July 20, 2009
Nine major public transit positions available in this week's classified ads!
|COUNTDOWN TO 2009 ANNUAL MEETING
Recreational Attractions Enchant Millions
With seven of the world’s top 20 theme parks in one destination, not to mention almost 100 other fun-filled attractions and outdoor recreation offerings, it’s no wonder that more than 48 million visitors will choose to spend their free time in Orlando this year.
With so many exciting diversions to choose from, no matter where visitors stay in Orlando, they’ll find plenty of entertaining options right around the corner…
International Drive Area
Congo River Golf & Exploration Co. invites guests to explore the “Congo” at one of four central Florida locations: International Drive, Universal, Kissimmee, and Altamonte Springs. Its 36-hole original International Drive location features 25 live alligators.
FunSpot Action Park allows guests to “Drive the Ride” on its five multi-level go-kart tracks and 13 rides, including seven rides for preschoolers. Fun Spot has more than 100 games in a 10,000-square-foot arcade.
Hawaiian Rumble Adventure Golf features two locations in the Orlando area, one on International Drive and one in Lake Buena Vista. Choose from two challenging Hawaiian-themed courses featuring a waterfall and a $100,000 musical fountain.
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf offers two challenging 18-hole courses at both its locations, International Drive and Apopka-Vineland. Visitors test their putting skills in a fun-filled setting of natural wonders, lavish landscaping, and delightful pirate themes that offer swashbuckling fun for the whole family.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium, housed in a building that appears to be sinking, looks like it fell victim to one of Florida’s infamous sinkholes. Explore artifacts, collections, weird art/hobbies, and interactive exhibits in 16 galleries of the odd and unusual from around the world.
SkyVenture Orlando, Orlando’s high-energy vertical wind tunnel, offers indoor skydiving in which visitors float on a column of air. No parachute, no jumping, and no experience are necessary. Reservations suggested.
Tiki Island Volcano Golf has two 18-hole courses and is surrounded by a four-story volcano with live flame effects, cascading waterfalls, and suspended bridges.
Van’s Skatepark is Orlando’s premier skateboard park with varied riding areas and obstacles designed for beginner to advanced skaters. Includes multiple ramps, bowls, street courses, and an arcade.
Wet ’n Wild-Orlando offers a variety of multi-passenger thrill rides with loads of special effects. The Storm washes riders down a towering chute, swirls them around at high speeds, and tumbles them into a splash landing while Disco H2O promises a groovy musical raft ride through the 1970s. The park is open year-round with heated pools in the cooler months.
WonderWorks, Orlando’s only upside-down attraction, features more than 100 hands-on interactive exhibits. Guests experience virtual reality and rock climbing as well as designing and riding their own roller coaster. The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show provides a high-energy comedy improvisation dinner show (separate ticket required).
Universal Orlando Resort
Blue Man Group, the wildly successful live entertainment experience, has a permanent home at Universal CityWalk. The group entertains audiences of all ages with a live stage show that combines music, comedy, and multimedia theatrics.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure invites guests to “live the adventure” with technologically advanced thrill rides and attractions including “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,” “The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!”, the “Jurassic Park River Adventure,” and the “Incredible Hulk” and “Dueling Dragons” coasters.
Universal Studios Florida takes guests beyond the screen and into the world of television and film to “ride the movies.” Visitors ride along with Shrek and Donkey at “Shrek 4-D,” battle the supernatural at “Revenge of the Mummy–The Ride” and hang out at Krustyland with America’s favorite animated family at “The Simpsons Ride.” New this year is “Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit,” a high-tech, multi-sensory coaster.
Worlds of Discovery
Aquatica–SeaWorld’s Waterpark features dual wave pools, two children’s play areas, two lazy rivers, beaches and swimming areas, and plenty of water slides, including the Dolphin Plunge, which whisks guests through acrylic flumes amid a lagoon of jumping Commerson’s dolphins.
Discovery Cove is an exclusive island oasis where guests can swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical fish and rays, and hand-feed exotic birds. It is an all-inclusive, reservations-only adventure that includes a full day of activities, swim/snorkel gear, breakfast and lunch, plus a seven-consecutive-day pass to either SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Africa, or Aquatica–SeaWorld’s Waterpark.
SeaWorld Orlando features 200 acres of sea-themed shows, attractions, and rides including the new Manta, a “flying coaster”; Kraken, Orlando’s longest, tallest, and fastest floorless roller coaster; and Shamu’s Happy Harbor, a children’s play area with pint-sized rides. The Shamu show, “Believe,” combines a “killer whale ballet” of grace and agility with an original music score. Shows and animal exhibits include polar bears, beluga whales, manatees, sea lions, penguins, dolphins, and more.
Downtown Orlando/Loch Haven Park
Orlando Brewing, located near downtown Orlando, is the only organic brewery and taproom in the southeast and one of only 10 in the United States. Free tours are available and live music is featured weekly.
Orlando Science Center offers an observatory, giant screen theater, and hundreds of hands-on exhibits on four floors, providing opportunities to explore, experiment, and discover. Coming soon, the science center will relocate, renovate, and expand existing preschool areas by creating a distinct children’s museum within the existing complex.
Richard Petty Driving Experience takes motorsports fans out of the grandstands and puts them behind the wheel of a stock car. Ride-and-drive programs are available on the one-mile, tri-oval Walt Disney World Speedway and 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. New to the Speedway is the Indy Racing Experience, where thrill seekers have the opportunity to both drive and ride in actual cars that were used in past Indianapolis 500 events.
Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park, located just south of Orlando in Davenport, teaches guests to hang glide 2,000 feet from the ground using tandem aerotowing techniques. Participants need no previous experience.
Walt Disney World Resort
Cirque du Soleil’s “La Nouba” in Downtown Disney West Side features a renowned blend of acrobatics and state-of-the-art special effects with more than 70 artists from around the world, performing in a custom-made theater seating 1,671 guests.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park offers exciting adventures and unique encounters with real, exotic animals, plus one-of-a-kind guest experiences with fictional animals and giant dinosaurs from the prehistoric world. Not-to-miss attractions include “Expedition Everest,” a high-speed train adventure; “Finding Nemo—The Musical,” a live 30-minute musical show; TriceraTop Spin; Primeval Whirl!; DINOSAUR; and Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park features one of the world’s tallest, fastest free-fall speed slides in a whimsical “winter” setting. It is the largest of Disney’s water parks, with 22 water slides and “icy” bobsled runs that stay comfortably warm and thrillingly fast.
Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf course is a 36-hole golf adventure featuring Fantasia Gardens, an 18-hole miniature golf course with a theme taken from Disney’s classic animated film Fantasia, and Fantasia Fairways, an 18-hole challenge course designed with strategically placed bunkers and hazards.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios) is a theme park with a complete motion picture and television studio. Feature attractions include “Toy Story Mania!”; “Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show”; “Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage!”; “Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith”; “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror”; and new this year, an American Idol attraction.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park offers guests twisting tides, roaring rapids, and relaxing rivers. Whether navigating the nine water slides—including a water coaster thrill ride, swimming with sharks and tropical fish, or conquering waves in the United States’ largest wave pool—this exotic paradise promises to be the wettest water adventure known to man…or fish.
Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf course is an interactive miniature golf experience with two 18-hole wacky, elf-sized golf courses. One course carries on the zany, snow-covered Florida theme found at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, while the other takes a more tropical, holiday theme, with ornaments hanging from palm trees.
DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park is a five-story, indoor, interactive theme park that combines Disney’s magic with cutting-edge technology. Guests climb aboard a real river raft on Virtual Jungle Cruise, ride a roller coaster of their own design on Cyber Space Mountain, or become part of a human pinball game in Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam. Some attractions require a separate charge.
Epcot takes guests to 11 nations at World Showcase and fast-forwards them to tomorrow in Future World. World Showcase offers a kaleidoscope of nations—The American Adventure, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, and the United Kingdom—brought together to celebrate cultural heritage. Don’t-miss rides include “Mission: SPACE”; “Soarin’,” which lifts guests 40 feet aloft inside a giant projection screen dome; and “The Seas with Nemo & Friends,” a whimsical and visually stunning attraction that has the stars of Finding Nemo swimming amid the live marine life of the huge aquarium in The Living Seas pavilion.
Magic Kingdom Park features seven magical lands with attractions, restaurants, and shops based on favorite Disney themes of fantasy, yesterday, and tomorrow. Popular attractions include “Mickey’s PhilharMagic,” “Splash Mountain,” “Big Thunder Mountain,” “Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin,” “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” “Space Mountain,” and “The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor,” an interactive adventure inspired by Disney-Pixar’s Monsters Inc.
South Orlando and Kissimmee
Biplane Rides Over Kissimmee offers guests the chance to ride in—and even fly— an open cockpit 1943 Boeing Stearman, an authentic World War II trainer, over Disney and other attractions.
Gatorland, one of central Florida’s first attractions, is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles as well as a petting zoo, bird sanctuary, mini water park, eco-tour, and action-packed outdoor entertainment, including daily alligator wrestlin’ shows.
Old Town Shopping, Dining & Entertainment Attraction features 75 unique specialty shops, eight restaurants, 21 amusement rides, and Sky Coaster. This free-admission, free-parking attraction offers the look and feel of a Florida town at the beginning of the 20th century. Car shows every Friday and Saturday feature hundreds of classic cars.
Warbird Adventures Inc. gives guests the chance to fly like the aces of yesterday in the premier fighter-trainer of WWII: the North American T-6 TEXAN.
Northeast Central Florida
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens showcases hundreds of rare or endangered animals, including cheetahs, elephants, kangaroos, baboons, leopards, and some of the most powerful snakes in the world.
East Central Florida
Brevard Zoo, located in Melbourne, features more than 550 animals representing 165 species from North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. Unique experiences including hand-feeding gentle giraffes and kayaking through wetlands.
Daytona International Speedway, home of the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 NASCAR races, offers exciting racing; guided Speedway tours; Daytona 500 Experience (formerly Daytona USA), The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction; and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers tours of behind-the-scenes areas with views of Space Shuttle facilities and launch pads. Visitors can feel what it’s like to blast into space in the Shuttle Launch Experience, meet a real astronaut every day, and see “Space Station 3D” in the world's largest twin IMAX® theater. The Astronaut Hall of Fame features the world’s largest collection of astronaut memorabilia, displays, exhibits, hands-on activities, and simulators.
Silver Springs, the park famous for its Glass Bottom Boat ride and Fort King River Cruise, encompasses the largest artesian limestone spring in the world. Other highlights include bear, panther, and crocodile exhibits; a children’s petting zoo; animal shows; a historical museum; and headline concerts.
Zero-G Corporation provides a full-day experience featuring a weightless flight to which only astronauts have had access prior to now. Flights depart from the Kennedy Space Center.
West/Southwest Central Florida
Adventure Island is a 30-acre water park featuring slides and tube rides, the Splash Attack play area, a 20-foot platform for cliff jumping, lagoons, waterfalls, and more.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an exciting family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters within the African continent. Busch Gardens offers a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos featuring more than 2,700 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops, and games. One of its many coasters, “SheiKra,” is the tallest dive coaster in the world.
CitrusTower, located in Clermont, provides a panoramic view of rolling hills, spring-fed lakes, and citrus trees from three Tower Observation Decks. The Tower offers in-season fresh citrus fruit for sale, either to take along or for gift shipments. A restaurant and gift shop are also on the grounds.
Cypress Gardens Adventure Park reopened in March 2009 with its famed water-ski shows, historic gardens, beautiful belles, a Splash Island water park, and a quaint shopping and dining village.
Fantasy of Flight in Polk City invites guests to explore the romance and nostalgia of flight in self-guided “immersion” experiences that chronicle the history of aviation. Guests can enjoy the world’s largest private collection of vintage aircraft, flight simulators, backlot tours, hot air balloon flights, and open cockpit biplane rides.