Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, here come more great reasons to vacation in central Florida this year. Florida has more fun attractions per square mile than any other place on earth, but there’s still room for more! This fall finds exciting new Florida attractions that will tempt you to pack your bags and be the first family on your block to brag about these exciting experience!
#1 – Legoland Florida in Winter Haven
Opening this weekend (10/15/11) is the long anticipated Legoland Florida, the largest Legoland theme park in the world. The entire 150 acre park is designed to delight children 2 to 12 years of age. Unlike many Florida attractions where young children are excluded from thrill rides, Legoland’s rides are designed and sized with young children in mind.
Legoland Florida is located midway between Orlando and Tampa and sports 50 interactive attractions and rides. This theme park is packed with whimsical adventures and rides including a Lego factory tour, Miniland that has replica buildings built out of Legos that depict Las Vegas, Kennedy Space Center, Washington DC, and New York City. Duplo Village features Lego construction trucks, farm with friendly Lego animals and a Jr. Fire Academy. Kingdoms is a medieval village that features dragons, jousting, a forest to hide in and Merlin’s challenge. Technic is all motion with wave racers and race vehicles. There’s Prirates Cove, and Land of Adventure that features a Lost Kingdom, Pharaoh’s Revenge and a Safari Trek. Need more excitement? Head to Lego City where Ford has a mini-driving school, a Rescue Academy, Boating school and a flying school. Your kids may never want to leave!
#2 Meet Winter – Star of Dolphin Tale at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Your kids have probably already been begging you to take them to the movies to see Dolphin Tale, the story of a lovable bottlenose dolphin (Winter) that has a tragic encounter with a crab trap and must have its tail amputated. The poignant movie chronicles Winter’s battle to survive with the help of remarkable trainers, staff and veterinarians at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium rehabilitation center. The invention of a prosthetic tail for Winter along with a protective gel sleeve has had far reaching influences on prosthesis devices designed for human amputees. Winter has become an inspiration for young and old, healthy and those with medical challenges alike. Winter has brought fame and much needed funds to the Aquarium which has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. You can visit Winter daily and tour the marine rehabilitation facility. This is definitely a feel good experience.
#3 Experience the speed and power of Cheetahs at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Earlier this year Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened an exciting new Cheetah Encounter. The center piece of the new park attraction is the Cheetah Hunt a high-tech, high speed coaster that launches riders from 0 to 60 mph in seconds. Emulating the legendary speed of the Cheetah, the new ride thrills riders at astonishing speeds and up to 10 stories above an African landscape. Park guests can also interact with cheetahs in their new habitat Cheetah Run, and witness their awesome speed during sprints with trainers. An elevated glass viewing platform gives park goers a unique view of these gorgeous animals. After the excitement of speeding like a cheetah, guests can visit The Realm, a plaza that incorporates the cultures of Morocco, Egypt and Edge of Africa.
If You Go:
For any and all of these attractions flights can be booked into either Tampa or Orlando airports. Many area hotels are offering specials to coincide with the attractions. Here are a few exceptional ones:
The Trade Winds Island Resort and Sandpiper Suites at St. Peterburg Beach, is every bit as exciting as the attractions you’ll be visiting. From now until December 24th, they are offering a Dolphin Tale Getaway that includes 3 nights accommodation, 2 tickets to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a plush “Winter” toy, Trade Winds Beach Bag, and it includes the resort fee for complimentary parking, use of a beach cabana and paddle boats – all from $495 per package. Check out this ultra fun hotel and all the package details at TradeWindsResort.com
The Sandpearl Resort at Clearwater Beach is also offering a “Winter the Dolphin” package. This AAA 4-diamond resort is located right on powdery white Clearwater Beach. The package starting from $219 per night includes accommodation for 4, morning breakfast, 2 tickets to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and a copy of the book “Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned To Swim Again“. This resort has been named to Travel & Leisure’s 50 Best Resorts in the USA list, and is sure to be a favorite beach destination.
Legoland Florida has lots of great promotions with area hotels. Have a look at their Bed & Brick Preferred Hotels.
For any destination in Florida you can’t go wrong with FloridaVacationAuction.com. This auction style site lets you bid on deeply discounted hotels and resorts throughout the state, or buy directly if you wish.