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OTR – SideChat 6 – Ken and the Amazing Technicolor Megamall

On this week’s SideChat Ken convinces the guys to talk about malls some more. First the Megamall is covered, then the guys talk about the future of The Florida Mall. Mentions of the outlet malls, Fashion Square and West Edmonton are all included. Then Kyle and Ken talk about their favorite local movie theaters before the inevitable Taco Bell mentions. Then the guys talk Tampa’s hotels, retail and what Tampa needs.

Show Info




Episode Producer – Bob
Recorded – Aug 26, 2014

Show Notes

  • Oh boy, Ken is back to talking about malls…

  • The I-Drive Megamall, iSquare, will have
    • 729 hotel rooms
    • 353, 181 sq ft of Mall and office space (including the ice skating rink)
    • 100,000 sq ft convention center
    • 500 seat theater
    • Rooftop turning restaurant opened 24 hrs a day
  • Kyle’s cautionary tweet regarding megamalls
  • Ken then says “Mall of America Sucks!”

moa doughnut

  • Ken- “I won’t be happy until West Edmonton buys The Florida Mall” Kyle- “Oh God”
  • He then goes on about wanting to combine Fun Spot and The Florida Mall
  • Old Town is took out the ‘classic amusement rides.’ The separately owned ones remain open.
  • Ken Recommends- Not staying at the Celebration Suites at Old Town
  • Florida Mall’s new food court
  • Lord & Taylor used to be in Florida Mall
  • Forever 21, Zara, H&M and American Girl are now in the L&T spot
  • Crayola Experience now under construction at The Florida Mall in the old Nordstrom’s.
  • OTR’s episode all about the high-end shift the area hotels are undergoing
  • Before Orlando Premium Outlets there was Belz Factory Outlet World (the video description is riddled with inaccuracies but it’s a good video of the mall nonetheless).
  • The outlets were remodeled in 2006
  • Kyle- “I want a value, I don’t want crap.”
  • Kyle- “The Florida Mall needs to be a super-regional mall.”
  • Ken- “If Canada can get a submarine ride in its mall, we can get one in Orlando!”
  • (No one tell Ken that Canada lost its mall submarines in 2012)
  • Ken then claims German couchsurfers want to go to the movies, fast food and they want to go to the local mall. “They want to see America.”
  • Kyle- “I think Orlando has the most affordable, best movie theaters in the country.”
  • Show Notes Bonus Link – MPAA 2013 Theatrical Market Statics Report
  • Ken Recommends- The Altamonte Picture Show budget theater
  • Kyle Recommends- Regal Pointe Orlando | Cinemark Festival Bay
  • Cobb Plaza Theater in Orlando
  • Ken Recommends- The Cobb Plaza Theater mozzarella sticks and craft beer selection
  • Enzian is Central Florida’s premier alternative cinema
  • Florida Film Festival
  • Winter Garden’s Garden Theater
  • Ken Recommends- D-Box Theater
  • OTR’s weather episode
  • Bob- “If we’re not at Busch Gardens or SeaWorld plan on seeing us inside.”
  • Kyle throws it back to last week’s hotel conversation
  • Kyle- “What I see coming down the pipeline with these new Vegas style hotels will be bigger, more condensed and all indoors.”
  • Ken starts talking about glass ceilings, no like actual glass ceilings…
  • Ken- “I like to see it [the mall] spread out, have some lush planting down the middle, maybe a boat ride to get you from one end of the mall to the other. Why don’t we have that?”
  • Opryland Hotel Delta Riverboat tours Video | Review
  • Ken- “I want the Opryland Hotel mixed with West Edmonton Mall. That’s what Florida Mall should be!”
  • Inside The Magic’s coverage of Disney Springs | The covered section of Disney Springs
  • Ken describing West End’s Disney Springs update – “You can hide under the Highline and have some fake food truck food.”
  • Disney Park’s Youtube video of Disney Springs #Story
  • Kyle- “It’s a Florida theme with a New York idea. It’s trying to be New York.”
  • Ken- “It’s Florida themed from a bunch of people who don’t know Florida.”
  • Ken- “Take Disney Quest out and just put Best Buy there.”
  • The Florida Mall is a giant P
  • Kyle Recommends- Spreading the tenants around the mall better.
  • Kyle- “I feel like I’m in Back to the Future when I walk into the mall.”
  • Fashion Square Mall is getting a hotel
  • Did Ken just call Fashion Square the scariest mall in Orlando?
  • Kyle- “Have a popular mall and attach hotels to it.”
  • Ken- “I don’t understand why they don’t attach convention space to the malls as well.”
  • Kyle mentions Sapphire Falls at UOR (the show was recorded pre-announcement)
  • Ken- “I am very excited about the mega-mall. I’m excited about the term mega-mall. Once it’s in people’s psyche another mall, a smaller mall just won’t do. Once mega-mall, always mega-mall.”
  • Ken mentions Taco Bell, Bob just moans.
  • Ken- “Taco Bell isn’t the healthiest choice.”
  • Taco Bell in Winter Park featured on WKMG in 2012 (It no longer has the Pizza Hut in it) (This is Ken’s second home).
  • Kyle prefers to go the AUCE Panda Express on I-Drive
  • The Panda Express was home to the original Olive Garden (also note this article mentions an OG that used to be on Park Ave in Winter Park).
  • Kyle wants to know – What would you like OTR to talk about more? What is your favorite hotel? Where would you like to visit? Any answers you want us to research?
  • Twitter @OrlandoPodcast
  • Team Taco Bell or Team Panda Express
  • Ken- “Busch Gardens is a great place but don’t leave the property.”
  • Ken Recommends- Downtown Tampa hotels, especially the Aloft.
  • Ken- “If you are a foodie there is one hotel in Florida you need to stay at and that is the Epicurean.”
  • Then Ken says something shocking!
  • Ken- “Tampa has a better mall than Orlando.”
  • Ken- “There needs to be a new club district in Tampa, why doesn’t Busch Gardens step up to the plate.”




Ken Storey has been blogging about life in Central Florida for the past 12 years. As a 2nd generation Central Floridian he has a passion for and connection with the region. In his spare time he enjoys visiting low budget roadside attractions, Taco Bell, and typically plans road trips with as little interstate time as possible.

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