Next week marks 237 years since our nation declared independence from Great Britain. All across the country (and indeed, around the world) the date will be celebrated with fireworks, concerts, and in some places, way too much alcohol!
Visitors to some of the major attractions in the state of Florida will be treated to some of the most phenomenal celebrations around, put on by professionals who have made shooting fireworks and celebrating a daily occurence. All of the major theme parks have some sort of special events planned, including the grand-daddy of them all, the Walt Disney World Resort.
Guests at the Walt Disney World Resort can choose any day of Independence Week, July 1-7, to experience the flag-waving spirit of the holiday in the parks. In the Magic Kingdom, it’s a red, white and blue extravaganza with a 14-minute fireworks spectacular that rockets into the air above Cinderella Castle every night with “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.”
In this patriotic fireworks spectacular, dazzling comets and glittering bursts soar to a brand new musical score produced in a concert band style created to stir a sense of pride in being American, while at the same time, invite guests from around the world to feel part of the celebration. The fireworks take place at 9 p.m. on July 3 and 4, and 10 p.m. on July 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.
Also at the Magic Kingdom, guests can enjoy a fun-filled spectacle as Goofy, Donald and Pluto dressed as a colonial fife and drum corps join a spirited procession down Main Street, U.S.A, prior to the daily Celebrate a Dream Come True parade at Magic Kingdom. The rousing pre-parade features the Main Street Philharmonic, Citizens of Main Street and Walt Disney’s historic horse-drawn calliope.
A little further west along I-4, LEGOLAND Florida’s annual Fourth of July celebration, Red, Brick & Boom, is held from July 4-6 with a special Chima-themed nightly fireworks show and viewing glasses that turn ordinary fireworks into millions of exploding LEGO® bricks. The park will have extended hours during these three nights, with firework displays taking place at 9 p.m.
A special patriotic celebration will take place on July 4 with patriotic-themed fireworks and entertainment. July 4-5 will also feature a Super Brick Flag Build in Fun Town and a Junior Master Model Builder Competition where guests can compete to win prizes for the best patriotic-themed LEGO model. Red, Brick and Boom is included with park admission.
About an hour west of the Orlando area attractions, the animals at Busch Gardens® Tampa are already celebrating the fun of the summer holidays at Summer Nights. This annual event lets guests celebrate the red, white and blue all day, and even after dark, all summer long with an energetic acrobatics show, live entertainment and much more.
Busch Gardens lights up the sky during Summer Nights, including July Fourth, with an incredible nightly fireworks display. The best views are in Gwazi Park, right after the nightly Kinetix show, but the fireworks are visible from all over the park.
Travel roughly three hours south of the Orlando area to enjoy even more patriotic fun at Zoo Miami. For the fourth year in a row, Zoo Miami is offering a sweet summer deal of $5 admission, backed up by Ford Motor Company.
“Zoo Miami is such a great community resource and we want as many families as possible to enjoy it,” said Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “In celebration of Independence Day, Ford is pleased to provide support so that the Zoo is accessible to more people during this holiday.”
Representatives from Ford will be setting up shop in the zoo on July 4-7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors will receive giveaways when they register to win a new 2013 Ford Fusion and will be able to view some of their latest car models.
Guests visiting Zoo Miami on these discounted days can enjoy a few other goodies in addition to visiting the lions, tigers and bears along with the normal attractions offered by the zoo. On July 6, Blue Bell will be helping guests cool down by distributing free samples of ice cream to lucky zoo visitors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., as part of Scoops for Conservation, a partnership between the Zoological Society of Florida and Blue Bell Ice Cream that encourages donations for wildlife conservation. Tampico will also be distributing free irresistible fruit flavored drink samples to help keep visitors refreshed on July 6 & 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“There is always so much to explore and take part in at the zoo, so for $5, it’s really a steal,” said Eric Stephens, Zoo Miami Director. “Each visit is like a whole new experience.”
The special and limited $5 admission days are available at Zoo Miami only from July 4-7 and cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion.
Of course, this is only small snippet of the many festivals, parties, picnics, and other patriotic celebrations gong on next week. Be sure to subscribe to this column, travel to some of the greatest local getaways around, all from the comfort of your desktop (or laptop, or PDA, or smartphone!) If you have a favorite local attraction you’d like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about motorsports, HOAs, elections, and restaurants.