Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World near Orlando.
Courtesy Matt Stroshane

In October, Walt Disney World, the crown jewel of American theme parks, will begin an 18-month celebration of its 50th anniversary, debuting several attractions and activities. Scurry through a larger-than-life Parisian kitchen on the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride, or take in Epcot’s forthcoming Harmonious waterfront spectacular, a dynamic show incorporating music, fountains and pyrotechnics. Thrills abound at neighboring parks as well, with a new Jurassic World–themed VelociCoaster boasting a 140-ft. drop and zero-gravity stall—in which the track rotates 360 degrees above the surface of a lagoon—at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Other attractions, including SeaWorld Orlando’s tundra-themed Ice Breaker and a drop tower at ICON Park—the world’s tallest, at 430 ft.—are slated to open by year’s end. Among the newest lodging options: the AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando, and the 349-room Walt Disney World Swan Reserve. —Carlye Wisel

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