Florida Mall – Orlando, FL

While in the Orlando area for a quick weekend trip I found myself with a little free time
(not enough to visit a theme park) so I decided to go check out the Florida Mall.  I had been here years ago and remember it just being really busy.  This visit was no different. I couldn’t find a parking spot anywhere near and entrance and seemed like I had to walk across the entire parking lot just to get in.

Truth be told I was here to visit two specific stores, but that didn’t prevent me from just aimless wandering around.  This mall also seems to have gotten much bigger than when I was here last, but that may not actually be true.  The walkways just seem to go on and on, and after you turn a corned they go on and on some more.  Eventually I came to the first place I wanted to visit.

M&M World, a chocolate candy lovers paradise.  We have one of these back up in New York in Times Square which I have visited almost religiously when I’m in the city.  This one isn’t quite as big, but still has a lot of M&M related merchandise, and of course candy.

Towards the middle of the store I found the first penny machine.  This was actually an interesting machine as it had part in the middle that would make change for you all in one machine.  I always come prepared so didn’t need to use this feature, but still pretty cool.

The machine pressed four designs with M&M Characters on them and the Racing Team logo.  I only know these characters by their color (Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue) and am not sure if they actually have other names.

The second machine was right around the corner from the first one so it didn’t require much detective work to find it (sometimes that the best part).

This set included the same four M&M Characters but all said “In Candy We Trust” on the designs.  They also included the M&M World Logo.  Once I got home I did notice that these are the exact same designs as the ones that are available in New York City, the only difference is these ones say Orlando instead of New York.  Too bad they were a little more unique, but still a nice addition to my ongoing M&M collection.

Before I left the store I had to pick up a few souvenirs for my daughters and used the opportunity to also buy a new version of the M&M World Pressed Coin Booklet.  They have had a few versions in the past but this seems to be the latest edition.

Just as short walk away was my next stop.  I’m not sure how long this has been at the mall but it was definitely busy and looked like a lot of fun for kinds of all ages.  When you enter from inside the mall you are greeted by the gift shop with everything Crayola.  Crayons, markers, pencils, coloring books, model clay kits, clothing and so much more.  Just inside the main entrance was one of those new 8-design touch screen penny/token machines.

The cost is $1 for 1 design, or $3 for all 8 which just seems like a no brainer.  I placed my order and watched through the window as my tokens were pressed.

The designs as you would guess are all Crayola inspired.  They have various Crayola logos, I Heart Crayola, and Coloring Pencils, Markers and Crayons.  This was another pretty nice set to acquire.  Towards the back of the store is where you can enter the Crayola Experience.  This is where they have some interactive exhibits that allow you to create your own crayon label, or marker, and give some info on how those products are created.  This is not an actual Crayola factor but more of a museum.  There is another one of these in Eaton, PA that we have visited with our kids and they love.  On this trip I didn’t have time to pay the admission fee and go through to get a better look.  I found out afterwards that there was an additional penny machine (4 design only) back in the Experience that can only be accessed with paid admission.  Guess this  means I’ll have to bring the kids back and go get that other set of pennies.

I didn’t do much other shopping and only stopped for a soft pretzel on my way out, but this was a nice way to get some exercise and pick up some new pennies while I was at it.

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