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Florida Guide > Shopping

Festival Bay Mall

This Mall has the potential to be really fantastic, with its dramatic fountain on the lake outside and the large, airy, colourful walkways inside.

Sadly it’s not quite the case. In the 2-3 years it has been open –only about a ¼ of all shops have ever been rented. Maybe it is because none of the big names like Macy’s, Penney’s, Sears and Dillards have never invested in there.

However I would not rule it out entirely. As it is almost at the top end of International drive I would combine a visit there with something else in that location.

On my last visit in February 2007 my favourite bookstore had closed although there was a sign on the door saying that it was re-opening soon. It was a book warehouse and you could get some fantastic books, hardbacks too for around $4. 99.

Another favourite-Coldstone Creamery had also closed. Not sure if it will be re-opening-but there was another ice cream parlour there still doing business. Just checked the site and it says it has re-opened, which is great news for ice cream lovers. Here you get your ice cream your way. Choose for a mixture of flavours, toppings and sizes and have them mix it on a marble slab-then enjoy. Scrumptious.

But for surfing nuts-there was a big Ron Jon’s surf shop and that was definitely open. . In fact coming for 2008 is a Ron Jon Surf Park with three parks to accommodate all level of surfers and bodyboarders. That is going to be fantastic. Also if outdoor sports and fishing is your thing-then you just cannot miss the huge Bass Pro shop.

Something else that’s a bit different from other malls is a huge Sheplers western store. They sell everything and I mean everything for the would be cowboy-barring the horse. From tiny tots to adults-there’s boots, Stetsons, and cowboy shirts in every hue-it’s all here.

Another feature that you don’t see at the usual malls is a Van’s skateboard park. An excellent place to park the kids-failing that there in a Cinema-Cinemark 20, which suggests to me that there is 20 screens. Certainly I’ve counted 16 separate films on. Failing that there is Putting Edge a fabulous glow in the dark mini golf. Hopefully there’s something for everyone there.

There are a couple of eateries –Fuddruckers is one and there is supposed to be an English pub-The Cricketers-coming soon.

There’s also jewellery shops, clothes shops, Charlotte Russe being a particular favourite.

I think it’s worth a visit and I don’t think you will be disappointed-especially once all of those empty units are filled.

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Page added on: 24 March 2007
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