The International Speedway Corporation has approved multimillion dollar funding to redevelop the front stretch of Daytona International Speedway. The renovations are set to enhance the overall experience for fans, including new larger seats, upgraded ticket gates and entrances, 40 escalators, 10 elevators, 11 fan entertainment areas (each the size of a football field and called "neighborhoods") and new additional restrooms, concessions and merchandise locations.
The 54-year-old flagship motorsports facility will begin undergoing renovations when the multi-year project breaks ground on July 5, 2013 and is targeted for completion in January of 2016 (in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th DAYTONA 500).
The backstretch grandstand will eventually be removed, moving all seating to the front stretch. New "neighborhoods" the size of football fields are designed to enhance the fan experience. The neighborhoods' open-sightline design and dozens of added video screens will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without missing any of the on-track action.
Although there will be no capacity changes for the 2014 DAYTONA 500, there will be an eventual decrease in seating capacity occurring in stages through 2016. The renovations may impact certain events at the Speedway through 2014; however, major races will be held as scheduled. Additional information on events beyond 2014 will be provided when the full construction schedule is completed.
Additional information is available at www.DaytonaRising.com or www.RedevelopDaytona.com.
Rendering © International Speedway Corporation
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay just announced plans for Falcon's Fury, a new "drop tower" that will rise an amazing 335 feet before giving riders five seconds of free-fall... face down! That's right, after rising slowly to an unimaginable height, the 32 riders' seats will pivot 90 degrees so that they are facing the ground and then will plunge straight down at 60 m.p.h. and 3.5 Gs. The ride will be the tallest drop tower in Florida. Disney's Tower of Terror at its Hollywood Studios is just 199 feet tall.
The new ride is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2014, and riders must be 54 inches tall to ride.
Take a minute to read About.com's Theme Parks Guide, Arthur Levine's preview of Falcon's Fury and his take on the questionable hype.
It's Father's Day weekend and other than the usual scattered afternoon thunderstorms, the weekend's weather should be pretty nice for these events:
Photo © The Walt Disney Company
Lots of fun will rev up at Downtown Disney this weekend — Saturday and Sunday, June 15 & 16, 2013 — as classic cars meet the car stars from Disney-Pixar's animated motion pictures "Cars" and "Cars 2." Car fans are sure to delight in a family-friendly weekend devoted to all things cars, that includes activities from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day at Downtown Disney's West Side:
- More than 150 classic, muscle and exotic cars are expected to line the Downtown Disney West Side promenade as the local Muscle Car Network of Central Florida displays their cars for families and judges to view. Guest will have the chance to vote on their favorite car to win the "People's Choice" and "Kid's Choice" awards.
- Automotive designer Chip Foose and Disney-Pixar "Cars" filmmaker Jay Ward will host celebrity chat shows on the Car Masters Stage throughout the weekend. Foose contributed to the design of Ramone in the Disney-Pixar "Cars" film, will also be on-hand for a signing of his Cars-inspired images and Foose design items will be available for purchase at the event.
- Put the pedal to the metal and test drive remote-control model cars of "Cars 2" at RideMakerz.
- Vehicles from the new Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway will be on display.
- New this year! Splitsville, the luxury bowling emporium, will hosts the first Car Masters Weekend Sock Hop on Saturday, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The event, which will feature live entertainment, bowling competition, a buffet of Splitsville delights, limited bar, raffle prizes and special appearances by Foose and Ward. Limited tickets at $69 per person are on sale at DisneyCarEvent.com
- Pose for photos inside the newest Chevrolet models!
- Live performances by the car Masters Singers and DJ's spinning classic-car tunes from the 50's and 60's. Of course, special "Cars" merchandise will be available throughout Downtown Disney.
- Finally, cars fans can purchase tickets and cool off at the AMC Downtown Disney 24 Theatres for an all-day movie marathon featuring the Disney-Pixar "Cars" and "Cars 2" films.
Make reservations at the cars-themed now for Disney's Art of Animation Resort. Staying at this new value resort has its perks.
Photos © The Walt Disney Company