By Michelle Stark, Anne Glover, Amber McDonald and Kelly Stefani, Times Staff Writers
Illustration by Steve Madden, Times Staff Artist
Developed by Alexis N. Sanchez
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Elaborate haunted houses have become a bloody bank of profits for Florida theme parks, with crowds for Halloween-themed special events now dwarfing the spring break hordes.
Other major attractions in Florida offer Halloween parties that are less ghoulish than Universal and Busch Gardens, which pride themselves on in-your-face scares. Some options:
It's official and, for Disney purists, a little depressing: A ride based on smash flick Frozen will replace Maelstrom, the begrudgingly beloved boat trek in Epcot's Norway pavilion. No date has been given for closings and openings, but with the tale of Scandinavian sibs Anna and Elsa being such a phenomenon, you …
After Labor Day, it's a good time for Florida residents to check out the theme parks, where the crowds are lighter, the weather a tiny bit cooler (eventually) and Florida residents deals start cropping up. Here's a roundup of theme park news and deals announced recently.
Epcot refreshes live shows
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.
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.
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.
August offers fans of Dinosaur World a "Dino Days" deal of a free ticket in December. Purchase a ticket in August ($16.95 for adults, $14.95 seniors, $11.95 for kids 3-12) and you get a free ticket to visit Dec. 1-19. The Plant City attraction, best suited for ages 3 to 10, has more than 200 life-size dinosaurs, …
Well that didn't take very long. Universal Orlando announced this week that 1 million people have already ridden the Hogwarts Express, the iconic locomotive that connects the Wizarding World of Harry Potter sections of Universal's two theme parks. It reached the milestone a little more than a month after it opened July …
The popularity of Frozen is still so strong that Disney's Hollywood Studios just can't, well, Let it Go. The park's summerlong events celebrating the movie have been extended another month, Disney announced Thursday. The themed series was supposed to end Sept. 1, but the park will extend everything through …