This mall does not have typical department stores for their "anchor" stores. Their advertised draws are Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Sheplers Westernwear and Vans Skatepark. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of most of these stores--they are all worth visiting!
We had to get something from Ron Jon Surf Shop so the kids could take a "surfing" souvenir back home. It is fun to check out all the surfboards and surfing clothes on sale here. While we had heard of Ron Jon before, we had never heard of Sheplers. We went into this HUGE store and had fun looking at all the Western items. We all tried on cowboy hats and admired the huge variety of cowboy boots. There also a section with household item where you can purchase all sorts of hot sauce and salsa. We got a Texas Hold ‘Em poker set to teach the kids to play for the nights we spent back at the hotel.
The "showstopper" of the mall, however, was Vans Skatepark. We expected that we would find the clothing and shoe lines from Vans. In addition, there is also a huge variety of skateboards. The store itself is only a very small part of Vans. Inside is just as the name describes – a skatepark. A skatepark in the mall. A HUGE skatepark in the mall. And it looked like kids between 6 and 24 were practicing in various bowls and ramps. We walked upstairs where you can walk around above the skaters and watch all the fun. It was great to see it live and see all the kids fall down hard and just get back up and do it again.
We saw one of the summer blockbusters at the Cinemark Movie Theater, which is also there. Next to the movie theater is a "glow-in-the-dark" miniature golf that looked like lots of fun. While we did not have time to eat there, I have to mention a unique theme restaurant in the mall. The Murray Brothers Caddyshack restaurant is a spin-off of the classic movie and looks like a great place to grab a burger.
July 11, 2005
From journal Orlando: Entertaining Pre-Teens