATAR Flight of Passage and will be a flight simulator ride. Each sound amazing and I can’t wait to experience them both. Pandora opens on May 27th.

Theme Park Bucket List
Image Courtesy of WDW News

Universal Orlando

Volcano Bay

Located at Universal Orlando, Volcano Bay is said to be Universal’s third theme park and with all the excitement around it I can’t wait. Opening on May 25 guests will step into an entire new water park experience. I have to be honest I am not a huge water park person but I am really intrigued by this new park.  Water parks can be difficult because of long lines and carrying heavy tubes up many flights of stairs. Volcano Bay is about to change all this!!

Theme Park Bucket List
© 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

Introducing TapuTapu. Similar to Disney’s Magic Bands you will wear this device during your visit to the park. Upon entering you will be given your TapuTapu and will be off to explore the park. As you step up to an attraction you tap your TapuTapu and it will give you a time to come back to the attraction. During this time you will have an opportunity to explore other areas of the park or grab a bite to eat.

Theme Park Bucket List
© 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

I think this sounds incredible and I am a huge fan of eliminating the wait times for attractions. My initial opinion of this park is positive. The attractions look unique and I think it will be a great park. Tickets are now on sale as part of a 3 Day Park Ticket. Will you visit?

Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon

Join Jimmy Fallon as you race through New York City. From the Universal Website it will be the “world’s first-ever flying theater”. My son thinks Jimmy Fallon is so cool ever since he saw him ride Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit with Kevin Hart on YouTube, so we are very excited. Universal is also using a new “virtual line” kiosks that will eliminate wait times and allow you to explore other areas of Universal Studios. For me the virtual line technology could be a game changer. It will give guests more time at the park and allow for less time wasted. I am interested to see how this works out during its opening day, April 6, 2017.

Theme Park Bucket List
© 2016 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.



If you have a NINJAGO fan in your house you need to add LEGOLAND Florida to your bucket list. My kids love LEGOLAND! We watch LEGO Movies and we play with LEGOs. This year LEGOLAND Florida has opened NINJAGO World. The highlight of the new world is the LEGO NINJAGO Ride that lets you be the Ninja. Using interactive technology you help the Ninjas and learn some Ninja skills. This will be our first stop when we visit LEGOLAND Florida this year.

Theme Park Bucket List
PHOTO/Chip Litherland, LOCK + LAND for LEGOLAND Florida Resort

I am sure there will be more exciting attractions planned for my favorite parks as the year goes on. Have you experienced these attractions yet? Do you have plans to visit Orlando theme parks this year? Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.


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5 thoughts on “Ultimate 2017 Family Theme Park Bucket List”

  1. Great list!! Lots of new things to do at LEGOLAND Florida, Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort! Hope you have a great time checking them out! 🙂

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