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Crayola to open family attraction in Orlando

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 29, 2014 at 3:36 pm •  Published: July 29, 2014

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — Crayon manufacturer Crayola is building a family attraction in Florida, similar to the one it operates in its home state of Pennsylvania, and more could be on the way around the country if the new place does well.

The company said Tuesday that Crayola Experience Orlando will open next summer at The Florida Mall.

Crayola Experience Orlando will feature 25 hands-on activities in 70,000 square feet of space. One attraction will let children create their own unique crayon with a personalized wrapper. Another will let kids appear on their own coloring page.

"We definitely feel like there's an opportunity to expand in major markets around the country," Crayola CEO Mike Perry told The Associated Press.

Crayola, a subsidiary of Kansas City, Missouri-based Hallmark Cards Inc., noted Orlando is a top family destination.

The area has three major theme park resorts - Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld - and many more specialty parks and attractions, some built around children's brands, such as Legoland Florida in nearby Winter Haven.

But Perry said the attraction doesn't expect to rely entirely on tourists for its success. Like the Easton location, Crayola expects its Orlando attraction to draw plenty of local families.

"I think Orlando stands on its own," Perry said. "For just the local market, that is a big enough population by far, with enough young families in that market, that it sustains itself."

Russell Schmid and his family traveled some 130 miles from their home in Gardner, Pennsylvania, to take in the Crayola Experience in Easton on Tuesday. He expects the Orlando location to do just as well as the original, which is typically packed on very hot or rainy summer days.

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