Category Archives: Attractions

Disney Reveals Epic, Model of Star Wars-Themed Lands

During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif. and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla. This stunning exhibition, on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo, is yet another example of the breathtaking new worlds, immersive storytelling and transformational guest experiences that set Disney apart.

“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”

Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what’s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.

At D23 Expo 2015, The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced the Star Wars project to the delight of thousands of fans in attendance. The jaw-dropping new lands will open with two anchor attractions – one that gives guests the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and one that puts guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Representing the largest single-themed land expansion at 14 acres each, the Star Wars-themed lands will open in 2019.

However, guests don’t need to wait until 2019 to be immersed in the Star Wars galaxy. From special character encounters to fan-favorite attractions like Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, and interactive entertainment like Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, guests of all ages can experience Star Wars stories at Disney parks and resorts around the world.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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The Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017

Family Vacation Critic, TripAdvisor’s family travel site, has just named the Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2017 – naming the best parks in the U.S., and sharing the year’s newest attractions and highlights for every age group.

“Amusement parks are one of the most quintessential summertime activities for families,” explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. “But for those traveling with family members of various ages – including kids-at-heart – finding a park that caters to thrill-seekers and the younger set isn’t always so easy. This list includes parks that successfully cater to both, and those that also have exciting new features for the 2017 season.”

Read more…


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SeaWorld Orlando Is Ready To Unleash Your Summer

Just in time for summer vacation, one of the fiercest underwater legends has come to life in an entirely new way. SeaWorld Orlando’s original roller coaster offers an adventure for thrill-seeking guests unlike any other when Kraken Unleashed opens to the public June 16.

Kraken Unleashed is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality roller coaster in the United States, with fully integrated headsets. The completely immersive experience takes riders on an exploratory journey under the sea. As they sail along the powerful coaster track, complete with deep dives, steep turns and seven complete inversions, a fully integrated story unfolds. The result is a fantastical voyage past gigantic sea monsters, and an unexpected, unforgettable encounter with the legendary Kraken sea monster.


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“After providing thousands of imaginative and thrilling experiences on SeaWorld’s first roller coaster, Kraken, we wanted to give our guests something new,” shared Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Experience and Design, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. By creating a custom digital overlay and using technology to tell the story, we developed an entirely new virtual reality coaster. Our guests can now travel through the depths of the ocean with the mighty Kraken herself. The result is a seamless and completely unique expedition on a well-loved roller coaster.”

All three of Kraken’s 32 passenger trains have been equipped with the virtual reality experience. Guests choose their journey when they board the coaster; braving the virtual reality experience or riding the traditional way. The custom designed headsets are fully integrated both mechanically and electronically into each coaster seat. Each seat has also been individually programmed to provide an individual guest experience that cannot be matched.

The grand opening of Kraken Unleashed marks the beginning of an exciting summer at SeaWorld Orlando. Park guests will find something new around every corner, with the investment of new experiences to compliment the park’s extraordinary animal encounters.

“Summer at SeaWorld has never been better,” said Jim Dean, Park President, SeaWorld Orlando. “The debut of Kraken Unleashed means there is a new thrill leader in town. In addition to Orlando’s tallest and fastest coaster, Mako, and the destination’s only flying coaster, Manta, we now have this new technology for a virtual reality experience that takes SeaWorld to a whole new level of excitement.”

Kraken Unleashed is just the start, with more reasons than ever to visit SeaWorld. Electric Ocean, the park’s all-new evening extravaganza kicks off this Saturday, June 17. Guests are transported to an exotic world of light and sound complete with fantastical dancers, glowing sea creatures and high energy DJ entertainment. The entire event crescendos into a nightly display of fireworks and lasers that will leave everyone breathless. From the new bubble spectacular show, “Pop,” to the return of fan favorites “Shamu’s Celebration: Light up the Night” and “Sea Lions Tonite,” guests can play all day and plan to stay through the night.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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Now Open: Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s Third Amazing Theme Park

A revolutionary water theme park has risen at Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Volcano Bay is now open.

The park’s first guests gathered inside the new water theme park to enjoy an authentic, South Pacific dedication ceremony commemorating the opening of Volcano Bay. The ceremony featured special performances by an array of authentic Maori entertainment, ranging from water dancers to “Haka” war dancers. The moment culminated with an eruption from the mighty 200 ft. Krakatau volcano – the park’s stunning icon.

Volcano Bay is Universal Orlando’s third theme park and the next chapter in the award-winning vacation destination’s evolution. Universal Orlando is part of the NBCUniversal Comcast family, which has invested significantly in the destination’s unprecedented growth. In just seven years, 25 new experiences – entire themed areas, attractions, restaurants, and hotels – have been added across the destination. Universal Orlando now has 5,600 rooms across its five (soon to be six) on-site hotels.

Volcano Bay was brought to life by Universal Creative – the same team responsible for bringing so many other groundbreaking experiences to life within Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Volcano Bay is a next-level water theme park – combining spectacular storytelling and incredibly immersive guest experiences with innovative technology exclusively designed for Universal to give visitors a fun-filled, hassle-free experience with their friends and family.

“Universal’s Volcano Bay sets a new standard on every level – from the attractions to how our guests experience them,” said Tom Williams, Chairman & CEO – Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our new water theme park is the perfect complement to the rest of our incredible destination. It provides our guests with spectacular entertainment experiences and innovative technology that helps them enjoy more of what matters most – connecting with each other and having an amazing time together.”


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Spanning 25 fully immersive acres and featuring something for everyone – from perfected relaxation to incredible thrills – Volcano Bay is unlike any other water park in world. It offers an immersive environment filled with unbelievable detail and innovative technology to enhance fun and remove hassles. Volcano Bay features:

  • More than 30 experiences including 18 unique attractions such as a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below and more.
  • The TapuTapu wearable – included with guest admission and specifically designed for use within Universal’s Volcano Bay. Features of TapuTapu include:
    • Virtual Line Access: TapuTapu allows guests to virtually wait in line for rides while enjoying other areas of the park. Their wearable will simply alert them when it’s time for their ride.
    • TapTu Play: Guests can enjoy many TapTu Play experiences throughout the park – like controlling streams of water spurting from whales in Tot Tiki Reef, shooting water cannons at guests snaking down Kopiko Wai Winding River, illuminating images in the volcano’s hidden caves and more.
    • TapTu Pay: Guests can make purchases throughout the entire park with their TapuTapu wearable, eliminating the need to carry cash, credit cards or a wallet throughout the park.
    • TapTu Snap/My Universal Photo Access: Guests can take advantage of special interactive photo opportunities and selfie-spots throughout the park as well as photo opportunities on Volcano Bay’s attractions. Their wearable will automatically link those photos to their account so that guests can view, share and purchase them at their convenience.
    • Locker Access: After renting their lockers, guests will be able to access them with a touch of their TapuTapu wearable.
  • Beautifully-themed dining locations featuring more than 60 delicious, South Pacific-inspired dishes – ranging from jerk mahi sandwiches to fresh island chicken salad to decadent chocolate pineapple upside down cake.

For more information about Universal’s Volcano Bay, visit www.universalorlando.com.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

 

First Look: Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The much anticipated, and long awaited Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom finally opened to the public on Memorial Day Weekend, and we were there. To say it was busy would be the understatement of the year.

Crowds were incredibly large and the wait times were a testament to the patience of a die hard Disney fan. In fact, the crowds were so large that, at times there was a 2 hour wait just to get into that section of the park so you could then wait up to 4 more hours to get to experience one of two new attractions; Na’vi River Journey, a boat ride deep into a bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, or Avatar Flight of Passage, an expedition that lets interstellar explorers like you climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s incredible landscape.

There were even waiting lines to get into the gift shops.

Needless to say, a six hour wait is a little extreme, but we did bring back a great collection of photos to give you an idea of the detail that went into creating this amazing world.

Disneyworld - Pandora - World of Avatar
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Disneyworld - Pandora - World of Avatar
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

World’s Tallest River Rapids Drop Coming to Seaworld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando announced its latest world-class attraction, Infinity Falls, to debut summer 2018.

Thrilling rapids will roar through the brand new rainforest river experience, while adventure-seeking guests plunge down the world’s tallest river rapid drop.

“We are constantly looking at new ways to amaze our guests – Infinity Falls will do that, and more,” said Jim Dean, President of SeaWorld Orlando Parks. “From the excitement of the thrilling rapids, to the unique vertical lift element, it will be an adventure that appeals to the entire family. Infinity Falls continues our commitment to investing in our park, and developing new ways to entertain and inspire our guests with meaningful, fun-filled vacations.”

To bring Infinity Falls to life, designers were inspired by the rainforests of South America and the flowing rivers found within. Each raft will twist and turn through a lush jungle environment as guests experience the feel of exhilarating Class IV rapids. A unique vertical elevator will lift each raft for a dramatic launch into the river, 40 feet below.

“Water makes up more than 70% of our planet,” said Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Design Experience. “We developed Infinity Falls to tell new stories that showcase the beauty and sheer power of water and the amazing wildlife that lives in it. The result is a new river rapids adventure for our guests to explore, and actively help freshwater ecosystems in a way that only SeaWorld can bring to life.”

The addition of Infinity Falls is the perfect addition to SeaWorld’s ever-growing ride portfolio. From the roller coaster thrills of Mako, Manta and Kraken to the water flume fun of Journey to Atlantis, Infinity Falls will soon join the park’s famed attractions as a must-do experience in Orlando.

Infinity Falls will be the centerpiece of a newly themed surrounding area, fully immersing guests in a rainforest canopy. After riding the rapids on Infinity Falls, the entire family can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences that combine play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems. SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will also provide up-close encounters with animals native to South America.

Infinity Falls will open at SeaWorld Orlando in summer 2018.


For more I-4 travel information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Daytona Beach Bike Week Starts Today

Let’s ride! The 76th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week starts today, with plenty of things to see and do at this amazing once in a lifetime landmark event in 2017!

Be a part of this grand milestone and make your way to the Daytona Beach area for this very special occasion.  Local businesses and community have scheduled  a list of events and activities that will make this a trip to remember.  Take part in over ten days of fun in this beautiful seaside resort destination.

Daytona Beach has great accomodations  and event sponsors that will make Bike Week a spectacular event.

Visit www.officialbikeweek.com for event information.


For more I-4 information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

New Star Wars Experiences Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

A galaxy of new Star Wars experiences is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning mid-December. The announcement noted that some of the coming-soon additions are inspired by “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” that opens in theaters worldwide on Dec. 16.

Guests, including fans of the epic space saga, will find new entertainment, special displays inside Star Wars Launch Bay, a first-ever themed tour and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Premiering this Month

  • Star Wars Launch Bay – a multi-sensory space celebrating all things Star Wars – is now updated with authentic replicas from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” joining other Star Wars memorabilia in the preview gallery. Making-of footage from “Rogue One” has been added to the “Meet the Makers” film featured in Star Wars Launch Bay.
  • In the popular daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” guests will get a first look at AWR Troopers from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Outfitted in their specialized Stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam, these soldiers serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic, a highly placed officer within the Advance Weapons Research (AWR) division of the Empire. A new Troopers sequence will join the show Dec. 16. Performances daily.
  • The fan favorite nighttime show, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 and will join “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park through Dec. 31. The show will continue to be presented in 2017.
  • Starting mid-December, randomized tracks will be returning to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue, the popular attraction that uses motion simulator-based technology. Instead of each ride experience launching from the planet of Jakku, the attraction will be randomized to both start and end at different locations for every galactic journey. New scenes from “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be added to Star Tours in the coming year.

New in 2017

For the ultimate fan comes the ultimate tour. An all-new Star Wars guided tour is a seven-hour immersion in all the park’s current Star Wars experiences. Here’s what it includes:

  • A Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide
  • Priority boarding for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Encounter two Star Wars characters (Chewbacca and Kylo Ren) at Star Wars Launch Bay
  • An in-depth, insider’s tour around Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Screening of “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi”
  • Enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items during dinner at Backlot Express
  • A spot in the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes themed sweets and specialty beverages, as well as reserved viewing for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show

Younglings ages 4-12 on the guided tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Priced at $129 per person, tours begin Jan. 2 and will be offered on Mondays and Saturdays throughout 2017. Reservations for January tours can be made soon.


For more I-4 construction  information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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Orlando’s Holy Land Experience Is Ablaze With Christmas Splendor!

The glory of Christmas is on full and colorful display throughout the 2016 holiday season at the most unique faith-and-family destination in the heart of America’s vacation paradise, Orlando, Florida. The award-winning Holy Land Experience has announced the exciting debut of some all-new and original Christmas productions that are sure to cheer every heart with the splendor of the season while re-enforcing the powerful message of faith at the very heart of Christmas.

Among the exciting new theatrical productions debuting throughout the Christmas season at Holy Land Experience are:

Come to the Manger. This fascinating musical tells the poignant and powerful story of a young couple who arrive in the bustling village of Bethlehem just in time to take their place at the center of a dramatic miracle destined to change the world.

Journey to Bethlehem. Join Mary and Joseph as they make their way to the “little town of Bethlehem” for the birth of the Savior of the World. Along the way you’ll get to know a few of the people whose lives are forever impacted by the touch of the newborn King.

The Lost & Found Agency. A unique and colorful team of specialists are called upon to assist a shepherd named Shimmel find his lost sheep, a young lady named Maya locate a valuable missing coin — and a lost young man find his way back home. The audience also has the opportunity to aid one of the “Lost & Found” agents in reclaiming his own lost Christmas spirit, all with the help of an unexpected visitor!

In addition to the unforgettable theatrical productions, Holy Land Experience has an abundance of unique interactive exhibits designed to entertain, educate, and inspire guests of all ages, including:

The Dead Sea Qumran Caves, a replica of the mysterious place where many ancient Bible manuscripts were discovered. The exhibit includes a re-creation of the Upper Room, where Jesus and the disciples observed the Last Supper, and where guests will currently experience the powerful drama Miracle in the Upper Room.

The Wilderness Tabernacle, the heart of worship for the children of Israel after their exodus from Egypt. This awe-inspiring exhibit takes guests on an unforgettable journey through Israel’s ancient priesthood, culminating with a breathtaking depiction of God’s glory revealed above the Ark of the Covenant.

The Great Temple, a magnificent representation of the Jewish holy place that once stood on hallowed Mount Moriah in First Century Jerusalem.

Golgotha, a dramatic recreation of the place in biblical Israel where Jesus Christ was crucified and died. Constructed in part with stones collected from the countryside surrounding Jerusalem, this impacting exhibit is built atop another popular Holy Land Experience site, the profoundly moving recreation of the biblical Garden Tomb, where the body of Jesus was laid after His crucifixion and from where He was miraculously resurrected three days later.

The world-renowned Scriptorium, a combination museum, library, and research center that holds a collection of priceless manuscripts, scrolls, biblical antiquities, and artifacts. The enlightening presentations that accompany the exhibits offer visitors a close-up view of Bible and church history.

Holy Land Experience has also updated its Smile of a Child Adventure Land, where younger guests can burn up plenty of energy on the totally safe rock-climbing walls, play an exciting round of mini-golf featuring Bible characters, have their faces painted, and enjoy an inspirational Bible story.

“Christmas has always been an extra-special time for us here at Holy Land Experience,” said Mike Everett, general manager of the popular Central Florida inspirational attraction. “Every member of our team is committed to help fill the hearts of our valued guests with the warmth and wonder of this holiday season. We look forward to welcoming friends and families from all over the world to share the joy and spirit of Christmas this year.”


For more I-4 attraction  information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

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Disney Lights Up the Holiday Sky with Hundreds of Choreographed Drones

This holiday season, guests at Disney Springs – the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World Resort – will get a chance to see Disney and Intel exploring remarkable new technology as hundreds of lighted show drones take to the nighttime sky in “Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration.”

The first-of-its-kind light show featuring 300 Intel® Shooting Star™ show drones invites guests to gaze skyward and make a special wish this holiday season. The synchronized choreography of the new Intel Shooting Star drones is set to a specially orchestrated arrangement of classic holiday music. In the nostalgic and stirring medley, Disney Springs guests can listen for a few bars of classic Disney melodies.

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” marks the first time in the United States 300 show drones have flown at one time. At 280g, the Intel Shooting Star drone weighs less than a volleyball, and features built-in LED lights that can create more than four billion color combinations.

“Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” will join other holiday enhancements at Disney Springs, including a brand-new Christmas Tree Trail, special seasonal entertainment, meet and greets with Santa, and festive decor throughout all four neighborhoods – Town Center, The Landing, West Side and Marketplace.

Make plans to visit Disney Spring this holiday season. Book your perfect room near Disney Springs now!


For more I-4 information, visit www.i4exitguide.com, the Internet’s largest and most complete website devoted to Interstate 4. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit from Tampa to Daytona!

Traveling another route? Visit our growing family of exit guides: I-95 Exit Guide, I-5 Exit Guide, I-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.