Crayola to open family attraction in Orlando

Crayola Experience Orlando will feature 25 hands-on activities

ORLANDO, Fla. - Crayon manufacturer Crayola is building a family attraction in Florida.

The company said Tuesday that Crayola Experience Orlando will open next summer at The Florida Mall. It will be similar to the attraction Crayola now operates in its eastern Pennsylvania hometown of Easton.

Crayola Experience Orlando will take the place of the Nordstrom closing next month and feature 25 hands-on activities in 70,000 square feet of space. One attraction will let children create their own unique crayon with a personalized wrapper. Another will let kids appear on their own coloring page.

"We'll have everything from tactile to digital that allows them to have create memories and great family time together," says Vice President of of Corporate Strategy and Development.

The company says it chose Orlando because it's a top family destination. The area has three major theme park resorts, Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld. But it has many more specialty parks and attractions, some built around children's brands.

Brian Hanson, the general manager of the mall says the new store is a natural fit for their strong family and tourist customer base.

"You can visit American girl, Crayola, the M&M store. We have these components that appeal to the base."

Hanson says the Crayola Experience is one of two stores that will fill the Nordstrom space, the other, a national retailer, has yet to be announced.

But some shoppers wonder if Orlando needs another attraction.

"Is it gonna be a complete touristy mall now?," asks Sujata Tarneja. "With the demise of Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom was the only store attracting me to this mall."

Crayola is a subsidiary of Kansas City, Missouri-based Hallmark Cards Inc.

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