If you’re thinking of visiting a theme park this summer, know that some of the best times are going to end in a month. That’s when the parks, which stay open during evenings in summer, start moving up their closing.
Evening hours not only let families get the maximum out of their park visits, but are also significantly cooler during Florida’s hot, humid summers. Moreover, early August is the last chance for families with kids to visit the parks before schools reopen in mid-August.
Here’s a rundown on closing hours at the major attractions. Most parks open at 9 or 9:30 a.m, and most close later than normal on weekends, during holiday periods and for special events.
Bargain rates at Florida resorts will continue through most of autumn, with possible exceptions during special events and holiday periods. Watch coupon and travel discount sites like Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com and Travelzoo.com.
Universal will feature 17 bands during its Rock the Universe event; Disney’s Night of Joy has 19. Both events are separately priced with a number of options; single-night cost at Universal is $40, $55 at Disney. Both park events run from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Information: DisneyWorld.Disney.go.com, universalorlando.com.
Lobsters aren’t the only sea creatures you can collect at this time. Florida’s annual scallop season in the Big Bend section of the Gulf coast runs to Sept. 25. Daily limit is two gallons of scallops in shell or one pint of scallop meat per person, plus a maximum catch per vessel.
Most scalloping is done from boats over grassy flats, but there are spots where one can wade out in waters three or four feet deep to gather the shellfish. Charter boats take out scallopers from a number of Gulf ports, among them Homosassa, Crystal River, Steinhatchee and Port St. Joe. For rules, harvesting areas and limits, etc., go to myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/shellfish.
To sample scallops and have some fun besides, Port St. Joe’s 17th annual Florida Scallop and Music Festival opened Saturday and runs through Aug. 3.