Six years ago, we left our family and friends in Kentucky for a new adventure: life in Central Florida. With so many activities and places to visit in a state where tourism is king, we weren’t quite sure where to start. One of the first places we checked out was the world’s largest entertainment McDonald’s and Play Place off of International Drive in Orlando. We were sadly disappointed as the food was not that great and the restaurant was quite dirty. Due to our disappointing experience and the busyness of I-Drive, we decided to avoid the restaurant at all costs.
Fast forward six years. My oldest son is part of a great social group for teens with Autism, which meets biweekly for outings in the community. When I received the list of outings, I couldn’t believe that the “dirty McDonalds” was on the list. I knew there was no way to avoid another trip, so I gritted my teeth and prepared for the worst. Fortunately, our second trip to the McDonalds was vastly different from our first trip. Rebuilt in 2016, the new structure appears cleaner and more modern than its predecessor. McDonald’s traditional items can be found on the menu as well as pizza, pasta, custom made burgers, omelettes, and a desert bar. Guests can order their food on touch screen menus and watch the chefs prepare the food in the open kitchen. The food was good. We especially enjoyed the hand dipped ice cream on fresh waffle cones.
The entertainment portion of the restaurant lies upstairs. It was quite noisy, but the boys had fun playing the arcade games, many of which are based on modern smartphone apps. Even though they are too big to play on the 22 ft. tall Play Place, my boys had a blast eating, hanging out with friends, and playing video games. They are already talking about our next visit.