Sunday, February 18, 2018
Things To Do

Universal sets opening date for Transformers ride

The 80-foot Transformer display plastered on the side of a downtown Orlando office building blinked the news Thursday morning: "Prepare for battle June 20," which means the highly anticipated Transformers 3D ride at Universal's Orlando theme park finally has an opening date.

At a recent behind-the-scenes tour granted to the Tampa Bay Times, ride designer Thierry Coup said he had just ridden the ride that morning, so there was much speculation Thursday on Twitter that park visitors will get a chance to ride it early during the "soft opening" days leading up to its debut this summer.

The ride uses stunning 3-D and flight simulator technologies to immerse passengers in an intense chase with Megatron where they feel wind, heat and water and smell smoke as they swerve and soar through downtown Chicago. The award-winning ride is estimated by industry analysts to have cost about $100 million to develop and is credited with boosting Universal's attendance and revenues at its parks in California and Singapore.

The Orlando version is a replica of the original ride and was built in what Universal says is a record pace of only 11 months.

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Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosDaytona 5003 p.m.Fox; 102.5-FMBowlingPBA: 60th Anniversary Challenge1 p.m.ESPNCollege basketballWomen: USF at UCFnoonCBSSN; 1040-AMWomen: Wake Forest at N.C. StatenoonESPNUWomen: Miami at Virginia12:30 p.m.Fox SunDuke at Clemson1 p.m.Ch. 44...
Published: 02/17/18
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orches...
Published: 02/17/18
Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Kelsea Ballerini has a story to tell. It's the story of the last three crazy years of her life, from a breakup to the Grammys to a marriage and all the "life, growing up, self-discovery" in between.If you heard her new album Unapologetically, it's a ...
Published: 02/17/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Highland Fling: The 2018 festival runs weekends through March 25 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: PowerShares QQQ 300 qualifying9:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: PowerShares QQQ 3002:30 p.m.FS1College baseballIllinois-Chicago vs. Southern3:30 p.m.MLBAlabama State vs. New Orleans7 p.m.MLBCollege basketballSMU at UCF11 a.m.ESPNUSyracuse at Mi...
Published: 02/16/18
Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

TAMPA — Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new show.The Montreal-based company always puts on an extravaganza, splashing around color with the abandon of a toddler playing with paint buckets and a storyline several layers deep, the artistic skel...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Mutt Derby: Bring your non-aggressive dog for a day of dog races and other doggie games. Races will be done in weight divisions. All dogs racing must have proof of vaccinations. Greyhounds are welcome, but are not allowed to race. Benefits Greyhound ...
Published: 02/16/18
What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

1996 MISFITS: EVERYTHING SUCKSAdd this one to your list if you were alive in the 1990s. Even if you weren't in high school, it's sure to bring back memories of Fruitopia, Oasis, flannel shirts and Alanis Morissette. Everything Sucks is a quirky comin...
Published: 02/16/18
Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Get ready for a playdate with Andy's toys. Disney World just announced the opening date for Toy Story Land. The area in Disney's Hollywood Studios is set to open June 30, just in time for the busy summer season, The Orlando park announced Friday on ...
Published: 02/16/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18