Out and About: Sugar Factory Orlando Previews Its Menu

I recently got a chance to attend a media preview of the Sugar Factory Orlando menu, and the items we got to try were good.

Sugar Factory Orlando

Even though most people think of drinks and sweets when they think of the Sugar Factory, they actually have quite a few savory items worth ordering.

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Out and About: CSI: The Experience Brings the TV Show to Life in a Safe and Fun Way

Recently we had the chance to check out CSI: The Experience on I-Drive, and found it to be an interesting attraction.

CSI: The Experience in Orlando

We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the exhibit, so we can’t spoil any of the clues for you budding forensic scientists. But we did get a walk-through.

You get one of three crime scenes to solve, each one color coded so you can follow the clues throughout the exhibit. You even get a CSI branded vest to wear while solving your case.

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First Look Artist Rendering of Mango’s Tropical Cafe Orlando

Last summer, we told you that Mango’s Tropical Cafe Orlando would be opening on International Drive. This week, we have a first glimpse at the interior, courtesy of an artist rendering provided by Mango’s COO Joshua Wallack.

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando

The rendering is of the main bar areas and show floor where Mango’s dancers will perform for guests in the evening. If it’s anything like the original Mango’s Tropical Cafe in South Beach Miami, they’ll even be dancing on top of the bars.

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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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Shake Shack Announces Plans to Open I-Drive Location in Orlando

Shake Shack mealShake Shack is about to get its second Central Florida location as the eatery announces plans for an I-Drive location.

The New York-based company made the announcement this week that they have signed a lease for space at the upcoming I-Drive 360 complex, next to the recently opened Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, and Yard House.

This location, along International Drive’s tourist corridor and with close proximity to the Orange County Convention Center, should bode well for its success.

It was less than a month ago that Shake Shack opened their first Central Florida location in Winter Park, next to Trader Joe’s. We had a chance to try it’s delicious burgers, hot dogs, and frozen custard, and I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t enjoy (though if you like heat, go for the SmokeShack burger).

No word as to when the I-Drive 360 location will be open, but as soon as we get a date, we will definitely let you know.

Have you had a chance to try Shake Shack yet? What do you think of their offerings?

New to I-Drive: DRIP Offers Fun Interactive Artistic Dance Show

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There’s a new show on I-Drive called DRIP, but that name doesn’t even begin to cover the liquid mayhem that awaits inside.

Set in a warehouse-style setting in the back of the building that houses Denny’s and Senor Frogs, the show is more freeform than other artistic theater-style productions in Orlando, like Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba and Blue Man Group. Though it does bear a passing resemblance to BMG in that it is loud, creative, and messy.

DRIP starts out of the blue, with dancing in the bar area. It’s here that you first start to get wet, as drinks are flung from pitchers with abandon.

The crowd is then ushered into a second room with no seats. Where you got your hand stamped at the entrance determines where you stand in the room.

Then the show really starts.

Dancers inside a plastic screen cage use movements and different mediums, such as paint, water, and sand, to tell a story of love found, then lost. It’s all set to music played by a live band.

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But soon after starting, the plastic walls are removed and the entire room – and the guests in it – become part of the show.

Yes, that means you will end up wet with water or paint or both, along with a healthy dose of sand in and on your clothing.

That’s ok, though, because that’s what makes this show so fun and exciting.

My friend Patti and I went Saturday night (Jan 5) and it was a sold out show. We both had a lot of fun, though I was more paint adventurous.

Neither of us drank anything, but they do offer up unlimited beer and wine for $8.

Don’t bother bringing the kids – this show is 21 and over only. You are asked to sign a waiver when you enter to signify that you understand you will get wet and messy at this show. There is also liberal use of strobe lights, if that bothers you.

DRIP plays Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, at 8pm. I recommend showing up 15-20 minutes early. Tickets are $35 at the door, but buy them online at ILoveDRIP.com, and you can get them for $29 (a $6 savings!).

It’s located at 8747 International Drive. Go directly behind the Denny’s (like if it were a backdoor entrance). You’ll see the DRIP banner hanging. There is free parking (first come); after that, there is $5 parking or complimentary valet at Senor Frogs, next door.

If you really want to enjoy the show, dress down, in clothing you don’t mind getting stuff on. I would even recommend wearing a white shirt – or buy one there for $8. Then, after the show, and all the paint, you have a souvenir to take home. Wear comfortable old shoes, as you’ll be standing the whole show and you will get them dirty. I’d also suggest bringing towels for your car seats, if you feel like getting exceptionally messy.

And bring friends. DRIP is way more fun with friends.

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The Bar Pre-Show

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WhirlyBall Comes to International Drive in Orlando this Spring; Hiring Event to be Held April 2

There seems to be a lot of businesses flocking to International Drive lately, and one of the latest is WhirlyDome, which will take over the old Sports Dominator building.

Inside will be two courts for playing WhirlyBall, a team-based hybrid of bumper cars, jai alai and basketball. There will be one on each floor. Also inside will be laser tag, arcade games, pool tables and a Formula One racing simulator by Evotek Engineering.

Those that work up an appetite on playing can slake their hunger and thirst at the Bloodhound Brew Pub & Eatery.

There are already venues operating in Chicago, Detroit, and Atlanta, but the company says this will be their first in such a tourist-heavy location. Sounds like fun for the whole family.

The WhirlyDome is located at 6464 International Drive, near Wet & Wild, and will be opening sometime this spring.

The venue will be holding a hiring event on April 2, 2012, from 11am to 6pm at the Ramada Plaza at 6500 International Drive. Positions available are bartenders, servers, hosts and hostesses, bussers, line cooks and dishwashers. For applications and more info, visit whirlydome.com.

Fun Spot to Expand International Drive Location in 2012

Their tagline is “it’s huge!” and local amusement park The Fun Spot is about to live up to that with plans to expand their original location at the north end of International Drive.

Among the additions planned are adding on to the already popular go-kart section, as well as installing several rollercoasters. The park says they will also be installing a SkyCoaster ride, which has proven to be very popular at the company’s second location in Kissimmee, next to Old Town.

An all-day pass currently costs around $35. Once the expansion is finished, reps for the Fun Spot say that price will go up, but It will still be cheaper than spending a day at one of the big three theme parks. The SkyCoaster will probably be priced as a separate ticket, just as it is at the Kissimmee location.

Have you ever spent the day at one of The Fun Spots? Do you feel it’s a good value for the price paid? Let us know in the comments.

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt to Open Second Orlando Location on I-Drive

Back on August 19, 2009, the nationally-known Pinkberry frozen yogurt chain opened their first Orlando location in Dr.Phillips.

We were there to cover the grand opening, and I can vouch that every flavor I’ve tried has been yummy.

Now they’re spreading their fro-yo love to the Orlando Premium Outlets – International Drive (formerly Prime Outlets) at the northern end of I-Drive by Universal.

The new location is set to open April 1, 2011. In the meantime, you can follow them on Twitter @PinkberryFla.

And of course, still enjoy delicious Pinkberry at The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips (corner of Dr. Phillips Blvd and Sand Lake Dr).

Dave & Buster’s to Build Orlando Location on I-Drive

If you’ve ever taken your kids to a Chuck E. Cheese and thought, “I wish they had one of these for adults,” then you’ll want to know about what is soon to be the newest addition to International Drive.

Dave & Buster’s combines a restaurant, a bar, and an area with the latest interactive and video games. The whole idea is a total night out. Grab a meal, have a few drinks and play a few games with your friends.

The dining/entertainment complex will be taking over the former site of Race Rock, so it will have a great location on I-Drive. The Dallas-based company plans to demolish the existing building and construct a new one in its place.

Dave & Buster’s is planning on a summer 2011 opening. It will be the company’s  first Orlando location, and its first new Florida location in ten years. There are also locations in Jacksonville and Miami.

[Image courtesy Dave & Busters]

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