Crayola sent us a crayon last week – it was a dandelion-colored one – to serve as a press pass to its big announcement that it would be opening a new 70,000-square-foot Crayola Experience attraction at the Florida Mall in 2015.
It will be modeled on the other Crayola Experience, which is located in Easton, Pa., where Crayola is headquartered. That attraction was built there to help revitalize Easton's fading downtown in 1996. And with Nordstrom's recent announcement that it will be closing the doors on its Florida mall store on Aug. 16, less than six months after Saks Fifth Avenue closed in March, the Crayola Experience in Orlando might also be coming in to revitalize the fading mall. One can hope.
Read the complete press release on the Crayola Experience below.
Crayola Brings Color and Creativity to Orlando with “Crayola Experience”
70,000 sq.ft. creative and colorful family attraction to open Summer 2015
Orlando, FL – One of the world’s most loved brands is bringing its Sunglow
to the Sunshine State.
Crayola announced today that it will open a new Crayola Experience, a
colorful family attraction, in the heart of Florida’s top family
destination: Orlando. The new location is slated to open Summer 2015 in The
Florida Mall and will feature 25 hands-on attractions that offer hours of
creative fun. At Crayola Experience, every child’s creation is wonderfully
unique – just like them! Although best known for its iconic crayons and
markers, the 111-year-old company now has more than 1,500 proprietary
products and technologies that have changed the way kids play.
“Ours has always been a culture of innovation,” Crayola CEO Mike Perry
said. “This next adventure is yet another dynamic way we’re advancing our
mission of helping parents and teachers raise creatively alive children and
creating some colorful family memories in the process.”
“This move is important to our evolution, vision and strategy. It’s a
beautiful manifestation of what our brand represents,” Perry said.
This imaginative, larger-than-life concept wasn’t created over night. In
1996, Crayola opened a visitors’ center in Easton, Pa. Primarily founded as
a tool to help revitalize the city’s downtown – Crayola’s hometown – The
Crayola Factory featured one floor of interactive activities, as well as
some arts and crafts.
“The Factory,” as it was affectionately known, remained for many years,
until Perry and his team took a deeper look. There was more magic there
than met the eye. And so it was decided: The #1 brand loved by moms was
going to dip its paint brush into the attractions industry.
Inspired by the company’s mission and products, the team re-imagined what a
state-of-the-art Crayola attraction should look like, Crayola Vice
President of Corporate Strategy and Development Victoria Lozano said. The
facility was completely redesigned in 2013 and re-opened in May with 25
all-new, hands-on attractions throughout four colorful floors.
“We believe creativity is an essential skill for kids. It can be taught,
should be nurtured, but most importantly must be experienced,” Lozano said.
And that experience will be uniquely Crayola. Many of the attractions
feature proprietary technologies, designs and activities that allow
children and families to experience the magic of Crayola color in ways they
never have before.
“And where better to do that than in one of the nation’s top family
destinations?” Lozano said.
“Crayola Experience is a natural fit for The Florida Mall and our strong
family and tourist customer base,” said Brian Hanson, general manager of
The Florida Mall, a Simon center. “We remain focused on elevating our
shopper's experience and are thrilled to welcome this dynamic destination
to the community.”
At Crayola Experience Orlando, families will enjoy many of the brand’s
signature attractions – such as “Wrap it Up!” where you can name and wrap
an authentic Crayola crayon and “Be a Star,” where you can star in your
very own coloring page – as well as some exciting new attractions that will
debut in Orlando. The attraction also will have a retail component where
guests will discover hundreds of unique Crayola products and souvenirs only
found at Crayola Experience.
“So many people have a special relationship with our brand because of what
we represent. How many people, for example, have memories of their first
box of 64?” Perry said. “As we continue to evolve as a company, we see
Crayola Experience as a way that we can continue to share in the creation
of colorful memories and have a special place in their hearts moving
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