Tag Archives: attractions

I-4 Ramp to Adventure Way Closing Nightly Thru May 3

Motorists looking to head to the attractions area at night could encounter the nightly closure of the westbound Interstate 4 (I-4) exit ramp to Adventure Way.

The ramp closes from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. thru May 3 to assist with ongoing work at the Kirkman Road (State Road 435) and I-4 interchange.

Modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving through the work zone.


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!

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

Unwind Oceanside at Cocoa Beach Uncorked Food and Wine Festival

Showcasing Central Florida’s most-renowned chefs, restaurants and breweries, the second annual Cocoa Beach Uncorked Food and Wine Festival takes place April 28-29 at Alan Shepard Park.

The two-day celebration of food, wine and craft beer offers attendees a chance to indulge in the finest tastes the region has to offer, while unwinding along Cocoa Beach’s spectacular oceanfront.

read more…

Legoland Florida Debuts New Virtual Reality Coaster

Brick fans, start your engines! The newest attraction at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort combines roller coaster thrills with virtual reality (VR) technology to put guests in the center of an action-packed road rally where the laws of physics and aerodynamics only loosely apply.

Now open at the multi-day vacation destination, The Great LEGO® Race invites guests into a virtual world where they’re the star of a rollicking race against several LEGO minifigure competitors – all while taking an exciting roller coaster ride.

Wearing optional VR headsets while riding the roller coaster, guests experience the point of view of a LEGO race car driver with action taking place in every direction — up, down, forward, backward and all points in between — in a dazzling environment where everything is made of LEGO bricks.

The wild and wacky race pits guests against a LEGO pirate, wizard, surfer, trendsetter and pharaoh driving brick-built vehicles like a rocket-powered windsurfing rig, a stylish scooter fueled by espresso and an ornately canopied bed (called a “litter”) carried by mummy servants.

The adventure begins as guests step through the ride’s bold new entry portal, which features giant versions of several minifigure racers and their custom LEGO vehicles. The nearby queue is filled with colorful graphics representing each of the five racing teams, with themed elements to entertain waiting riders and video screens demonstrating the virtual reality experience.

Once guests are dispatched aboard the ride vehicles, sophisticated technology syncs the virtual visuals with the roller coaster’s twists, turns, drops and climbs, creating an all-new experience filled with action, surprises and humor — an experience only LEGOLAND could create.

Developed under the supervision of Merlin Magic Making, the company’s global creative and delivery division, The Great LEGO Race is the first virtual reality roller coaster experience designed for kids and represents the first time the LEGO brand and minifigure characters have been integrated with the state-of-the-art technology in a theme park attraction.

“The Great LEGO Race was inspired by the way kids play with LEGO toys at home,” said Candy Holland, senior creative director for Merlin Magic Making. “It’s a unique LEGO adventure that lets kids enter an epic, imaginary world made entirely from LEGO bricks, featuring a host of different themes and fun LEGO characters all mixed up together.”


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Honors Two Decades of Wild Encounters With 20th Anniversary Celebration

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will mark its 20th anniversary on Earth Day, April 22, with more wild adventures than ever before – kicking off spring and setting the stage for an incredible summer filled with all-new events and experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Commemorating the milestone year, the 500-acre adventure park will offer animal encounters, family-friendly activities, specialty desserts and more during an expanded Party for the Planet celebration April 22-May 5.

Over the two-week “Party for the Planet celebration, guests can attend conservation talks by animal-care experts and participate in enhanced interactions with some of the more than 2,000 animals that make their home at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited park.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch will take center stage for the year-long 20th anniversary. It’s home to fun educational exhibits and activities that help create awareness of animal issues. During the 20th anniversary, Rafiki’s Planet Watch will offer backstage experiences with experts where guests can learn about animal nutrition, visit the veterinary hospital and hear how Disney promotes global wildlife conservation.


Find Your Perfect Room Near Disney’s Animal Kingdom!


Guests can also commemorate their visits to the theme park with special photo opportunities. They can step into an oversized picture frame celebrating the park’s 20th anniversary. Other photo frames support Disney’s “Reverse the Decline,” an initiative created to help protect 10 threatened animal species. One recent success of the program was the birth of two critically endangered Sumatran Tiger Cubs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Just for kids is the chance to earn a limited-edition badge as part of the Wilderness Explorer program. The badge is one of many that youngsters can earn by completing fun activities throughout the park.

Party for the Planet will also include six different Tiffins Talks – themed dinners hosted by animal experts at Tiffins, the theme park’s signature, full-service restaurant. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

The 20th anniversary fun also includes a commemorative adventure guide, limited-edition merchandise, and a special-edition print created by renowned Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde. He will be available on April 22 from 1-4 p.m. to sign prints at Discovery Trading Company. Quantities are limited. For more information on Party for the Planet, visit Disneyworld.com/PartyforthePlanet.

Here are other experiences and adventures rolling out in 2018 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • April 22 will mark the debut of a brand-new show, UP! A Great Bird Adventure featuring Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar animated comedy-adventure film “UP.” The show will give guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his fuzzy friend Dug in a new adventure that includes encounters with exotic birds from around the world. This free-flying show will be performed multiple times daily.
  • A “dino-tastic” celebration with Donald and his friends will also premiere Memorial Day weekend in DinoLand, U.S.A. This dinosaur-themed party celebrates Donald Duck’s discovery that his bird ancestors were actually dinosaurs. DinoLand U.S.A. will feature colorful new décor and playful character greetings with rarely seen pals like Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and more. A DJ-powered dance party will mix tunes from the truck-o-saurus stage, capping the nighttime festivities.
  • Memorial Day 2018 commemorates the one-year anniversary of Pandora – The World of Avatar. Here, travelers are transported to a mystical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Inspired by the blockbuster film, AVATAR, the epic land invites guests to explore a glowing landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi Shaman of Songs and soar on the back of a banshee.

For more information about the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, visit DisneyWorld.com/AnimalKingdom.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Walt Disney World’s Toy Story Land To Open June 30

It’s a joy-filled, toy-filled world as only Disney can create, and it opens June 30, 2018. The all-new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort is inspired by Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story films.

Guests in Toy Story Land – located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – will feel like they have shrunk to the size of a toy as Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Slinky Dog, the Aliens, Green Army Men and other fun-loving Toy Story characters come to life in the larger-than-life outdoor setting of Andy’s backyard.

And what a backyard! In a rich and colorful landscape straight from his vivid imagination, Andy has set up his toys for the best playtime ever. Guests will be surrounded by giant building blocks, game board pieces and more.

Across eleven fun-filled acres, Toy Story Land will include two all-new attractions and one expanded favorite. Guests will whoosh along on a family-friendly roller coaster behind Slinky Dog, take a spin with flying saucers in toy spaceships and score high on the midway.

Toy Story Land will also celebrate what once defined entertainment for a generation. Crayons, Rubik’s Cubes, Cooties, Green Army Men and other toys and games will pour on the nostalgia for park-goers. Even the lampposts will be shaped like Tinkertoys.

“With set pieces, staging, attractions and experiences Toy Story Land represents the best of Walt Disney Imagineering’s collaboration with our storytelling partners at Pixar Animation Studios,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This new land will place guests inside the wondrous world of Woody, Buzz and their pals – and invite everyone to experience the joy of being a toy.”

Here’s the rundown:

  • Slinky Dog Dash. Andy has assembled his roller coaster kit for maximum family fun. Tracks and supports in bright colors of red, orange, yellow and blue are put together according to Andy’s hand-drawn plans, with Rex and Jessie lending a hand. And to complete his creation, Andy picked up everyone’s favorite floppy-eared dachshund with a strrrrretch-ing slinky coil belly and dropped it on to the coaster track. Get ready to ride inside Slinky Dog’s coils! Slinky Dog Dash is inspired by the delightful pooch spinoff of Slinky, the 1950s American toy classic. Riders of all ages will delight as Slinky Dog bends and twists his coils around curves, hills, bridges and drops in the Slinky-est coaster ever. Riders will zip around and above Toy Story Land, serving up panoramic views of all that the new land has to offer. Andy’s colorful creation will stretch Slinky Dog and his coils to the max – from his head to his upturned tail – and be fun for the entire family.
  • Alien Swirling Saucers. Brace yourself for out-of-this-world thrills because the aliens have powered up their flying saucers! Alien Swirling Saucers will immerse guests in the playful world of Andy’s toys. This galactic space toy is designed as a play set that Andy won at the Pizza Planet restaurant. Adorable little Toy Story green Aliens swirl about in their flying saucers with guests in tow in their rocket-ship toys, while “The Claw” hangs overhead. This space adventure is bathed in music reimagined for intergalactic fun, dappled with multi-color lighting and sound effects from throughout galaxies.
  • Toy Story Mania! While Andy’s away, the toys will play. One of the most beloved attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Mania!, gets an all-new colorful toy carnival game box entrance when the new land opens. In fact, this is the box that the Toy Story Mania! game came in. Recently updated with a third track, the popular attraction will put even more guests in the carnival playset action taking aim at 3D objects – using everything from baseballs to cream pies – in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games. To the high-scorer go bragging rights.

When it’s time for on-the-go refreshments, Woody’s Lunch Box will serve up tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats from a walk-up window in a setting surrounded by Andy’s favorite toys and a giant vintage thermos. Woody’s Lunch Box will also feature Mini Babybel – the Official Snack Cheese of Walt Disney World Resort.

Toy Story Land is part of a multi-year reimagining of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the largest expansion in the theme park’s history. Next year will see the premiere of the all-new, 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This new land will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action. Also coming in 2019 is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The first ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction will feature new technology, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that put guests in the whacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon short.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

11 Little-Known Orlando Theme Park Experiences

To celebrate the unparalleled collection of unique experiences that can be found in Orlando, Theme Park Capital of the World®, the destination experts at Visit Orlando have compiled a list of some of the most unusual – and sometimes unknown – activities for visitors at its most popular theme parks. The tourism association is also kicking off a Uniquely Orlando Sweepstakes now through March 11 for consumers to win and create their own unique Orlando vacation at VisitOrlando.com/Trip.

Just a few of the lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path activities at the world-famous theme parks are below, with many more found on the tourism association’s website, VisitOrlando.com.

TOP 11 UNIQUE THEME PARK EXPERIENCES

  1. Get a Haircut at Disney
    Visit Magic Kingdom’s Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street, USA for a once-in-a-lifetime trim or even a whole new look. Welcoming all ages, the shop also offers a special First Haircut experience for little ones, complete with commemorative Mickey Ears and a certificate.
  2. Grab a Cold One with the Simpsons
    Grab a glass of Homer Simpson’s favorite beverage, with three varieties of Duff Beer available only at Universal Studios. Despite the running joke on the show that all three are the same beer, the real-life versions include Duff (a lager), Duff Lite (a light beer), and Duff Dry (a stout).
  3. Become Your Very Own AVATAR
    Create a personalized AVATAR as the ultimate souvenir at Disney’s Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Animal Kingdom. Guests can have their faces mapped and printed onto a Na’vi action figure, complete with blue skin and traditional garb, just like the aliens in the film.
  4. Pet (and Feed!) Sting Rays
    While the popular marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions may be more well-known, one of the most unusual animal encounters is feeding and touching the stingrays at SeaWorld Orlando. Guests of all ages – even tiny tots – can dip their hands directly into the pool, feel the velvety texture of the rays, and delight as the gentle creatures suck fish from their hands at lightning fast speed. (Don’t worry, the stingray barbs are trimmed, just like human fingernails.)
  5. Perform “Real” Magic
    Spell it out with the wave of a wand at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Objects suddenly move, water spouts and secrets reveal themselves throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade when visitors use one of the Interactive Wands available at Ollivander’s Wand Shop.
  6. Meet The Pets That Went from Shelters to Stars
    Many people don’t know that SeaWorld also provides a home and second chance at life for dogs and cats rescued from animal shelters. Considered by many to be untrainable due to their high energy, these adopted animals now steal the stage – and fans’ hearts – as stars in the parks’ Pets Ahoy, a funny, fast-paced animal training show that also imparts a meaningful message to support local animal shelters. The cast of talented rescued animals includes dogs, cats and even ducks, and guests can personally meet some of these amazing “animal ambassadors” along with their trainers after the show.
  7. Dine with Princesses in Epcot, Too
    Join Disney princesses for Storybook Dining at the Norway pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase. While many visitors flock to Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle for princess dining, this lesser-known option includes a meal with several of the most-loved princesses in another, equally beautiful medieval castle.
  8. Send A Letter from Hogsmeade
    Send a real letter from Hogsmeade’s Owl Post at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Special postage, a Hogsmeade postmark and even unique wizardly stationary makes for a one-of-a-kind love letter, pen pal or postcard.
  9. Make Friends with Rescued Manatees
    Step behind-the-scenes and catch a glimpse of SeaWorld Orlando’s working manatee rescue and rehabilitation facility to learn more about the plight of these vulnerable animals that have been rescued from illness or injury in the wild. Guests can get a closer look at some of the water’s most gentle creatures – including calves, “teens” and adult manatees – all of which have been rescued and are undergoing treatment with the goal of successfully returning them back to the wild.
  10. Play I-Spy with Mickey
    Embark on a scavenger hunt for hidden mickeys, a famous “secret” of the Disney Parks. Everything from rides to décor and even walking paths at Disney properties feature subtle Mickey shapes, some easier to spot than others. While books have been published to help guests find them all, half the fun is in the discovery.
  11. Snap a Dinosaur Selfie
    A nearly-nine-foot-tall velociraptor awaits guests at Universal’s Raptor Encounter at Island of Adventure, perfect for a daring photo-op. With a reputation as the most “clever” dinosaur in Jurassic Park, these cold-blooded hunters are quite excited to meet outsiders, but don’t worry, they can’t escape their electrified paddock – probably.

SWEEPSTAKES

Enter to win the chance to experience some of these uniquely Orlando activities and more at VisitOrlando.com/Trip by March 11, 2018. Contestants of this sweepstakes simply share their family’s favorite Orlando memory to be automatically entered to win a dream vacation to Orlando, with the winner receiving:

  • Roundtrip air transportation to Orlando
  • Four (4) night hotel accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
  • Eight (8) one-day/one-park tickets of your choice for Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort or SeaWorld Orlando
  • Five (5) day rental car from Alamo Rent-a-Car

The Orlando Destination
Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, Theme Park Capital of the World®, and most visited destination in the United States. An unparalleled mix of unique experiences create cherished memories for visitors, including legendary theme parks from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld, an array of world-class water parks, entertainment venues, an award-winning food scene, shopping, sports and nightlife. And, with 450 hotels, Orlando offers more lodging options than nearly any other destination in the world, from expansive resorts to uniquely themed hotels.

About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is the official tourism association for the most visited destination in the United States and, together with its 1,200 member organizations, represents the area’s leading industry. Visit Orlando is responsible for branding, selling and marketing the Orlando destination worldwide, and serves as the official visitor information source.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Hold On Tight For An Incredible Summer At Walt Disney World in 2018

Starting Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27, Walt Disney World Resort will launch an incredible summer for 2018 with guests being immersed in their favorite Disney films, entering the worlds of their beloved characters and experiencing exciting new attractions and entertainment.

Here are some of the highlights:

All four Walt Disney World theme parks – plus Disney Springs – will delight guests with new attractions and experiences for Summer 2018, with most of the festivities starting Memorial Day Weekend.

At Magic Kingdom, favorite Disney-Pixar super heroes will take over Tomorrowland – celebrating all things super. Guests will party with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone from Disney-Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and upcoming “Incredibles 2.” And, for the first time ever, guests will get to see Edna Mode, the greatest superhero costume designer. The super heroes will interact with guests throughout the land. And the festivities culminate with a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage. “Incredibles 2” opens in theaters nationwide June 15, 2018.

Super Heroes take over the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot. Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy will join an alien band, taking guests on a journey through the cosmos. The party will feature hits from Awesome Mix Tapes 1 and 2 – fun and favorite tunes from the two movies’ soundtracks – building the anticipation for a new Epcot Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

This summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two super new experiences: A “dino-tastic” celebration where Donald Duck takes over Dinoland U.S.A. with prehistoric elements in a new and exciting character celebration; and Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure, where Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug, from the Disney-Pixar hit film “Up,” discover species of birds from around the world. In addition to all the new fun offerings, guests continue thrills on Pandora – The World of Avatar including Avatar – Flight of Passage, which has quickly become the top-rated attraction at Walt Disney World.

Summer 2018 also marks the first summer for new offerings at Disney Springs including “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,” a Hyper-Reality Experience from Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID; and a host of new restaurants and bars have popped up to tempt any appetite. These include The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant and bar; Maria & Enzo’s, an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily; Terralina Crafted Italian, a new concept from James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano; and Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida, brought to Disney Springs by former California Grill manager and Master Sommelier George Miliotes (opening this spring).

Toy Story Land Opens

As summer gets into full swing, the capstone of Incredible Summer at Walt Disney World opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The ongoing reimagining of the park takes guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land.

This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy’s backyard. Guests will experience two new attractions, including Slinky Dog Dash, a family-friendly coaster which will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max. “Toy Story” pals also come to life in another fresh-from-the-box themed attraction — Alien Swirling Saucers. This Pizza Planet toy play set is loaded with aliens circling about in their flying saucers pulling along rocket ships full of guests. The new land also will encompass – Toy Story Mania! – which has been expanded to add a third track to the existing popular attraction. Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service kiosk serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats inside Toy Story Land.

About Walt Disney World Resort:

Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon); 36 resort hotels (26 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes eight Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 63 holes of golf on four courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Disney Springs, an entertainment-shopping-dining district. Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round. For information on attractions and vacations at Walt Disney World Resort, visit disneyworld.com, call (407) W-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts Adds More Days, More Talent, Artful Food and Fun

Expanding on its 2017 debut, the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort will present a daily, multifaceted celebration of art in many forms from January 12 to February 19. Five new Food Studios will debut at the festival, giving park guests an expanded selection of creative and delicious new tastes to savor at a total of 13 Food Studios around the World Showcase promenade.

The 2018 festival, growing from last year’s long-weekend event schedule, will expand to seven days a week, with the popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series returning Fridays through Mondays. Also back by popular demand will be the festival’s artful cuisine, exhibits, seminars, workshops, performance art and interactive fun ranging from innovative photo ops and hands-on mural painting to drawing and food-styling classes.

As Epcot guests explore the world of talent surrounding them, they also can tempt their palates with culinary work-of-art creations at the festival’s Food Studios. Enticing tastes at stops around the World Showcase promenade will include photo-worthy fan favorites like pan-seared scallops with chorizo and roasted red pepper coulis at The Artist’s Table; wild mushroom risotto from Masterpiece Kitchen; a trio of savory doughnuts from The Painter’s Palate; plus decadent dessert delights and beverage standouts like the Pomegranate Mule featuring Van Gogh Vodka.

New Studios this year will be located at the following areas: France (“L’Art de la Cuisine Française” or “The Art of French Cooking”), Morocco (“Mosaic Canteen”), Japan (“Takumi Table”), Italy (“L’Arte di Mangiare” or “The Art of Eating”) and China (“The Painted Panda”). A complete list of Food Studios and menus are at The Culinary Arts: Food Studios.

Daily events will include complimentary seminars at the Odyssey Festival Showplace such as “Trailblazing Ladies of Disney Animation,” and interactive workshops ($39) like “Sculpting a Mixed Media Action Figure.”

Each Friday through Monday, the hottest show at Epcot – Disney on Broadway Concert Series – will showcase the stellar talents of performers from award-winning Disney on Broadway musicals. Here’s the lineup:

  • January 12-15 and 19-22: Jenn Gambatese (NEW!) and Kevin Massey Jan. 12-15; Kara Lindsay (NEW!) and Kevin Massey Jan. 19-22, who will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “Aladdin,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”
  • January 26-29 and February 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White will perform songs from “Tarzan,” “The Lion King,” “Aida,” “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid.”
  • February 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland will perform songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Tarzan,” “Mary Poppins,” “Newsies” and “Frozen.”

All Disney on Broadway shows are included in theme park admission and will take place Fridays through Mondays at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. Broadway fans can book dining packages that include guaranteed seating for one of the three evening shows.

Throughout the festival, guests can get their art on by:

  • Joining in the fun of “Figment’s Brush with the Masters” Scavenger Hunt
  • Popping into the frame of a masterpiece for a cleverly artful photo op (think DaVinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” or new this year, Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”!)
  • Watching new gravity-defying feats of strength and acrobatics featured among the festival’s scheduled performing arts
  • Discovering authentic cultural artifacts along the World Showcase Art Walk – look for the Art Palette near each highlighted work of art at each country represented
  • Marveling at exhibits showcasing works by iconic Disney artists, the new Chalk Gallery, the American Heritage Gallery and more
  • Viewing some of 50-plus visiting artists at work and taking a drawing class at the Animation Academy
  • Wielding a paintbrush to put their mark on the Hands-on-Wall Mural at World Showcase Plaza

The Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages, available at five participating Epcot restaurants, can be booked now online at Disneyworld.com or by calling (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-7463.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Vanishing Point Slides Into Adventure Island in 2018

Guests are in for the slide of their lives when Adventure Island® Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s new epic drop slide, Vanish Point®, opens in March 2018.

Inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, the crest of this 70-foot tower challenges you with two 425 ft. wave paths. Step into one of two skyboxes, and face your fears as the floor disappears beneath you. Or, get horizontal on a 455-foot long slide ending with a high speed finale.

“These unique ride paths give guests options on how they want their thrills delivered,” said Stewart Clark, president of Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay and Adventure Island. “Whether you choose to have the floor drop from beneath your feet, or race to the bottom on a looped slide, the only way down once you get to the top is a wild ride that gets your heart pumping.”

Located right across the street from Busch Gardens, Adventure Island is the ultimate combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages. Within a soothing Key West atmosphere, guests enjoy slides, corkscrews, water falls, a wave pool, children’s water playground and other family attractions.

Vanish Point will be located at the center of the park next to another family-favorite thrill slide, Colossal Curl™.

Construction on Vanish Point will begin in the coming weeks, and the ride is expected to be completed to kick off the 2018 season for Adventure Island.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.

Ormond Beach Seafood Festival Returns… and Admission is Free!

Ormond Beach’s biggest and best free festival will return to Rockefeller Gardens on November 18 & 19, 2017!

Local seafood leads the way at this year’s Riverfest Seafood Festival in Ormond Beach. The 9th annual festival sponsored by Ormond Beach MainStreet will have fifteen food purveyors serving up everything from fresh shrimp to grilled octopus and fried fish to lobster mac-n-cheese. Of course, there’s a healthy helping of draft beer, ice cream, local barbeque, fried oreos and kettle corn to keep every eater full and happy.

The festival is about much more than food, however. Held in Rockefeller Gardens and Fortunato Park right along Ormond’s sparkling riverfront, the event features two days of water activities, a 5K race on Sunday, an extremely popular kid’s fishing clinic, chef demonstrations, a kids’ zone, vendors and, of course, great music.


Book Now! Find Your Perfect Room in Ormond Beach!


This year the festival runs Saturday, November 18 from 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday, November 19 from 10 am – 4 pm. Free admission and free parking make it easy to enjoy the great variety of planned activities in both riverfront parks. A free shuttle service from the City Hall parking lot makes parking even easier.

Saturday’s music headliners include R&B sensation Amy Alysia & the Soul Machine and local rockers Emperor Napolean & the Visions of Ecstasy, along with the award-winning 12 O’Clock Jazz Band from Spruce Creek High School. Jazz up your Sunday with Orlando’s Brown Bag Brass Band, then cool down in the afternoon with The Jam.

Head down by the bridge for kids’ crafts and games, mini-golf, a giant obstacle course and a face painter. In that same area you’ll find this year’s Kid Fish – sponsored by Fish Florida and Innovative Bookkeeping. We have 300 free fishing poles to give away to youngsters along with education stations and a fishing area. Once you’ve learned to fish, you can pick up a pole and tackle to take home and enjoy.

If Rockefeller Gardens is the home of food and music, Fortunato Park is all about boats and water fun. This year’s brand new boat and recreational “toys” display joins paddleboard and kayak demonstrations, and pontoon boat rides along the sand.

This year they’ve got pie! That’s right, there will be a Key Lime Pie Contest on Saturday afternoon as part of our Southern Stone Cooking Stage.

All day long on Saturday and Sunday you’ll be able to watch (and taste) seafood cooking demos from local restaurateurs and chefs, but on Saturday afternoon the featured chef just might be you!


Book Now! Find Your Perfect Room in Ormond Beach!


If you want to burn some calories, you can start your day early on Sunday by being a part of the festival’s Rubber Duckie River Run sponsored by the Southern Stone Event Group. The race starts at 9 AM. Registration for all racers starts at 8 AM. Awards ceremony is on the main stage at the Riverfest Seafood Festival at 10:30 AM.

To find Riverfest from the mainland, proceed east on State Road 40 over the Granada Boulevard Bridge in downtown Ormond Beach. If you are coming from A1A, just turn west on Granada Boulevard and the festival will be easy to spot right before the bridge. There is additional parking available at Ormond Beach City Hall and a free shuttle service running back and forth across the bridge all day.


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 GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit Guide and I-75 Exit Guide.