This winter and spring is the perfect time to escape from the cold and embark on an exciting adventure to Florida. From breathtaking beaches to exciting nightlife, Central Florida has something to offer everyone. Lucky for you, our free digital magazine is now ready and packed with valuable information that will help you save on your trip to the Sunshine State. Discover top-rated attractions, restaurants, and shopping, and take advantage of our exclusive coupons to keep your budget in check. Read below for some highlights and features from the pages of this helpful guide, or just skip to the bottom to download now.
Minion Land Now Open at Universal Studios Florida
This past summer, Minion Land on Illumination Avenue officially opened at Universal Orlando Resort. Guests of all ages can now step into the beloved world of the Minions franchise like never before at Universal Studios Florida. Developed in partnership between Universal’s award-winning creative team and the acclaimed filmmakers from Illumination, a whole new level of Minion mischief awaits in this vibrant new land.
Guests are welcomed to the land with a fun, photo-worthy “Minion Land” marquee featuring 22 Minions before embarking on more mayhem that awaits along Illumination Ave., including the groundbreaking new attraction – Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast – where guests can blast their way to supervillain stardom. Guests can also savor tasty dishes at Minion Cafe, snack on banana-flavored popcorn at Pop-a-Nana, cool off with sweet treats at Freeze Ray Pops, shop exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise and goodies at Bake My Day and the Evil Stuff retail store, laugh alongside the Minions while experiencing absolute Mayhem at the beloved Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and meet lots of fan-favorite characters along the way at Illumination Theater.
Villain-Con Minion Blast blends immersive sets, interactive game-based technology, and an original storyline for a first-of-its-kind attraction that puts guests’ villainous skills to the test to see if they have what it takes to become a member of the Vicious 6 – a notorious group of supervillains from the hit film, “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” Villain-Con Minion Blast is also the first Universal Orlando attraction to feature a connected gameplay experience via The Official Universal Orlando Resort App. By syncing their blaster to the app with just a tap, contenders can take their game to an entirely new level and track their scores, embark on special missions within the attraction, unlock evil perks and extra powerful blasts to help them gain more points and earn digital collectibles.
At the new Illumination’s Minion Cafe, guests can expect an immersive new eatery that offers something for everyone in a highly entertaining dining experience that features three themed areas designed after beloved Minions Kevin, Stuart, Bob and Otto: the Kitchen, the Breakroom and the Dining Room. Guests can also enjoy their meal at the outdoor patio that overlooks the fun of Minion Land. Guests of all ages can enjoy inventive fare featuring nearly 20 items inspired by memorable characters and staples from the Minions franchise.
Topped with a massive pink cupcake that’s visible from anywhere in Minion Land, Bake My Day is a whimsical retail location and bakery featuring a selection of Minion-themed sweet treats, including cupcakes, macarons, s’mores and more, along with exclusive Minion-inspired merchandise like apparel, plush, drinkware, accessories, keychains and more.
The Pop-a-Nana walkup location features sweet and savory popcorn, including a special banana flavor, inspired by the Minions’ love for bananas. Here, guests may also find an assortment of fun popcorn buckets, including the Disco Minion. Guests can cool off with a visit to Freeze Ray Pops, a walk-up window serving refreshingly colorful frozen treats inspired by Gru, the Minions and Vector.
See the Real Florida Aboard the Barbara-Lee
The St. Johns Rivership Company offers more than just cruises. They provide a different way to experience Florida and appreciate its wildlife, its beauty and its warmth. All while indulging in chef-prepared cuisine, live onboard entertainment and endless hospitality in climate-controlled comfort.
Family-owned and operated, the St. Johns Rivership Co. is the latest in a long line of sternwheelers that have been serving and sailing the area for centuries. From their homeport on Lake Monroe in Historic Downtown Sanford, the Barbara-Lee cruises the St. Johns River while providing a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Today, the Rivership Barbara-Lee is the only authentic sternwheeler still sailing the St. Johns River. Featuring ornate wrought iron railings and massive wooden paddle wheels, this historic boat recalls the elegance of the steamers that once plied the waterways across Central and North Florida between Jacksonville and Sanford.
Visit the Home to Exotic Animal Surrenders & Rescues
The Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center is a remarkable institution that specializes in rescuing surrendered pets, including alligators and other wildlife species. Located in Madeira Beach, Florida, the center provides a safe haven for over 250 of these animals and educates the public about responsible pet ownership. Additionally, the center plays a crucial role in conservation efforts, protecting these species from extinction.
Through collaboration with other organizations, the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center ensures the best possible outcomes for these pets in need. It’s a beacon of compassion and deserves recognition for its invaluable contributions to pet rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation.
Brightline High-Speed Train Connects Orlando to South Florida
Florida residents and visitors can now finally connect between Orlando and South Florida (Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach) on the new Brightline high-speed rail. Experience the ultimate level of comfort and convenience on your next trip along Florida’s east coast by hopping on Brightline’s new high-speed train.
Passengers will enjoy breathtaking views of Florida’s landscape while indulging in luxurious amenities like spacious seats, gourmet meals, and premium entertainment options. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, this modern and efficient mode of travel is perfect for those looking to maximize their time and minimize their stress.
Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Travel and included in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2023 Hot List for the best new ways to travel. Offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road, Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional cities along the Gulf Coast in the near future.
With multiple ride packages available to entertain riders of all interests, there is a perfect addition to your Florida vacation for everyone aboard Brightline. So don’t wait, get your ticket and explore the Sunshine State in ways never before imagined.
Parks and Eco-Activities for Outdoor Fun in Central Florida
Are you ready to experience nature’s beauty and enjoy some fun in the great outdoors? Central Florida is overflowing with breathtaking parks, eco-friendly activities, and outdoor options for explorers of all ages! Here you’ll find plenty of opportunities to take part in mindful explorations while enjoying naturally preserved landscapes. From zip lining to ropes course climbing, airboating to off-roading amidst pine forests and majestic wetlands – the possibilities are endless when it comes to reconnecting with your natural surroundings in Florida.
Spanning over 230 acres, this recreational park boasts a serene lake and a plethora of eco-activities to choose from. Whether you’re an adventurous soul seeking an ATV ride, an angler looking to catch some fish, or a sharpshooter looking to test your skills at archery or clay shooting, Revolution Adventures has got you covered. With friendly and knowledgeable staff, state-of-the-art equipment, and breathtaking views of the lush greenery surrounding the park, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable time.
A visit to Wild Florida promises the ultimate wildlife experience with plenty of thrilling activities for all ages. Hop on an airboat and speed through the marshy wetlands, keeping an eye out for gators along the way. Or stay in your car on a scenic safari ride, enjoying the breathtaking natural habitat and spotting a range of exotic animals. You can also get up close and personal with some of the park’s friendliest residents with an animal encounter at the petting zoo, or watch in awe as expert handlers put on an alligator show.
Orlando Tree Trek
This elevated obstacle course park offers an exciting array of challenges including zip lines, suspended bridges, nets, and Tarzan swings. Test your balance and agility as you navigate through the treetops, taking in the scenic views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time adventurer, Orlando Tree Trek provides an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages and skill levels.
For a truly wild adventure, look no further than Gatorland! As Florida’s premier alligator park, it boasts over 100 acres of swamps, creatures, and exhibits that are sure to thrill visitors of all ages. Marvel at the sheer size and power of these prehistoric reptiles as you watch them feed, sunbathe, and even growl right before your eyes. For an even more up-close experience, sign up for one of Gatorland’s legendary zipline adventures, where you’ll soar high above gator-infested waters and see these magnificent beasts in a whole new way.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Embark on an exciting experience while spotting some of the most exotic wildlife at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures. This buzzing attraction offers a range of airboat tours that take you deep into the lush greenery, giving you glimpses of the natural beauty that surrounds the park. From rare butterfly species to the mighty alligator, there’s no telling what you might encounter at this natural attraction.
Dedication Is Key at Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine animals. Our mission is to preserve our environment while inspiring the human spirit through leadership and dedication to animal life, environmental education, research, and conservation.
Here, our rescued marine animals include dolphins, turtles, river otters, sharks and pelicans, who live at CMA to help educate visitors worldwide. At CMA, you can visit rescued sea turtles and learn about our sea turtle rescue team, who work every day to help locate and rescue endangered sea turtles that have been compromised by boat strikes, Red Tide, and other medical issues.
Our Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute (CMARI) team is dedicated to the rescue, release, and tagging of manatees. We have played a crucial role in Florida and Georgia, as well as internationally in Belize, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, with the tracking and rescue of these endangered marine animals.
Because of the critical situation with manatees, we are building a manatee critical care center here at our facility. Slated to open in 2024, this facility will allow us to assist in the rehabilitation and eventual release of these majestic animals. The CMARI team has embarked on decades of research on manatees, right whales, rice’s whales, and more.
All New Immersive Experience Opens at Pointe Orlando
Earth Illuminated, a new family-operated interactive attraction, takes you on a journey to see our home Earth in a whole new light. Through the artful use of traditional practical effects, theatrical scenes and sets, as well as technology, you are invited to become a part of the art by immersing yourself in each scene and awakening your creative spirit so that you can see the Earth for the first time… again.
The creative team behind this attraction, the Webb Family and their team at Blazen Illuminations, want to inspire rejuvenation and creativity through nature. The 40+ scenes of Earth Illuminated also keep the owners’ commitment to the environment by incorporating recycled, reclaimed, reused and renewed materials throughout.
Kissimmee Burger Paradise Expands to I-Drive Area
Local burger lovers know that Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews® in Kissimmee is a must-visit while in Central Florida. Now it’s even easier to answer your cravings, since Sickies opened their newest location on South International Drive near SeaWorld.
The hallmark of their signature cuisine is a mouthwatering, supercharged burger and sandwich menu. Freshly prepared choices range from the traditional Garage Burger to wild and award-winning signature items like the Sickies Burger, Turbocharged Twin Cam, and Glazed Doughnut burgers. Patty choices offered include half-pound American Wagyu beef, ground beef, chicken, or veggie patty for endless combinations. Gluten free buns are also available.
Every Sickies Garage Burgers and Brews® restaurant offers evolving and rotating selections of 50 local craft, domestic, and import brews with something to please every beer drinker. Beer aficionados – or those who like to keep it simple – are sure to find the right brew. Additional choices include creamy malts and milkshakes, fresh salads, loaded mashed potato bowls, hearty homestyle dinners, and award winning chicken wings. You might have a hard time deciding among all of the choices!
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save on your travel to Florida heading into 2024. Take advantage of coupons and discounts available when booking things to do on your trip. This spring season is the perfect time to plan where you can enjoy all of Florida’s beauty and sunshine while saving money at the same time! Be sure to check out what we’ve provided in our guide filled with examples of great getaways that are both cost-effective and full of fun! Click the links below to view or download our free guide and start planning your vacation today.