February 2006 Newsletter

In This Issue
  • Walt Disney World ticket price rises
  • Rocket launches in early 2006
  • Birnbaum's Disney Cruise Line 2006 Book review
  • Spring Training
  • February events
  • Weather forecast
February 2006 Florida Review & Travel Guide Newsletter

February 1, 2006

Bringing you the latest news from the Sunshine State
Welcome to the February Newsletter

Hi subscriber, welcome to the February newsletter of the Florida Review & Travel Guide.

As expected Disney and the remaining theme parks raised their ticket prices on January 1st.

Following the successful launch of NASA's Pluto New Horizons aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas 5, the next few launches are now in doubt as a result of the ongoing strike by Boeing rocket workers.

It is also poignant to note that on January 28th it was the 20th anniversary of the Challenger space shuttle disaster.

At the end of February, baseball players and fans migrate south at the start of the annual Spring Training.

Disney Ticket Price Rises

As expected Walt Disney World along with the rest of the major theme parks raised their ticket prices on January 1st. A one day one park ticket now costs $63.00 plus taxes, up from $59.75.

Multi-day prices have gone up around $6 to $10 on average and single day water park tickets now cost $34.00.

Universal have also raised their prices, adding $4 to the price of a single day ticket and $3 to the two day ticket. At Busch Gardens, a one day ticket is now an extra $2 and a two day (Busch Gardens and SeaWorld) costs an extra $5.

Not surprisingly, the OrlandoFlex tickets are also up in price, an extra $5 for the 4 park ticket and $10 for the 5 park ticket.

For all the latest theme park ticket prices, click here.

Upcoming Rocket Launches

NASA's Pluto New Horizons blasted off on February 19, third time lucky, two days later than planned. The first launch had to be abandoned because of strong winds and then on the following day, a power failure at the operational centre in Maryland caused the launch to be cancelled a second time.

Owing to industrial action at Boeing rocket plants in Florida, California and Alabama, future launches of Delta rockets have been put on hold. The upcoming NAVSTAR Global Positioning System, GOES N and MITEX rocket launches are all affected.

To read more about how to buy tickets, where else to watch rocket and shuttle launches and the latest launch schedule, click here.

Book Review - Birnbaum's Disney Cruise Line 2006

Birnbaum's Disney Cruise Line 2006, ISBN 0786855509 is published by Disney Editions (October 5, 2005).

Birnbaum are the official Disney guide book publisher and the Birnbaum's Disney Cruise Line is published annually and as its name suggests it only deals with the Disney Cruise Line.

If you are planning on cruising with a different cruise line then you are probably better off with a more general cruise book like 'Caribbean by Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide to Cruising the Caribbean'.

The book is split into four basic chapters, the first chapter, 'Before You Sail,' covers everything you need to know about the Disney Cruise Line including planning tips, how to select the right cruise package, details of the different levels of accommodation and a complete breakdown of each itinerary with sailing maps and arrival/departure times.

To read more about Florida book reviews and details of where you can buy this book, click here.

Spring Training

The 'snowbirds' are not the only people to move down to Florida during the winter.

Since the early 1900s, a lot of the major American and National League baseball teams have taken advantage of Florida's wonderful winter/spring climate and have set up Spring Training camps in Florida each year. This allows the players to train away from the cold and snow of the north and it also allows the managers to check on the talent.

Over time, this has resulted in the Grapefruit League and the teams now play each other throughout the month of March. Recently, Arizona has tempted 12 teams out west but attempts by Las Vegas to set up training camps in Nevada have come to nothing.

The aptly named Grapefruit League plays in Florida throughout the month of March each Spring and a smaller league, the Cactus League, plays in Arizona.

If you are used to paying upwards of $100 to watch a game then you are in for a real treat. Prices vary by stadium but general admission can be as little as $6 and box seats are typically between $20 and $25.

One of the great things about Spring Training is that the ballparks are generally small which means you can get to watch a top ranking baseball team up close and personal. Spring training is also an ideal opportunity to get autographs of your favourite players.

To read more about Florida's Spring Training and where the various teams are based, click here.

February Events

February is the month of Florida county fairs with entertainment for the whole family including livestock shows, beauty pageants, bull riding, clay shoots, carnival rides and country music concerts.

The 102nd annual Florida State Fair runs from February 9-20 in Tampa (www.floridastatefair.com for more details).

The Collier County Fair, 10 miles east of I-75 (exit 111) is on from February 3-12 (www.colliercountyfair.com for more details).

The Osceola County Fair & Livestock Show in Kissimmee runs from February 10-19 (www.osceolacountyfair.com for more details).

Over at Sebring is 69th Highlands County Fair from February 10-18 (www.hcfair.net for more details).

The Martin County Fair, Stuart runs from February 10-20 (www.martincountyfair.com for more details).

The is also the Charlotte County Fair, Port Charlotte (February 17-26), the Hardee County Fair, Wauchula (February 20-25), the 59th Annual Pasco County Fair, Dade City (February 20-26), the Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair, Ft. Myers (February 24-March 5) and the Saint Lucie County Fair, Ft. Pierce (February 24-March 5).

At the Cracker Jack Stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, the Atlanta Braves start their Spring training on February 1 until March 31.

On February 14 you cannot forget St. Valentines Day and at the Bok Tower they are holding a Valentine's Day Carillon Concert at 1:00pm.

In the new climate-controlled 8,300 seat Silver Spurs Arena located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, the 117th Silver Spurs Rodeo of Champions and Xtreme Bulls Series takes place on February 17-19. This is the largest rodeo in the Southeast with hundreds of professional rodeo riders competing for more than $100,000 in prize money. Watch bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronco riding, steer wrestling and barrel racing as well as the world famous Silver Spurs Quadrille horseback team. (www.silverspursrodeo.com for more details).

At New Smyrna Beach, the 44th Annual Art Fiesta takes place on February 25-26 in the Old Fort Park where you can see exhibits from 250 artists from around the state.

At the Military and Classic Aircraft Museum in Miami the Wings Over Miami Air Show runs from February 15-19. The Collings Foundation will be bringing along their Boeing B-17 Fortress and North American B-25 Mitchell. (www.wingsovermiami.com for more details).

Over at Bartow Municipal Airport in Winter Haven, the 18th Annual Safety Seminar and Fly-In, Lakeathon 2006 takes place February 11-15. Last year over 50 Lake Amphibians turned up.

In Orlando, SeaWorld are holding their Bud & BBQ Concert each Saturday on February 4, 11, 18 and 25. As the name suggest you can sample ice-cold Anheuser-Busch products and southern barbecues. Entry is included in the regular admission but food and beverages are extra.

The acts booked on stage are LeAnn Rimes (4th), Foreigner (11th), Lonestar (18th) and Lorrie Morgan (25th).

Also at SeaWorld on February 4-5, you can watch the Jack Hanna's Animal Adventure. Jack Hanna, host of TV's "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures" and SeaWorld's "Shamu Adventure" show, will introduce you to animals from around the world. Entry is included in the regular admission.

Weather Forecast

Temperatures in February are expected to be above average by as much as 6 degrees in the North and 2 degrees in the South. Rainfall will also be slightly above average in the North but below in the South.

To start with it will be cool (mid 50s in the North and high 60s in the South) with the risk of thunderstorms and then generally sunny. Expect more thunderstorms in the middle of the month with showers towards the end of the month.

To check out the rest of the Florida weather including monthly temperature and rainfall charts across the State and the latest hurricane news, click here.

We plan to bring you a newsletter on the first day of each month with details of upcoming events and news from across Florida.

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