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Things to Do Planner: Monster Jam, 'Sully' Sullenberger, new Epcot and Legoland attractions

BIG WHEEL: Monster Jam

Just when lesser cars thought it was safe, Monster Jam returns to Raymond James Stadium. These custom-designed beasts are about 12 feet wide with tires so large that singer Bruno Mars, at 5-foot-5, could stand in the wheel well with an inch of head room left over. Like the professional wrestlers of the racing world, the trucks are flashy with a fan following, from Grave Digger to the long-horned El Toro Loco to Monster Mutt. Even though they weigh 10,000 pounds, they fly more than 100 feet, leaping over a dozen cars. It's a family friendly scene, and most fans come early to tailgate and get pictures with the trucks and drivers in the Party in the Pits from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. The show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $15-$185. Toll-free 1-800-745-3000.

FLYING HIGH: Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger

Eight years to the day after the "Miracle on the Hudson," Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger comes to the Mahaffey Theater on Sunday to share what went through his mind during the emergency and his thoughts on meeting life's challenges. Tom Hanks played the heralded pilot in last year's biopic Sully. Lauded for his quick thinking, Sullenberger landed US Airways Flight 1549 on New York's Hudson River after its engines lost power, saving all 155 people on board. He has since become an international speaker on airline safety and has helped advise airlines on new safety protocols. 7 p.m. Sunday at the Mahaffey, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $45.50-$75. (727) 893-7832.

Read an interview with Sullenberger at

THEME PARKS: New Epcot festival, new Lego land

This week marks the opening of two new attractions in Central Florida's theme parks.

The International Festival of the Arts opens at Epcot, combining visual, culinary and performing arts as added attractions. It runs Fridays through Mondays through Feb. 20, during a time the theme park typically has lighter crowds. It will feature live art on site, meet and greets with Broadway talent from Disney musicals and special kiosks of artfully arranged food. This week brings concerts from Ashley Brown, who played Mary Poppins on Broadway, and Josh Strickland, the American Idol alum who played Tarzan in Disney's production on Broadway. Concerts will be at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. Friday-Monday. Included with admission: $97-$114 ,$91-$108 ages 3-9.

Thursday is opening day for Legoland's new Ninja World, left, an immersive land in which kids can sharpen their ninja skills. Featured attractions include the Lego Ninjago ride, Zane's Temple Build, Kai's Spinners, Cole's Rock Climb and Jay's Lightning Drill. Included with admission: $75, $65 seniors/ages 3-12.

Things to Do Planner: Monster Jam, 'Sully' Sullenberger, new Epcot and Legoland attractions 01/11/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:26am]
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