Never fear, there are new attractions that will delight and excite, writes Alexia Santamari.
At this time of year, it's easy to let the mind wander to where next to go on holiday. It's always exciting to have something to research, dream about and then book when those New Year sales come around. The world of family travel is constantly changing, so here are some new attractions (or extensions to older ones) you may want to think about when picking a 2020 destination.
Last year Sea Life Sydney Aquarium opened a $5 million exhibit, Day and Night on the Reef mixing interactive technology and real underwater creatures into one big exciting experience for kids. You start at "6pm" and make your way through live coral, a forest of glowing jellyfish, on through digital moonlit shores into daytime animal activity. There is also a focus on how we can protect the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.
If you have adrenaline junkies in your family you need to visit Live Wire Park in Victoria (a couple of hours from Melbourne). For older teens there's the Super Circuit, featuring 53 mid-air trails, suspended bridges, tree-scaling activities, an electrifying Tarzan swing and a supercharged 10m QuickJump bungee plus the Short Circuit for younger ones (7-plus). Over 10s can try the 525m Shockwave Zip Coaster — a zipline experience like no other. Relax on the gorgeous beach afterwards to bring your heart rate back to normal.
Despite temporary exhibitions all over the world, it was only last year that genius digital artists teamLab launched their first permanent space in the MORI Building (in Odaiba, Tokyo). It's a network of digital exhibits and projections that roll seamlessly from one to another, making you feel like you're truly in another world, if not dimension. There is Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Lamps and the En Tea House. This is art the whole family will love; prepare to be wowed.
The new big attraction at both Disneyland California and Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando is Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, both of which feature immersive ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run . . . plus many ways for fans to spend money on even more paraphernalia for their homes. The Rise of the Resistance attraction is coming soon too, opening in Orlando on December 5 and Anaheim on January 17.
Those who have never missed an episode of Sheldon and his pals will be thrilled to know that the Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood Big Bang Theory Sets opened to the public in June this year. You can relive all your favourite moments from Number 4a, see your favourite characters' costumes, check out the broken elevator and even sit in Sheldon's spot, if you dare.
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Last year, entertainment giants Merlin opened the doors to their new attraction, The Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham. Most activities are suitable for kids aged 8-plus and include Archery, Climb, Escape Rooms, High Ropes, iFLY, Shark Dive, Shooting and Snorkel. There's also an assault course inspired by the Royal Marines (included as part of all activity tickets) if your kids fancy they can beat Mr Grylls' time of a rapid 1:03.
If you haven't been to The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros in Watford there's even more reason to visit now. The new Gringotts Wizarding Bank set, which opened this year, is truly incredible. You can walk through the enormous bank itself (complete with marble-like pillars, crystal chandeliers and goblins), the Lestrange vault and a gallery full of characters and costumes. Have your picture taken holding the Sword of Gryffindor in this 1530sq m addition to an already fascinating attraction.