Out and About: Aloma Bowl Shows Off Its New Look in Winter Park

This week, Aloma Bowl in Winter Park celebrated its Grand Re-oPINing by giving us and other local media, a look at its recent upgrade.

Aloma Bowl in Winter Park; photo by Tom Knapp

After a year long renovation project, which included lane improvements and updated scoring systems they are ready to invite the public in to enjoy their new interior and expanded game area which event includes new carpet and seating.

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Orlando Science Center Plans for $30 Million Renovation Project

The Orlando Science Center is moving forward with plans for a $30 million renovation project with recent donation pledges.

Orlando Science Center

Phase one of the project includes moving KidsTown, an area for children 7 and under, to the second floor and expanding it. When finished, KidsTown will be three times the size at 11,000-sq-ft. Construction is expected to start next spring, and be completed by the end of 2016.

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Orlando’s Florida Mall Plans New Food Pavilion and Redesigned Entrance

Florida Mall

Florida Mall has released plans to create a new food pavilion in a portion of the former Saks building.

The new food area will feature 16 eateries, including several new dining choices. The new design doubles the available seating and will feature indoor and outdoor dining options.

The existing food space will continue to serve customers until the new food pavilion opens, which is expected to be in spring 2015.

Here are some artist renderings of what the food pavilion will look like when completed:

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Unveils New $16 Million Entry Plaza


Yesterday (December 27), the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex unveiled the first phase of a 10-year Master Plan to enhance the guest experience, when it opened a new $16 million entry.

The new entry includes:

  • a grand plaza and fountain
  • ticket stations and self-service kiosks
  • will call, guest services and information stations
  • a retail shop
  • a restaurant

The new entrance draws guests from the parking lot into a grand entry plaza where they are greeted by a first-ever 3D representation of the NASA insignia that spans 13 feet in diameter.

To the right of the globe stands a 75-foot-long fountain that pays homage to the dreams of late President John F. Kennedy, for whom NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is named.

Kennedy’s face, along with a quote from his famous 1962 “moon speech” at Rice University, are laser etched onto a skyward-reaching arch of blue granite that stands 30-feet at its highest point. The inscription reads, “For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond…”

The 5,000-gallon fountain is lit in the evenings with LED lights and features 26 jets of water that can be programmed to create light shows for guests as they exit the park or during evening special events or exhibitions.

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Plaza Live to Temporarily Close for Renovations

One of the best places to see live music will close this month for renovations.

The Plaza Live, which hosts both national and local musicians, will be closing so that much needed roof renovations can be done.

The venue will be closed from August 20 until September 22, 2012.

The Steve Aoki show that was scheduled during this down time has been moved to The Roxy on August 30.

Mid-Week Break: Orlando Around the Web for December 16, 2010

While I’m working hard to bring you news and reviews of things happening around Orlando and its surroundings, there are some other great blogs out there who are doing the same.

So here are some recent posts that you might enjoy reading.

aXis Magazine covered the grand opening of World of Beer’s UCF location and they have the photos to prove it. A beer store near UCF?? If they can’t make a go of it, nobody can.

Central Florida Top 5 did a round-up themselves this week. Check out all the local newsy videos they’ve highlighted like Lee DeWyze at Blue Martini and the Goo Goo Dolls at House of Blues.

Tiffany at The Good Travel Life wrote about her visit to the Orlando Science Center. Kirby at Space Coast Blogger also did a post on the OSC. It’s really a fun place to visit.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that former WESH news anchor Wendy Chioji has joined forces with fellow WESH alumni Marc Middleton and Bill Shafer on a PBS show called “Growing Bolder.” The show is heading into its second season and is produced in Maitland.

Finally, John at The Disney Blog says the Fantasyland Expansion impact on Magic Kingdom will be huge. Be prepared for longer lines at MK rides in 2011, while all the renovations happen.

Walt Disney World Files Plans for Pleasure Island Renovations

Monday, the blog Save Pleasure Island, uncovered construction permits filed by Walt Disney World for the “Pleasure Island/Downtown Disney Re-Development Project.”

The first permit requests permission to have construction trailers on the property, but it’s the second one that is of most interest.

This one is a permit for “Overall Site Construction,” specifically naming certain areas on the island.

Of most importance to long-time fans of PI is the mention of area development between the Comedy Warehouse building and the demolished BET and Adventurer Club. That’s right…they are officially going to be tearing down the Adventurers Club, closing all rumors that it might receive a last minute reprieve despite all the pleas from long-time fans.

No word on what will go up in its place.

The area between Portobello restaurant and Raglan Road was also mentioned on the permit. This combined with the construction already underway next to Fulton’s and Portobello leads me to believe the main walkway onto the island from that area is being rerouted.

The permits also make mention of a Valet Parking area by Bridge #2.

As the Disney Blog points out, the original plans filed upon the closing of the Pleasure Island nightclubs in September 2008 called for remaking the lagoon side of the island into a string of restaurants operated by outside vendors that would provide views of a new nightly fireworks show.

So far, all that has materialized from that is the opening of Paradiso 37.

Despite WDW’s claim of wanting to make PI more family friendly, it really needs to put in more nightlife options. Not everybody who visits Walt Disney World comes with kids and it’d be nice to have options after the parks close. But so far, Disney is keeping mum on exact plans for Pleasure Island.

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