Who doesn't love chocolate? If you do, you will surely be interested in knowing that a new attraction celebrating this delectable food item officially opened today (June 9, 2015) along International Drive, near the OC Convention Center.
I-Drive's Chocolate Kingdom is actually the second Central Florida location (the original attraction opened in 2013 in Kissimmee), and offers daily guided tours showcasing the discovery of chocolate and its use in the past and present age.

Chocolate Kingdom is an entirely indoor attraction, making it a perfect choice for Guests that would like to have fun for a few hours (while learning, of course!) before returning to their hotel or after spending most of their day at the hotel's pool or at a nearby mall. It is also a great choice for rainy days.

Let's take a look around the new International Drive location together. We hope you will enjoy the tour:

The first thing Guests will notice when getting to the location is the giant chocolate bar that hangs right on top of the covered pathway leading to the attraction's main entrance. While the chocolate bar is not edible (obviously), it definitely attracts the eyes of people passing by:

After entering the building, Guests are welcomed by a beautiful, familiar smell. Just like the enticing smell of the Main Street Bakery lures you into the store, the chocolate smell that fills the entrance area of this attraction draws your attention to the nearby counter, which features countless sweets:

While the rest of the lobby area includes some sparse themed elements (mostly images of cacao beans and chocolate bars), the entrance has a very open feel. It is great to be able to stay away from the crowded spaces that we usually encounter in theme parks and just enjoy a relaxing environment:

The lobby area also features a quite large display that includes some merchandise items and foods that Guests may buy at the nearby counter. Take a look at some of them:

Cocoa Cola? Choco Noir wine?! These are just a few of the interesting drinks that you may buy there:

Before the tour starts, your tour guide will share with you some very interesting pieces of information regarding the small cocoa plants that grow in a nearby, climate-controlled room. Chocolate Kingdom and Living with the Land are supposedly the only two United Stated locations where cocoa plants grow:

The entrance to the pre-show room that will then lead us to the place where chocolate is processed:

This is not going to be your usual, behind-the-scenes tour of a factory. In fact. the people behind Chocolate Kingdom have come up with an entirely original backstory that will continue to develop as we walk through the different themed rooms of the attraction thanks to multiple HD monitors. 

In the story, a prince and his dragon Mitcha (this is a pun-filled tour) are heading to the castle to give a gift to the kingdom's princess: two chocolate shoes (quite original, isn't it?). Unfortunately, the dragon ends up melting the shoes, so the prince has to make them from scratch. We - the Guests - will help the prince to learn everything about chocolate to be able to replicated the gift he originally had:

In experiences like this one, the tour guide makes or breaks the experience. We would like to take the time to sincerely commend our tour guide for being so energetic and for involving all thosein attendance. It is obvious if someone loves or hates his or her job. She definitely loves what she does!:

The very first room showcases cocoa beans. The guide gives an in-depth explanation about where these beans grow, how they are harvested, and how they finally end up in our... bellies:

The second room highlights the rich history of cocoa. This is definitely much more interesting than we thought it would be. Did you know that we have to thank the Mayans if today we have chocolate? We always thank the Phoenicians, but we also have to start thanking the Mayans at this point:

In the fourth room, Guests can see a diorama made almost completely of chocolate. The castle, the rocks, the river, the houses, the characters, and even the plants are all made of chocolate:

Before entering inside the actual processing area, young and old Guests alike can feed the dragon by launching non-edible marshmallows into his mouth using kid-sized catapults. It's just as fun as it sounds!:

The real highlight of the tour is, of course, the actual area where the chocolate is processed. The tour guide explains the step-by-step procedure that is followed to produce many of the delicacies sold at the location and around the world. You should pay close attention, as the descriptions are very interesting:

Before the tour concludes, Guests can customize and then buy their very own chocolate bar. Up to three toppings can be mixed in, and then the chocolate bar is freshly made and delivered to the lobby counter using an automated system:

...and they lived happily ever after. A happy ending is a must, especially when chocolate is involved:

Oh, there's something we almost forgot to mention. In every single room visited during the tour, Guests will taste at least one small food creation or drink made out of chocolate (included in the price of admission). That reason alone should make you want to check out the place!

Additional information about Chocolate Kingdom (while these hours and prices pertain to the International Drive location, we were told that they virtually mirror those of the Kissimmee location):
  • Hours of Operation: 10:30 am - 6 pm. Tours begin at 11 a.m. every hour until 5 p.m.
  • Tour Price: $16.95 for adults and $12.95 for children between the ages of 4 and 12.
  • Average Duration of the Tour: 45 minutes.
  • Storefront Parking (including spaces for Guests with disabilities): available.
  • Retail Store: open to all Guests, even those who chose not to take part in the guided tour.
In conclusion, we really encourage all to set aside even just a couple of hours to visit this family-operated, family-friendly attraction. Having fun while learning and enjoying some chocolate sounds like the best choice to us! A big thank you to the Schaked family for inviting us to check out the attraction.

2 Comment(s):

Anonymous said...

That chocolate wine is around $10 in liquor stores.

Anonymous said...

That chocolate wine is about $10 in liquor stores.

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