Take a look back at some of the biggest headlines coming out of Central Florida throughout the year.
It seems like just yesterday that we rang in 2018, but a lot has happened here in Orlando since then. Below we’ve outlined some of the top moments of the year.
- Tesla Roadster Heads to Space
On Feb. 6, 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched his red Tesla Roadster into space on the Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral. Also aboard was a mannequin astronaut named Starman, whose travels can be followed on www.WhereIsRoadster.com. The site notes that the Roadster made a close approach to Mars on June 8, 2018 and is expected to make a close approach to the sun on Aug. 9, 2019. You can follow along to track the car’s location as well as to see how many times it has exceeded its 36,000-mile warranty (currently over 11,000 times) and how many times Starman has listened to Is There Life on Mars? and Space Oddity.
- Toy Story Land Makes Its Debut
Disney fans got their first look at the much-anticipated Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on June 30, 2018. Many lined up in the early hours of the morning to be one of the first to ride Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers. The colorful land transforms guests into toys as they explore all of the excitement of Andy’s backyard. It’s the first big step in the park’s re-imagining, which will include the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in fall 2019.
- Dr. Phillips Center Breaks the Internet
The most anticipated show of the upcoming season at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is Hamilton, and the venue’s website saw a record number of visitors when tickets went on sale on Nov. 16, 2018. While hundreds of patrons purchased tickets onsite, hundreds of thousands of others attempted to buy tickets online with varying levels of success. For those who didn’t get through before online sales closed, a lottery will take place closer to the show, which will run from Jan. 22, 2019 to Feb. 10, 2019.
- UCF Knights Remain Undefeated
On Aug. 30, 2018, the UCF Knights football team started their season undefeated in an away game against UConn. Their goal was to go 1-0 every single game. On Nov. 23, 2018 they ended their regular season undefeated once again after a 38-10 win over rival South Florida in the annual War on I-4, despite losing star quarterback McKenzie Milton to a leg injury in the second quarter.
- I-4 Ultimate Project Continues
Throughout 2018, Orlando commuters dealt with ramp closures and new traffic patterns as construction on the I-4 Ultimate Project continued from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to east of State Road 434 in Seminole County. The 21-mile construction project is expected to be completed by 2021.