South U.S. Travel Update: Derby Museum Undergoes Major Renovations, Toy Story Lance Opens in Florida
Derby Museum Expands • Kentucky
The Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville is undergoing a $6.5 million renovation that will be completed in time for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs Racetrack in November. The project will add over 11,000 square feet of brand new space to the museum and includes the renovation of 5,000 square feet of existing space. It will be the largest expansion of the museum’s footprint since the building was constructed in 1985 and one of the largest renovations since a major project following flood damage in 2009. New exhibit space will feature the collection of legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas and key pieces of the Bill Shoemaker collection, which has been housed in the archives for many years. A new stable will house the museum’s resident
Thoroughbred and companion horse. (derbymuseum.org)
New Paula Deen Eatery • Alabama
The latest Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen will open at OWA, the new entertainment destination in Foley. The restaurant will specialize in the Southern comfort food popularized by the famed restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality, joining Paula Deen Family Kitchen locations in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Fairview and San Antonio, Texas. Owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, OWA is located minutes from the sugar-white beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The resort spans 520 acres and includes a 21-ride amusement park, an indoor arcade, a 150-room Marriott TownePlace Suites, 16 outdoor sports fields and a 65,000-sq.-ft. indoor Event Center, along with retail and dining. (visitowa.com)
Toy Story Land Opens • Florida
Beginning in June, Walt Disney World guests will feel like they have shrunk to the size of a toy as Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Slinky Dog, the Aliens, Green Army Men and other fun-loving Toy Story characters come to life in the larger-than-life outdoor setting of Andy’s backyard. Toy Story Land will be the newest area in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and include attractions and dining featuring iconic Toy Story characters. Attractions will include the Slinky Dog Dash family roller coaster, the Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania, a carnival-themed ride where guests take aim at 3D objects to score points. Refreshments will be available at Woody’s Lunch Box, which will serve old-fashioned soda floats beside an enormous vintage thermos.