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Kids & Family

  1. Falcon's Fury drop ride officially open at Busch Gardens

    Florida

    It has essentially been open for the past week, but on Tuesday Busch Gardens made it official: The much-delayed Falcon's Fury drop ride is open.

    ANNE GLOVER  |  Times
Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens is officially open.
  2. Discovery Cove deal adds free admission to SeaWorld, water park and Busch Gardens

    Florida

    With Labor Day comes theme parks turning their focus to Florida residents, and that means deals. First up is a Florida resident deal at Discovery Cove in Orlando. The theme park, which features swimming with dolphins, snorkeling with thousands of tropical fish and hand-feeding exotic birds, has an all-inclusive package …

    Tampa Bay RaysÕ outfielder, Wil Myers took a break from baseball to swim with dolphins, meet real-life rays at Discovery Cove in Orlando 

ORLANDO, Fla. Ñ April 25, 2014 Ñ Tampa Bay RaysÕ baseball player, Wil Myers, traded in his rigorous practice and game schedule to immerse in the tropical oasis of Discovery Cove ̈ in Orlando. For the day, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year swam with real-life rays, dolphins and tropical fish. The mini-getaway left him refreshed and refueled to step back on the field, and deliver a powerhouse performance. Discovery Cove Orlando was ranked #1 in the 2013 TripAdvisorÕs TravelerÕs Choice Awards under Ã’Top 25 Amusement Parks & Water Parks in The WorldÓ category. For more information, visit www.discoverycove.com.
  3. Falcon's Fury up and running at Busch Gardens; here's what it's like to ride

    Florida

    TAMPA — As your toes dangle 335 feet high atop your perch on the Falcon's Fury drop ride at Busch Gardens, you can see Tropicana Field nearly 25 miles away in St. Petersburg. It's a moment of pure awe. Just before the panic.

    ANNE GLOVER  |  Times
Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens is open more and more to riders.
  4. Rays host 'Star Wars' night Saturday when playing dark lords of Boston

    Kids

    Saturday is Star Wars night when the Tampa Bay Rays take on the dark empire of the Boston Red Sox, and if you buy a tandem ticket by Wednesday night, you get a special Rebel Pilot Wil Myers Bobblehead. There will be Star Wars-themed contests throughout the game and characters available for pictures …

  5. Has American Idol been 'Frozen' out at Disney theme park?

    Florida

    Disney World will close its American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park Aug. 30, much earlier than previously announced. The attraction based on Fox's long-time singing competition was supposed to close in January 2015; a Disney spokesman said the park isn't ready to reveal what's coming …

    (2009) The American Idol Experience  at Disney's Hollywood Studios opened in 2009 and will close next week. This "golden ticket" sign greets potential performers as they enter backstage.
  6. Busch Gardens visitors get to try new Falcon's Fury drop ride (w/video)

    Florida

    The weekend brought a surprise for some Busch Gardens visitors when the park quietly allowed riders on the new Falcon's Fury — a good sign the drop ride will officially open soon.

    The band All-American Rejects gets ready to ride Falcon’s Fury. Below, the entrance to Busch Gardens’ new drop ride.
  7. Bronies young and old gather in Tampa this weekend for 'My Little Pony' convention

    Events

    Saddle up, bronies. The Brony Gala 2, a convention of fans of My Little Pony, returns this weekend bigger and better than last year's event. It has moved to a larger hotel, the Embassy Suites at USF in Tampa; expanded from one day to three days; and drawn voice actors and writers from the show. "Bronies" are the …

    Matthew Zadonia carries a stuffed animal from the My Little Pony cartoons as he stands with others at “BronyCon” Saturday, June, 30, 2012, in Secaucus, N.J. Scores of men in brightly colored costumes were among the 4,000 My Little Pony fans at this weekend’s “BronyCon” gathering in New Jersey for fans of a My Little Pony cartoon.  (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
  8. Clearwater to get an early glimpse at 'Dolphin Tale 2'

    Events

    As with any sequel, Dolphin Tale 2 is repeating what worked the first time around.

    Hope, left, and Winter work with trainers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in 2012. Hope is also featured in the sequel.
  9. Sweet! Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest is Saturday

    Events

    Now in its fourth year, the Morean Arts Center's fundraiser brings out the creativity in both amateur and professional bakers for the Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest. They will show off their best-tasting and most artistically decorated creations for their chance to claim the coveted handmade glass cupcake trophy. …

    Madeleine Remkiewicz of St. Petersburg assists her son Anthony Mette, 7, with a cupcake at The Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest at the Morean Arts Center in 2011.
  10. 5 things to do under $5 Aug. 14-20

    Events

    1Water Works Park Festival: Tampa's new $7.4 million park will have a grand opening celebration Saturday with fireworks, food trucks, entertainment and children's activities from 5 to 9 p.m. The 5-acre park at 1710 N Highland Ave., near the historic Tampa Armature Works warehouse, includes an extension of the …

    Richard Danielson   |   Times