Racers fly over the European-style road course, whipping past red-and-black boundaries as they maneuver in and out of the turns and straightaways. While they jockey for position and widen the gap between them and the competition, they listen to the race coverage on their radio helmets, striving to improve on their last lap time by cracking a whip over their engines until they gallop up to 40 miles per hour. This is the Andretti Challenge, one of five go-kart tracks within the six-acre Andretti Thrill Park.
The park?s attractions span amusements for nearly every age, from tyke-friendly fun on Rookie Row to single and double karts on the Super Speedway. The park also encompasses nonmotorized fun, such as the Andretti Edge climbing wall, mini bowling, and a tokenless, card-based arcade. And as expected at any family amusement park, Andretti's staff includes a team dedicated to handling parties so that parents don't have to sneak into the park at midnight and power the arcade with their car battery. This scope and quality of entertainment earned Andretti Thrill Park the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Best of Melbourne Award: Amusement Parks from the US Commerce Association.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex celebrates the past, present, and future of space travel with educational exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. And as a reminder that the history contained here is still being written, the center displays a countdown clock marking off the seconds until the next scheduled launch.
As a conglomerate of paintball facilities, Paintballtickets.com is a one-stop shop for weekend warriors seeking some chromatic outdoor combat. Partnering with fields across the country, the company helps players live out their battlefield fantasies, whether they're sneaking up on an enemy installation, executing tactic strategies, or painting Water Lilies on the chest of a charging opponent.
Skatetown USA entertains speedsters with a slick rink full of friction-less fun during open-skate sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Skaters can careen in the company of a partner or assemble a gaggle of friends, family members, or doppelgängers to perform choreographed rink routines. Family packages help to replenish energy spent on glissading across the floor or perfecting quadruple axel jumps with a hot pizza and slurpable sodas. Bask in retro glory with four-wheeled skates or for an additional fee, spring for a pair of speed skates or rug-cutting roller blades to ensure hummingbird-paced conga lines.
Plantation Pet Resort helps pets feel at home by giving them ample exercise and attention on 11 acres of grassy play space. Dogs bound into the day at 7:30 a.m., roaming in two shaded outdoor play yards—one for big dogs and one for small. A fenced grassy area provides plentiful space for energetic games of frisbee, fetch, and Pin the Tail on the Schnauzer. Canines barrel across turf and engage in friendly tussles for two hours as staff members give pets’ heated and air-conditioned suites a thorough clean. Happily weary dogs are led back to their spacious accommodations for breakfast and a nap, returning outside four to five more times during the day for a half hour or more. At night, TVs, DVDs, and radios keep pets from missing the comforts of home and the antics of favorite talk-show hosts.
The only way to get into Gatorland is to walk straight into an alligator's toothy maw. The giant mouth provides entrance to 110 acres of marshy wildlife preserve––home to a vast ecosystem populated by thousands of alligators, crocodiles, and birds, including rare wading birds and four rare white alligators. Among these, more than 130 gators splash and lounge in the park’s breeding marsh, which visitors can view safely from a three-story observation tower or while sitting on the shoulders of Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Yet one of the biggest thrills of Gatorland is the reptile's raw power. Visitors can see this on full display during the Gator Jumparoo show, where alligators leap four to five feet out of the water to snag food directly from a trainer’s hands, or during the Gator Wrestlin' Show, where a handler demonstrates survival skills. True thrill-seekers can even dangle over the breeding marsh while riding the 65-foot-tall Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. And to experience the unsettling sensation of stumbling upon a swamp filled with alligators at night, the Night Shine takes participants deep into gator territory armed with only a flashlight and a few hot dogs.