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Margaritaville Resort Orlando - Now Open!

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I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law… We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, a secretion of sensory, experience, and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody.


I think the honorable thing to do would be to deny our programming, stop reproducing. Walk hand in hand brothers and sisters one last midnight, opting out of a raw deal.

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I guess the theory is that Jimmy Buffett is aging and they know that and his music probably appeals to an aging demographic as time goes on (though there are still plenty of young people at the concerts since it's basically a drunken beach party). I can see why they would want to turn the Margaritaville brand into a lifestyle brand that's less tied to a 72 year old singer but this marketing team is hilariously out of touch and clearly trying way too hard to force it.


The biggest problem with the Margaritaville brand is that whether it’s hotels, restaraunts or household products the underlying product generally isn’t very good and is generally overpriced. The way to appeal to a younger demographic is to offer a better product that appeals to people who aren’t just showing up because they like Jimmy Buffett. There are 4 Disney resorts that are priced below this hotel this weekend (and the waterpark isn’t even open yet) and in some cases it would be cheaper if you got the Disney hotel room and a day ticket to Disney along with it.


What are they doing?

Edited by coasterbill
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I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self aware, nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law… We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, a secretion of sensory, experience, and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody.


I think the honorable thing to do would be to deny our programming, stop reproducing. Walk hand in hand brothers and sisters one last midnight, opting out of a raw deal.


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When I think Margaritaville, I totally think social media!


Yeah, why not Buffet-related names like "Parrothead Plunge" or "Wastin' Away Again Lazy River"?


The names might be brilliant. They spend millions building this place but nobody hears about it unless you spend millions more on national marketing. So then you name your water slides after Twitter Hashtags and people feel the need to tell everyone else how stupid your names are on Twitter. The true Parrotheads are offended, see how awesome the complex looks on the website, and decide to support their persecuted leader with a visit. The park would rather encourage people to post/advertise everything about their vacation on social media then settle drowning claims for people wasting away in the Lazy River on too many Margaritas. I think that name alone would make you lose any drowning lawsuit

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  • 3 weeks later...

This week it was announced that Estefan Kitchen, a concept from Emilio & Gloria Estefan, will open at Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Resort Orlando in the Fall 2019!



Encore Capital Management, owner and developer of Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Resort Orlando, today announced the addition of Estefan Kitchen to its star-studded lineup of dining & entertainment options. The restaurant, nightclub and entertainment venue owned and operated by Emilio & Gloria Estefan, will be the first Estefan Kitchen location outside of Miami bringing the flavor and music of Cuba to Sunset Walk. Estefan Kitchen is targeting to open in the Fall 2019. With almost 30 years in the hospitality industry, Emilio & Gloria Estefan own and operate several restaurants including Bongos Cuban Cafe, Larios On The Beach, Estefan Kitchen, Estefan Kitchen Express along with two hotels, the Cardozo on Miami’s South Beach, and Costa d’ Este Resort & Spa in Vero Beach, Florida.


The special event hosted at Sunset Walk dazzled media and special guests, in true Estefan fashion, as the introduction of the restaurant began with a welcome and remarks from Art Falcone, co-founder and managing principal of Encore Capital Management, the developer of Sunset Walk. During his speech, a multitude of dancers and percussionists launched a Conga-inspired flash mob. Once the dancers had taken their places, a curtain was dramatically lowered to reveal the building’s façade, Estefan Kitchen crest, restaurant renderings and the stars of the show – International Superstars and 26 time Grammy Award winning artists Emilio & Gloria Estefan.


“Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Orlando has been a dream and a concept for so long, it’s truly satisfying to see it develop a heartbeat all its own,” said Art Falcone, co-founder and managing principal of Encore Capital Management.


“After being in the marketplace for over 22 years, and having provided employment for thousands of people, Orlando is like an extension of our family and we are honored to partner with Art and his development team to debut Estefan Kitchen Orlando here at the gorgeous Sunset Walk at Margaritaville Resort. Not only will we offer authentic Cuban food at its finest, we’ll have the hottest nightclub in Orlando with state of the art sound and video technology,” added Emilio.


“Estefan Kitchen at Sunset Walk will be our fifth full service restaurant that will reflect the casual elegance of our Miami Design District location but with a style and soul of its own,” said Gloria. “Our menu, cocktails, music and vibe will offer a re-imagined taste of our culture to Central Florida and all of it’s national and international visitors. We are truly excited to open our doors this fall.”


Voted by CNN Travel as one of the Top 20 Restaurants in Miami, FL, Estefan Kitchen joins a growing list of new additions and announcements to the lineup of options at Sunset Walk, a short walk from Margaritaville Hotel Orlando and the soon-to-open Island H2O Live! water park, and the recently opened Studio Movie Grill.


Locations now open include Bahama Buck’s, a tropical escape for shaved ice, drinks and “frostalattes;” Florida favorite, Bento Asian Kitchen & Sushi, featuring authentic sushi, rice and noodle bowls, bento boxes, poke bowls and Boba teas; Burger Fi, the go-to burger restaurant for good times and great food with more than 100 locations across the U.S.; Ford’s Garage known for American comfort food and craft beer and an old-timey vibe, designed to feel like a 1920s service station; IT’SUGAR, a modern-day candy store with hundreds of different candy confections to please every sweet tooth; Rock & Brews, which seamlessly combines rock ‘n’ roll music, an affinity for craft beer and a desire for classic comfort food; SiriusXM’s Radio Margaritaville, where tropical tunes stream live all day long! Visitors may pop into the Parrot Perch to meet special guests and DJ JD Spradlin; and Skechers offering athletic, casual and fashionable footwear lines for every age and taste.


Names coming soon to Sunset Walk include B.B.’s World Famous BBQ, featuring a wide selection of classic BBQ and house-made sides; Chicago-based El Jefe Tequilas Cocina + Cantina, specializing in authentic Mexican cuisine regularly stocking 200 different varieties of tequila; Cold Stone Creamery with its selection of ice cream and cakes; Capone’s Coal Fired Pizza offering a mix of traditional and specialty pizzas all made to order in 800-degree coal fired ovens, as well as an extensive menu of pasta and sandwiches; Café D’Avignon, a New York-based restaurant known for its fresh made breads and pastries; GameTime, a place for the whole family offering fun indoor amusement with something for all ages; Don’t 4 Get About Me, a one-stop-shop for the perfect gift for your furry friend, grand-pet, or pet sitter; Legends Cigar Company, providing a wide array of premium blended cigars implementing old world techniques handed down for generations; Avalon Nails & Spa, relax with luxurious nail, skin and spa services to look and feel your best; U.S. Gift Factory, your one-stop-shop for the latest trends and go-to-place for rare gifts; City Fashion, offering brand name, on-trend apparel for the discerning customer; Lafayette’s Fish House and Music Hall, equal parts live music venue, restaurant, bar and party venue; Paradise Spirits carrying a wide selection of premium beer, wine and spirits; and Yeoman’s Cask & Lion, a British-themed pub and eatery, dishing out British staples such as bangers and mash, fish and chips, and Shepherd’s pie.






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Margaritaville Resort Orlando has sent us a press release announcing preview days for Island H20 Live! taking place in just a few weeks! They've also sent us some great photos of the park as it continues to test some of the new attractions in advance of its opening.



Orlando’s newest and most immersive water park, Island H2O Live! will open for preview days from June 5 – June 20, 2019. Be among the first to check out Island H2O Live! and enjoy $5 off day tickets and the opportunity to purchase an annual pass at a reduced price of $69.99+tax (Act fast, as the price will be going up to $89.99 very soon!) During Preview Days, daily passes must be purchased at the water park ticket windows only.


Island H2O Live! will bring an unparalleled water park experience to its guests, by combining cutting-edge technology, unlimited thrills, as well as relaxation options for everyone. A new RFID wristband system will allow guests to personalize their music and light experiences on select rides, capture photos, win points, and share via their social media. Over 20 different experiences, including a wave pool, kids’ area, group raft rides, slides and lazy river will round-out the enlivened experience for all ages.


“We are thrilled to welcome our first guests to Island H2O Live and have them enjoy this new, innovative and immersive water park,” said Jim Kunau. “Whether you’re an influencer and thrill-seeker looking to conquer stomach-churning slides, or a family wanting to splash around in a kid-friendly zone, Island H2O Live! offers something for everyone.”


Island H2O Live! is within walking distance or a short trolley ride to Margaritaville Hotel, Margaritaville Cottages, and Sunset Walk, the resort’s retail, dining, and entertainment district featuring more than 30 offerings including Studio Movie Grill, Yeoman’s Cask & Lion, Ford’s Garage, Bento Café, Rock & Brews, BurgerFi, Skechers, and so much more.


For more information, please visit IslandH2OLive.com or follow Island H2O Live! on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @islandh2olive.





























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Who were those models? None of the people in those water park photos were fat enough to be Jimmy Buffet fans.


It's not like the theme of the park has anything to do with Jimmy Buffet anyways.

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  • 5 weeks later...

On Friday Theme Park Review was invited to attend the Grand Opening of Island H2O Live!, the new water park at Margaritaville Resort Orlando! This water park is uniquely designed with interactive features powered by a custom mobile app that ties to an RFID wristband you wear while visiting the park. The wristband enables functions like wallet-less payments similar to what you'd find in other tech-savvy water parks, but that's about where the similarities end. Guests are incentivized to experience more throughout the water park by tapping their wristbands at each slide entrance or selfie spot, earning points along the way that can unlock more customization options or even more interesting, redeem points towards tangible rewards such as merchandise or food!


The app allows guests to choose musical playlists from a wide selection of genres... These selections will actually play in some of the slides as you go through them. Similarly, guests can choose a theme from within the app that will set a color scheme to be replicated by embedded lights within some of the water park's slides. The concept is really unique and when it works, it is a fun little touch to enjoy. The park bills itself as interactive, and when these functions of the app trigger your customized selections in the slide, it certainly supports the claim!


The slides at Island H2O Live! are fairly unique with very few of them existing elsewhere in the Central Florida market... Those that do are quintessential water park options like ProSlide SKYBoxes, mat racers, a lazy river and a water play structure. Otherwise, the options included set the water park apart from the established competitors in the market--there might be enough of a draw to pull people away from the other parks nearby, just by the lineup alone.



Overall, Island H2O Live! manages to distinguish itself in its app/wristband integration and a roster of slides that are well worth your time! And with Margaritaville Resort Orlando and Sunset Walk steps away, Island H2O Live! manages to be a part of a true resort destination that could stand alone for a Central Florida vacation, or supplement a larger trip while you're visiting some of the big players down the road!


We're here!


The entrance of the water park ready to receive its grand opening guests!


We've got our RFID band and we're ready to head in!


The wristbands can be used to purchase food & beverages and to secure lockers, along with earning points when tapping attractions throughout the water park.


Live Lagoon! is the water park's wave pool...


The music playlist options you can choose from are quite extensive!


As a child of the 90's I found my clear choice... And my expectations of songs that would appear on this playlist were easily met!


You can also gauge wait times throughout the park from the app.


We started our morning off with the Grand Opening ceremonies!


Island H2O Live! has been designed with modern social media lingo-inspired attraction names...


The water park is officially open!


First responders were on hand for the Grand Opening ceremony including firefighters who turned the fire house into Live! Lagoon for the opening moment.


Throughout the water park you'll find free selfie spots when you can later download the photo from the app to share online!


A look at the water park map...


Quite an impressive view!


You can also see wait times on signage location throughout the park.


There are a few added water features along the path of the water park's lazy river.


The family water play structure features several small slides.


Two huge slides, The Downloader and Hashtag Heights are two of the park's most unique attractions.


Of course, the water park has several options for food and drinks.


In case you're wondering...


I was incredibly intrigued by the notion that riding more slides could earn you enough points to get free food!


Island H2O Live! also features the newest generation of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, allowing guests to buy a refillable cup to fill up throughout the park.


The points you earn and spend can be tracked from within the app.


Guests that rent the water park's cabanas will also get access to a private quiet pool.


Time to approach some slides that will terrify me...


I love when parks invest in the translucent slides like these!


Quite a view!


Hashtag Heights can really be a thrill, especially if your raft gets enough momentum to reach close to the top of the halfpipe!


The lazy river wraps around the water park's other slide complexes...


Some really fantastic slides to be found in this complex on the other side of the water park!


Island H2O Live! is a great addition to the Central Florida market and it'll be sure to thrill guests with its lineup of attractions and unique app customization!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Wow, that's pretty impressive, my kids love water parks so I'm sure we'll be making a trip here sooner than later. I love the interactive nature and how they actually reward you for playing along, I mean a pretzel or a drink here in there can't be that big of cost but such a simple little "reward" for participating is pretty cool.


Also, as silly as some of slide names seemed initially after seeing the whole package here it doesn't seem as bad as I initially thought. Love the look of that master blaster slide with the vertical wall finish section to, I've never seen, or experienced, one with that feature.

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Looks like a good modern water park with an odd theme for being within a Margaritaville area.


The points thing is a brilliant want to drive people to stay longer.

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