ORLANDO International Drive - What's new in 2021?

ORLANDO International Drive - What's new in 2021?

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Welcome to Orlando, Florida, America's number one tourism destination. [music] Orlando is especially famous for the theme parks... Ah! - Hi there, pal. - Hi.

...but there's actually so much more you can do here. Oh, my God! And there's one avenue here that connects most major attractions in town. They're either along this road or nearby, including theme parks. [screaming] From here you can even see Volcano Bay, Universal's water park.

Yes, you're right. It's International Drive. If you came here before the pandemic, it's time to come back, because there are so many new things going on here. It's like businesses took the down time to invest on new attractions. There are new places to stay, new restaurants. Some, unfortunately, replacing those that didn't survive the crisis. In this video, we're going to drive along International Drive from south to north.

That's because most of the attractions I want to show you are located on the right-hand side, so it makes it much easier to park, and then continue. Come here, I want to show you something very interesting on International Drive. Get ready.

Tada! - Gators. - Yeah. - Real live gators. - Yeah. - And a turtle, it's sitting on them. - Yeah, she doesn't fear them. Oh. Oh, my God! It is so crazy that they're just here out on the streets.

Look at this. Anyone can come here and see. This is Gator Golf.

It's a miniature golf course in the heart of International Drive. And as the name suggests, there are gators here, you know, live gators. There are even more inside.

Now we're so early that they are still closed. Let's go, baby. Just like Vegas. - Yeah, it is. - Shops and shops and shops, and fun and fun and fun to spend your money. - [laughs] - Go poor.

- Almost like that. While we drive, let me answer a very common question many people have about International Drive. Can you walk down International Drive? Can you, Gordon? - Yeah, you can.

But you don't want to because it's a really long distance from one end to the other. You can walk parts of it, but not the entire thing because it's an 11-mile long road. - If you want to get exercise, you can. - Only if you want a lot of exercise.

[laughs] Some of the attractions have multiple locations here, and there are similar businesses. For example, there are two outlet malls. There are three entertainment parks. There are... What else?

Five mini golf courses. One of them in the dark, by the way. And some of the most famous American chain restaurants also have multiple locations, like there are various McDonald's, Denny's, IHOP, Pizza Hut. You get the idea. So keep in mind that just because your hotel is on International Drive, it doesn't mean you can walk all over. - There's a trolley you can take. - That's right, there's a trolley.

It's just $2. - There you go. - Do you realize where we are? - In a mall. - Yes, but it's right beside Vineland Premium Outlets Right over there. - Oh, really?

- Yes. - You got a mall beside a mall. - Mall beside a mall, yes. - Oh, all the shopping South Americans could do.

- You know us, huh? - Yeah. - Fill that plane This is Vineland Pointe, it's Orlando's newest shopping destination. It's actually more than shopping.

There's also dining and entertainment here. It's a nice complement to Vineland Premium Outlets because there you have those traditional stores and all those famous brands that you normally find at an outlet. Here you get discount stores and there's even a grocery store. And obviously, there are more options for dining in addition to the food court over there.

It's great for people who live in this area here or are moving to this area here. I was reading actually about this area here and more than half a million homes are being built within 1.5 miles of Vineland. - Oh, really? Wow, that's a lot. - Isn't it crazy the amount of growth? - Yes. - Yeah, and we don't see them, right?

- Yeah. Not yet. - Yeah, it seems so quiet here. So peaceful. [laughs] Some of these shops were here before, but now the area seems almost complete. Just one open space here. Here's one of the most unique new attractions in Orlando, a Beer Spa.

The concept here is to relaxing beer while drinking beer. Is it good for you? - Do you drink the beer you relax in? - I don't know how it works. - I hope not. Let's go. - You can't. Look at that. You need a reservation. [laughs] This may seem like a crazy idea, but there's science behind it actually.

Supposedly the smell of hop makes you relax. - Oh. - Oh. - It won't work for you today. - I'll go to their competitors.

- They don't have competitors. This is unique. - Oh, yeah? - The first one in Florida. Yeah. - There are beer spas in other parts of the world, but first one in Florida. - Ah.

- A lot of these attractions are also new to us, and we live in Orlando. So just as an example, let me show you something very interesting nearby. There is is a Chocolate Museum and Cafe over here. Wouldn't it be great, baby? Imagine you get to try the chocolate in the end. - Oh, yeah. But it's closed, only opens in the afternoon.

And if you've been following our road trip all the way from South Carolina, you guessed it, we're home, but not for long, huh? This area here is full of hotels, and now there are at least three new ones. This one here is TRYP by Wyndham. Look how jammed it is here. They didn't even make enough parking. - It's crazy that it just opened, and it's this full, right? - Yeah, they got people parking in every way.

These guys are parked on the sidewalk. - Wow. - I got to go see Mickey! - [laughs] And in less than a mile, other two new hotels, baby, on International Drive. - Oh, my God [in Portuguese] - Here you find Aloft and Element, both belong to Marriott.

And remember, a lot of these condominiums being built here that I mentioned earlier, may soon become Airbnbs, too. SeaWorld is right here, almost in front, and they have some news. It's a new roller coaster, the Icebreaker. Totally crazy because it goes forward and backwards.

It's not these here, that you see from International Drive. Aquatica is almost across the street from SeaWorld on the other side of International Drive. And this is SeaWorld's Waterpark. They also have a new ride here. Actually, it's a different kind of water slide because it's a dueling waterslide.

You can compete with friends. It's the Riptide Race. It's the world's tallest dueling racer. This is the Convention Center. And very close, look at this, Pointe Orlando.

How much? - $5. - $5! - For two hours. - They raised prices, huh? - Pointe Orlando has several nice restaurants and shops, and it's very close to the Convention Center.

So it's great, let's say, if you're here for a conference, and you want to go for a happy hour somewhere nearby. Now, we're here in the morning when everything's closed. Things here only open in the afternoon and evenings. This is also great if you're just sightseeing in Orlando. Look at this, how nice. I love this area here.

There's even a new restaurant open during the pandemic. This one right here. And there's another one coming. It's the only thing that is open actually at Pointe Orlando, but that's because it's a weekend.

Normally, it only opens later, like the others. Such a lovely area, isn't it? - Yes. - So charming. - Yes. - Yeah. Looking forward to come back here with a lot of people outside

when everything is back to normal. - And you're feeding me. - Yes. - And you're feeding me. - Oh, that goes without saying, huh? - Yeah, yeah.

They are also renovating this area here. Oh, and if you park right here, a lot of these restaurants validate your parking ticket. And just for the sake of reference, we're right by the upside-down house.

This is WonderWorks, an interactive museum for kids So fun how a lot of people come here just to take pictures outside. [music] Oh, free parking, free parking. I always celebrate when we get here.

- Uh-oh. - It's busy already. - Because it's free parking. Hello! [music] The biggest game changer on International Drive is this place right here. This is ICON Park. It became kind of a center with a lot of things going on, and new things popping up every now and then.

That, by the way, is the world's tallest swing ride, StarFlyer, swinging at 450 feet in the sky. Imagine that. Not a new ride, it existed before, but still worth mentioning. [music] You know when you can't take pictures inside museums? This museum is exactly for you to take pictures. They have various scenarios like this creating illusions, so that you pose in a way that you can confuse everyone when you post on Instagram.

[music] Why you're looking so much, baby? You want to go? - No, I want to get out the sun - Yeah? - Uh-huh. - You're hungry, aren't you? - A little bit. - I know you are. - A little bit. - Let's go eat then. - It's not open. - You're gonna be the only ones there.

- I think so. - Here's a new restaurant that opened during the pandemic. This is Ole Red by Blake Shelton.

If you live overseas, you may not know him, but Blake Shelton is a country star here in America. He's also a judge at "The Voice." And he created this restaurant here where there's constantly live music. But not just any artist performing, they only bring those that they believe have a real future in the industry. So the claim is "come see them before the fame". Or not so much before, because some of them already made a name for themselves, too.

We're here so early in hopes of getting this place empty. They just opened, it's 11:30 now, but that's because it's a weekend. Normally, they only open at 5:00.

[music] Wow. Look at the stage here. It's right front and center. Music will be loud here. So here you got mainly burgers, sandwiches, salads. Oh, look at this. If you're a real fan, you can get one of these drinks, and take the glasses.

Look at this, how cool. - Cheers. - Cheers. Ah! These two pictures are country stars from the '60s, '70s.

- Oh, yeah? Oh, my God. Look at this, how cute. These are tots.

You can choose between fries or tots. Gordon went with fries. I went with tots. Hot. It's like hash browns. I love it. What did you get? - Barbecue pork sandwich.

- Okay. - Good? - Good. - And here is my turkey burger. It's huge. Oh, wow, look at this.

Onions here inside the burger. Wow! I think it's one of the best burgers I've ever had. Now you can see all the layers. Turkey burger with Pepper Jack cheese, buffalo onion rings, habanero mayo, and a Hawaiian bun.

- It's spicy. - Yeah, it's a little. - More than a little. - Yeah. Welcome to Ole Red, everybody. We're glad to be here. Just kick back, enjoy your Sunday, everybody. - This singer is from "The Voice."

- Yeah? - Yeah. Trey O'Dell. And guess in what team he was at "The Voice?" - Blake Shelton's. - Of course. - Of course. - [laughs] And the craziest thing is we come out, the weather changed totally, right? Yeah.

- Yeah. - It's raining. - It's so rainy, - Pretty soon, it'll be snowing. - Seriously, the weather here in Orlando during summer changes dramatically like this, from one moment to the next. Oh, baby, it is pouring now. Look at this! - Yeah. Luckily, the rain comes fast and goes fast here in Orlando.

We entered this main covered area here to escape the rain, and look at how busy it is. Wow. If you came here before when there were just three attractions, you'd be surprised to see this place today. There's a new attraction here, by the way, too. It's called In The Game, right here. This is so cool because they have traditional games here, but also a lot of virtual reality.

There's Escape Room, Maze of Mirrors, even a 7D Motion Theater. Imagine a 7D, baby. What is 7D? I'm still lost in 4D. - I'm lost in 3D. - I know you are. [laughs]

[laughs] You're so you. Here you can buy individual tickets to every attraction, or you buy a combo that includes all eight attractions at ICON Park for $69. And there are two new attractions here that should be ready by the end of the year, a Slingshot and a Drop Tower. We're talking about free falls.

Wow, look at this. Not just any Slingshot and Drop Tower, but the tallest in the world. Look at that. - Tallest... - Yes. - ...Ever! - Yes, they like superlatives here, no? - In this Drop Tower here, you should reach 75 miles an hour. That is crazy, huh? - Oh, loco. - [laughs]

Live music going on here, too. It's party time at ICON Park. Okay, so let's talk about Universal. Universal is not located on International Drive, but they're considered to be in the I-Drive District. And as they have major news, I thought it was fair to include in this video. Here, you see? We're right behind the Convention Center.

Now you may or you may not have heard of it that Universal is launching a new park, and it is right here, baby. - Well, let's be correct about it. They're building a new park, gonna be ready in... ...three years. - Now there's nothing here, it's just a construction site.

But the good news is that constructions are back. Everything stopped with the pandemic, people were even speculating if the entire project had been canceled. But, no, they're back now. Universal's Epic Universe.

What is it about? No one knows yet. - The epic universe of Universal. - Universal's chairman said that this will be their most immersive and innovative theme park. - Yes, I could imagine because it's all new technology.

- Yeah. - It's all designed new. New, new. Now, here we are on Universal Boulevard and we continue straight towards International Drive. This is another affordable hotel by Universal. Daily rates here start at $88.

This is the Dockside Inn and Suites at the Endless Summer Resort. Just like in the south, there are other hotels also opening or being built in this area right here, too. So you have a lot of new accommodation options. Here is Endless Summer Resort. There are two hotels over here. This is already International Drive, and if you keep straight through, you arrive at Universal and Islands of Adventure.

Islands of Adventure also has a new roller coaster which is now Florida's fastest and tallest launched coaster. Launched coaster is just a modern type of roller coaster. [screaming] It's the VelociCoaster. Inspired by Jurassic World. [music] And just like that, the sun is back.

This is Fun Spot America. It's a traditional amusement park in the sense that there is free parking, no entry fee, and you just pay for the rides that you want. They got some news here, too. [music] Here's their new attraction.

The Sky Hawk Swing Ride. So same ride as compared to ICON Park, but this is not as tall. - No, no. - This is if you're afraid of heights.

- It's about a third tall. - More. Here the ride is 90 feet tall. Over there, 450. - 450, five times.

- Yes, it's a lot. - Ah, look at this, how different. You can choose if you go lying or if you go sitting.

[screaming] We just drove for four minutes, and we arrived here at another very interesting attraction. This is K1 Speed. It used to be I-Drive NASCAR.

You may remember it that way. New year, new name. So here they have indoor go-carts.

And there are also arcades games. There's a restaurant. You can rent a camera for your helmet. That is so cool. You want to go? [laughs] You're looking so intensely, baby.

- Look at these cars. Look at these old cars. - Yeah. - Ola. Now here is something totally new, Dezerland, Florida's largest indoor attraction.

Wrong timing, we should be here when it was raining. - Yeah. - Right? - Yeah that would have been perfect. - Poor production today. - Yeah, but no. Well, I live and learn.

- [laughs] Wow, this place is huge. There's bowling, go-carts. No way, look at this car here. It might be complicated to turn. - Herbie. - It's Herbie, yeah.

Oh, these are cute. Wow, look at this Rolls Royce. - It's beautiful. - You know who James Dean is? - Of course.

- This is not the size of his car, but it's probably the car he was driving when he went over a cliff, and died. - Really? - Yeah. - Wow. That's why they have him with wings like an angel then. - Yeah. And they got a tuk-tuk here, too.

This reminds us of Thailand, no? [laughs] - Yeah. Here they got all these cars because there's another museum here which happens to be Orlando's largest museum. Axe throwing. Look at this, how interesting. Almost like a medieval thing, huh? You can try here for free to see if you like it.

It was my bag. It was my bag. - Bond Exhibit 007. What more do you need? - Yes, baby. Out of everything that we saw, this is one that excites you most, huh? - No, not the kids', the adults'. - The adults, yeah. - Yeah.

- Here are the prices. I'm not even going into details. So feel free to pause the screen, so that you can take your time. There's a lot going on here, huh? The entire I-Drive. - So much.

Yes, I was reading about it. - I thought you were talking about here. - No, entire I-Drive. - Which mean I-Drive. Oh, it's way more than that then Yes. way more than lot. - Way more than that. - Oh, yeah. - I was reading about it. And actually there are $2 billion planned of investments for 2021 and beyond in the entire I-Drive area.

- $2 billion - $2 billion. - Billion. - Yes. - Not million, billion. - Billion, yeah. That is crazy. That includes, of course, everything, attractions, hotels, you know. Really everything, restaurants, hospitality area, everything.

- Restrooms? - That, too. - Okay, they'll need them. - They'll need them. - With the amount of time they'll be spending here, they'll need restrooms, too.

- Now it took us three years to do an update video on I-Drive. Our first one here was in 2018. Well, you're a little slow in figuring out what's new, and what changed, so... But I bet we'll be here next year, too. Okay, maybe you're right.

Things move fast in Orlando.

2021-07-28 07:50

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