Tag Archives | Orlando Eye Attraction

Brand New I-Drive Experience: Tapas Before Take Off

Tapas Before Take Off - next to the Orlando EyeTapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit is inspired by the culture and tradition of authentic Spanish cuisine. It promises a dining experience unlike any other. Husband-and-wife duo, Vassilis and Katerina Coumbaros, are thrilled to announce Tapas Before Take-Off, an exciting combination of a three course prix fixe meal at their restaurant followed by a ride on one of Orlando’s most popular tourist attractions, The Orlando Eye. Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit is located at I-Drive 360 under the shining lights of the Orlando Eye and is literally just steps away from the attraction. Come for a one-of-a-kind dining experience and stay for an aerial view of all of Orlando. It is a must-do for tourists and residents alike!

Tapas Before Take Off

Tapas Before Take-Off is just $49.95/person including tax & gratuity. The price includes a three-course prix fixe menu, house drink, and a ticket to ride the Orlando Eye. Please make a reservation so that the restaurant knows that you’re coming and your spot is reserved.

Tapas Interior photo

View the menu here for Tapas Before Take Off.

Make a reservation for Tapas Before Take Off.

Arrive just before dusk to have dinner and ride the Orlando Eye as the sunsets and see International Drive lit up from above!

Tapa Toro Tapas Restaurant & Paella Pit

Located at I-Drive 360, Tapa Toro features tapas-style dining, a full-service bar and Flamenco dancing. The restaurant leads with a 12-seat paella pit serving up family-style paella, a traditional Spanish dish made of rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood. At Tapa Toro you can experience a night in Spain without ever having to leave Central Florida.

Executive Chef Wendy Lopez

Tappas cuisineExecutive Chef Wendy Lopez, a native of Michoacan, Mexico, began cooking at a young age while working in her family’s restaurant. After formal training at Le Cordon Bleu College in Orlando, she began her professional career at the Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere. She went on to become sous chef under Certified Master Chef Russell Scott.

She has aided in the development of a unique menu featuring a robust selection of hot and cold tapas, paella variations and desserts. Using only the freshest imported ingredients, Chef Lopez combines traditional Spanish elements to create an authentic taste experience for people in Orlando.


Just in case the communal seating in the bar or family-style paella pit don’t provide enough entertainment for your dining experience, every evening at Tapa Toro features flamenco dancing, bringing the sights and sounds of Spain right to your table. Take your meal to the next level by reserving the 12-seat paella pit for an up-close-and-personal experience with our Chef Lopez. Whether you are coming in for a private family dinner or a celebration with friends, a night at Tapa Toro is sure to ignite your senses.

Tapas Before Take Off is happening for a limited time so make your reservation today and experience the most flavorful and festive combination of dining and entertainment on International Drive.

International Drive is Growing Up as Theme Parks Slow Down

In 2015, the major theme parks appear to be holding off on any huge developments (with the exception of Downtown Disney), however, the International Drive area will grow to heights not seen before – literally. Just recently another height attraction was announced that it would be coming to this popular tourist area in Orlando. StarFlyer is a 420-foot-tall swing attraction that will be spinning its way into the I-Drive scene late next year.

This new tower ride will reach speeds of 40 mph and will last 3-4 minutes. The cost will run about $10/passenger. It will be located in the Vue at 360 (where construction for McFadden’s Irish Pub has begun). This project is near another development the same company, Unicorp National Developments, is working to complete early next spring.

Orlando Eye attraction

The Orlando Eye is still on target to open in the spring of 2015. New details about the capsules which will carry passengers up and down from the 400-foot observation wheel have been released. Each car will carry 15 people and there will be 30 capsules for a total capacity of 450 riders at a time. Each ride, or cycle, will last about 20 minutes and offers guests a 360-degree view of the area. Orlando Eye will be the main draw of I-Drive 360, a new shopping and dining complex.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: The Yard House, Carrabba’s and Outback Restaurants are already open if you want to dine in this area before spring. Soon the Tin Roof Bar will be open as well. The Convention Center is just down the road, so if you are in town for a meeting, be sure to check this area out! Many other restaurants and shops will be added – and a parking garage, yea!

Ricky Martin & Wax FigureIn this same Orlando complex, Madame Tussauds wax museum will also be completed in 2015. Singer-actress Selena Gomez was the first celebrity identified as having a wax figure included in the Orlando museum attraction. Ricky Martin will also be featured along with a gallery of other celebrities, politicians, icons and famous athletes with Central Florida ties.

Rounding out the lineup at I-Drive 360 is the Sea Life aquarium. Recently the underwater tunnel for this attraction arrived. The 9-ton acrylic tube will give visitors an immersive view of the nearly 5,000 aquatic creatures which will inhabit this new Orlando attraction. Touch pools, bubble tanks and floor-to-ceiling displays are all set to open in the spring.

Other I-Drive Attraction

Another attraction that will be rising up on International Drive beginning in 2015 includes the Skyplex which is still being planned for completion in 2017. As you can see, the local tourism industry continues to do well, and Orlando is setting the standard for innovation and expansion. For us locals, we benefit by having more jobs, additional tax revenues and more fun things to do in our own back yard.