Florida Travel

Florida travel notes

Groundbreaking will be in April for Hollywood Studios’ new Star Wars-themed lands, which will include a ride on the Millennium Falcon.
Groundbreaking will be in April for Hollywood Studios’ new Star Wars-themed lands, which will include a ride on the Millennium Falcon. Disney Parks

▪ Groundbreaking for Star Wars: Disney’s Hollywood Studios will break ground on its new Star Wars lands in April, but the company has not said when the new land will open. Star Wars land will include at least two new major attractions, a simulator ride on the Millennium Falcon and a battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

▪ Disney Springs’ icon is up: The water tower intended to be the signature element of Disney Springs has been installed by the entrance to the Town Center section of the dining, shopping and entertainment center. In addition, Disney this week announced 30 new tenants that will open as the remake and expansion of the area formerly called Downtown Disney is completed this year. Among the new shops and restaurants will be Anthropologie, LACOSTE, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand.

▪ Night life for Disney’s Animal Kingdom: “Rivers of Light,” a light and water show featuring animal spirit guides, will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 22, Earth Day and the park’s 18th anniversary. The show will be an extravaganza of water screens, moving fountains, light projections and other elements. It will center on an ancient lantern festival, with storytellers who summon animal spirit guides. “Rivers of Light” will be set on Discovery River in the Asia section of the park.

The show is one of several developments on April 22 that will give Disney World’s youngest park — and the one with the shortest hours — a nightlife. Kilimanjaro Safaris will be extended into the evening and nocturnal animals including hyenas and African painted dogs are being added to the safari trail. The Tree of Life at the center of the park will come to life each night, and a street party will be held. The new attractions will begin 15 to 20 minutes after sunset and last well into the evening, sometimes as late as 11:30 p.m.

▪ Seaworld’s Christian music festival: Praise Wave, SeaWorld’s celebration of Christian music, will open March 12 and run Saturdays through the end of the month. The act on the opening Saturday will be MercyMe; SeaWorld is not announcing other performers yet. Concerts begin at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. inside the Nautilus Theater and are included in park admission. Reserved seats are available for an extra fee. Details: www.SeaWorldOrlando.com.

▪ History in the Everglades: Vintage Everglades Day, featuring historical characters in costume, will be held March 12 at the Royal Palm Visitor Center. It’s the sixth annual such event, but this year it will celebrate a pair of 100-year anniversaries — the inception of the National Park Service and the establishment of Royal Palm State Park, which would become the nucleus of Everglades National Park.

Special tours, exhibits, and presentations will also be provided by local authors, academics, and historians. Park admission at the main entrance near Homestead will be free, as will events connected to Vintage Everglades Day and rides from Homestead on the Homestead National Parks Trolley. Details: 305-242-7700, www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/vintage-everglades-day.htm.

▪ Bike Week is here: The 75th edition of Bike Week in Daytona Beach kicked off on Friday and will run to March 13, with 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts expected to participate in at least some of the activities. Events include live music (including performances by the Charlie Daniels Band and the Marshall Tucker Band), rides, vendors, parades, races, rallies demonstrations, panel discussions and more. Details: www.officialbikeweek.com/.

Miami Herald staff and wire services

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