Sean's Commentary

Posted November 20, 2006 (user submitted)

The Festival Bay Mall is a Lifestyle Center / Mall at the North End of I-Drive in Orlando. It's a new mall and is anchored by Bass Pro Shops, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Shepler's Western Wear, and Steve & Barry's. Attractions there are a Cinemark, Ron Jon Surf Park, Indoor Minigolf, and a Vans Skatepark. It seems like it might be a major attraction.

When we made a wrong turn on I-Drive, we saw the Bass Pro Shops, and decided to check it out. I read the previous entry on this mall, and knew that it might've been dead. At first I was mislead, the parking lot was full of cars. It probably wasn't dead anymore. We went inside the Bass Pro Shops, it had a moderate crowd, waterfall, aquarium, shooting range, seemed pretty cool. But it all changed once inside the mall.

The mall is basically a giant warehouse with a bunch of tiny buildings were put up inside painted bright colors, (the entire mall has the same cieling, like if you were on a ladder on one side of the mall, you could see across the mall) meaning the walls never met the ceiling. The mall might look nicer if there was no roof, but the hallways had a giant awning-type roof. The center court had a giant indoor lake and a bridge.

The attendance was low, but "No more than 50 people" is a little drastic, i'd say I saw no more than 100 people, whereas you's usually see about 200 in a regular mall. The mall is mostly made up of mom-and-pops and many outlets. The only national chains beside the anchors were Fuddrucker's, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, A&W, Long Jon Silvers, Subway, Nine West, Icing, Journey's, Jones New York, Pac Sun, Hot Topic, Vans, Charlotte Russe, and BCBG MaxAzaria (Jones New York and Nine West were both outlets, go figure) and, except for Bass Pro Shops, the anchors were very small. A lot of stores were opening up, including the Surf Park. The only ads for the mall was one billboard near the mall advertising the chain stores, and many Ron Jon billboards which seemed like they promoted their Cocoa Beach location more than the Orlando one.

The reason I think the mall's dead is probably the location. The north end of I-Drive is just a culdesac, and is not very easy to get to, and there's not much advertising.

Photos - Sean's pictures

Jason Good's Commentary

Posted December 3, 2005(user submitted)

Well technically this mall isn't dead. But it sure as heck looks to be. It was weird.

In Orlando, Florida down International Drive they built this huge shopping mall called Festival Bay. It has a Ron Jon Surf Shop, a theatre, everything a normal very thriving mall has, until you go inside. You know I thought usually they brought stores into a mall before they opened it? Well I guess they missed this one. The only stores really inside the mall are the anchors (Steve & Barry's, Sheplers, Ron Jon's, Van's Skate Park) But there are almost no other stores open! This mall has been open for at least 3 years now and it still has almost the same stores as when it opened. Some stores have tried to open but they have closed already.

I figured down I-Drive you should find any major store in the mall down there. I looked for a bookstore; instead of what I expected (Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks) there's a Book Outlet Store that sells all former best sellers for cheaper prices, not even a MAIN bookstore. It has some of the usuals (Pac Sun, Hot Topic, etc.) but those are few. It's a mall the size of a Super-Regional with the store amount of a Strip mall in a neighborhood. And even worse, I don't think I've ever seen more than 50 people in there when I've gone. There's never ANYONE there!!! I can't imagine that the mall is making money! So personally, I think this is a Live but Dead Mall.

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