New KidsTown Opens at Orlando Science Center in October

New KidsTown Opens at Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center will open their new KidsTown section the weekend of October 22 and 23.

The new early childhood space is nearly three times the size of the current area, encompassing 11,000 square feet of original content designed to engage and stimulate young minds.

It features seven dynamic zones with more than 75 exhibits that present little learners with iconic experiences, exciting discoveries and untold opportunities for creativity, collaboration and problem solving. These seven areas will also introduce science concepts through whole-body experiences, hands-on interactives and opportunities for imaginative role-playing.

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Out and About: Shake Shack Opens at I-Drive 360

This week the second Shake Shack location opened on I-Drive and I was there for both the preview and the ribbon cutting the next morning.

Shake Shack I-Drive in Orlando

This Shake Shack location is at I-Drive 360, with a front door view of The Orlando Eye. It features ample seating indoors, as well as several benches and chairs on the outdoor patio in front.

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Shake Shack Announces I-Drive 360 Location to Open August 19, 2015

Shake Shack will open its second Central Florida location on Wednesday, August 19th at Orlando’s I-Drive 360 complex. Mayor Teresa Jacobs will be on hand for the ribbon cutting at 11am.

Shake Shack I-Drive 360

In addition to all of the classic Shake Shack menu items, like burgers (100% all-natural, antibiotic-free), hot dogs, fries, and frozen custard, the I-Drive Shake Shack will feature two-location specific frozen custard concretes for customers to enjoy:

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Marlow’s Tavern Waterford Lakes Hosts Weeklong Grand Opening Summer Celebration July 13-19

Starting today, Marlow’s Tavern Waterford Lakes will host a weeklong grand opening celebration that will include food and drinks specials, live music, and giveaways.

Marlow's Tavern in Waterford Lakes

The celebration runs until July 19, and each day will feature an extra special offer, and here is the rundown:

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LEGOLAND Hotel Florida Now Officially Open For Guests

Early in the morning of Friday, May 15, LEGOLAND Florida officially opened the doors to the LEGOLAND hotel with confetti, Legos and more.

LEGOLAND Hotel Florida grand opening May 15

The grand opening was honored with thousands of colorful LEGO® minifigures blasting out of cannons atop the hotel and a child discovering a key to open the hotel built for kids.

The new LEGOLAND Hotel debuts several features unique to LEGOLAND Florida Resort, including the only LEGO Friends themed suite in the world, and daily build sessions with a Master Model Builder inside a Model Shop in the hotel.

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The Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds Host Grand Opening May 4, 2015

After months of construction and a week-long media blitz that included a record-breaking walk by Nik Wallenda, The Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds are now open to the public.

Ribbon cutting at The Orlando Eye May 4, 2015

With a few speeches and the swoosh of a pair of giant scissors against a purple ribbon, I-Drive 360 welcomed visitors to enjoy it’s new attractions yesterday morning (May 4).

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LEGOLAND Hotel to Open May 15 at LEGOLAND Florida

The final bricks are being put into place, and the first East Coast LEGOLAND Hotel is a go to open on May 15 at LEGOLAND Florida.

LEGOLAND Hotel Florida - exterior

The Hotel is built with kids in mind, from the lobby to the rooms. When families arrive, a special “Kid Check-in” takes place in front of the minifigure wall, which is made of 5,000 minifigures.

The lobby itself is home to a Castle Play area, complete with a pirate ship surrounded by a moat filled with LEGO bricks.

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Vanilla Ice Hosts McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon Grand Opening Party April 11, 2015 @McFaddens360

McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon is celebrating their grand opening on Saturday, April 11, and hosting will be none other than Vanilla Ice.

Vanilla Ice Hosts McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon Grand Opening Party

If you’d like to be in attendance with the legendary Vanilla Ice to experience McFadden’s Saturday night parties, visit mcfaddensorlando.com/events to RSVP. McFadden’s famous Fishbowl drinks will be flowing each and every Saturday night

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New Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit Debuting on International Drive in April 2015

Sponsored by EMS Entertainment, a travelling exhibit dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci will be debuting on International Drive in Orlando this spring.

Leonardo da Vinci: Man-Inventor-Artist-Genius exhibit on I-Drive in Orlando

Featuring 40 models of his most innovative inventions, and 23 replications of his most famous artworks, Leonardo da Vinci: Man-Inventor-Artist-Genius is a unique exhibit offering a glimpse into one of history’s greatest minds via his art, music, and more.

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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers to Open on I-Drive in Orlando July 7, 2014

Red Robin Gourmet BurgersAs part of the new developments at the corner of International Drive and Sand Lake Rd, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers will be opening their first Orlando restaurant on July 7.

To help celebrate the grand opening of the new restaurant, Red Robin will donate all sales of its signature Freckled Lemonade® from July 7 to July 13, to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for all kids with cancer. The lemonade is a blend of sweet strawberries and tangy Minute Maid® Lemonade, is available for $3.99 with free refills.

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Out and About: Trader Joe’s Opens in Winter Park

Trader Joe's Winter Park grand opening day

It’s 7am on a Friday morning, and there are several hundred people waiting in line already for Central Florida’s first Trader Joe’s store to open in Winter Park. Store employees, called crew members, are making runs along the length of line, trying to drum up excitement with high-fives and loud “Whoo-hoos”.

The parking lot has been full and closed off by police since shortly after 6am, so shoppers have been parking in nearby lots, many at their own risk of being towed.

But there were a lot of people that were willing to bear with the long lines and dubious parking to be among the first to sample what Trader Joe’s has to offer foodies in the Orlando area.

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Trader Joe’s Winter Park to Hold Grand Opening Celebration June 27

Trader Joe's Winter Park

The long-awaited Trader Joe’s will be opening its first Orlando area store on Friday, June 27, in Winter Park, and it plans a day full of events.

The store, located at 131 North Orlando Ave, will open at 8am with a ceremonial lei-cutting. Throughout the day, it will have live music, food demonstrations, and raffles to win prizes. The store will close its first day at 9pm.

Trader Joe’s has established a following among foodies nationwide with its selection of private-label products, many organic, made with quality ingredients, and free of preservatives and artificial food coloring. The cost for these items are also comparable to or less than similar items in other stores, such as Publix and Whole Foods Market.

If you plan to go opening weekend, be prepared for traffic both inside and outside the store. When a TJ’s store opened earlier this year in Tampa, over 100 people were lined-up before the store even opened.

For more information on the store and its offerings, visit traderjoes.com. A second Orlando store is expected to open in Dr. Phillips later this year.

Universal Orlando Announces July 8 Opening Date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

One of the most asked questions of the Orlando summer – “When will The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley open?” – finally has an answer: July 8.

Universal Orlando made the announcement in a morning press conference.

This date is later than many fans originally thought, but purchasers of special Universal Vacations packages are guaranteed admission to Diagon Alley, even if their travel dates fall before July 8. There will also be soft openings at random times prior to the official opening day.

Once open, fans with a 2-park pass will be able to travel between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade via the Hogwarts Express train. How fun will that be – you never have to leave the HP realm the entire day, if you don’t want to.

Are you looking forward to the opening of Diagon Alley? It’s only a few weeks away.

Out and About: Antarctica Opens at SeaWorld Orlando on May 24, 2013

SeaWorld Orlando Antarctica grand opening linesOn Friday, May 24, SeaWorld Orlando opened their newest expansion, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. This all-new adventure allows guests to experience the sights, sounds, thrills, chills and penguins of Antarctica, through the eyes of a special penguin hero named Puck.

Grand opening festivities began early in the morning, with opening remarks by park president Terry Prather. Then, award-winning country artist Lauren Alaina took to the stage to sing a special remix of “Antarctica: One World, One Family,” the song she wrote for the attraction. SeaWorld Orlando is even offering up a free download of the song at SeaWorldOrlando.com/Antarctica.

Finally, the huge crowd was allowed to be among the first to ride the new attraction. The ride is a first-of-its-kind trackless adventure ride suitable for the whole family. Each mobile simulator ride car allows guests to choose one of two levels of exploration — Wild Expedition or Mild Expedition — for various degrees of ride intensity.

The story of the ride follows the adventures of Puck the Penguin, and the car moves and reacts to his experiences, such as waddling, swimming and more.

SeaWorld Orlando Antarctica grand opening - penguins

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Shipyard Emporium Hosts Grand Opening in Winter Park on January 28

Those who appreciate beer may already be familiar with the Shipyard Brewing Company. The brewer not only offers its fine craft beer in stores, but has several brewpubs in the Northeast U.S.

Well, the company has a new location in the Orlando area and it’s much more than the traditional brewpub, as it also incorporates a local market and bakery. The Shipyard Emporium (as it is called) will also feature fine wine and hand-crafted local beer, as well as award-winning ales and Capt’n Eli’s Soda from the Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine.

Yes, you read that right – not only will they sell the company’s bottled libations, but will brew their own. There is a 28-gallon brewing system on premises that will serve as the caldron for Orlando brewer Ron Raike’s concoctions.

This Friday, January 28, the Shipyard Emporium will be holding a grand opening celebration. In addition to food and beverage samples, there will be an interactive photo booth, entertainment and a chance to meet the staff, including Shipyard Brewing Company’s owner, Fred Forsley.

The event runs from 6pm to 10pm and, according to general manager Allison Stevens, will “give customers the opportunity to meet local vendors, sample a variety of our food and beverage offerings, and check out everything our fresh marketplace has to offer.”

The Shipyard Emporium is located at 200 West Fairbanks Avenue (the former site of Strollo’s Cucino Due) in Winter Park, Florida.

[Image courtesy of Shipyard Brewing Company]

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