Tag Archives: travel planning

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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Hundreds Flock To Florida’s Space Coast For 21st Annual Birding and Wildlife Festival

The annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, held each January, is the nation’s top birding event and one of the top 20 events held in the region every year, according to the Southeast Tourism Society*. Now in its 21st year, the event is expected to be bigger and better than ever before, attracting birding enthusiasts and nature experts from around the world to share in their passion for wildlife.

Since its inaugural year in 1997, it has grown to be the largest activity of its kind in the United States*, acting as both a national and international destination for birding, wildlife and other nature-based pursuits. The festival features various activities that are led by nationally prominent naturalists and scientists, as well as photographers, artists, authors and ornithologists.

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.

Lane Closures on I-4 Ramps to I-75 in Tampa

The Florida Department of Transportation reports the following I-4 construction and maintenance activities in the Tampa bay area thru Saturday, February 3, 2018

  • Tampa – One to two lanes may be closed on northbound I-75 from I-4 (Exit 261) to the Tampa Bypass Canal (south of Fowler Avenue/Exit 265) between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (January 28 – February 1) nights.
  • Tampa – One lane may be closed and controlled by flagging operations on Sligh Avenue under the I-4/I-75 interchange area any time of the day Monday through Saturday (January 29 – February 3).

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.

I-4 Ramps to I-75 to Close Sunday Night

The Florida Department of Transportation reports that the westbound I-4 Exit 9 ramp onto northbound I-75 will be closed between 9:00 p.m. Sunday (January 14) and 6:00 a.m. Monday (January 15).

DETOUR: Bear left at the ramp split to go south on I-75, use Exit 260 to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard/SR 574, turn left at the top of the ramp and go east on SR 574 over I-75, then turn left and enter northbound I-75.

Additionally, one to two lanes may be closed on northbound I-75 from I-4 (Exit 261) to the Tampa Bypass Canal (south of Fowler Avenue/Exit 265) between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday (January 14 -18) nights.

 


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.

Looking For an Alternate Route Around Orlando’s I-4 Construction?

The ongoing construction of Interstate 4 through the heart of Orlando can be a headache for daily travelers and a real vacation killer for travelers heading through the area. Thankfully, there is an alternate route around the entire project area.

If you don’t mind paying a toll (who wouldn’t after sitting in stopped traffic for hours), Florida’s Route 417 can be liberating.

Approaching Orlando from the east (I-95, Daytona) FL 417 begins it’s journey at I-4, exit 101 in Sanford and winds it’s way southward around the Orlando metro area where it reconnects with I-4, exit 64 in Celebration.

While you can’t say that FL 417 is a nice country drive, it is generally a more rural route with far less traffic than Interstate 4.

What’s the trade-off you ask? Well, FL 417 is about 10 miles (10 minutes) longer… that’s if I-4 is not bogged down, which it often is. So most of the time it ends up being quicker. A word of caution… FL 417 is a toll road and, if you travel the entire distance you’ll rack up about $8.25 in tolls (about a dollar less with E-Pass). Most travelers say it’s a small price to pay to avoid the construction mess on I-4 when you’re on vacation.

Here’s a map showing the route:

FL 417 Around Orlando | I-4 Exit Guide
Click map to enlarge

Of course if you’re passing through Orlando in the middle of the night or early in the morning, I-4 is probably your best choice.


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.

I-4 Off-Ramp to Change from Left Exit to Right on Friday Morning

A traffic shift of eastbound Interstate 4 (I-4) between Sand Lake Road (S.R. 482) and Grand National Drive opens the morning of Friday, December 22, allowing motorists to exit I-4 to northbound Kirkman Road (S.R. 435) on the right, not the left.

The traffic shift will move the eastbound I-4 lanes, between Sand Lake Road and Grand National Drive, adjacent to the westbound I-4 travel lanes. The most noticeable difference for motorists will be Exit 75B to northbound Kirkman Road moves to the right side of the I-4. The exit to Universal Boulevard (Exit 75A) remains in the same location.

Progress around the I-4 and Kirkman Road interchange this year has been significant. The new Grand National Drive overpass opened to motorists in early August. The new westbound I-4 exit ramp to southbound Kirkman Road was ready for use in October, and the southbound Kirkman Road bridge over I-4 opened in March.

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 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.

I-4 Ultimate Project Limits Closures for Holidays

The Florida Department of Transportation reports that nighttime lane, ramp and road closures on the I-4 Ultimate project will scale down during the winter holidays.

The majority of construction closures on the interstate will be suspended from Midnight Saturday, December 24, until the morning of Tuesday, January 2. The I-4 Ultimate project, which extends 21 miles from west of Kirkman Road to east of State Road 434, will be open to holiday traffic; however, motorists should expect the following late-night closures:

  • On December 26–31, nightly closures of John Young Parkway (S.R. 423) under I-4 beginning each night at 11:30 p.m. and ending at 5:30 a.m. Access to all I-4 ramps at the interchange will remain open during the nighttime closure.
  • On December 27–30, nightly closures of Division Avenue from Gore Street to Anderson Street beginning each night at 10 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. The westbound S.R. 408 on-ramp from Division Avenue will remain open during the nighttime closure. Motorists can access the ramp from Anderson Street.
  • Single lane closures after 11 p.m. on the eastbound Interstate 4 (I-4) exit and entrance ramps at State Road (S.R.) 436.
  • Right lane closures after 11 p.m. on eastbound and westbound S.R. 436 from the I-4 interchange to Northlake Boulevard.
  • Additional nighttime lane closures may be required on local roads near the I-4/S.R. 436 interchange, including Central Parkway, Douglas Avenue, Westmonte Drive and Wymore Road.

Although the majority of regularly scheduled I-4 Ultimate construction closures are not occurring over the holidays, existing work zones will remain in effect and crews will continue to maintain travel lanes and conduct routine maintenance. Maintenance work often requires nighttime lane closures, such as work on December 27-20 from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. to replace reflective pavement markings on eastbound and westbound I-4 from Conroy Road to Ivanhoe Boulevard.

Motorists are reminded to use caution while traveling through work zones around barricades and equipment. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) encourages drivers to plan for additional travel time during the holidays. Drivers are urged to make sure they buckle up, along with their passengers. FDOT and other safety agencies also ask drivers to obey speed limits, get adequate rest before traveling, avoid distractions and never drink and drive.

FDOT advises drivers to slow down in construction zones; the life you save may be your own.


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.

AAA Holiday Travel Headache Hotspots

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, in collaboration with the American Automobile Association (AAA), reports that based on historical and recent travel trends, they expect drivers will experience the greatest amount of congestion before the holiday week – on Wednesday, December 20 and Thursday, December 21 – in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. For example, drivers in New York City could see travel times peak at three times a normal trip between 3:30 and 5:30pm.

“With record-level travelers hitting the road this holiday, drivers must be prepared for delays in major metros,” says Dr. Graham Cookson, chief economist & head of research at INRIX. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid peak times altogether or consider alternative routes.”

Here are the worst days and times to travel…


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.

Record-Breaking 107 Million Americans to Celebrate Holidays Away From Home

‘Tis the season to traditionally spend with family and friends and this year Americans are traveling in record numbers. AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, December 23 through Monday, January 1. This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent.

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.