Locals have reconnected with an old friend and are hanging out on International Drive. Now, top attractions, bars, restaurants and night clubs which have sprung up in the past decade on I-Drive
are looking to amplify the trend by creating the Orlando Entertainment District and increasing communication with local residents.
ICON Park’s president and CEO Chris Jaskiewicz is leading the charge to brand the area the Entertainment District. “Orlando has a rich history of vibrant entertainment districts, such as Church Street Station in the 1970-80s, and then Pleasure Island in 90s and early 2000s. We now have what those spots had and more – nightly live entertainment at Ole Red and Tin Roof, fun night clubs such as Mango’s, top restaurants such as Yard House, Uncle Julio’s, Sugar Factory, three dinner theaters, bowling, and 15 great attractions from the 400 foot high Wheel to a Titanic museum with hundreds of artifacts recovered from the ship.”
"There is a pent-up demand for high quality fun, entertainment and dining – even if you’re on a budget,'' said Jaskiewicz. “Locals have rediscovered the entertainment value of I-Dive and how easy it is to get here, and they’re loving it. About 75% of our guests now are locals, so we want to make sure all our residents know what is available to them here in their own town and state, especially as their out-of-state travel is limited by the pandemic.”
Over the past decade, billions of dollars have been invested in International Drive, as developers, the Orange County Convention Center, and Orange County officials have worked together to create a world class destination which became one of the nation’s busiest spots for visitors. In 2015, Orange County’s I-Drive 2040 Vision plan was adopted with a a special district as the gateway to International Drive, and now business leaders there are taking steps to brand it as the Entertainment District.
“This is a perfect example of the public and private sectors working together in a smart way – Orange County created a gateway district under their 2040 Vision Plan and now business leaders are branding it to help all businesses on International Drive” said Luann Brooks, who is the Executive Director of the International Drive Business Improvement District.
The Entertainment District has launched a website, social media and publicity to increase awareness about the following venues:
A 20-acre open-air dining, shopping and attraction destination in heart of I-Drive which is home to attractions The Wheel, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Orlando StarFlyer, Pearl Express children’s train, Arcade City, and 7D Darkride Adventure and restaurants and bars including Yard House, Tin Roof, Uncle Julio’s, Ole Red, Tapa Toro, Sugar Factory, Buffalo Wild Wings and Shake Shack.
A nightclub offering Brazilian Samba, Cuban Conga and a variety of Latin beats to Hip-hop, 80s & 90s hits and Michael Jackson Acts also known for its Dinner & Show, a throwback to the classic supper clubs of yesteryear: The “Tropicana” in Havana, Cuba and the Cotton Club of New York City.
Takes guests on a journey back in time to April 1912, when the ship embarked on its maiden voyage. Guests receive a replica boarding pass, assume the role of a passenger and follow a chronological journey through life on Titanic. The Exhibition features more than 300 artifacts directly from the wreck site of Titanic. Access full-scale room re-creations including the famous Grand Staircase, Promenade Deck and First Class Cabin.
Features self guided tours of hundreds of exhibits from the worlds of science, hands-on interactive displays, videos, wax figures, cartoons, photos, rare artifacts, and special effects.
Voted “Best Miniature Golf” in Florida, players putt through mountain caves, across a full-scale pirate ship, over footbridges and under cascading waterfalls.
Features luxury bowling, billiards, energetic music, sports viewing, nostalgic retro video gaming, and food and drinks.
A dinner show for children and adults alike featuring a cast of entertainers, acrobats, and cutthroats - sword fights, songs, sea monsters, and a captain’s feast.
A 45 minute comedy mystery where all the clues are presented to dinner guests who formulate questions for a live interrogation to help solve the crime.
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