By ATD’s Florida Experts, Susan and Simon Veness
London Eye, Sky Eye, Space Eye. There are Eyes (giant Ferris wheels) all over the world. But now, the Orlando Eye has a new sponsor and a new name. Are you ready for Coca-Cola Orlando Eye?
On 28 July, Coca-Cola announced its partnership with the Orlando Eye, with a name change and a new mission. During the debut event, General Manager Robin Goodchild said, “In just one year the Eye has become recognised as a central Florida icon. Today we’re delighted to announce our partnership with Coca-Cola, who are recognised as a global company for happiness and celebration, and we can now embrace that experience, too.”
Along with the new name, the Eye now has Coca-Cola branding on each capsule, Coke products and merchandise in the terminal, and specially themed Coca-Cola capsules featuring brand-appropriate colours, a cooler full of ice-cold Coke products, and selfie sticks for riders to use during their flight, welcoming riders to “have a Coke and a smile”!
Along with the Orlando Eye, the I-Drive 360 complex features 4 attractions, 6 shopping outlets, 10 full service restaurants, 5 speciality dining options, and two late-night music venues, making it a half or even a full-day venue. Here’s a quick tour of the dining on offer:
Buffalo Wild Wings (a.k.a. B-Dub’s by the cool kids) is practically a chain-restaurant institution. It’s a hot spot for all televised sports; teens and twenty-somethings love it; and it’s got chicken wings. You’ll struggle to find health-food here, but it’s bar food the way bar food should be. The beer flows freely (if you’re 21 and up) and there is a good chance you’ll be taking home a bottle of one of their 16 flavours of wing sauce, from the mild Sweet BBQ to the wild and spicy Blazin’.
Open Mon-Thurs 11am-1am, 11am-2am Fri-Sat, 11am-12am Sun.
Tapa Toro spices it up with a bit of Spanish. Barcelona may be closer to home, but when you’re hankering for a grazing meal, Tapa Toro’s menu features hot and cold tapas, paellas, and familiar offerings such as chicken, steaks and seafood. The central paella pit allows for a communal experience, but you can also sit at the bar or individual tables. If it’s cool in the evening, grab a spot outdoors. Even better? Show up for the daily Happy Hour from 3pm-6pm.
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill is another chain restaurant that has earned a reputation for decent Americanised Italian food in a comfortable, family-friendly setting. Pasta is the highlight, but there are several appealing steaks, chops, chicken, pork, veal and seafood choices, plus yummy wood-fired pizzas. For lighter appetites or those who enjoy grazing, there is a Small Plates menu, while Gluten-intolerant diners are well catered for with their own menu that includes 7 gluten-free pasta dishes, and dieters can choose from a varied selection of under-600 calorie dishes. A full bar is available.
Open 11am-12am daily.
Shake Shack had us at “modern-day roadside burger stand.” The kind of burger that drips down your arm when you bite into it. Using 100% Angus beef doesn’t hurt, either. Pair up your burger and crinkle-cut chips with a frozen custard shake (ice cream’s richer, creamier cousin), and if you’re avoiding red meat, go straight for the Portobello mushroom ‘Shroom Burger. Divine!
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am.
Naru Restaurant and Sushi Bar made its name in Brazil, and brings a unique twist to sushi and sashimi. At this time, it is closed for remodelling but is expected to re-open later this summer.
Outback Steakhouse is a Brit favourite. Let’s be honest, it’s an American favourite too, and Susan remembers the debut of this family-friendly steakhouse, when waits exceeded 3 hours. While the long waits are gone, Outback still serves up great steaks at a price that won’t put a big dent in your holiday budget.
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am.
Sugar Factory is the naughty-indulgence restaurant of Simon’s dreams. There is enough sugar in here to keep even the most enormous sweet-tooth happy, from ice cream treats to pancakes, waffles, crepes, fondues and the most enormous sugar-laced cocktails you can imagine. There are burgers, pasta, sandwiches and salads for those who prefer not to spike their blood sugar levels, but if you’ve got a large group go ahead and splurge on the King Kong Sundae, a massive assemblage of 24 scoops of ice cream and every topping known to humankind.
Open Mon-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-11pm.
Paramount Mediterranean Cuisine does Mediterranean food with an accent on healthy. Free-range, grass-fed, and hormone and antibiotic free are the watchwords, and vegetarians will find a wealth of choice—all of it interesting and flavourful. Standards such as Grape Leaves, Hummus and Falafel join with Shwarma, Manakeesh, and some interesting twists on pizza, plus 6 Family Platters made for sharing.
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-12am, Fri-Sat 11am-1am.
Yard House is one of our go-to spots for excellent bar food with a gourmet twist. With offerings such as edamame, street tacos, shitake garlic noodles, Kale Caesar, and Jambalaya, we’re sold. Add to that a wide variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks and seafood, plus a vast selection of draft beers, and we’re there every time!
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-12.30am, Fri-Sat 11am-1.20am
Tin Roof opened in early 2015, and we wrote about it then (check out the blog here), and it has remained a live-music favourite ever since. Drop by for the Southern Americana food, stay for the band. Don’t have time for a meal? The indoor-outdoor bar can hook you up with a cold one without going inside.
Open 11am-2am daily.
Cowgirls Rock Bar has a whole lot of bull. Mechanical bull, that is. They also have Southern-style bar food, DJ music until the wee hours, and ‘naughty cowgirl’ waitresses (who also dance on the bar). It may not be the ideal location to go with the kiddies, but for an adult night out it does offer a relatively wild party atmosphere.
Open Mon-Fri 4pm-2am, Sat-Sun 11am-2am.
Somm Wine Bar offers an impressive selection of Reds, Whites, Rosé, Fizz, and Reserves, served in 3oz, 6oz and 9oz glasses, or by the bottle. Craft beers on draft or by the can, plus artisanal sodas, are also available. There is also a light bites menu presented by popular Orlando restaurant, Slate, just right for a pre- or post-dinner accompaniment. For dessert, you could opt for the Coconut Panna Cotta, but who’s kidding who? Go straight for the Chocolate Pots de Crème. You know you want to.
Open Sun-Thurs 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-12am.
Ben & Jerry’s has made its name as one of America’s favourite premium ice cream brands, in part because it’s just spectacularly good, and in part because of the wacky names and unusual combinations they’ve created. Chunky Monkey and Tubby Hubby are long-time faves, but Americone Dream, named for late-night comedian Stephen Colbert, Phish Food, Cherry Garcia (Susan’s go-to) and Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz (Simon’s indulgence) find their way into our freezer now and then. Just order anything. It’s all good.
Open 11am-11pm daily.
iCafe de Paris coffee shop serves sandwiches, salads, soups, pastries and tea, plus hot and iced coffee (We see you turning your nose up at the iced coffee! Try it…it’s brilliant on a hot day); Pretzel Maker/Great American Cookies is exactly what is says on the tin; and the Food Court inside the terminal for the Orlando Eye, features chicken, Italian, Mexican and Chinese.
Whether you take a ride on the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, check out Madame Tussauds, SeaLife Aquarium, or Skeletons, or you just enjoy an evening or two with a great meal, I-Drive 360 has become a popular family destination in the heart of tourist central.
To book tickets for the fabulous Orlando Eye, click here. Join us on the Attraction Tickets Direct discussion forum for all the latest Orlando news and updates!
Liked this post? You may also like...