KINGS Bowl Orlando Scheduled To Open April 15

Kings Orlando is International Drive’s Newest Hot Spot for Fun


KINGS Bowl

KINGS Bowl Orlando Scheduled To Open April 15 

30,000-Square-Foot Dining, Bowling and Entertainment Venue Features 22 Ten-Pin Bowling Lanes, Full-Service Upscale Restaurant, 60 Big Screen TVs and State-of-the-Art Sound System

KINGS Bowl, the Boston-based, dining, bowling and entertainment venue that pioneered the upscale bowling revolution in 2003, is scheduled to open its first Florida location on April 15, 2013 in the “I-Drive Live” project on Orlando’s world-famous corridor, International Drive.

KINGS first opened its doors in 2003 in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay. KINGS’ goal was to focus on recapturing and rekindling the fun and escape of bowling which had faded since its heyday. The 1950’s and 1960’s are considered to be the golden age of bowling and KINGS’ award-winning design and décor captures this nostalgic feeling, while adding modern twists. From the start, KINGS set out to create a unique and memorable entertainment experience by emphasizing world-class food, cold beer, creative cocktails, cutting edge technology and great music. The focus is on classic, retro-inspired décor and executive chef-designed menus brought to life by best-in-industry service. In doing so, KINGS sparked the modern day bowling renaissance and carved a name for itself as the original upscale bowling venue, which has revitalized the sport across America.

KINGS Orlando will offer a first-class dining and entertainment experience unlike any other along International Drive or in Central Florida. In addition to 22 ten-pin bowling lanes, KINGS will offer four full-sized billiards tables, a regulation-sized shuffleboard table, a full outdoor bocce ball court (one of only a few in the area), weekend disc jockeys, dancing and much more. Beer enthusiasts who have dreamed of tending bar will take great delight in innovative and engaging tables fitted with beer taps where they can pour the perfect pint at their own pace.  KINGS Orlando will be further differentiated by transforming into an adults-only experience after dark. By day, families with children can bowl and savor homemade ice cream and other treats. At 6 p.m, general public admission moves to adults only, ages 21 and above.

“This isn’t your dad’s bowling alley; it’s an upscale bowling joint,” says Patrick Lyons, president and founder of the Lyons Group and KINGS Bowl America. “Bowling has always been a great social sport and Kings has reinvented the experience for a new generation. Serious ten-pin athletes will relish our ultramodern lanes and roomy player accommodations, while even the most ‘gutter-prone’ will appreciate our chef’s delicious fare and our thoughtful menu of craft beers and signature cocktails.” The Lyons Group leadership team is backed by more than 100 years of combined entertainment industry experience with a track record of innovation and success. The group is credited with re-energizing Boston’s nightlife scene over three decades with more than 30 dining, nightclub and entertainment venues in its growing portfolio.

 

KINGS Bowl
Concourse Lanes

From the moment they set foot inside KINGS, guests will know that they are in for an experience unlike any other. A hip, retro-inspired vibe and grooving soundtrack will greet them as they navigate between a friendly evening at the lanes, great food in the restaurant and socializing in KINGS’ lounge bar that translates to an open, climate controlled outdoor café experience on the stylish, full-service patio. Committed sports fans can catch all of the action at KINGS’ massive sports bar boasting 60 HDTVs and projectors and a real-time sports ticker. Guests can also take in the scene on the energetic concourse catching all the action happening throughout the expansive facility.

The idea of bowling alley food as an afterthought is tossed in the gutter at KINGS; everything is

KINGS Bowl
Signature Cocktails

carefully crafted, made fresh and delivered daily. The full-service KINGS restaurant will serve an impressive, executive chef-designed menu of American favorites and delicious comfort food. Appetizers include unique, modern plays on classic bar fare, such as cheeseburger spring rolls, perfectly fried mac & cheese bites and homemade buffalo chicken wontons. Entrees are highlighted by house-smoked baby back ribs, juicy and creative burgers and KINGS’ signature, tender, award-winning steak tips. Diners will finish their meal with a taste of sweet nostalgia from the built-in Ice Cream Shoppe featuring creative sundaes and delicious homemade desserts. The impressive menu is served throughout the entire facility until close seven days a week.

“I look at every dish on the menu and I think of ways to exceed expectations by sourcing only the finest ingredients and adding a ‘kick’ to every dish,” says Executive Chef Andre Bautista. “We pride ourselves on everything being made from scratch, in-house daily and making sure that each and every plate has a ‘wow-factor’.” KINGS Bowl

In addition to the food and entertainment, KINGS is well-known for its special events and parties. The venue will boast multiple jaw-dropping private bowling and meeting spaces complimented by state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities. Two meeting rooms can be made completely private and can accommodate up to 100 and 200 people, respectively. Party goers can bowl while enjoying an assortment of upscale culinary delights served right to the lanes, as well as best-in-industry service that has already made KINGS a repeat destination for so many in Boston and Chicago. Birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, kids’ parties, and corporate and team building parties are all made memorable with the unique combination of entertainment, great food and unforgettable service.

KINGS is committed to being an actively engaged member of the Orlando community and has pledged to work with community-based initiatives in an effort to raise money through “fun-raisers” and in-kind donations. KINGS has already made a philanthropic name in its markets, having hosted and raised millions for local charities attended by the likes of popular celebrities and athletes including former and current NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Patriots Tom Brady, Wes Welker and Jerod Mayo, Bears captain Charles Tillman, and BC and NFL legend Doug Flutie. KINGS will immediately look to make a similar impact in the Orlando area. Other famous guests at KINGS include Lady Gaga, Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane, Mark Wahlberg and many more of music and Hollywood’s finest.

KINGS will also assure that local residents and members of the Orlando hospitality industry are treated like royalty on the traditionally tourist-heavy International Drive. From opening, they will receive a free loyalty card that will provide the benefits of seasonally rotated, exclusive specials and discounts. Locals will also appreciate free surface parking in 600 adjacent available spaces and easy access via Universal Boulevard. KINGS has also planned a private opening party to offer an exclusive reveal of the venue to Orlando residents and hospitality industry members.

Keep your eyes on kingsbowlamerica.com for more information, and follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the Orlando opening.

 

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Night Rides at Walt Disney World

Night Rides

Night at Walt Disney World is my absolute favorite time to be in the parks. The majestic appearance of Cinderella Castle, the way light reflects off of each of the triangular panels of Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life illuminated from below, and the warm glow of neon on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards are just a few of the reasons Disney parks after dark are simply amazing. I truly believe that the parks have two entirely different feelings during daylight and at nighttime. Come follow me while I explore the four theme parks of Walt Disney World to see some of the best rides to experience at night as they are completely transformed with different vibes from their daytime selves.

Castle and Partners
Castle and Partners
Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Hollywood Boulevard at night
Hollywood Boulevard at night

 

Animal Kingdom

Admittedly, this is the park I have spent the least time in after dark, mostly due to the fact that there are few times a year that you are able to see Disney’s Animal Kingdom after dark. Since the park is not open into the late night hours, usually not past 8pm or maybe even 9pm on the rare occasion, there are limited opportunities to experience attractions here at night. One such opporunity is during the Expedition Everest Challenge in May. This is a 5K through the Animal Kingdom followed by a scavenger hunt that takes you almost over the whole 5K course again. It is great fun and a unique change to get to see this gorgeous park late at night since the after party goes typically until 2am or so. For those that aren’t able to participate in this fun RunDisney event, the best attraction to ride at night is definitely Expedition Everest. The ride’s twists and turns and drops and backwards section seem even more thrilling when you can’t see what lies ahead. I strongly encourage any thrill seekers to make sure they try to do this at least once. It is not to be missed!

Expedition Everest at night
Expedition Everest at night
View from Everest at night
View from Everest at night
End of Everest tracks at night
End of Everest tracks at night

Hollywood Studios

Stepping into Disney’s Hollywood Studios at night, one can see how the extensive use of neon makes this park come to life. The heyday of Hollywood never looked better than under the fabulous glow of the bright neon colors lining Hollywood and Sunset. The crown jewel of the park at night is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It sits ominously looming over Sunset Boulevard, with its imposing exterior emblazoned with evidence of that fateful lightning strike. Much like Everest, part of the excitement of this ride at night is in the surprise and not knowing what is coming next. For those who have ridden Tower of Terror during the daylight, you can often tell when you are to the point of dropping by the telltale sliver of light peeking through the elevator doors ahead. Not so at night. This added element of surprise and not being able to anticipate when the drop is coming as well as during the day increases the adrenaline rush for me.

Tower of Terror at night
Tower of Terror at night

Epcot

My favorite park at night hands down is Epcot, and World Showcase in particular. The lighting softens from the often harsh Florida sun. Music wafts gently across the World Showcase Lagoon. Libations flow and guests are satiated by the phenomenal dining offerings presented by this park. Illuminations is a magical experience for me. But this isn’t about ambiance, food, beverages, fireworks, or even music. This is about Test Track baby! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) The newly revamped Future World attraction is incredible at night. I love the way the ride gives you a great dark ride inside and then whoosh! You are speeding around the track on a 45 degree angle pushing towards that top speed of 65 miles per hour. When you coming flying through those doors and into that night air, it is invigorating to say the least. Plus, the view of Epcot at night as you whip around the track is amazing!

Illuminations
Illuminations
Test Track at night
Test Track at night

Magic Kingdom

Spread out across the Magic Kingdom you will find fantastic examples of rides that I find are superior after dark. In Adventureland, the Jungle Cruise takes on a new mystique while exploring the Nile, Congo and Mekong Rivers. If you have never done this at night, what are you waiting for? The skippers corny jokes even take on a life of their own by lantern light. Just adjacent to the Jungle Cruise, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin provide a fun experience on your flying carpet that seems a bit more … adventurous (see what I did there) than during the day. Plus, it is a bit harder to spot the spitting camel at night, adding another element of adventure in trying to avoid it. Frontierland also plays host to two excellent choices for night rides. Both Splash and Big Thunder Mountains are far more exciting (in my humble opinion) at night. I love the moment on Splash right before you go down the five story drop when you catch that glimpse of the castle all lit up in all her glory. If you can try to time it right, Wishes as seen from Big Thunder is a transformative experince. It is one of my favorite views of the fireworks show.

Splash Mountain at night
Splash Mountain at night
Big Thunder at night
Big Thunder at night

Although it is entirely indoors, except for the queue, which is infinitely better at night (especially during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), the Haunted Mansion is another great night ride. This Liberty Square attraction takes on an otherworldly and creepy ethereal feel to it when the sun goes down. I love when it is foggy and you can hardly see the tombstones in the graveyard and just barely catch the sound of the howling dog. Fantastic! Not to be left out is Fantasyland. Dumbo is so stunningly beautiful, especially now with the dueling Dumbos and the gorgeously lit fountains with alternating colors. I can stand in that queue transfixed by the serenity of changing lights and the soft sound of the water pouring out underneath the playful pachyderms.

Haunted Mansion during MNSSHP
Haunted Mansion during MNSSHP
Haunted Mansion pet cemetery
Haunted Mansion pet cemetery
Dumbo at night
Dumbo at night

Last, but certainly not least is my favorite land at night, Tomorrowland. The neon popping off the corner of seemingly every edifice is an inviting beacon to this part of the park. An attraction that I do not often do, but if I do will always choose to do at night is the Astro Orbiter. Sitting atop Rockettower Plaza, this spinning ride, similar to the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and Dumbo, seems to fly even faster through the cosmos at night, especially on that descent. Saving the best (again, in my opinion) for last, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover is a 12 minute break from the hustle and bustle that usually is the Magic Kingdom. At night, you can admire the gorgeous neon of tomorrowland, view lights on the edge of Main Street USA and of course see the luminous Cinderella Castle transform from blue to pink to green to orange before your eyes. You can read more about my love of this attraction here in a previous post dedicated to this classic Magic Kingdom ride.

Tomorrowland at night
Tomorrowland at night

 

Have you done any or all of these at night? If so, what are your favorites? Did I miss any of your favorite attractions to experience after dark at Walt Disney World? If I have, please feel free to share your thoughts. Hope you enjoyed!

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