Florida Travel

Florida notes: New astronaut hall of fame, Universal’s new Volcano Bay

The highlight of the new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame — to be called Heroes and Legends — will be a 3D omnidirectional theater
The highlight of the new U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame — to be called Heroes and Legends — will be a 3D omnidirectional theater Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex

The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame will move six miles to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, where it will reopen in 2016 as an attraction called Heroes and Legends, in which visitors will be able to have virtual interactions with almost 100 astronauts who have been inducted.

The announcement was made on Friday, the 25th anniversary of the hall of fame, at a groundbreaking at its new home next to the Rocket Garden.

The highlight of the new hall of fame will be a 3D omnidirectional theater that was designed to make guests feel as if they are floating in the vastness of space.

Heroes and Legends will bring the stories of America’s astronauts to life and allow guests to experience early missions vicariously through simulated holograms, augmented reality and other high-tech elements, Kennedy Space Center said. It also will allow guests to have virtual interactions with almost 100 astronauts who have been inducted.

The Astronaut Hall of Fame was established by Mercury astronauts in 1990, six miles west of the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.

▪ Universal Orlando announced this week that it is building a water park, Volcano Bay, to open in 2017. The resort did not release any details but said it will be “a whole new generation of experience that reimagines what it means to be a water park.”

“Imagine a place that offers radically innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation and an inspired guest experience that will forever change the perception of water theme parks. It will be set in a highly themed, completely immersive environment inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands, Universal said in a release.

The fact that Universal is building a water park just south of its Cabana Bay Beach Resort is not a surprise as some information was included in the company’s permit appplication, which is a public document, but its name and opening are news. Universal already has one water park, Wet ’n Wild.

▪ Madame Tussauds Orlando unveiled its newest wax resident on Friday: Pitbull. Mr. 305 sat for more than 300 measurements and donated the tuxedo outfit and sunglasses that the wax figure is wearing.

Madame Tussauds on International Drive in Orlando, which opened May 4, has 60 to 80 figures on display at any one time, but the exhibits change regularly as the figures move from one Tussauds to another.

▪ The new Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at the Museum of Science & History in Jacksonville features more than a dozen realistic animatronic dinosaurs along with a collection of fossils intended to show guests the science behind the discoveries.

The interactive exhibit, which runs through Sept. 7, includes four touch-and-learn stations and two interactive consoles where guests can learn about dinosaurs from the Jurassic through Cretaceous periods. There’s also a dig-and-learn play area.

Details: www.TheMosh.org

MIAMI HERALD STAFF AND WIRE SERVICES

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