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Kids & Family

  1. High-speed shark-themed thrill ride Mako coming to SeaWorld next summer


    Opening next summer next to its shark encounter, SeaWorld Orlando announced on Wednesday that its newest roller coaster named Mako will be a killer ride, the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando.

    SeaWorld has announced that Mako, a new coaster coming in 2016, will mimic the quick turns and speed of sharks - and will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando.  Mako will be a 200-foot-tall hypercoaster that will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track (that's nearly a mile long) and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless. [SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.]
  2. Review: 'Tomorrowland' full of ambitious ideas kids probably won't get


    It's a small-minded world in Disney's Tomorrowland, a world of disasters, a world of tears with little hope and plenty of fears. All because the human race is dumbing down.

    “It’s hard to have ideas and easy to give up,” says Casey Newton, a teenaged optimist played well by rising star Britt Robertson. Casey is more dreamer than genius in Tomorrowland, one of the more challenging pieces of family entertainment you’re likely to find this summer.
  3. Lowry Park Zoo extends Chinese lantern festival by a month


    The lights will continue to shine for an extra month on the Lowry Park Zoo's exhibit of dazzling Chinese lanterns.

     The 52 foot tall porcelain pagoda at the Zoominations exhibit at the Lowry Park Zoo was created with 68,000 ceramic cups, bowls, spoons and plates. It is inspired by the White Pagoda, created in 1204 AD in China’s Yunnan province.
  4. 'Journey to Space' blasts off Friday at MOSI's IMAX dome


    Watching a rocket take off in IMAX, as well as footage from moon landings and Mars rover landings, makes for an impressive panorama in Journey to Space, a new documentary opening Friday at Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry. It runs for the next year at MOSI.

    Hey, it might not look so cool on newsprint but a rocket blasting off looks mighty impressive in IMAX in Journey to Space, a 45-minute documentary opening Friday at MOSI.
  5. SpongeBob's Treat Truck to deliver freebies in Tampa on Thursday


    SpongeBob SquarePants will be a long way from his pineapple under the sea this week, and will be handing out freebies in Tampa on Thursday as a part of a joint promotion for World Oceans Day and a DVD release. Free cold treats and reusable tote bags are on the menu at SpongeBob's Treat Truck on Thursday 9:30 a.m. to …

    SpongeBob SquarePants  superhero alter-ego Invincibubble poses for a selfie with a fan on Tuesday at Zoo Miami.
  6. Here's how Tampa Bay will celebrate Memorial Day weekend


    Thanks to lower gas prices and an improved job market, AAA expects more than 37 million Americans to travel for Memorial Day, the most since 2005. And while the unofficial kickoff to summer is filled with beach balls and barbecues, it's also a somber day to remember those who died serving in the armed forces.

    Oldsmar hosts its annual Freedom Fest from Friday through Sunday. Festivalgoers may want to visit nearby Veterans Memorial Park.
  7. Kid-friendly Legoland Hotel newest addition to theme park


    The theme park aimed at the 2-12 age group just added a five-story, 152-room Legoland Hotel, fewer than 100 steps from the Winter Haven theme park.

    Photo by Chip Litherland for LEGOLAND Florida Resort/Merlin Entertainments Group
Legoland Hotel at the Winter Haven theme is putting its final touches in place ahead of the May 15 opening of the new 152-room hotel built for kids
  8. What's new this summer at Universal, SeaWorld and Orlando's International Drive


    Universal Studios

    The Orlando theme park is having a blockbuster concert series this summer to mark its 25th anniversary starting with Latin pop star Prince Royce this Saturday and teen heartthrob Shawn Mendes on Sunday. The rest of the lineup is even bigger with Pitbull (May 30), Kellie Pickler …

    This April 29, 2015 photo shows the Orlando Eye, the city's new 400-foot observation wheel in Orlando, Fla. The wheel is slow enough for those with jumpy stomachs but not good for those with fear of heights. A dark, submarine-inspired thrill ride in California and swank new offerings at Downtown Disney all top the summer’s must-do list for theme park and amusement fans.(AP Photo/John Raoux) NYET628
  9. For summer, Adventure Island brings scream of a new water slide, Island Nights party


    Adventure Island brought a screamer of a new water slide on board this summer called Colossal Curl, (above) a 622-foot-long thrill slide with a "weightless wave wall" that leaves riders a little breathless in the finale.

     Colossal Curl, the new thrill slide at Adventure Island
  10. For summer, Busch Gardens brings back shows, fireworks, riding coasters in the dark


    Busch Gardens brings back its extended hours and fireworks in summer, and the new drop ride Falcon's Fury will be in full stomach-churning swing to ride in the dark.

    Riders are transported up, up, up 335 feet, to the top of the new Falcon’s Fury, and then down — at 60 mph.