In 2018, VISIT FLORIDA will focus on its adventurous side, encouraging visitors old and new, to turn their Florida holiday into a Florida adventure and explore the State’s diverse range of experiences and attractions. With the average visitor staying for 12 nights, there’s plenty of opportunity to explore beyond the traditional gateways and try somewhere new. Florida continues to be the number one long-haul destination for Britain and Ireland, welcoming 1.7 million British & Irish visitors in the past year.
Here’s what’s new and undiscovered for a Florida Adventure in 2018:
2017 was a hit for Florida’s theme park fans, with the openings of: Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park; Kraken Unleashed – the first Virtual Reality Roller Coaster in the USA opened at SeaWorld; LEGO Ninjago World, LEGOLAND; LEGOLAND Beach Retreat; Mine Blower, Fun Spot America – the only wooden coaster in Florida to go upside down. Plus new the Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex.
2018 is also promising plenty more theme park fun, with the pending openings of: Fast & Furious: Supercharged, Universal Studios Florida (Spring 2018); Ray Rush, Aquatica (Spring 2018); Toy Story Land, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Summer 2018); and Infinity Falls, SeaWorld (Summer 2018). Beyond the parks, visitors can learn to drive an airboat in Kissimmee with Boggy Creek Airboat Rides’ newest experience, Romp in the Swamp.
Nature & Eco Travel
When it comes to nature, Florida is often overlooked, but you’ll find nature and outdoor adventure at every turn. One of the most unique experiences you’ll find in Florida is swimming with manatees in Crystal River, the Manatee Capital of the World – the only place where you can legally swim with them in North America. Just south of Orlando, you’ll find Westgate River Ranch; an authentic dude ranch offering both cowboy lodges and glamping accommodation. The Everglades covers 1.5 million acres of wetlands and is home numerous rare and endangered species, including the American Crocodile and the elusive Florida panther. At John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you’ll find the only living-coral barrier reef in the continental United States, that’s teeming with marine life. Kids can become Junior Park Rangers at many of Florida’s state Parks and collect stamps to earn themselves a Junior Ranger badge. One of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the great outdoors of Florida is by water – boat tours range from river cruising through springs and mangroves, to dolphin spotting in the open sea.
Music & Events
From world-class music and international sports events to food festivals and rocket launches, Florida’s calendar of events has a wide appeal. In northwest Florida, Panama City Beach, hosts the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, a country music festival located just steps from the beach. The 30A Songwriters Festival sees more than 125 artists playing stages of all sizes across 13 different venues. Since 1959, the Daytona International Speedway has hosted NASCAR’s most prestigious race, the Daytona 500. Enjoy three days of jazz at the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival, one of Central Florida’s premier music events. In 2018, an expected 40+ rocket launches are scheduled to take place from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, guests can view rocket launches from multiple viewing area locations. Twice a month, come rain or shine, cowboys and cowgirls head to the Kissimmee Sports Arena Rodeo to entertain crowds for the ‘greatest show on dirt’. Like many coastal destinations, Naples kicks off stone crab season, with a Stone Crab Festival – expect live music and delicious crab dishes.
For further information on Florida visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com