Accepting visited every affair esplanade in Florida as a reporter, I am about asked how bodies can acquiesce to go anymore, now that acceptance has topped $100 at best places. And it’s alone a few sawbucks beneath than that at alike the baby attractions.
I absolutely avert the prices. It costs at atomic that abundant to see a Broadway actualization or a top concert. And this is a abounding day of entertainment, exemplified by the new attractions you’ll acquisition in this year’s affair esplanade guide.
But I additionally say one-day tickets are for suckers. It’s consistently bigger to accede a two- or three-day acceptance or ceremony canyon if you anticipate you will go added than once. Then, the per-day costs goes bottomward to $40 or less.
Still, activity to a affair esplanade is by no agency cheap. In the aboriginal 1990s, it amount a ancestors of four about $4,000 to fly to Orlando, break in a auberge and vacation at Disney World. That aforementioned acquaintance is about $7,000 today, said affair esplanade able Dennis Speigel, admiral of All-embracing Affair Esplanade Services Inc., a Cincinnati-based consulting firm.
“If you attending at the amount of antic events, concerts and movies, we are still on clip as a value, hour by hour, as the best analytic priced experience,” Speigel said. “And affair parks are about the aftermost abode larboard that the ancestors can go to as a unit.”
And bargains are accessible for Florida residents. From now until the end of June, Florida association can get a three-day acceptance to Walt Disney Apple for aloof $159.
Abounding of the parks accept buy-one-get-one deals or discounted admissions, so be abiding to analysis our advice box with ceremony esplanade to get accommodation on accepted bargains.
With added than 116 actor visitors in 2017 (another record), Florida charcoal the top biking destination in the world. We accept some of the world’s prettiest beaches and waterways, but additionally bristles of the 10 best visited affair parks. Almanac sales accept aggressive the industry to absorb millions on anytime added agitative attractions, so that makes the acceptance amount alike added valuable.
Read on for our adviser to what’s new in Florida’s affair parks this summer.
The better new allure at Walt Disney Apple this summer is aimed at the adolescent admirers of the Toy Adventure movies, but it’s their parents who are accepting excited. Toy Adventure Land is set to accessible at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30.
While far added agitative acreage are on the horizon, such as the Brilliant Wars Galaxy’s Edge, the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster and Tron Lightcycle, all advancing in 2019 and beyond, this is the better new toy in Disney’s affair esplanade armory this year.
Millennial parents who now accept adolescent kids grew up with these films and are almost the aforementioned age as Andy, the boy with the beastly toys. The aboriginal cine came out in 1995 and the fourth is set for a 2019 release.
“Disney’s ideal ambition for Toy Adventure Land is parents who fell in adulation with Toy Adventure aback it aboriginal hit theaters and are now cornball for their childhood,” said Robert Niles, architect and editor of the industry website Affair Esplanade Insider. “They now accept kids that they’d like to acquaint to these characters.”
Set aloft 11 acres, Toy Adventure Land is advised to accord visitors the awareness of shrinking to the admeasurement of a toy as they analyze Andy’s backyard, amidst by behemothic architecture blocks, bold lath pieces and a restaurant alleged Woody’s Lunch Box. Alike the lampposts will be shaped like Tinkertoys.
The Slinky Dog Dash ancestors coaster, on the cover, will put riders on the aback of Slink as he twists his coils about curves and hills and drops aloft Toy Adventure Land. And Conflicting Swirling Saucers is a circuit ride advised to attending like a toy from Pizza Planet. Aliens fly about in their toy saucers while “the claw” appears overhead.
Sarge and the Green Army Man Drum Corps will advance several times a day, agreeable visitors to hunt them to an alternate cossack camp, breadth they’ll “toy” with guests application behemothic Pixar balls, colossal crayons and a bold of Sarge Says.
The Toy Adventure Mania ride, opened in 2008, gets a bright toy carnival bold box entrance. It was afresh adapted with a third clue to cut bottomward on the continued waits.
ADMISSION AND HOURS: In apprehension of the Toy Adventure Land opening, Hollywood Studios will break accessible longer, from 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. circadian starting July 1 for a bound time. Acceptance starts at $102. 351 Studio Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 939-5277. disneyworld.com.
It was a big accord aback in 2012 aback the world’s best visited affair esplanade bankrupt with Uncle Walt’s authorization and offered beer and wine for banquet alone at Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast-themed restaurant. In acknowledgment to chump requests, abnormally all-embracing tourists and millennials, the esplanade began alleviation the rules and now every sit-down restaurant serves alcohol.
Added new Magic Kingdom features:
• The Pirates of the Caribbean ride arrangement arena has been adapted to a added politically actual scene, axis the red-haired amazon from a helpmate for auction into a full-fledged pirate.
• Tomorrowland will affection appearances by Disney Pixar superheroes for the summer through Sept. 3, such as Mr. Incredible, Frozone and Edna Mode, apparel artist for the Supers.
• You can now see Donald Trump in the Hall of Presidents. The animatronic adaptation of Admiral Trump drew alloyed reviews, some adage he looked added like Jon Voight, aback it clearly reopened Dec. 19, 2017.
Thanks to aftermost year’s blockbuster aperture of Pandora — The Apple of Avatar, Beastly Kingdom actualization soared 15 percent to become Disney’s additional best abounding esplanade in 2017. The aerial Flight of Passage ride still draws continued lines, so plan accordingly.
In the meantime, analysis out two new shows:
• A new bird actualization featuring Russell and Dug from Disney Pixar’s Up, above, replaced the now-closed Flights of Wonder in the Caravan Amphitheater in Beastly Kingdom. Up! A Great Bird Adventure premiered on Earth Day, ancillary with the park’s 20th ceremony celebration. Added than 15 breed of birds accomplish appearances, including toucans, parrots, macaws and an African angle hawkeye with a arresting 7-foot wingspan.
• Celebrating his contempo analysis that ducks are birth of dinosaurs, Donald’s Dino-Bash takes over Dinoland U.S.A. Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and added Disney characters will accommodated guests and put on a nightly ball affair breadth anybody can agitate their appendage feathers.
Though the awful advancing Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster is still beneath architecture at Epcot, the esplanade gets some superhero activity with Star-Lord and Gamora at the Awesome Mix Live! concert series. The Guardians will bedrock alongside an conflicting bandage to the hits of Awesome Mix Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 at American Gardens Theatre for bristles showings circadian June 9 through Aug. 19. Guests can currently accommodated Star-Lord at Hollywood Studios, but this is Gamora’s aboriginal in-park appearance.
ADMISSION: Disney Apple parks alpha at $102. (407) 939-5277. disneyworld.com.
The rebranded amplitude aforetime alleged City Disney has some new restaurants. And Disney is experimenting with late-night offerings that, clashing at the old Pleasure Island, is no best disconnected from the blow of the attraction. Afterwards 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, several clubs accept age restrictions and dress codes to abstracted the family-friendly pack.
The new Brilliant Wars: Secrets of the Empire basic absoluteness acquaintance ($29.95) has opened at the Void in the Marketplace breadth of Disney Springs. Multiple players access for the 30-minute experience. They put on basic absoluteness goggles and go on a mission created by Lucasfilm. Along with the galactic visuals, there are accordance beneath your feet, able smells and temperature effects. Players charge be at atomic 10 years old and at atomic 48 inches tall. thevoid.com.
RELATED: 6 things you charge try for a night out at Disney Springs
On the dining scene, new restaurants include:
• The Edison, below, with a Prohibition-era affair and steampunk vibe, a appetizing card and hot applesauce for late-night customers.
• Maria & Enzo’s is amid in a aloft aircraft terminal with a behemothic apple in the beam and ample windows that attending out assimilate the springs. The card is bedeviled by affair as able-bodied as baby plates, salads, sandwiches and pastas.
• Pizza Ponte, a quick account spot, serves pizza by the allotment as able-bodied as sandwiches, salads and desserts.
• Terralina Crafted Italian is a new abstraction from James Beard accolade champ and Top Chef Master Tony Mantuano.
• Wine Bar George is the alone Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, brought to Disney Springs by aloft California Barbecue administrator and Master Sommelier George Miliotes.
ADMISSION: Disney Springs is chargeless admission. 1486 Buena Vista Drive, Orlando. (407) 939-6244. disneysprings.com.
Coaster admirers advise Universal for accepting too abounding screen-based attractions. So what did the esplanade do? Add addition one. Fast & Furious Supercharged, above, is based on the super-sized cine franchise.
The ride, which opened May 2 at Universal Studios, inserts guests into a agitated artery hunt involving abolition helicopters, battery and chaotic trucks. Stars from the movies, including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez and Ludacris, pop up. The adventure puts riders on a affair bus afterwards a race, actuality chased by bad guys.
If you see a continued band at CityWalk, Universal’s arcade and ball commune aloof alfresco the parks, affairs are it leads to the anew opened Voodoo Doughnut, below.
The Portland-based doughnut boutique with a band afterward fabricated its East Coast acceptance in Orlando on May 1. Besides the crazy concoctions (bacon-maple, toppings of Cocoa Puffs and added goodies), art adorns the aerial amplitude from aqueduct band murals to atramentous clover paintings to custom decrepit glass.
The aperture date hasn’t been appear yet, but the lagoon at Universal Studios is accepting a new caliginosity actualization that the esplanade has said “will accommodate new action featuring characters from admired Universal attractions, a new adventure line, new music, lighting and appropriate effects.” It will booty the old show, Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular, “to an absolutely new level.” Don’t be afraid if that includes bump mapping on surrounding buildings, fireworks and pyrotechnics.
ADMISSION DEAL: Through June 28, Florida association can buy a one-day acceptance and get the additional one free. Acceptance starts at $115 for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and $80 for Volcano Bay. 6000 Universal Blvd. (407) 363-8000. universalorlando.com.
Busch Gardens has brought aback continued hours, caliginosity parties and the advantage of chargeless beer (at atomic for the summer). Plus, its baptize esplanade Adventure Island has a alarming new ride, above.
Though it doesn’t accommodate a fireworks actualization like years past, Summer Nights has alternate with caliginosity entertainment. A new foodie affection and affair breadth alleged the Backyard BBQ at the Bird Gardens has alive music and Americana aliment twists such as a craven cossack sandwich with blackberry pepper jelly. The esplanade additionally brought aback the Fiesta affair breadth in Cheetah Hunt Basic and a Vibin’ Village of all-embracing and calm beer selections and aliment in the Stanleyville area. The affair zones accessible at 5 p.m. every night through Aug. 5.
Did we acknowledgment chargeless beer? The esplanade alive its retired attitude of giving out two chargeless 7-ounce beers, now through Aug. 5 for visitors at the Garden Gate Cafe. The freebies circle from a account that includes Founders All Day IPA, M.I.A 305, Miller Lite, Shock Top and Yuengling.
The achievement helped the esplanade highlight its new Brew Club set in the Serengeti Overlook Pub abutting to the Cheetah Hunt roller coaster. The club, busy in balmy dupe with beer steins lining the walls in lockers, is $79 to join. Associates get a aloof beer alembic and $5 refills from added than 20 on-tap brews year-round. At the end of the year, club associates get to accumulate the stein, with a new one issued ceremony year.
Busch Gardens has gone after a new allure aback Cobra’s Curse, above, in 2016, as ancestor aggregation SeaWorld has struggled financially. There are rumors of a new allure in 2019 for the park’s 60th anniversary, and SeaWorld’s new CEO has promised to add new rides or attractions in every esplanade as the aggregation pivots abroad from beastly shows.
Meanwhile, Adventure Island added Vanish Point, a bead accelerate in which riders footfall into capsules on a 70-foot belfry and delay for the attic to abatement out. The beneath chain for the allure is a adumbral breadth that sends riders to the larboard for Colossal Curl and to the appropriate for Vanish Point. The access includes a alive augment of riders’ expressions as the attic opens up 70 anxiety aloft the line.
VIDEO: Watch Vanish Point in action
Busch Gardens: Acceptance starts at $89. Through Sunday, get a one-day acceptance for $45 and a Fun Card for $59 (online only). Through July 4, aggressive veterans and up to three guests get chargeless admission. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. (813) 884-4386. buschgardens.com.
Adventure Island: Acceptance starts at $49.99. Through Sunday, get a one-day acceptance for $29 and a Fun Card for $59 (online only). 10001 McKinley Drive, Tampa. (813) 884-4386. adventureisland.com.
ZOOTAMPA AT LOWRY PARK
One of the better makeovers in Tampa Bay is at the zoo, which afflicted its name to ZooTampa at Lowry Esplanade and has an allure aperture June 9 alleged Roaring Springs, above. It’s a faux old Florida boondocks with a new ride that will acquiesce cartage to bolt treetop glimpses of the surrounding esplanade afore aqueous bottomward three stories.
The ancestors ride isn’t the alone change. Analysis out the absolutely developed cooler and aliment options, from angle tacos to arctic rum drinks, below, as the kids comedy at the new amphitheater abutting to the Roaring Springs ride.
It’s all allotment of the zoo’s efforts to footfall up its aliment game, said Andrew Mather, administrator of aliment and retail. A new hot dog angle in the basic breadth of the zoo by the carousel has absolute Chicago-style and Coney Island hot dogs. And the Garden Barbecue has locally alpha aliment sources and Angus beef on the grill.
Some new gatherings at the zoo accommodate the account Toddler Tuesdays for associates alone aback wee ones get adventure time, a ability and an beastly admix on the additional Tuesday of the month. There are additionally Yoga in the Wild classes set aloft a array of beastly habitats.
MORE ON THE ZOO: ZooTampa takes a folio from the affair parks
ADMISSION: $34.95, $25.95 ages 3-11, 2 and adolescent free. The Zooper Canyon gives you absolute acceptance for the blow of the year for the amount of one-day admission. 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552. lowryparkzoo.org.
The kid-friendly aquarium in city Tampa showcases amphibian animals and ecosystems of Florida and the world.
The Splash Pad alfresco children’s comedy breadth was beneath advance at the alpha of aftermost summer, but it is aback in business, giving toddlers a way to exhausted the calefaction in the aquarium’s alfresco plaza. Additionally new is the Four Ducks 4-D theater. This summer the multisensory blur is a 13-minute adaptation of Storks. The articulation aptitude from Andy Samberg, Jennifer Aniston and Ty Burrell is added by bright 3-D and appropriate effects. The aquarium runs the films from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
From June 8-10, the aquarium will bless Apple Oceans Weekend with appropriate activities and presentations. And the Analysis Channel’s Shark Week allotment July 22. The aquarium affairs to actualization off its six breed of sharks with shark-themed activities.
ADMISSION: $28.95, $26.95 seniors, $23.95 ages 3-11, 2 and adolescent free. Prices are about about $4 cheaper if you buy tickets online. 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000. flaquarium.org.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
The hands-on science architecture will be branch to city Tampa in a few years, and it confused all its exhibits to one attic of its ahead all-embracing three-story amplitude and chopped the acceptance amount in half.
It still has bristles themed comedy areas, a ropes advance and the Saunders Planetarium. Comedy areas accommodate a adventitious to lie on a absolute bed of nails and move a behemothic alarm application annihilation but magnets. The summer traveling display Be the Astronaut is there through Sept. 4. With an upcharge of $8, visitors can booty the joystick in the pilot bench to plan and assassinate amplitude missions to places like the moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond. It uses simulations acquired from NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
ADMISSION: $12.95, $10.95 seniors, $7.95 ages 3-12, 2 and adolescent free. 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-6000. mosi.org.
GLAZIER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Best museums abash affecting the art, but the Glazer Children’s Museum’s newest alternate installation, Ablaze Cloud, created by Ivan Depeña, insists that you put your easily all over it. Visitors can comedy with the art by affecting assorted sensors that change the ablaze and complete central the cloud. The aboriginal Tuesday of every ages is Chargeless Tuesdays with chargeless acceptance from apex to 7 p.m. Analysis out the anew alive Publix display that sneaks in acquaint on math, diet and planning in a kid-sized grocery store.
ADMISSION: $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $10 accouchement age 1-12, adolescent than 1 free. 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. glazermuseum.org.
GREAT EXPLORATIONS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
The children’s architecture has a big fan in baseball brilliant Evan Longoria, a ancestor of adolescent kids. In October, the hands-on children’s architecture opened Longo’s Cove, a 26-foot-tall climber exhibit, above, sponsored by Evan and Jaime Longoria.
The three-dimensional boscage gym is about a assignment of art as accouchement barrel advancement from pad to pad to get to a bird’s-eye appearance of the absolute architecture at the top. There are added changes advancing as the architecture alien a $2 actor basic attack with a ambition of allotment a activity labeled the “Great Expansion.”
ADMISSION: $10, $9 seniors, ages 1 and adolescent free. 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992. greatexplorations.org.
CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM
In the bosom of a two-year, $66 actor expansion, the leaders at Clearwater Marine Aquarium accept said the upgrades will be beneath affair esplanade like and will accommodate amplitude to adjust added animals and host added visitors. Affairs accommodate bristles new dolphin habitats, display space, an animated deck, the final appearance of a about 400-space parking anatomy and a new architecture for education.
The aquarium abreast Clearwater Bank doubles as a alive beastly hospital and is home to conceivably one of the world’s best acclaimed dolphins, Winter, whose adventure was told in the hit cine Dolphin Tale. This summer brings a Summer Sunset Appropriate at CMA with continued hours, black ancestors fun, talks on sea activity and $9.99 acceptance from 4-8 p.m. through Sept. 3. Visitors will accept a adventitious to accommodated the Dolphin Tale stars June 4-7 aback actors Nathan Gamble (who played Sawyer), Cozi Zuehlsdorff (Hazel) and Austin Highsmith (Phoebe) will be on armpit for photos and autographs. They will additionally be aback July 21-26.
ADMISSION: $22.95, $20.95 seniors, $17.95 ages 3-12, 2 and adolescent free. 249 Windward Passage, Clearwater. (727) 441-1790. seewinter.com.
WEEKI WACHEE SPRINGS
Florida’s alone spring-fed baptize esplanade has a alive bogie actualization and apparent its 70th altogether in September. The area’s oldest allure has accepted the newest technology because the esplanade about alcove accommodation by its 9 a.m. aperture on weekends. You can assurance up for alerts by texting the keyword “Weeki” to 82149. The esplanade additionally updates its Facebook and Twitter pages. Considering what a arrangement it is to get a albino beach, abysm rides, volleyball, river rides, a adolescent basin breadth and bogie shows for one acceptance price, there are about cars lined up by 8 a.m. on a Saturday, so get there early.
ADMISSION: $13, $8 ages 6-12, 5 and adolescent free. 6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. (352) 592-5656. weekiwachee.com.
The kid-friendly dino comedy esplanade has all the kitsch you would apprehend from an old-time attraction, except it has alone been about aback 1998. Sprinkled throughout the alfresco attraction’s ache copse and palmettos are 150 life-sized statues of dinosaurs, a Skeleton Garden, a architecture and a comedy area. Pets and barbecue food are welcome.
ADMISSION: $16.95, $14.95 seniors, $11.95 ages 3-12, 2 and adolescent free. 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City. (813) 717-9865. dinosaurworld.com/florida.
TAMPA BAY HISTORY CENTER
The Tampa Bay History Center is alms chargeless acceptance to alive assignment aggressive this summer, including their families, through Labor Day.
A new abiding display alleged Treasure Seekers, above, opened in February. It’s all about conquistadors, pirates and shipwrecks that put Tampa on the map. It appearance a aerial 60-foot calibration replica of a charlatan address and about 100 absolute ambush artifacts. It additionally dives into the science and technology of ambush recovery.
A attenuate accumulating of American flags, including an Andy Warhol print, are on display through July 29 in “American Flags: The Stars and Stripes in American History and Culture.” The display appearance added than 20 aboriginal flags dating to the 1790s, and American pop artists Warhol’s Moonwalk (1987) and Jasper Johns’ White Flag (1954).
ADMISSION: $14.95, $12.95 seniors and students, $10.95 ages 7-17, accouchement 6 and adolescent free. 801 Old Baptize St., Tampa. (813) 228-0097. tampabayhistorycenter.org.
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