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Theme parks bank on new attractions to help draw summer crowds

ORLANDO, Fla. — Summer is quickly approaching, and Central Florida’s tourist attractions are preparing for big crowds.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, or IAAPA, expects this summer travel season to be a busy one.

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Orlando, known as the theme park capital of the world, is prepared to show off its latest and greatest attractions.

“It reflects there is a strong market for our attractions, for our parks, where families, friends, and several generations come together to have fun,” Jakob Wahl, the President and CEO of IAAPA, said.

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IAAPA expects there to be 300 million visits to theme parks across the country in 2024 and predicts there will be more than $32 billion in consumer spending.

Wahl said this year there will be more attractions for the entire family to enjoy like SeaWorld’s new Penguin Trek.

“It’s a family launch coaster,” Wahl said. “Even though it has launches which are thrilling, it is still aimed at the whole family and has a height limit of 42 inches.”

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Local parks are also focusing on technology, inclusivity, and attractions for younger children.

“We have seen in Florida recently the opening of Peppa Pig World,” Wahl said. “Just down the road at Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida is opening next month its new Dream Works Land.”

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While roller coasters are a fun way to check out the theme parks, according to IAAPA, parks are becoming more nature driven with zoos and aquariums.

SeaWorld features a Coral Rescue Center to teach visitors how to take steps to protect ocean health.

Rain or shine, Wahl said guests can look forward to their time and money being well spent in Central Florida.

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