Tag Archives: Visit Florida

New Search Tools from VISIT FLORIDA Give Beach Lovers More to Love

With Beach Finder and Street View in Google Maps, wishful browsers can stroll Florida’s coastline

VISIT FLORIDA unveils online tools allowing travelers to virtually walk hundreds of miles of Sunshine State beaches – from legendary locations such as Miami Beach to lesser-known sanctuaries such as Cayo Costa.

Say hello to Florida Beach Finder, found on VISITFLORIDA.com/beachfinder. Here’s how it works.

“Tune” your preferences in four ranges of beach personalities. Looking for “Action-packed”? “Secluded”? Or maybe somewhere in between? Florida Beach Finder immediately delivers visual choices that best match your desires. With every tweak of the tuner, the options change before your eyes.

With Beach Finder and Street View in Google Maps, wishful browsers can stroll Florida’s coastline

New Search Tools from VISIT FLORIDA Give Beach Lovers More to Love1

VISIT FLORIDA unveils online tools allowing travelers to virtually walk hundreds of miles of Sunshine State beaches – from legendary locations such as Miami Beach to lesser-known sanctuaries such as Cayo Costa.

Say hello to Florida Beach Finder, found on VISITFLORIDA.com/beachfinder. Here’s how it works.

“Tune” your preferences in four ranges of beach personalities. Looking for “Action-packed”? “Secluded”? Or maybe somewhere in between? Florida Beach Finder immediately delivers visual choices that best match your desires. With every tweak of the tuner, the options change before your eyes.

Then “walk” the Florida beaches you love with immersive Street View imagery in Google Maps. In one of the first partnerships of the Street View Trekker Loan Program, VISIT FLORIDA and Google collaborated on a four-month trek to photograph Florida’s beaches and to make the imagery available to the world. The same technology that lets viewers mouse around their city streets and tour monuments now empowers Florida beach lovers to view the sand, sky and shorelines of the beaches they choose to explore – all in 360-degree panorama.

New Search Tools from VISIT FLORIDA Give Beach Lovers More to Love

“For potential visitors, it’s an opportunity to dig their virtual toes into any of Florida’s beaches — and find their dream beach before they come. For Florida, it’s an opportunity to showcase that we have the greatest variety of beach experiences in the world,” said Susannah Costello, VISIT FLORIDA Vice President, Global Brand.

With each beach, Florida Beach Finder users can absorb videos, photography and feature stories reported by award-winning Florida journalists. And social media tools will allow visitors to share their discoveries with friends and family.

Florida beaches are top of mind for many travelers. With Florida Beach Finder and the Street View technology, these destinations – both the internationally famous and the well-kept secrets – will come into focus better than ever.

MEDIA ASSETS
Additional digital assets may be downloaded from the PitchEngine version

 

 

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

Kermit the Frog will find it is easy being green when his artfully-crafted character topiary debuts during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV March 5 to May 18, 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort.  With flamboyance to spare, a floral Miss Piggy will join Kermit and his blooming banjo in the World Showcase topiary display.

Urban Farm Eats will be the new Outdoor Kitchen on the promenade with a sustainable garden featuring tilapia, eggplant and other farm-raised treats. Guests can try new menu items including the Land-Grown Eggplant “Scallop” with Romesco Sauce, Ghost Pepper Dusted Tilapia with Winter Melon Salad and Mango Chutney, plus red and white vegan wines and gluten-free beer.

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

The festival’s nearly 100 whimsical topiaries and its 11 tantalizing Outdoor Kitchens with sweet and savory indulgent bites are reason enough to visit the 75-day flower and garden extravaganza. Yet the park will be packed with so much more as it transforms to a rainbow-hued wonderland of sweeping gardens and exhibits. Stars of HGTV, including Alison Victoria of “Kitchen Crashers” and Matt Blashaw of “Yard Crashers,” will appear each weekend at the Festival Center, Audubon will debut its new Hummingbird Garden and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden opens as a fun-filled play land.

More Festival News . . .

  • Goofy, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck topiaries will appear in a new Epcot front entrance garden vignette celebrating spring with a butterfly hunt adventure.  The topiaries will have a new computer-generated look while telling an entertaining story.  Goofy’s butterfly net will prove useless as topiary butterflies light on the back of his floral garb.  A topiary bee buzzes on an exasperated Donald’s head.  The garden will feature a real waterfall and pond with water lilies.
  • Now in their second festival year, the festival’s 11 food and beverage garden marketplaces have been dubbed Outdoor Kitchens, where chefs will be cooking a variety of new and popular returning menu items, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, in 2014. At The Smokehouse BBQ Outdoor Kitchen, Piggylicious Bacon Cupcakes and Smoked Turkey Ribs are on tap with a lineup of great brews. Last year’s top menu picks like the Watermelon Salad with local baby arugula, feta cheese, pickled red onions and balsamic reduction will be back for an encore at the Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen.
  • A new Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden welcomes families with a whimsical play land of activities. Dozens of additional character topiaries, including Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan will surprise guests beyond the park’s iconic Spaceship Earth.
  • The Flower Power Concert Series welcomes two new acts in 2014:  Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”) March 14-16, and The Alan Parsons Live Project (“Eye in the Sky”) May 16-18.  During opening weekend, the series kicks off at America Gardens Theatre with fan-favorite band The Guess Who (“American Woman”) March 7-9.  Other pop acts set to perform include Chubby Checker & the Wildcats, The Village People and Paul Revere & The Raiders. (Entertainment is subject to change).
  • Hummingbirds at Home, a new exhibit presented by the National Audubon Society, will feature walk-through hummingbird gardens and tips on how to attract the magical creatures that migrate to Florida from South America each year.
  • For the second year, illuminated gardens will cast a festive glow across the park when the sun sets each evening.
  • Mater of the Disney-Pixar “Cars” film hit is back by demand with the new Mater’s Parts, Plants and Play Garden. Tinker Bell’s Butterfly House will be aflutter with hundreds of the winged beauties and a fairy topiary of Tinker Bell.
  • At the Festival Center in the park’s Future World, twice-daily interactive gardening workshops will set the stage for outdoor do-it-yourself inspiration, and gardening guest speakers will appear daily.  Fridays through Sundays, HGTV design celebrities will host home, garden and design seminars.

As they sample from marketplace menus, guests can wander among multiple themed gardens and children’s play areas.  Dozens of Disney-crafted “flower towers,” herb gardens and beds of multi-colored blooms will add to the floral splendor of the park’s landscape.  Disney’s garden gurus estimate 70,000 bedding plants will surround the Future World east and west lakes alone; on the water, 220 mini-gardens will be set afloat.  Several special weekend happenings, including the popular Art in the Garden Weekend, will be scheduled.

While Disney guests celebrate spring, they also can explore the reimagined, design-centric Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, the hang-gliding sensation of Soarin’ and other high-tech Future World marvels.  In World Showcase, the spotlight will shine on topiaries of Disney princesses, storybook characters and even pandas and trolls, guests can discover the attractions, shops and restaurants that represent cultures and cuisine of 11 countries. Spice Road Table, which debuted in January at the Morocco showcase, will be open for lagoon-side noshing on tasty tapas.

About Walt Disney World Resort:

Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 35 resort hotels (25 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes seven Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 81 holes of golf on five courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex.  Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round.

Visit Florida – Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space centre

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida has now opened the doors to the world’s most comprehensive and interactive attraction devoted to NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program – Space Shuttle Atlantis.SM

Of the three space-flown orbiters distributed by NASA to science centers and museums throughout the country, only Atlantis is the focal point of a $100 million, 90,000-square-foot attraction containing four multimedia and cinematic productions and more than 60 interactive experiences that invite guests to “be the astronaut” and to celebrate the people, passion and patriotism behind the shuttle program. Space Shuttle Atlantis is included in regular admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season.

In honor of the Year of Atlantis, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is on sale for a limited time at a discounted rate of $55 + tax for adults and $45 + tax for children ages 3-11 when purchased online or by phone only. Regular price of $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11 applies for all gate purchases. For more information or to purchase tickets or an annual pass, call 877-313-2610 or visit http://www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Only at Space Shuttle Atlantis can guests come literally nose-to-nose with an actual space shuttle orbiter that flew in space 33 times and still bears the scars, scorch marks and space dust of its last mission. Only at Space Shuttle Atlantis can guests have a nearly 360-degree view of Atlantis as only astronauts have seen it before, tilted on its side at a 43.21-degree angle, seeming to float in space with its payload bay doors open and its robotic arm extended, as if it has just undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). And, only at Kennedy Space Center can guests say they saw a shuttle at the home of human spaceflight, where all 135 space shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011 were launched and processed.

Developed by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, operators of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995, as well as St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, in partnership with NASA, Space Shuttle Atlantis is the marquee element in a 10-year master plan for the Visitor Complex. Here, top-of-the-line audio/visual and show systems, theme park technology seen in Orlando’s newest and most popular attractions, seldom seen NASA images and footage, and reality-based astronaut training simulations combine to create a first-of-its-kind attraction.

“It’s true that there is more than one space shuttle orbiter out there, but there is nowhere else on Earth like Space Shuttle Atlantis,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “This completely immersive experience is about much more than seeing Atlantis close-up. With hi-fi replicas, simulators and interactive activities touching on all aspects of the shuttle program and its accomplishments, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, it’s the closest guests can get to living and working in space – short of applying to the astronaut corps.”

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Other highlights and thematic areas include:


The Entrance – Outside Space Shuttle Atlantis, guests are greeted by a full-scale,
184-foot-tall vertical replica of the space shuttle’s external tank and two solid rocket boosters, giving visitors a true sense of the awesome power needed to launch the shuttle into orbit. The entrance walkway is lined with river rocks from Kennedy Space Center’s crawlerway, upon which Saturn V rockets and space shuttles were transported to the launch pads.

The Building – Space Shuttle Atlantis features two sweeping architectural elements, or “wings,” representing the space shuttle’s launch and return. The outer layer of the building, cloaked in iridescent hues of orange and gold, represents the fiery glow of re-entry. The taller, internal wing of the building is covered in a shimmering gray tile pattern representing the tiled underside of the orbiter. The building is designed to meet LEED Silver sustainability standards.

The Preshow – Multimedia and cinematic presentations build anticipation by illustrating the evolution of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program and the thousands of people who took part in creating and maintaining NASA’s five space-flown shuttles – Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.

Hubble Space Telescope Theater – A high-fidelity replica shows the Hubble Space Telescope in all of its glory, 43 feet long and 14 feet in diameter, with its solar panels fully deployed. A cinematic production in the 40-seat theater shows highlights of the Hubble program, including its 1990 launch, subsequent repair missions and stunning images of deep space.

International Space Station Gallery – Guests can climb aboard a high-fidelity replica of ISS modules and experience the sensation of floating in space. An interactive touch screen offers a variety of topics about living and working aboard the ISS. The topics are then explained using real footage shot exclusively for the Microgravity Theater by actual ISS crewmembers, shown in zero gravity inside the ISS. Freestanding pods recreate components of the station, including upside-down astronaut sleeping quarters and the space potty. A 16-foot-long, four-foot-tall interactive media wall tracks the location of the ISS and provides downloads from the crew’s Twitter feed, as well as exciting updates about the scientific research conducted.

Shuttle Launch Experience – Guests can “get vertical” and strap-in to experience the sights, sounds and sensations of a space shuttle launch. Veteran NASA astronauts who helped develop the attraction call it “the next best thing to an actual space shuttle launch.”

On Orbit Gallery – The 24-foot-long interactive Space Transportation System (STS) Timeline brings NASA’s 135 space shuttle missions to life with details on every launch, landing, astronaut, payload and more. Banks of interactive monitors provide an “X-ray” view of Atlantis’s crucial systems and prerecorded views of its interior, including the cockpit, middeck and payload bay. At the rear of Atlantis, guests can see an actual 8,000-pound space shuttle main engine. Virtual reality simulators invite guests to test their spacewalking skills, while budding commanders can take the controls in a space shuttle cockpit replica.

Space Shuttle Processing Area – The authentic “beanie cap,” or vent hood, from Launch Pad 39B finds a new home at the “Blast Off” game in which guests can kick together virtual molecules of hydrogen and oxygen to create the space shuttle’s liquid fuel. They can also try their hand at virtually mating the orbiter to the shuttle stack in the Vehicle Assembly Building. The wheels and tires from Atlantis’ final mission, STS-135, are also available for guests to touch and spin.

The Re-entry Zone – Visitors can see what it takes for astronauts to land the orbiter as a high-speed glider, creating their own sonic booms and gliding, or rather, sliding, to a landing on the steep slope of the Re-entry Slide.

Shuttle Express Gift Shop – The 4,000-square-foot shop features a wide array of shuttle and space-related merchandise displayed amid youth artwork depicting their visions for the future of space flight.

Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Florida, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11.

Must VISIT FLORIDA!

Hot happenings in Florida, this August

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Planning a trip to Florida, Don’t miss out on these events.

The calendar of the event for the month of August, 2013 is given below:

Miami Spice Restaurant Program (Aug. 1- Sept. 30) If you’re visiting during August or September, don’t miss a chance to savor some of our area’s most spectacular cuisine. Greater Miami and the Beaches’ top restaurants offer mouth-watering meals at incredible savings. Various restaurants throughout Greater Miami and the Beaches, 305-539-3000, iLoveMiamiSpice.com

Brazilian Film Festival of Miami (18-25) The Inffinito Festival Circuit arrives in Miami for the 16th edition of the Brazilian Film Festival of Miami. The Competitive Screening takes place once again at the Colony Theatre, with short and feature films competing for the Cristal Lens Award, the most prestigious award in Brazilian cinema outside the country. Various theaters throughout Miami Beach, 305/600-3347, brazilianfilmfestival.com