New dark rides and show rides for 2023

circus bumba
Artwork for the new Bumba dark ride at Plopsaland de Panne (Belgium) (© Plopsaland de Panne)

With the major theme park season of 2022 being over, it is time for a new list of new dark rides and show rides coming in 2023! After a few unusual years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we already saw a large amount of new rides opening in 2022. Let’s now see what 2023 has in store in terms of new dark rides and show rides! Check out the list below.

Please note that there are still some rides coming up for November and December 2022. These are Treasure Hunt: The Ride (Cannery Row, CA, U.S.A), Tata World River Adventure (VinWonders Nha Trang, Vietnam), Eatrenalin (Europa-Park, Germany; opened 4 November) and Drachen Magic (Ritter Rost – Magic Park Verden, Germany; opened 3 December).

North America

Canada

Clifton Hill (Niagara Falls, Ontario): Carnival Chaos. Brand new dark ride and the first full-scale installation of the Hyper Ride, a ride concept by Triotech & Gosetto. The ride type includes motion seats, to give a similar experience to motion-based dark ride vehicles. The ride was announced at the IAAPA Expo in 2021 and was originally intended to open in 2022.

United States of America

Disneyland (Anaheim, California): Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Second installation of this trackless darkride. The ride in constructed in Mickey’s Toontown, which will receive an overall upgrade for the 2023 season. The first installation of the dark ride opened in Orlando in 2020. Opening of the ride is scheduled for 27 January, with the area re-opening somewhere in spring.

FlyOver Chicago (Chicago, Illinois). Fourth installation of the FlyOver chain, after FlyOver Canada, FlyOver Iceland and FlyOver Las Vegas. Announced in early 2022, this stand-alone flying theatre constructed by Brogent Technologies is expected to open in 2023. Located at the Navy Pier.

Funtown Splashtown USA (Saco, Maine): Haunted Hotel. Interactive dark ride by Sally Dark Rides, in which riders are to clear a hotel from an evil charm. The ride was announced in November 2022 during the IAAPA Expo.

Lagoon (Farmington, Utah): Primordial. Combination of an interactive dark ride and a roller coaster. The ride is similar to Wonder Mountain’s Guardian, which was built by ART Engineering and Triotech. Even though construction began in 2019, progress has long been a mystery, until the ride was officially announced for the 2023 season in November 2022.

Legoland California (Carlsbad, California): Unknown. Vekoma madhouse, probably in the same style as Haunted House Monster Party in Legoland Windsor. Takes the place of a part of the Driving School, which remains with a smaller lay-out. The ride was announced in May 2022.

Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles, California): Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. Second installation of Super Nintento World including the dark ride about the popular Mario Kart games. The first installation opened in Japan in 2021.

Hyper Ride CliftonHill LR
Artwork for Carnival Chaos: Hyper Ride (© Triotech)

Asia

China

Fantawild Heze (Heze): New Park. Preseumably a new genre of Fantawild parks, but it is yet unknown what theme or rides it will receive. Nevertheless a number of dark rides and show rides might be expected, regarding the other properties by Fantawild Group.

Fantawild Jining (Jining): New Park. Preseumably an installation of Fantawild’s recent ‘Road of Rejuvenation’ parks, of which the first opened last year in Huai’an. The park is likely to receive similar dark rides and show rides as that park.

Fantawild Shangqiu (Shangqiu): New Park. Preseumably a new genre of Fantawild parks, but it is yet unknown what theme or rides it will receive. Nevertheless a number of dark rides and show rides might be expected, regarding the other properties by Fantawild Group.

Fantawild Xuzhou (Xuzhou): New Park. Preseumably an installation of Fantawild’s recent ‘Road of Rejuvenation’ parks, of which the first opened last year in Huai’an. The park is likely to receive similar dark rides and show rides as that park.

Hong Kong Disneyland (Hong Kong): Frozen Ever After. Dark boat ride themed after the Frozen franchise. The ride is expected to be a near-copy of the ride by the same name in EPCOT.

Legoland Sichuan (Sichuan): New Park. New Legoland park, the first of three parks to open in China over 2023 and 2024. It is not officially known yet what rides to expect in the park, though it seems likely that a the park will feature a Dragon semi-dark ride as well as a Lego Factory and a Ninjago dark ride. All of them are similar to installations in earlier Legoland parks, such as Legoland New York.

Oriental Heritage Anyang (Anyang): New Park. New park by the Fantawild Group. Likely to contain the same dark rides as other more recent Oriental Heritage parks such as Taiyuan. Was announced for 2021, but has not opened yet as far as is known.

Oriental Heritage Zhengzhou (Zhengzhou): New Park. New park by the Fantawild Group and a third gate to the Fantawild Zhengzhou Resort. Likely to contain the same dark rides as other more recent Oriental Heritage parks such as Taiyuan. Was announced for 2022, but has not opened yet as far as is known.

Shanghai Disneyland (Shanghai): Unknown. New themed area including dark ride, revolving around the Zootopia film. An opening date for the area is not given yet: it is expected in 2023, but might also open in 2024. A scale model for the 10-seater vehicles was revealed at the last D23 Expo.

U.A.E.

Ferrari World (Abu Dhabi): Mission Ferrari. SFX-coaster, combining a dark ride and a rollercoaster, built by Dynamic Attractions. The ride was announced for 2019, but has not opened to public up to now.

Pirati castle and construction site
Construction works on the Pirati semi-dark ride at Cavallino Matto (Italy) (© Dark Ride Database)

Europe

Belgium

Bobbejaanland (Lichtaart): Unknown. Retheme of the Indiana River indoor flume ride. The new theme revolves around a volcano, and the entire area around the ride will be rethemed as ‘Mystery Volcano’. The new design is made by KCC Entertainment Design.

Plopsaland de Panne (De Panne): Unknown. New indoor theme zone revolving around Bumba, a figure from a children’s animation series. Includes a brand new dark ride in the same theme. Construction started in January 2022.

Germany

Lego Discovery Centre Hamburg (Hamburg): Imagination Express. This brand new Lego Discovery Centre will contain the interactive dark ride ‘Imagination Express’, that can be found in multiple Legoland Discovery Centres.

France

Le Pal (Dompierre-sur-Bresbe): Unknown. First installation of the Smash & Reload concept, launched by Boldmove Nation in 2021. The installation in Le Pal was announced in spring 2022 and will receive a Too Mush-theme. The ride system is built by Gosetto.

Italy

Cavallino Matto (Castagneto Carducci): Pirati. New semi-dark ride, combining a spinning rafts ride with a pirate-themed dark ride. The ride is constructed by Zamperla. Opening was originally planned for 2022, but was announced to be delayed by late summer.

Netherlands

Attractie- en Vakantiepark Slagharen (Slagharen): Unknown. Retheme of the former Wild West Adventure dark ride, which closed in November 2022. The new ride will keep the ride system, though with a new theme featuring the Red Bandits, part of the park entertainment line-up. Retheme is designed by Leisure Expert Group.

Spain

PortAventura Park (Salou): Unknown. New semi-dark ride rollercoaster themed after the Uncharted game and film franchise, announced in November 2022. The ride system is a Multi-Dimension Coaster by Intamin, and the ride is designed together with Sally Dark Rides.

Switzerland

Conny-Land (Lipperswil): Crazy Professor. This unique ‘vertical dark ride’ is a co-production of Conny-Land and Ride Engineers Switzerland (RES). The ride, announced in November 2021, consists of an indoor free fall tower that features storytelling on a large projection screen, rising as tall as the ride itself.

United Kingdom

Clacton Pier (Clacton-on-Sea): Unknown. New experience combining a walkthrough and a 4D Cinema. Will be themed around dinosaurs. Was announced in October 2022.