Tag Archives: EPCOT

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.


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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!

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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.

Discover Even More Magic This Holiday Season at Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is the place to be this holiday season as theme parks and resort hotels sparkle with jolly decorations that bring the spirit of the season to life. Here’s a sampling of the holiday fun in store for guests:

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guests can get wrapped up in a Flurry of Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from Nov. 9-Dec. 31, with exciting new holiday happenings around the park and the return of the nighttime projection and fireworks show “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!”

  • NEW! Sunset Seasons Greetings – This new holiday experience features spectacular projections of Mickey, Minnie and other beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories as a snowy Sunset Boulevard twinkles with stunning holiday decorations. Holiday magic brings billboards to life and transforms the famous Hollywood Tower Hotel into scenes of the season – a giant pile of Christmas gifts, a gingerbread house and a frozen winter wonderland! A frosty summer-loving snowman might even make an appearance to share his holiday wish! This fantastic and heartwarming experience runs continuously throughout the night.
  • NEW! Enhanced holiday décor around Echo Lake – Extra-large ornaments, colorful garlands and a giant Christmas tree centered on the water will make Echo Lake the merriest of places this holiday season. Even Dinosaur Gertie will be dressed for the occasion with a dino-sized Santa hat.
  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Returns – The hit holiday show returns Nov. 9 sending beloved Disney animated characters on a spirited yuletide adventure to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” combines state-of-the-art projections, fireworks, special effects and Christmas music to create a dazzling, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for guests – capped by a special message from Santa himself.
  • “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” Dessert Party – Guests can wrap up their jolly holiday evenings with reserved viewing of the “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” nighttime spectacular. The nightly party includes holiday-inspired snacks, delicious desserts, wine, beer, and specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. A surprise Disney character will also join the fun, posing for pictures and signing autographs. This fun-filled special event is offered Nov. 9-Dec. 30, 2017.
  • A new friend joins the cast of ‘For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration’ – Holiday fun continues at the Hyperion Theater as Anna, Elsa and Kristoff welcome Olaf to this popular sing-along celebration. Just for the holidays the show will include all-new songs from Disney’s new animated short “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.”
  • Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine – Meet Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald and Goofy for lunch and dinner celebrations centered on seasonal deliciousness. From Nov. 6-Jan. 7, the mouse-with-the-mostest will deck the halls for a banquet filled with holiday cheer and the joy of the season!
  • Santa Claus returns to the Once Upon a Time shop Nov. 9-Dec. 24 – The beautiful vintage setting of the Once Upon a Time shop recalls bygone days of Santa’s visits to great department stores across the country. Santa will be at the shop daily to greet guests and listen to holiday wishes. Santa Goofy will step in Dec. 25-Dec. 31 after Old Saint Nick returns to the North Pole.

read more…


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.

Orlando’s Good Eats and Holiday Treats: 2017’s Must-See Events for Fall and Winter

This fall and winter, there is more to see and do in Orlando than any other time of year. With numerous food and wine feasts, unparalleled Halloween thrills and merry holiday theme park events, the excitement in Orlando is warming up even as the weather cools down. For a full schedule of fall happenings, year-round events, insider attraction tips and vacation planning guides, go to VisitOrlando.com.

Orlando’s Food & Wine Feasts
The destination’s growing reputation for superb dining meets a seasonal surge of events for a food-lover’s dream vacation in the fall. From a month-long affordable fine dining program to theme park and resort smorgasbords, there are flavors for all palates through November.

read more…


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.

All Those Disney Rumors Finally Confirmed

Dozens of rumors about Disney’s future plans have been swirling around for some time now. Well, Disney officials have finally confirmed most of those rumors with concrete facts and opening dates. It’s been difficult to keep track of every rumor, even for the most dedicated Disney fans… so we’ve outlined just about every rumor we could find and listed the cold hard facts…

  • Star Wars Themed Resort
    Disney Star Wars Themed Resort | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Star Wars Themed Resort

    A new Star Wars-inspired resort where guests will become part of a Star Wars story is planned. According to Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, “It’s unlike anything that exists today.” “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”

  • Disney Skyliner Gondolas
    Disney's Skyliner Gondolas | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Skyliner Gondolas

    A new transportation system will be built that will transport guests around Walt Disney Resort. Gondolas will provide guests with connections between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Disney’s Art of Animation, Pop Century and Caribbean Beach resorts, including the new Disney Riviera Resort (see below).

  • Minnie Van Service
    Disney's Minnie Van Service | I-4 Exit Guide
    Minnie’s Van Service

    The Skyliner Gondolas won’t be the only new transportation option at Disney World. A fleet of “Minnie Vans”  will offer a “point to point” transportation service. The Uber-like ride-hailing service will take you anywhere you want to go at the Walt Disney World Resort!
    UPDATE: Lyft, a ridesharing transportation network company based in San Francisco, has launched its “Minne Van” service on July 31 for Walt Disney World Resort guests. Guests simply can open the Lyft app or call to have the private van service, which will take them anywhere on the resort’s property.

  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
    Disney's Riviera Resort | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Riviera Resort

    Located near Epcot, Disney’s Riviera Resort will be built as part of the Disney Vacation Club, a membership-based vacation ownership program. Opening in the fall, 2019.

Magic Kingdom

  • Tron Attraction
    Disney's Tron Attraction | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Tron Attraction

    Located in Tomorrowland, right next to Space Mountain, a new Tron attraction will be added. Based on Shanghai Disneyland’s Tron Lightcycle Power Run, it will be Disney’s most “intense” roller coaster. Riders board “Lightcycles” and transport riders into a videogame-like grid. The Tron attraction is planning to open in time for Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021.

  • Main Street Theater
    Magic Kingdom Main Street Theater | I-4 Exit Guide
    Magic Kingdom Main Street Theater

    A new theater inspired by Kansas City’s Willis Wood Theater will be added to Main Street USA. The theater will include world class entertainment. Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts said. “It’s been a huge hit at the Disneyland Resort, and I’m sure many of you have seen it. This new theater at Walt Disney World continues that streak by bringing a new venue for world-class entertainment to the world’s biggest park.”

Epcot

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    Guardians of the Galaxy | I-4 Exit Guide
    Guardians of the Galaxy

    A new attraction based on the popular Marvel movie franchise will replace “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” in the former Universe of Energy building at Epcot. The new “Guardians of the Galaxy” attraction will be based on Peter Quill’s (aka Star Lord) visit to Epcot when he was a child. Disney California Adventure park debuted a similar experience earlier this year and has become on of the most popular attractions at that park. “Ellen’s Energy Adventure will close August 12, 2017, and construction of the new attraction will begin shortly thereafter. According to Disney officials the new attraction will be open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.

  • Ratatouille
    Disney's Ratatouille | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Ratatouille

    Based on Disney-Pixar’s Ratatouille, this new 4-D attraction “shrink” guests to the size of Remy, the gourmet chef and participate in a chase across the kitchen in sophisticated trackless vehicles. A similar attraction opened in Walt Disney Park in Paris in 2014. Ratatouille will be added to the France Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. According to Disney officials the new attraction will be open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021.

  • Mission:Space Addition
    Disney's Mission:Space | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Mission:Space

    The current mission to Mars at Mission:Space will add another adventure… an orbital journey above earth. The new mission, geared toward younger children is scheduled to blast off later this summer… August 13th to be exact.

  • Mission: Space Restaurant
    Disney's Mission: Space Restaurant | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Mission: Space Restaurant

    A new restaurant next to the Mission: Space attraction will offer great food with spectacular view high above earth. The new table-service restaurant that will transport diners to a space station high above Earth.

  • New China Pavilion Film
    Disney's China Pavilion | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s China Pavilion

    A new “Circle-Vision 360” movie about China will be presented in-the-round at this World Showcase pavilion. A new projection system will replace the multiple screens with one seemless screen making the experience that much more realistic.

Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
    Disney's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

    A new name for Disney’s 14 acre Star Wars Land in Florida and California has finally been announced. “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions are being built on a scale and detail that Disney has never attempted before. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in 2019, first at the Disneyland Resort and later in the year at the Walt Disney World Resort. Two major attractions will highlight this land.

  • Star Wars Battle

    Visitors are dropped right in the middle of a raging battle between the Resistance and the First Order. Guests will feel like they are inside a Star Destroyer and that “the scale of the attraction is unlike anything we’ve ever done before.”

  • Millennium Falcon Attraction
    Disney's Millennium Falcon | I-4 Exit Guide
    Disney’s Millennium Falcon

    Riders are given the controls of the Millennium Falcon. Your mission is critical and you pilot your ship into hyperspace. Depending on how well you perform in battle you’ll earn galactic credits.

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Great Movie Ride | I-4 Exit Guide
    Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will Replace The Great Movie Ride

    Scheduled to replace the Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this new ride-through attraction is Disney’s first “mickey-themed ride attraction. Based on the old Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, the ride will feature a “sing-able and lovable theme song” and will be presented in “2-and-a-half-D”. Passengers will be transported into a flat movie screen and on to a runaway train… operated by Goofy!

  • Toy Story Land
    Disney's Toy Story Land | I-4 Exit Guide
    Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    Expected to open at Walt Disney World in the Summer of 2018, this new land will invite visitors into Andy’s backyard for adventures among his playthings. Toy Story Land will feature two new themed attractions.

  • Slinky Dog Dash

    This new attraction is a family-level roller coaster where riders will experience a dazzling array of twist, turns and drops designed to make the coaster ride like a slinky toy, coiling and stretching along the track.

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
    Disney's Toy Story Land | I-4 Exit Guide
    Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

    This new attraction is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first Toy Story film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”

Animal Kingdom

Disneyworld - Pandora - World of AvatarRumors recently became reality with the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in May. For a rundown on this new land, see First Look: Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


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.

 

Now Playing: EPCOT’s International Festival of the Arts

Planning your next road trip? You’ve still got time to visit Disney’s EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. New this year, the festival began in January and runs through February 20th, 2017.  Eat, drink and be dazzled by brilliant culinary masterpieces.

The festival features historical art from Disney’s past to today. Guest can experience a showcase of music and broadway at the American Gardens Theater stage, with performances at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8pm., Friday through Monday.

Experience culinary creations at the Food Studios. Visitors can watch the chefs in action and see the creative process as the presentation comes to life.

There’s a lot to see and do, so be prepared to stay as long as you can. The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts runs through Monday, February 20th, 2017. For more information, visit the Disney website.


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.

 

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World

Guests can celebrate America’s birthday with a red, white and blue extravaganza at Walt Disney World Resort. There will be no shortage of nighttime fun, as fireworks will dance across the skies above the Florida vacation kingdom. Here’s a look a what’s in store:

Magic Kingdom | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom

The celebration begins with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky,” July 3 and 4 at Magic Kingdom. The 14-minute fireworks spectacular rockets into the sky above Cinderella Castle at 9 p.m. both nights.

The fireworks are set to an exciting musical score produced in a concert band style. This score was specifically created to stir a sense of pride in being American, show producers say, while at the same time, inviting guests from around the world to feel part of the celebration.

Disney Hollywood Studios - Star Wars | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Guests can enjoy the all-new “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks nightly, with the show beginning at a special time of 9:30 p.m. for the holiday weekend, July 3 and 4. The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” dazzles with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of iconic characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the unforgettable score of the film series.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
Epcot dring the International Flower and garden Festival

Epcot

Guests visiting Epcot on July 4 will have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite Disney characters dressed in patriotic attire throughout the afternoon at the American Adventure Pavilion. Voices of Liberty, the eight-part a capella group, will have special performances at American Gardens Theatre at 12:30, 1:45 and 3 p.m. They also will perform inside the American Adventure Rotunda at 4:15 and 5 p.m. that day. Guests also will have the opportunity to catch the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps outside at 1, 2:15, 3:30, 4 and 4:45 p.m.

That evening, the spectacular fireworks and laser show “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” lights the night at 10 p.m. with a heart-pounding grand finale in a salute to America.

Additional Patriotic Entertainment

Other patriotic offerings that guests can enjoy year-round in the parks include indoor attractions that offer shows about the history of America, dining options and entertainment.

Guests at Epcot’s American Adventure Pavilion will find various ways to explore America’s past and present with “We, The People,” a journey through pivotal moments in America’s history narrated by Audio-Animatronic figures of Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, and “The Kinsey Collection,” an exhibit that showcases 400 years of African-American achievement through rare art, documents, books and artifacts.

At Magic Kingdom, The Hall of Presidents: A Celebration of Liberty’s Leaders gives guests an entertaining lesson in American history. Guests also can get a taste of traditional New England-inspired foods at Liberty Tree Tavern, a restaurant situated in a colonial-style inn that serves lunch and dinner daily. After nightfall, dancing patriots, a stately bald eagle, glittering lights and the patriotic music of the Main Street Electrical Parade all honor America as the parade’s stunning final float lights Main Street, U.S.A. nightly.

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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!

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Coming This Summer – Magical New Experiences Will Debut at All Four Disneyworld Parks

An incredible lineup of new attractions and experiences will debut this summer across all four Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond.

  • A flurry of fireflies awakens the iconic Tree of Life with colorful animation, and the songs of Disney’s new hit film “The Jungle Book” come to life on Discovery River, just two of the many new experiences as Disney’s Animal Kingdom introduces nighttime hours for the first time in the park’s 18-year history.
  • “Frozen,” the top animated film of all time, comes to life for the first time in an enchanting, music-filled attraction in the Norway pavilion at Epcot.
  • Princesses Tiana and Rapunzel join a rousing show on the grandest stage of all in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park.
  • An awe-inspiring new Star Wars fireworks and projection spectacular premieres at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Disney Springs welcomes more top shopping destinations and celebrity chef restaurants in a glittering new setting.

Across its four theme parks, multiple resort hotels and diverse shopping and dining offerings, guests will find unforgettable experiences to share with family and friends, making every moment as magical as it can be.

Disney's Animal Kingdom | I-4 Exit Guide
The Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

For the first time in its 18-year history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will debut new day-into-nighttime experiences that celebrate the magic of nature beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

  • The park’s iconic Tree of Life will awaken each night amid a lively celebration of Discovery Island music and dance. Through stunning visuals, animal spirits appear and enchanted fireflies reveal stories of wonder as the tree morphs to showcase the magic of nature.
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris transitions to a new nighttime adventure in the extended orange glow of a setting sun. For the first time, hyenas and African wild dogs join the safari trail.
  • Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film The Jungle Book. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.
  • Hungry adventurers can have lunch or dinner at the new Tiffins signature restaurant on Discovery Island Memorial Day Weekend. Guests seated in the restaurant’s travel-themed dining rooms or on the waterfront patio can sip libations and savor dishes featuring African, Asian and South American flavors.
  • Across the park, guests can experience wondrous new nighttime experiences and entertainment celebrating marvels in nature and enjoy long-time favorites such as Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, Kali River Rapids and more – in a whole new light.
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival | I-4 Exit Guide
Epcot During the Flower and garden Festival

Epcot

Anna, Elsa and other beloved characters from the blockbuster film, “Frozen,” will give the summer season a warm hug at Epcot beginning this June. Meanwhile “Turtle Talk with Crush” makes fun waves and Soarin takes guests to new heights.

  • Anna, Elsa and their Frozen friends will welcome guests aboard the new Frozen Ever After boat ride that sails into a “Frozen” world at the Norway Pavilion. Passengers on their way to Arendelle’s Winter in Summer Celebration for Queen Elsa visit the ice palace and hear beloved film tunes plus new lyrics by Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
  • Also at Norway Pavilion, Anna and Elsa will greet guests in the new Royal Sommerhus, modeled after a traditional Norwegian cabin.
  • In Future World, guests will celebrate the U.S. debut of the new Soarin’ Around the World attraction at The Land Pavilion June 17. Now with a third Epcot theater, plus new digital screens and projection systems, the expanded attraction takes guests on an exhilarating “flight” above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders.
  • Guests will also find new additions at “Turtle Talk with Crush” beginning in May with characters from Disney•Pixar film “Finding Dory”. When Crush the sea turtle swims up to the “Human Tank” at Epcot, he’ll be joined by Dory and some of her new friends that guests will get to know when “Finding Dory” swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.
Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom | I-4 Exit Guide
Main Steet at Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Classic Disney characters will join contemporary animated film stars this June in a new extravaganza on the grand Cinderella Castle stage, and Magic Kingdom guests can experience a new dining adventure.

  • For the first time, Tiana of “Princess and the Frog,” and Rapunzel of “Tangled,” co-star with Anna and Elsa of “Frozen,” and a host of favorite Disney characters in the new Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire show. Performed on the grandest stage in the kingdom, the star-studded tale of friendship presents Mickey Mouse and his troupe of Merry Makers – Minnie Mouse, Donald, Daisy and Goofy – who invite 10 new friends from different animated worlds to join the celebration. This “timeless fairytale” of a show combines grand dance, fireworks and stunts with memorable music, an original song and special effects.
  • Disney Parks will welcome Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures. Elena of Avalor will appear at Walt Disney World Resort later this summer and at Disneyland Resort in the fall, following her television debut in a new animated series this summer on Disney Channel.
  • Next door to the legendary Jungle Cruise, guests can enjoy the bold flavors of “World Famous Jungle Cuisine” served by the wisecracking crew of the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. It’s the first Disney full-service restaurant themed after a specific park attraction.
Disney's Hollywood Studios | I-4 Exit Guide
Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In the galactic wake of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, new Star-Wars-themed experiences shift into light speed.

  • The next generation of Star Wars-themed fireworks shows, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will premiere this June with new themed fireworks, lasers, special effects and video projections of iconic characters and scenes from the complete saga, all set to the unforgettable score of the film series.
  • The live stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” debuted April 4, celebrating moments from the Star Wars saga with live vignettes featuring popular characters such as BB-8, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul.
  • First Order Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma march in formation from Star Wars Launch Bay to the park’s Center Stage, adding menace to the entertainment. Star Wars Launch Bay showcases large-scale artifacts and encounters with characters including Kylo Ren. The re-imagined Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple experience also features new characters. And at Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests buckle up for an enhanced high-speed journey with new Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters and a visit to Jakku.
Disney Springs - The Boathouse | I-4 Exit Guide
The Boathouse at the new Disney Springs

Disney Springs and Water Parks Make a Splash

Inspired by Florida’s waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs is a charming district filled with unique retailers and restaurants from award-winning chefs. Throughout the summer, new stores and restaurants will open as Disney Springs more than doubles the number of retail, dining and other venues for guests

  • As Disney Springs continues to expand and diversify its dining, shopping and entertainment, more exciting high-profile tenants are coming onboard, including Anthropologie, Under Armour, kate spade new york, Sephora and Lucky Brand, among others. Other new shops opening in 2016 include Zara, Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, UNIQLO and PANDORA.
  • More than 30 new tenants will be coming to Disney Springs this summer, including retail shops and dining venues.
  • Home to world-class dining, Disney Springs is shaping up to be a culinary dream. With its chic style and Pan-Asian flavors, Morimoto Asia offers just a taste of what’s to come as more new eateries are gearing up to open in the coming year, including Tablas Frontera by Chef Rick Bayless; Homecoming – Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar by Chef Art Smith; STK Orlando, a modern steakhouse with the ambience of a sleek lounge; Sprinkles, the world’s first cupcake bakery; Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a modern-day “pizza joint” with artisanal pies; and the reimagined, Planet Hollywood Observatory with new outdoor terrace and live entertainment.
  • Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Art Smith join master Chef Masaharu Morimoto in a growing collection of James Beard Award winning chefs at Disney Springs.
  • At Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba,” the new B-Boys hip-hop, breakdancing threesome showcase a rare mix of rhythm, strength and “how-did-they-do-that?” moves. As part of the show’s ongoing evolution, the masterful Aerial Bamboo act joins recent additions of madcap clowns and a breathtaking rolla bolla juggling act.

Meanwhile, Disney water parks will ramp up with playful spirits and summer fun faster than Olaf can beg for warm hugs.

  • At Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Olaf from Disney’s animated hit “Frozen,” will be living his “In Summer” dream as he and Kristoff host The “Frozen” Games of friendly, fun competitions.
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park castaways can splash down on a sandy summer beach with a cold ale and savory snack after a wild slide on Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster.

Disney guests will have a magical summer experience wherever they play, dine, relax or celebrate at Walt Disney World theme parks, entertainment venues and resort hotels.

Click Now to Book your perfect room at Walt Disney World!


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.

 

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Now Underway

The 23rd Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is now underway at Walt Disney World.

The event is bursting with fresh, farm-to-table flavors, brilliant blooms, interactive playgrounds and rocking entertainment.

Running from March 2 to May 30, 2016, this years highlights include:

  • Outdoor Kitchens offering delectable small plates and flavorful non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
  • A brand new Harmony Gardens Musical Playground for kids featuring state-of-the-art net climbers
  • More than 70 world-renowned Disney-themed topiaries – New characters are waiting to be found
  • Vibrant gardens, flower towers and wildlife habitats
  • A new Fun Fresh Weekend focusing on family togetherness
    Inspirational exhibits, seminars and how-to demonstrations
  • Garden Rocks™ Outdoor Concert Series featuring throwback beats from fan-favorite bands – New acts added this year

Plus—with so much to see and do, you can return to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival again and again… and uncover something new every time!


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.