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
Are you a Florida theme park fanatic? Send your favorite memories, horror stories (we all have them) or park insider tips to our Things to Do editors at email@example.com or post to the official Things to Do Facebook page.
Something is happening in Orlando. Yes, the Mako coaster at SeaWorld, but I mean something else. The theme parks have always had better food than they needed to (mental scroll of amusement park food elsewhere in the country: turkey legs and I-can't-believe-they-fried-this-and-put-it-on-a-stick …
When you are the world's most-visited theme park, people expect a lot. And with crowds breaking records every year, Walt Disney World seems to spend its time trying to get you to plan for Fast Passes and luring you out of the Magic Kingdom and into its three other theme parks. You don't have to go to a theme park …
Every summer we look ahead to what's new at Florida's theme parks and attractions. With prices at most parks hovering around $100 for a single day, theme parks have to give customers a "wow" factor.
This year aims high.
Local attractions also have some new play areas and special parties planned this summer. Among them:
Museum of Science and Industry
Busch Gardens calls Cobra's Curse a family coaster, but more than a few parents might balk at the signature spinning feature in the final third of the ride. It freely twirls the coaster car, making it a potentially wild ride based on weight distribution.
SeaWorld begins its post-Shamu business model with Mako, below, the shark-inspired attraction that will be Orlando's highest, fastest and longest coaster when it opens on June 10.
The opening date for Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Universal's Islands of Adventure has not been officially announced, but the theme park is planning a media preview June 22 to 24. So chances are good the public will get a look at this giant primate's mammoth crib before July 4.
TAMPA — When Busch Gardens opens Cobra's Curse this summer, the snake-themed, spinning roller coaster will have an air-conditioned ride queue with an exhibit of live snakes. The park touts it as part of a mission to educate the public.
Universal Orlando on Monday released the first images of the great ape to be the centerpiece of Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a new attraction opening this summer.
Downtown Disney's makeover into Disney Springs debuts Sunday with the grand opening of its Town Center section. It's the final retail and restaurant cluster of Disney World's entertainment complex, which has doubled in size in its three-year transformation.