As the year comes to a close, stay updated on all things Orlando with us. Join us in exploring the city's vibrant scene. More than just real estate guides, we're your neighbors, ready to share the inside scoop.
Revitalizing Historic Bob Carr Theater: City Hall Seeks Visionary Design Firm
In an ambitious move to transform the Parramore neighborhood's cultural hub, the City of Orlando is actively seeking a design firm for the dynamic revival of the 97-year-old Bob Carr Theater. Nestled west of I-4 within the Creative Village development, this 60,000-square-foot gem is set for a $30 million redevelopment as part of Creative Village's second phase. A recent Request for Qualification (RFQ) calls for proposals by January 24, envisioning adaptive reuse possibilities such as a community theater, educational spaces in collaboration with Valencia and UCF, and an innovative e-game arena. The project aligns with plans to introduce over 400 apartments, offices, and a hotel. Anticipated groundbreaking in 2025 signals a transformative journey, injecting fresh vigor into Orlando's cultural heritage.
Discover Extraordinary Art at The Florida Mall and Win Big
Calling all Instagram aficionados! Head to The Florida Mall and capture a mesmerizing shot at the striking Unbelievably Real mural, situated near the main entrance by Footlocker. Your creativity could be your ticket to an incredible prize!
Snap a photo at the new Unbelievably Real mural and stand a chance to win an exciting package, featuring 2-Park 3-Day admissions for a group of 4 to Universal Orlando Resort, round trip limousine transportation, a 3-night hotel stay at The Florida Hotel and Conference Center, and a $500 American Express® Simon Giftcard®.
To enter, share your original mural photo on Instagram, mentioning @shopfloridamall, @visitorlando, and @universalorlando. Include the hashtags #ShopFloridaMall, #VisitOrlando, and #UniversalOrlando in the comments. Follow @shopfloridamall, @visitorlando, and @universalorlando. The deadline for entry is December 18, 2023. Full details here.
Sweet Delights Unleashed: Shipley Do-Nuts Dazzles Orlando's Taste Buds
Orlando is now home to the delectable Shipley Do-Nuts, a Texan gem celebrated for its hand-cut hexagon-shaped donuts, promising a delightfully light and fluffy texture. Nestled at 2255 South Semoran Boulevard, this haven of sweetness is already serving up daily-made treats, with a second location at 5919 S Orange Blossom Trail opening soon. Spearheaded by MLD Hospitality LLC, led by industry veteran Michael Burns, Shipley plans five Orange County locations, eyeing a potential future of 50.
Founded in 1936 in Houston, Shipley's expansion focus includes over 350 new spots in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado, and Texas. CEO Clifton Rutledge touts Shipley as the "World's Greatest Do-Nut," drawing in franchisees and customers alike. Orlando, prepare for a sugary symphony with Shipley Do-Nuts!
Plaza Theater: Six Decades of Cultural Legacy
Sixty years ago, Orlando's Plaza Theater opened, debuting with John Wayne's "McClintock." Evolving into Plaza Live, hosting acts from Lyle Lovett to Rufus du Sol, and housing the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, it's now undergoing a $10 million renovation. Despite the iconic spire's recent absence, Megan Kelly, Plaza Foundation's executive director, promises a January reopening with shows starting Jan. 9. Look forward to the spire's return with new LED lighting, coinciding with Orlando Weekly's Whiskey Business on Feb. 16, 2024, at this revamped cultural hub. Celebrating Plaza Theater's 60th birthday, it stands as a testament to Central Florida's enduring cultural legacy, predating even Walt Disney's theme park announcement by nearly two years.
Allegiant's Soaring Offer: New Routes from Orlando International Airport
Exciting news for travelers! Allegiant is set to launch nonstop service to/from Orlando International Airport (MCO) come May 2024, offering budget-friendly fares starting at $49 one-way. This marks Allegiant's first venture to and from MCO, expanding its network with destinations like Asheville, Allentown, and Knoxville. Drew Wells, Allegiant's Senior VP of Revenue and Planning, expressed enthusiasm, stating, "The announcement of new service is a celebration of the success we've had in these markets." In addition to MCO, Allegiant is introducing routes to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), including Rapid City. As a dynamic airline committed to accessible travel, Allegiant continues to connect travelers with top-notch destinations since 1999. Learn more at Allegiant.com.
Indulge in Czech Delights: Crispy Cones Brings Unique Soft Serve to Orlando
Prepare your taste buds for a delectable experience as Crispy Cones introduces Czech-style chimney cake ice cream cones to Orlando! Nestled adjacent to the Hourglass Social House at 2415 Curry Ford Road, this specialty shop crafts stumpy, croissant-like cones dusted with cinnamon and sugar. These delightful cones are then lined with indulgent spreads like Nutella or peanut butter, filled with premium ice cream, and adorned with toppings such as graham crackers, strawberries, Oreos, and more. To elevate the experience, a finishing touch of raspberry or caramel sauce is drizzled on top. The former Freehand Goods storefront will soon host this unique ice cream haven, promising a culinary adventure for locals.
Experience Holiday Magic: Miracle on Orange Returns to Courtesy Bar
Get ready for festive cheer as Miracle on Orange returns to The Courtesy Bar in Winter Park for its second year! From November to December 30, the bar undergoes a Christmas-themed transformation, offering a unique experience with special holiday decorations, a new cocktail menu, plenty of selfie opportunities, and an array of delightful tiki mugs for purchase. While Miracle is in full swing, the regular cocktail menu takes a brief hiatus but will make a triumphant return in the new year. Join in the holiday spirit at The Courtesy Bar and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Miracle on Orange!
Universal's Cosmic Revelation: Stella Nova Resort Emerges Near Epic Universe
In an accidental revelation by a Universal Orlando partner, the Stella Nova Resort is set to grace the entrance of Epic Universe theme park in January 2025. Inspired by the vastness of the unknown universe, the twin resorts boast exteriors adorned with thousands of reflective tiles resembling swirling gases and stars. Bioreconstruct's Twitter page shared construction images, offering a sneak peek into the cosmic design. Stella Nova, with 750 guest rooms, a resort-style pool, and themed dining options, is scheduled to open on Jan. 21, 2025, aligning with Epic Universe's debut later in the same year. While prices are yet to be disclosed, Stella Nova promises a prime-value experience akin to Universal's esteemed resorts like Cabana Bay and Aventura. Positioned on Epic Boulevard, these hotels offer free transportation to and from the parks and form part of the grand Epic Universe, set to feature Super Nintendo World and rumored attractions inspired by Universal Monsters, How to Train Your Dragon, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Donatos Pizza Grows its Orlando Presence: New Location Set for Clermont
Exciting news for pizza enthusiasts in Orlando! Donatos Pizza, renowned for its premium offerings and abundance of toppings, is expanding its footprint with a new location in Clermont. Already a beloved spot in Winter Park, the upcoming restaurant signifies a chapter of growth and expansion into new pockets of Orlando. Jeff Baldwin, VP of Franchise Development at Donatos Pizza, expressed enthusiasm, stating, "It's an exciting chapter in the Donatos Pizza story as we continue our growth momentum, expanding into Orlando." The move underscores the brand's commitment to reaching more communities in Florida, catering to both locals and tourists. Kevin King, President of Donatos Pizza, emphasizes the brand's unique pizza experience and looks forward to providing their famous Edge to Edge® toppings and warm hospitality in these evolving communities. As Donatos Pizza enhances its presence in Orlando, the upcoming Clermont location adds to the brand's national success, now boasting over 460 locations across 29 states. For more information, visit Donatos Franchise.
Hello Kitty's Whisker-Worthy Arrival: Pop-Up at Florida Mall this Weekend
Get ready for a purr-fectly delightful experience as the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck rolls into the Florida Mall on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This one-day pop-up, stationed near the Crayola Experience, invites feline enthusiasts to indulge in exclusive merchandise available only at the truck. The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck offers limited edition sweatshirts and T-shirts, cuddly Hello Kitty plushes, water bottles, cookie sets, and other memorabilia that's a must-have for fans. Note that the pop-up is now cashless, accepting only credit and debit card payments.
Raise a Glass: Flutes Champagne Bar Bubbles Up in Winter Park Village
Celebrate the season with effervescence as Flutes Champagne Bar, a new Orlando delight, unveils its doors in late November or early December at Winter Park Village (480 N. Orlando Ave). This champagne haven promises an opulent experience with an extensive selection that will transport your senses to the vineyards of France. Spearheaded by partners Alexie Fonseca, Maritza Spero, and Christian Arqueros, also known for their success with Grape & The Grain in Ivanhoe Village, Flutes aims to perfect every detail for its grand opening. Stay tuned for a week of training to ensure an impeccable experience. Follow Flutes on Instagram for updates and anticipate a sparkling addition to your festive celebrations!