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Old 15 Apr 20, 01:55 PM  
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nothingless
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Talking 5-week Split Stay in Florida, Feb/March 2020 - Day 12: Crayola Experience, Florida Mall & Target

Day 12: Crayola Experience, Florida Mall & Target
February 21, 2020

[-- Trip Index --]

We all woke up around 7 after a good sleep. It was super windy and due to be cold today: a max of 14 degrees! Thatís Florida in the winter for you - literally yesterday it was 29, and overnight itís dropped to 14. And by Sunday it will be 27 again! Just madness lol!

So originally weíd wanted to go back to Aquatica today, or possibly SeaWorld if it was too cold to swim. But with the current weather, neither was a good option - it was very windy, lots of rain on and off, and 10-12 degrees feels very cold indeed when you don't have any coats or jackets with you! So we decided to try and find something indoor. I was thinking of a mall, but knew Myla wouldn't like that. I looked at indoor playgrounds too, but really, we have those at home too! Then I came across people talking about the Crayola Experience here on the Dibb, and decided that ticked all the boxes! Part indoor playground, part creative experience, unlike anything we have at home, situated inside The Florida Mall. Perfect!

I went online to get tickets and had a bit of sticker shock - it was $22 USD per person! So it would have been $66 for the 3 of us, except that they had a special offer on in February where on weekdays, kids under 4 were free. So we got in for $44 - and even that I found expensive. I mean, we did enjoy it... but I'm not sure I pay $44 for it again! Myla was a touch on the young side to really enjoy everything and it was very busy with long queues at many stations - I'll talk a bit more about it below. In short, yes it was fun and pretty cool, but it's also quite expensive and I think a 6 or 7 year old would get more out of it than a 3 year old. Worth it if you have nothing else to do and the weather sucks, like it did for us - but yeah, $22 per person is a little steep, especially considering us parents don't actually DO any of the activities!

Since it was cold in the morning (7C when we got up), we werenít in a hurry to get out the door. I did my work on the laptop and we took it easy, finally leaving around 10:30. Traffic was pretty bad and it took nearly 50 minutes to reach our destination! We parked up and hurried inside - so cold and windy outside!


Only 12C by the time we were underway!



The main entrance to the Experience is *outside* the mall. Inside the mall, you can access this via the very back of the Crayola store, but it's not really obvious - you could easily miss this even exists when coming from inside the mall!

Even though I had pre-bought tickets for us online, I still needed to queue to get Myla's free ticket, this took about 10 minutes - it was pretty busy. We obviously weren't the only ones to have thought of this for today!


We headed up the stairs, went inside, and looked around. There were 2 indoor playground areas, and about 25 different stations of creative stuff - coloring, scanning things in on computers, playing with digital screens, melting crayons, making your own crayons and much more. Everything was really colorful and energetic, and LOUD!


We let Myla have a go in the smaller of the playground areas first.


Then we went to one of the creative stations and colored a fairy that could dance with the help of some paperclips and hidden magnets. Next up we made funny selfies with digital accessories, which were projected on a big wall. Myla successfully found ours!


The next station we stopped at, was one literally made from things to draw on - the floor and black walls with chalk, and any white areas with special markers. Myla loved the novelty of being allowed to draw on the walls lol.


We wandered over to another area where we colored in a monster, and you could scan that into a computer. Then on the screen, the monster came to life with the colors etc we'd given him! Pretty clever, and fun to do!



Next up were the Washimals - the little white animals that you draw on, wash off, dry off, and draw on again. We were each given a little dog as part of our entry ticket, and Myla enjoyed coloring them and washing them clean.


Right next to this, was an area with big projections onto the floor. These changed every few minutes, but they were interactive. In the one where the kids blow bubbles, stepping on the bubbles made them pop. In another one with autumn leaves, stepping on the piles made the leaves scatter! This was good fun and we sat down on a bench while Myla jumped around for a while.


We'd been in for just over 90 minutes before we got hungry. I didn't like the look of the restaurant inside Crayola, it was just standard fries, burgers, hot dogs and they didn't look great. So we took a break and headed into the Florida Mall to find the food court and get lunch there. In the way out, we passed these cool walls filled with Crayola colors - unfortunately Myla declined to have her photo taken haha.


We exited into the mall through the store, and got a stamp on our hands for re-entry later.


This mall is HUGE! We'd never been here, so we were surprised at how absolutely massive it was, all white and shiny and really pretty! It was a 5 minute walk to the food court, and we window shopped a bit on the way.


As you'd expect in a big mall, the food court was also massive with lots of choice. Michael queued up to get yummy vegetable sandwiches for us, and I went to an Italian bit to get some plain spaghetti for Myla.


Finished eating, we slowly walked back to Crayola, taking the time to go into some of the stores this time. I drooled all over BoxLunch - they had so much cute Disney stuff! Got some tester strips from Victoria's Secret, and finally went into Aeropostale to check out their sale.


Myla had enough of shopping by now so Michael waited for me in the playground area in front of the Crayola store, where she had a great time playing around while I tried some stuff on in peace and quiet. I ended up getting 5 tees, 3 tank tops, and a lovely hoody for only $70!

We went back into Crayola, and it was even busier than earlier. Myla played in the bigger playground bit for a short while, but it was filled with bigger kids, and as we'd seen before, they often don't take the time to watch out for little ones, so she kept getting bowled over.


After some tears from her, we asked her if she'd like to go make some crayons next. With each ticket, you get 3 special coins that you can spend inside (of course you can buy more coins too). Some experiences take coins, but these were all really busy so we skipped them (think like, melting crayons art). We decided to use all our 9 coins for making our own crayons! You have these little machines where you put your name in, choose a pictogram, and out comes a label and crayon. You then take them to another machine to put the label in! This was good fun, and we went to 9 different machines to get all different colors!

Edited at 02:31 PM.
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Old 15 Apr 20, 01:56 PM  
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We were kind of finished after that, and decided to head out - it was so busy and noisy there, even Myla had enough. We exited via the store as we'd promised her earlier she could pick a souvenir in the store at the end of the day. To our surprise, she picked a small box filled with bright neon crayons - it was only $1.29! I asked her if she was sure and if she didn't want to pick something bigger, but no - she only wanted these! 😂 Lucky escape for Michael, who doesn't like spending money.


Holding her precious little box of crayons!


So around 3pm we called it a day and headed back to the car. We drove to the big Target store on Rolling Oaks near our villa, which took 40 minutes with still heavy traffic. I was looking for a small travel clothes steamer and Walmart only had big ones, so wanted to check Target for this, plus we needed some toilet paper and we were out of crisps! Myla wanted to stay in the car so Michael waited with her while I quickly went in. Well, I say quickly but again this was a huge and actually really nice store so it did take me a while to find everything haha!

I love randomly passing this sign all the time!


We were home in the villa around 5, and just ate a nice home-cooked dinner there and chilled until bedtime, Myla did a good bit of coloring with her new crayons!
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Old 15 Apr 20, 07:02 PM  
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Another fun filled day... i often wondered what the crayola experience was all about. I was in that Target back in October - happy memories 😍
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Old 15 Apr 20, 07:24 PM  
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Sounds like a good place to go on a miserable day

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Old 15 Apr 20, 09:46 PM  
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Michyloulou
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I did wonder what the Crayola ďexperienceĒ was. Sounds like a good idea when the weathers not great, albeit a bit expensive. A result at Myla choosing a $1.29 box of crayons!
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Old 16 Apr 20, 12:26 PM  
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Rob & Jan
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Thank you for my daily 'Florida fix'. Especially as we should be flying out there today.
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Old 23 May 20, 10:41 AM  
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It looks like you had another lovely day. I'd never even heard of the crayola experience until recently which is a shame as my girls would have loved it when they were younger. I'm looking forward to reading all about your move to Disney.
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Old 12 May 21, 12:43 PM  
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Never heard of the crayola experience before either, but looks like itís a great idea if the weathers a bit rubbish!
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