Tired of theme park crowds? Within an hour of Orlando, you can see wildlife, delve into history, learn to swing on a trapeze or a zip line, ogle old war planes, ride a train into Old Florida or try a different kind of wine-tasting.
For the first time this year, Harry Potter will be part of Universal Orlando’s Christmas festivities, ratcheting up the competition with Disney World and the other theme parks for holiday season attendance.
On Wednesday, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International previewed the progress of its long-touted guitar-shaped hotel. The $1.5 billion project includes a new Hard Rock Live venue, lagoon-style pool and larger casino.
The two new lanes, which are only available to American Airlines passengers, debuted this month at Concourse D’s international connector checkpoint. The lines have lowered the time travelers spend in security lines by about 20 to 25 percent.
Nearly the entire staff at Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key has been laid off due to extensive damage at the resort following Hurricane Irma in September. Hawks Cay expects to reopen in mid- to late-summer 2018.
From cute pumpkin figures and trick-or-treating to chainsaws and Brain Eaters, Halloween events at Florida’s theme parks cover the full sweetness-to-horror spectrum. There’s fun for kids at Disney World, SeaWorld and Legoland; blood and fear for the older crowd at Universal Studios and Busch Gardens.
The Perry Hotel, a new contemporary, maritime-inspired hotel on Key West’s Stock Island, was developed and designed by the Weiser family, whose patriarch, Sherwood “Woody” Weiser, built Miami’s first five-star hotel.
If you’re a fan of ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon, you’ll love the way his shticks, characters and fellow cast members pop in and out of the action on the new ride at Universal Studios, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon. Plus, Universal Orlando opens its new water park, Volcano Bay.
Pandora: The World of Avatar has a thrill ride on the back of a banshee and a placid boat ride through a bioluminescent forest. The 12-acre land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a place of floating mountains, unearthly plants that glow in the dark and blue-skinned Na’vi people.
The latest Florida theme park attraction to open is a remake of an old one: SeaWorld’s Kraken roller coaster with a virtual reality plug-in. It’s a major makeover for SeaWorld’s oldest coaster, but it didn’t involve any changes to the track.