Orlando just got a whole lot more colorful. The area’s newest family attraction, Crayola Experience at The Florida Mall, celebrated its official grand opening on July 1.
Yes, you read that right: Crayola Experience is an attraction at The Florida Mall.
If you ask Kelly-Anne Suarez, assistant manager of communications for Crayola Experience, establishing the brand’s second location in Orlando (the original is located in Easton, Pa.) — and at The Florida Mall, specifically — was a no-brainer.
“I think, if you think of the number one brand loved by moms, obviously you’re going to think of Crayola, and Orlando is a number one family destination,” Suarez said. “When you look at the country as a whole, there are so many vibrant, wonderful cities, but when you look at Orlando you say, ‘This is a place where our family attraction will really thrive.'”
Families can enjoy 25 hands-on interactive activities resulting in, quite possibly, a full day at the mall (especially when you throw in the obligatory shopping). Crayola Experience officials say the average length of stay is 4 to 5 hours, but the fun can be extended all day or over the course of a year with an annual membership.
Those activities include “Be a Star,” where you jump in a photobooth, choose a background and pose among your favorite Crayola characters. The result is a printed-out black-and-white page that you can color at one of the many coloring stations. Then there’s “You Design,” an augmented and virtual reality studio where you can color, scan and digitally accessorize your car or fashion design to your unique style, then show it off on the giant screen.
The name of the game is creativity, and Crayola Experience offers plenty of opportunities to let expression run wild.
If you are going to make a day of it here, you’ll be happy to know there are food options: Café Crayola seats up to 200 guests. Once you’re here, you might feel a case of déjà vu. That’s because it’s in the same space once known as Café Bistro as part of Nordstrom. Less than a year after the department store left the mall, Crayola Experience and Dick’s Sporting Goods have opened in its place.
Serving home to an attraction may be new, but The Florida Mall has always excelled in experiential retail. Throw in the fact that there’s the 6,000-square-foot Crayola Store guests can access from inside the mall or when exiting the attraction, and it’s easy to see that this is a match made in heaven.
“We have seen The Florida Mall really become a destination in and of itself, so to have the opportunity to work with Simon, to work with this group of people, who have been so welcoming and so excited to have us here, it’s really been a seamless, natural thing,” Suarez said.
The store offers a wide variety of Crayola products and souvenirs, including items specially created in The Florida Mall’s signature color, orchid, as well as items of interest to Brazilian visitors and a 96-count crayon box that showcases the attraction’s Orlando location. And you can’t miss the “Pick Your Pack” wall, where you can create your own custom crayon assortment choosing from 99 of Crayola’s most popular colors.
Beyond the typical family visit, group packages are also available for birthday parties, field trips, business meetings, team-building and other special events.
Tickets can be purchased on-site or in advance at www.crayolaexperience.com/orlando. General admission is $19.99 per person, and kids under 2 are admitted for free. An annual pass goes for $29.99 per person. Crayola Experience is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.