Crayola Experience Coming to Orlando’s Florida Mall in 2015

Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall

Crayola announced this week that it will open a Crayola Experience at the Florida Mall in 2015.

At Crayola Experience Orlando, families will enjoy many of the brand’s signature attractions – such as “Wrap it Up!” where you can name and wrap an authentic Crayola crayon and “Be a Star,” where you can star in your very own coloring page – as well as some exciting new attractions that will debut in Orlando.

The attraction also will have a retail store where guests will discover hundreds of unique Crayola products and souvenirs only found at Crayola Experience.

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Gatorland Offers $9.99 Florida Resident Rate with Free Second Day Through October 31, 2013

Gatorland is once again offering their special $9.99 Florida Resident rate, but they’re sweetening the deal by offering a second day free.

GatorlandYes, if you have a Florida ID, you can get two days at the popular Orlando attraction for only $9.99 (plus tax). And it doesn’t matter what age you are. That means a family of four can visit for about half the cost one ticket at the larger theme parks in the area.

Gatorland is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, including four extremely rare leucistic “white” alligators. There is also a free-flight aviary, petting zoo, one of a kind animal shows, natural alligator breeding marsh, Florida panthers, and more.

The offer is valid through October 31.2013. The second day free can be redeemed December 1-20, 2013.

Gatorland is located at 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando.

Fun Spot to Build Three Rollercoasters at Orlando Location

Fun Spot is a nice alternative to the theme parks. The two locations – Orlando and Kissimmee – are smaller and less expemsive.

Both attractions feature carnival-style rides, go-karts, and a SkyCoaster swing ride.


Now, it appears the Orlando location will be expanding and upping the thrills with the addition of three rollercoasters.

White Lightning will be Orlando’s first wooden rollercoaster. The name is inspired by Orlando’s reputation for being the “lightning capital of the world.”

The coaster will feature wooden tracks with metal supports. Among its highlights will be a 75-foot lift hill with a 58-degree drop, as well as banked hills and sharp turns.

Great Coasters is building the coaster. They also built Busch Garden Tampa’s Gwazi dueling wooden roller coaster.

The second coaster doesn’t have a name yet, but it is a suspended coaster. This means that instead of the seats being on top of the track, riders are hanging from the track, with the feet dangling in the air. It’s being built by the Dutch company Vekoma.

The third will be a children’s roller coaster.

Fun Spot will also be adding more traditional amusement park-style rides, as well as expanding the go kart tracks.

There will also be a new entrance building and a new parking lot. The size of the attraction will increase from 5 to 15 acres.

This part is expected to be done by spring 2013. Once it opens, Fun Spot will change its name to Fun Spot America.

A few years down the road, the attraction plans a “phase two” of the expansion, that will include the addition of a water park, and possible a dinner theater complex.

No word on what the prices will be when “phase one” opens, but I expect it to be comparable to the theme park ticket prices.

Fun Spot Orlando is located at 5551 Del Verde Way in Orlando. That is one block east of the intersection of International Drive and Kirkman Road, near Universal Orlando. Their phone is 407-363-3867.

Here are some artist renderings of the park map following the renovations, courtesy of Fun Spot Attractions:

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Hollywood Drive-In Golf Now Open at Universal Orlando CityWalk

As if there wasn’t enough to do at Universal CityWalk, there is now a dual course mini-golf attraction open.

Located at the entrance area, next to the movie theaters, Hollywood Drive-In Golf is themed towards two popular 1950s era drive-in movie genres.

The Haunting of Ghostly Greens themed after horror films, and includes a graveyard and other spooky scenes. It’s the darker lit of the two. Invaders from Planet Putt is all about alien invasions and other sci-fi themes. It has more stairs and multilevel challenges.

Play one course for $13.99 adult/$11.99 age 3-9 or do both courses for $24.99 adult/$20.99 ages 3-9. The nice thing is if you opt to do both, you don’t have to play them back to back. Save your receipt and come back at a later time or even another day. Florida residents and Universal Orlando pass holders get a 10% discount on all rates.

Hollywood Drive-In Golf is open daily 8am to 2am.

Legoland Florida to Hold Grand Opening on October 15

It’s been months in the planning and even longer in the building, but the due date is finally here. Legoland Florida will open to the public on Saturday, October 15, 2011.


Located about 45 minutes south of Disney, on the former grounds of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Legoland Florida is the newest of the company’s five theme parks worldwide. It’s also the largest, with 150-acres to explore and play in.

Aimed at families with children age 2-12, the park has more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. For the older kids, there are interactive Lego models to play with, and four rollercoasters to ride, most of them rather mild compared to most of what’s offered at Orlando’s big three theme parks (Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld).

Though most areas of the park are geared towards all kids, DUPLO Village is designed for the toddlers and pre-teens, and the younger ones will also enjoy LEGO City. Most all rides have a minimum height of 36″, and some require an adult or other rider 48″ or taller to accompany the smaller riders.

Of course, this being Legoland, there are areas to build things with the bricks and adults will get a kick out of Miniland USA, an area with scaled down replicas of cities like Las Vegas and New York City. There is also a Florida area, with recreations of popular state areas like Key West, Daytona International Speedway and the Kennedy Space Center. I was hoping for a Star Wars Lego Miniland area, like their San Diego park has, but alas, no.

Single day tickets online are $65 for adults and $55 for ages 3-12 and seniors 60 and older. Annual passes are available starting at $129 for adults and $99 for kids/seniors. You can also buy a lifetime pass good for all Legoland parks for $2500 per person, regardless of age. Buy admission online to save time and money at the entrance. Otherwise at the gate, single day tickets will be $10 more.

Park hours are a 10am daily opening, with park closing most days 5pm. Holidays the park may stay open to 6 or 7pm. Check the schedule online to be sure.

Don’t want to drive all the way to Winter Haven? No problem. Legoland offers a special shuttle bus that offers roundtrip service from the Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Ave to Legoland Florida, for only $5 per person. It leaves once a day at 9am and returns in the evening after the park closes.

For more information on Legoland Florida, or the company’s four other theme parks (Carlsbad/San Diego, California; Billund, Denmark; Gunzburg, Germany; and Windsor/London, England), visit

[Images © LEGOLAND Florida]

Universal Orlando Unveils Plans to Add Miniature Golf to CityWalk

Today Universal Orlando announced plans to add on to their CityWalk section with two 18-hole miniature golf courses.

According to UO, both courses will be themed after the horror and sci-fi flicks of the 1950s. Collectively known as “Hollywood Drive-In Golf,” the horror course will be called “The Haunting of Ghostly Greens” and the sci-fi one will be “Invaders from Planet Putt.”

The family-friendly courses will use cutting-edge interactive technology and will have guests playing through obstacles like a giant spider, a flying saucer and into the basement lab of a haunted house. There will also be LED lighting along the course so guests can play at night.

UO says the mini golf addition will be located on the first level of CityWalk, next to the AMC Cineplex, so guests can see it as they can see it as they exit the parking garages.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, with plans for completion in early 2012.

Will you play mini golf at Universal Orlando when it’s open?

Future Home of Hollywood Drive-In Golf Miniature Golf Courses
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