Florida Travel

Florida travel notes

Blue Angels
Blue Angels U.S. Navy

▪ Blue Angels over Key West: The Blue Angels will star in the Florida Keys’ Southernmost Air Spectacular April 2-3, along with other military squadrons and aerobatic exhibitions by civilians. The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels will perform in F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft beginning at 2:30 p.m. both days. The show will also feature the Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, skydivers, a wing-walker and more. On the ground, the Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance, and there will be a kids’ zone, virtual games, and food and beverages for sale. The show, presented by Naval Air Station Key West, will take place at Boca Chica Field, mile marker 8 on U.S. 1 just north of Key West. Gates are to open at 9 a.m. both days, with the show slated to begin at 10 a.m. Details: www.airshowkeywest.com.

▪ Cobra’s track complete: The final section of track was installed last week for the new family roller coaster Cobra’s Curse, scheduled to open this summer at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The spin coaster now goes into its testing phase. The thrill ride centers on an 80-foot cobra rearing back as if to strike. The ride will start with a 70-foot vertical lift that will take riders within inches of its 4-foot-long fangs. The queue for the ride will wind past a 400-cubic-foot snake exhibit.

▪ More Disney attractions closing: At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, April 2 is the last day for The Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure playground, and some shops and restaurants. They are closing to make room for two new lands — Star Wars and Toy Story — to be built at the Studios. Disney has not said when the new lands will open.

▪ Birds and photos on Florida’s Historic Coast: Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest will be held April 27- May 1 around St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches. The 14th annual festival will offer more than 140 birding and outdoor photography events, field workshops and classroom sessions. Registration costs $25; classes and field workshops are priced individually. For details, contact Erin Masters at 904-209-4422 or emasters@floridahistoriccoast.com.

▪ Brews at Palm Beach Zoo: The Brew at the Zoo, a celebration of craft brewing in Florida, returns to Palm Beach Zoo April 2, with more than 25 Florida craft breweries on hand. The event will also include food from local restaurants and live music from The Brews Brothers and The Hot Java Band. General admission tickets are $35 and include unlimited samples. Details: www.palmbeachzoo.org.

▪ It’s a personal world after all: Walt Disney World guests are now incorporated into the finale of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Magic Kingdom, thanks to their MagicBands. The final scene of the Fantasyland attraction has signs with the words for “good-bye” in multiple languages. There are also three big screens built in to display the names of the people in the ride boats. The effect is triggered by activated MagicBands in those boats, a Disney World spokeswoman confirms. A FastPass reservation is not required to get a name up on the board.

THEME PARKS ELSEWHERE

▪ Walking Dead will haunt L.A. year-round: Universal Studios Hollywood plans to turn the “Walking Dead” haunted maze, which has proved wildly popular during the theme park’s last four Halloween Horror Nights, into a year-round attraction. Set to debut this summer, the “Walking Dead” walk-through attraction will be significantly more intense than recent Horror Nights iterations of the maze, Universal said, with more detailed set designs, props, costumes, makeup and animatronic figures. No word on whether a similar attraction is planned for the Orlando parks.

▪ Harry Potter will haunt L.A. too: Wizarding World of Harry Potter is scheduled to open April 7 at Universal Studios Hollywood. The land will be similar to the one that opened in 2010 at Universal Orlando and will include Hogsmeade village, the centerpiece ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey — with upgraded technology — and the family coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff. It won’t have the double coaster, Dragon Challenge, that Orlando has.

Miami Herald staff and wire services

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