Sunday, April 22, 2018
Things To Do

Theme park news: Disney adds 'after hours' ticket, Busch Gardens Cobra's Curse track completed, Night of Joy lineup

Recent spring break crowds have been epic at Walt Disney World, so maybe the news that a new $149 "after hours" ticket on select nights in April and May will sound like a good way to escape the mob and get on popular rides after the park closes.

Or maybe it will sound like Disney is finding a way to make money from the long lines.

In other theme park news, Busch Gardens has completed the final piece of track for Cobra's Curse opening this summer, a new Willy Wonka-style restaurant is coming to Universal and Disney's Night of Joy lineup of Christian artist has been announced, but the concert is moving out of the Magic Kingdom this year.

Disney After Hours ticket coming in April, May

The new Disney After Hours nights are scheduled for April 28 and May 5 from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m., and on April 14, 21, and May 8, 12, and 19 from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m., with check-in starting at 7 p.m.

In addition to keeping rides such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan's Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train open after the rest of the crowd goes home, the event includes character meet-and-greets, free ice cream novelties, and "select bottled beverages," at the Magic Kingdom, which does not sell alcohol.

Disney has said only a limited number of tickets will be made available. Tickets can be purchased by calling (407) 827-7185.

Cobra's Curse closer to striking

The new snake-themed family thrill ride called Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens now has a giant serpent head and the final track piece has been installed for the ride scheduled to open this summer.

The 4,475-pound track piece was bolted into place on Saturday, the theme park announced, marking the end of track construction and the beginning of the testing phase.

The spin coaster will be the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a 30,000-pound snake king icon and a 70-foot vertical lift that will take riders within inches of its 4-foot fangs. The three-and-a-half-minute ride will face riders forward, backward and then spin freely.

The ride will also have the park's first air-conditioned queue that will include a 400-cubic-foot snake exhibit that will include Jameson's mambas, Angolan pythons and rhinoceros and gaboon vipers.

SeaWorld adds water park to annual pass deal

SeaWorld Orlando has introduced an annual pass offer that also includes a year's worth of visits to the Aquatica water park in Orlando.

Florida residents can now purchase a $168 annual pass, which is good for 12 months and includes parking and has no blackout dates.

Some new attractions coming up include Mako, a roller coaster set to open this summer that will be the highest and fastest in Florida, and "friend for free" tickets are coming in September.

The limited-time offer will be sold through April 24 at seaworldorlando.com.

Night of Joy moving out of Magic Kingdom

MercyMe, Casting Crowns and more Christian artists have been revealed for Walt Disney World's 2016 edition of Night of Joy, and the two-night Christian-music festival is moving out of its longtime home in the Magic Kingdom.

The concert series, which frequently sells out, debuted at Magic Kingdom in 1983, but it will be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sept. 9 and 10, Disney announced. The Wide World site will support both indoor and outdoor concerts, including performances at Champions Stadium, where baseball is normally played.

"I love the energy and the excitement that all these youth groups and young people bring," singer Matthew West said in a video posted on the official Disney Parks Blog.

Night of Joy 2016 will have several ticket options, including a theme park pass. A one-day ticket for Friday events will be $39 in advance, $45 on the day of show.

Another choice includes one day at one of the Disney World theme parks and then the Saturday night concerts for $99 if purchased in advance. Admission to both nights of concerts and one day at a theme park is $119.

Disney is also offering admission to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water parks, to be used between Sept. 6 -12 if you buy a the two-day ticket before Aug. 9.

Here's the lineup:

• Sept. 9: MercyMe, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Crowder, Matthew West, Stars Go Dim and Zealand Worship.

• Sept. 10: Newsboys, For King & Country, Young & Free, Switchfoot, Red, Thousand Foot Krutch and Tim Timmons.

Tickets will go on sale in mid-April at nightofjoy.com.

Chocolate factory coming to Universal

A steam punk-style restaurant called the Toothsome Chocolate Factory will open at Universal CityWalk later this year.

Renderings show a 19th-century look with funky gadgets and gears and the staff wearing steam punk fashions.

The menu will have steak, seafood, pasta, burgers and all-day brunch, the official Universal Orlando blog said in a recent post. But it emphasized the restaurant's sweets and desserts.

The milkshake list alone includes Chocolate x5, Bacon Brittle, Espresso Buzzzz, Red Velvet and Key Lime Pie.

There will be a retail shop and visitors can watch treats being made at the restaurant located between the Hard Rock Cafe and Islands of Adventure theme park.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected] Follow @SharonKWn.

 
Comments
Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

You could drop all kinds of stats trying to size up Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched its 2018 run at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.There's the end zone-swallowing stage, 180 tons thick and half a skyscraper high...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosNHRA: SpringNationals2 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Grand Prix of Alabama3 p.m.NBCSNBaseballTwins at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Brewers2 p.m.FSFIndians at Orioles2 p.m.MLBCubs at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBNationals at Dodgers8 p.m.ESPNColle...
Published: 04/21/18
Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day returned Saturday, and with it hundreds of early-rising vinyl lovers hoping to score exclusive records by Prince, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, the National and many others.At spots like Bananas and Daddy Kool in St. Peter...
Published: 04/21/18
Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

Actor Verne Troyer, Mini-Me from ‘Austin Powers’ films, dead at 49

LOS ANGELES — Actor Verne Troyer from the Austin Powers movie franchise has died. A statement provided by Troyer’s spokesperson that was also posted to his Instagram and Facebook accounts says the 49-year-old actor died Saturday. No cause or place of...
Published: 04/21/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of April 23-29

St. Anthony’s Triathlon: World class athletes and Olympians race around St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park on Sunday ($160-$180), while kids and novices race Saturday in the Meek and Mighty. A free kick-off celebration Friday has a concert by country artist...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

Mystery writer Lee Goldberg, author of ‘True Fiction,’ talks Agatha Christie, and more

NightstandLee GoldbergGoldberg, the author of 30 books, has also been a writer and producer for several TV shows, including Monk and Diagnosis Murder. His new novel is True Fiction, an Ian Ludlow mystery. When we caught up with him by phone recently ...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

Here's all you need to know about this decade's explosion of electronic dance music in America.In September of 2011, Swedish DJ Avicii played a late-night show at a nightclub on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.By June of the following year, he was headli...
Published: 04/20/18
Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

Tampa Theatre is showing ‘Reefer Madness’ tonight on 420 Day

The campy gem known as Reefer Madness is screening at 10:30 p.m. tonight at the history Tampa Theatre, a perfect bit of programming on 420 Day. Today's day is 4/20 and it has beeen adopted in some circles as Weed Day because of the numeral code used ...
Published: 04/20/18
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Published: 04/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 22

American Stage in the Park: The Producers: Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy sees a down-and-out producer and his accountant scheme to produce the most notorious flop in theater history. Through May 13. 8 p.m., Demens Landing, 100 First Ave. SE, St. Pe...
Published: 04/20/18