Frank Brown Park – Panama City Beach – Spring 2016. Thousands of athletes will meet to compete at the 200 acre sports complex (featuring 9 softball/baseball fields, an Olympic pool and aquatic center, 4 tennis courts, 4 multi-purpose football fields, an indoor gym, and walking/biking/running trails) that is getting a $4 million upgrade.
Daytona Rising – Daytona Beach – January 2016. Race fans are already rejoicing over the DAYTONA Rising Project – a $400 million overhaul that’s transforming Daytona International Speedway into the world’s first true motorsports stadium. This world-class facility with premium amenities and unparalleled conveniences will open in January 2016. By the numbers – three new concourse levels that will span the front stretch; five expanded and redesigned fan entrances called ‘injectors’; 11 social areas dubbed ‘neighborhoods,’ each the size of a football field with open sight lines and dozens of video screens to capture the on-track action; more than 60 new luxury track side suites with patios; 17 elevators and 40 escalators in the new grandstand; and, 101,500 new 20”-21” grandstand seats featuring backs and arm rests. In addition, more than 7,000 solar panels will be installed making the sports complex one of the top five largest solar installations at a professional sports venue in the country.
Outlet Mall – Daytona Beach – 2016. Tanger Outlets recently announced plans for a new Outlet Mall in Daytona Beach is expected to open in time for the 2016 holiday shopping season. Located near Interstate 95 and LPGA Boulevard, the center will encompass more than 350,000 square feet of space and more than 80 upscale retailers.
Motorsports Hall of Fame – Daytona Beach – Summer 2016. The place where the memory and achievements of the very greatest names in motorsports are kept alive for current and future generations alike, this facility will celebrate every form of American motorsports. For over a quarter century it has honored the greatest legends in cars,motorcycles, powerboats and aviation. The Hall of Fame Museum will be included in all Speedway Tours and will showcase a wide variety of important racing machines, the plaques and stories of over 200 inductees, a movie theater and other ways of honoring the rich history of American motorsports.
TreeUmph! Adventure Course – Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville – Weeki Wachee – November 2016. Wildly successful in Bradenton, the outdoor zipline and treetop adventure course will open its second location here in November 2016. The TreeUmph! owners and designers will transform a scenic, wooded land parcel 10 minutes from I-75 into a fantastic outdoor course featuring rope swings, elevated platforms, ziplines and more. The new course will be unique to this landscape and its trees due to innovative design and build techniques that work with the environment. Please read more here about TreeUmph! http://treeumph.com/
12 Minutes of Sebring Kart Racing – Highlands County – 2016. 12 Minutes of Sebring Kart Racing – recently opened and offers fast go karts racing on an outdoor track for both adults and kids.The electric Go Karts racing track features a mini Sebring Raceway layout and includes some of the same turns as the famous track. The corners are banked and makes for an awesome race.
Skull Island: Reign of Kong – Orlando – Summer 2016. Universal Orlando Resort announced a new groundbreaking attraction opening in summer 2016 at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. “Skull Island: Reign of Kong” will honor one of the most monumental figures in movie history, King Kong. Guests will board large vehicles and explore ancient temple structures while encountering hostile natives and fending off unspeakable terrors.
Frozen Ever After – Orlando – 2016. EPCOT announced plans to open a new “Frozen” ride in early 2016, called “Frozen Ever After.” The Maelstrom ride, located in the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase, will be renovated into this new attraction based on Disney’s popular animated film. The ride will take guests to Arendelle during the kingdom’s Winter Festival, featuring favorite characters and music from the film, all with cutting-edge technology.
Star Wars Launch Bay – Hollywood Studios, Orlando – 2016. New Star Wars offerings have landed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Star Wars Launch Bay offers guests the chance to interact with characters from the film franchise. The adventure continues on Star Tours, which has been enhanced to feature new characters and journeys from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Younglings can get in on the fun over at Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple which allows young guests to step into the shoes of a Jedi in training.
Mako – Orlando – Summer 2016. SeaWorld Orlando announced plans for Mako, a brand new 200-foot-tall coaster opening in summer 2016. Named for one of the ocean’s fastest known sharks, it will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph as it races along 4,760 feet of steel track. SeaWorld’s new hypercoaster will be the centerpiece of the newly themed two-acre plaza. The surrounding realm will be fully shark themed, providing guests with the opportunity to learn about the impact humans have on sharks and why these animals are critical to the environment.
Disney Springs – Orlando – 2016. Walt Disney World Resort is currently developing the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. Featuring an eclectic and contemporary mix from Disney and other noteworthy brands, this new expansion will double the number of shops, restaurants and other venues for guests to explore, to more than 150 establishments. New retail tenants include APEX by Sunglass Hut, Art of Shaving, Chapel Hats, Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, Havaianas, Sanuk and Sound Lion.
Orlando City Lions Soccer Stadium – Orlando – Summer 2016. A Multipurpose Soccer Stadium began construction in fall 2014 and is scheduled to open summer of 2016. The stadium will be located in downtown Orlando in a developing entertainment center a block away from the Amway Center. The privately financed stadium will seat between 25- to 28,000 fans and serve as home to the Orlando City Lions soccer team.
State-of-the-Art Sports Complex – Seminole County – 2016. The premiere, tournament-quality sports complex will open in 2016, and while details are being finalized, the complex will bring the best of Seminole County’s sports scene to one venue by providing exceptional multi-purpose fields, designated baseball and softball fields, a central pavilion and dedicated amenities for both players and spectators. The complex will also feature multiple artificial turf fields which can be used for lacrosse events and several other types of sport events requiring multi-purpose fields.
Cobra’s Curse – Tampa – 2016. Busch Gardens Tampa announced plans for a new family thrill ride called Cobra’s Curse, opening 2016. This spin coaster will be the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a vertical lift and taking riders on a whirlwind adventure of exciting explorations. Key features of the ride will include an 80-foot snake icon, a trek over the park’s Serengeti Plain and the mysteries of an Egyptian archaeological excavation.
The LEGO® MovieTM 4D A New Adventure – LEGOLAND – 2016. LEGOLAND® Florida Resort will premiere “The LEGO® MovieTM 4D A New Adventure” in early 2016. The new 4D animated film will feature the popular characters from The LEGO® MovieTM and use elements such as wind, water, smoke and special lighting effects. The larger-than-life experience will bring the film’s main characters, Emmet and Wyldstyle, back together with their friends for another awesome adventure.
Creative Cove featuring Build-A-Boat – LEGOLAND – 2016. A fun expansion area at LEGOLAND Water Park adds a brand-new attraction, Build-A-Boat, where kids can create and race LEGO watercraft through fast-flowing rivers alongside cheering crowds in a setting inspired by the popular LEGO City Coast Guard sets. Nearby, the existing Imagination Station lets little ones build and play with colorful DUPLO® bricks in a water-filled activity center. Additional dining offerings, increased seating capacity and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the entire water park round out the all-new offerings for 2016.
LEGOLAND Night Lights – LEGOLAND – June 18 through July 31. The resort will debut its latest all-new event in June, a celebration of summertime fun featuring extended park hours, meet-and-greet opportunities with favorite LEGO characters, exclusive opportunities to build alongside LEGO Master Model Builders and a spectacular, brick-tacular NINJAGO fireworks display that will light the night above Lake Eloise with brilliant colors and triumphant music. Held exclusively at LEGOLAND Florida Resort, the party is included with park admission and will take place every Saturday and Sunday from June 18 to July 31.
Heroes and Legends – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – 2016. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announced the addition of a new attraction coming in 2016, called Heroes and Legends. Heroes and Legends will feature the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame and showcase the heroism of America’s early space pioneers by inviting guests to vicariously experience the thrills and dangers of America’s earliest missions through high-tech elements and special effects, including simulated holograms and augmented reality.
Cosmic Quest – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – February 2016. Future generations of space explorers will be engaged and inspired like never before as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex introduces a new, interactive, live-action game experience – Cosmic Quest – in February 2016. Cosmic Quest promises to immerse young guests, known as “trainees,” in a variety of STEM-based space adventures while educating them about NASA’s current and future space science and exploration endeavors. Cosmic Quest will be offered for $24.95, in addition to the daily admission.
Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination – St. Petersburg – 2016. The much-anticipated new exhibition “Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination” at the Dalí Museum in downtown St. Pete features two of the most intriguing minds of the 20th Century and dives into the relationship between the creative visionaries, who actually collaborated on an animated short titled “Destino.”
The Splash Pad – Tampa’s Florida Aquarium – spring 2016. The Splash Pad, a rain-forest themed play area, is scheduled to open this spring and is part of a $15 million expansion project. The aquarium will add 35,000 square feet of new space and 10,000 square feet of renovated space by the time the expansion is complete, including the lobby and main entrance. The play area will feature dump buckets, spray zones, climbing elements and a designated area for toddlers. (Orlando Sentinel). Visit www.flaquarium.org for more information.
Lazy H Ranch – Kissimmee – 2016. Mosey along at the Lazy H Ranch as you ride across the scenic trails of the Kissimmee Valley and along the shores of beautiful Lake Tohopekaliga. Experience what is was like to ride through acres of pristine land like the early pioneers and hear tales of Florida’s cattlemen, Kissimmee’s cow town heritage and what it means to be a Florida Cracker. Novice and experienced horse riders are welcomed.
Forever Florida’s Crescent J Ranch – Kissimmee – 2016. Become a cowboy for a day at Forever Florida’s Crescent J Ranch. This real life adventure lets anyone who has ever dreamed of life on a ranch take part in the daily chores of a real cow hunter, learning the basics of herding cattle and tending a real Florida ranch. Start the day with a lesson in riding a Florida cow pony, tend to an injured animal or ear tag a newborn calf—this is a wildly exciting and unique experience.
Gator Gauntlet – Gatorland, Kissimmee – 2016. Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World,” officially launched its newest zip line ride, the Gator Gauntlet, an attraction accessible to park patrons with mobility challenges or other disabilities. The ride, which is wheelchair accessible, allows participants to travel 350 feet down a zip line, soaring over the park and its lake of giant alligators.
Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in Punta Gorda, Fla. – Charlotte County – Fall 2016. A 50 million year old stone fossil of a palm frond taken from a mountain top in Wyoming serves as the inspiration for the logo and signature sculpture of the new Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens. Seven large-scale sculptures will adorn the landscape of the 27-acre property. Flowering trees will bloom throughout the year and more than 15,000 sq. ft of boardwalks and docks are planned. Sculptures have been installed and the master plans for the Gardens were developed in 2010. The property is developed and primarily financed by the Roger E. and Linda A.Tetrault Foundation, a 501 c. (3) private foundation. This will be one of the largest endowments for a botanical garden in the state of Florida. www.peacerivergardens.org
The Gallery – The Florida Keys – 2016. The Gallery, a new Key Largo venue showcasing local art, has opened in Miller’s Village at 102991 Overseas Highway. The shop features 10 artists who are local to South Florida and who specialize in a wide variety of handmade items.
Wild Bird Explore – The Florida Keys – 2016. The Florida Keys Wild Bird Center in Tavernier has expanded its Mission Wild Bird building at 92080 Overseas Highway to include Wild Bird Explore. Wild Bird Explore features a series of interactive exhibits including streaming videos of bird releases and hospital activities, Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology eBird kiosk, a children’s build-a-bird puzzle section, interactive bird migration maps, and a section on bird anatomy with X-rays, articulated skeletons and more.
The Casino @ Dania Beach – Fort Lauderdale – 2016. After a $60 million complete makeover, the former Dania Casino & Jai Alai has reopened as The Casino @ Dania Beach with 900 Las Vegas-style slot machines, 24-table card room, live Jai-Alai, and Stage 954 for comedy and concerts. Smash Mouth (Mar 5), Foreigner (Mar 11), Ralphie May (Mar 18), Gabriel Iglesias (Apr 1) and Air Supply (Apr 16).
Lauderhill Performing Arts Center – Fort Lauderdale – January 2016. A brand new, 1143-seat theater, opened in January 2016, welcomes: Saturday Night Fever – The Musical (Mar 1-2), Stomp (Mar 19-21) and Bob Saget (Apr 15-16).
Shipwreck Park – Fort Lauderdale – Summer 2016. Coming this summer to Pompano Beach: the dramatic sinking of a 300+ foot ship less than one mile from shore, as the centerpiece of the new Shipwreck Park for divers. This will be one of the largest contributions to Florida’s artificial reef system, and it will eventually include rotating exhibits of underwater art. At least 16 other shipwrecks are in the vicinity, in one of the most easily accessible major dive sites in the nation.
The Ringling’s Center for Asian Art – Sarasota County – January 2016.
Manatee Lagoon – An FPL Eco-Discovery Center – The Palm Beaches – February 2016. The Manatee Lagoon will be a new, free Palm Beach County educational attraction with a dedicated area for viewing manatees up close. The 16,000-square-foot center will feature engaging,hands-on exhibits for visitors to learn all about these endangered and unique creatures as well as the natural wonders of the surrounding Lake Worth Lagoon. On cold winter days, the facility’s observation deck will be the ideal spot to view manatee herds basking in the warm-water outflows from Florida Power & Light Company’s adjacent Riviera Beach Next Generation CleanEnergy Center.
Penguin Isle – Miami Seaquarium – February 11. On February 11th, Miami Seaquarium introduced its own tuxedo-clad celebrities, when ten endangered penguins moved into the park’s newest exhibit, “Penguin Isle.” As soon as guests walk up to “Penguin Isle”, they are greeted by over-sized, colorful graphics and educational displays about penguins and the challenges they face in the wild. The new penguin habitat, which features an 800-square-foot rocky, dry area and adjoining 9,000 gallon pool, is home to 10 endangered African penguins.
Brain Drain at Rapids Water Park – Riviera Beach – April 2016. Brain Drain is a capsule-style slide where the floor drops out from under guests, sending them on a 70-foot free fall down twists and turns. For more information, visit www.rapidswaterpark.com.