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Posted on Friday, 06.13.14

Orlando’s I-Drive gets a facelift


ORLANDO -- Joshua Wallack originally thought he was just buying a patch of land off Orlando's International Drive that would one day house a parking lot for his restaurant group's newest venture in Central Florida.

But when several stakeholders opposed having a lot on the proposed site, he agreed to a new spot. There was just one problem.

"It was like, 'What the heck are we going to do with the land we were going to use to park cars on?" Wallack said.

A year later, he's now looking forward to being a major part of the latest face-lifts to one of Orlando's most-visited areas.

By 2016, the Orlando International Drive District, a first of its kind when it was established in 1993, will house two new entertainment complexes.

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando, co-owned by Wallack and his father, David, who also own Mango’s on Miami Beach, announced plans this month to bring the world's tallest roller-coaster — the 570-foot Skyscraper — and the $200 million, 495,000-square foot Skyplex indoor entertainment complex to I-Drive.

 It will join the nearby I-Drive 360 shopping, dining and entertainment complex being developed by Unicorp National Developments, and including a trio of attractions by Merlin Entertainments — the 400-foot Orlando Eye Ferris wheel, Madame Tussauds wax museum and Sea Life Orlando aquarium.

Skyplex and I-Drive 360, which officials hope will be a new centerpiece for the well-traveled tourist vein, will also be joined by several new restaurants and projects including a new Titanic: The Experience museum.

"Other than Walt Disney World, every other major attraction is on International Drive,"
Joshua Wallack said.

"There are about 60 million tourists and conventioneers coming every year to the Orlando tourist corridor, and if you have critical mass with your attractions, you're gonna get lots of customers. I think International Drive is in a Renaissance period."

International Drive already employs about 32,000 people, and the Wallacks said the projects will add between 800 and 1,000 new jobs.

Rosen Hotels president and chief operating officer Harris Rosen said it is a welcomed boon for an area that he's been affiliated with for 40 years.

Rosen has seven hotels in Orlando, including five located on International Drive. His Rosen Centre also just opened Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill last week.

"It's really quite extraordinary what's going on," Rosen said. "We're really offering an abundance of fun activities. What it means is that we're going to be able to keep people on the Drive longer. Clearly, people will go to Disney, SeaWorld and other places. … But I think they'll also say, 'Let's spend a day on International Drive and see all the amenities it has.' "

James Paulding, head of new openings for Merlin Entertainments North America, said the timing to be on I-Drive is perfect.

"International Drive is getting a new lease on life,"
he said. "We're not looking at taking a whole day of people's schedule. We're kind of trying to fit into people’s vacation time and provide something for locals, as well."

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While "Flavor" is very subjective, and each country that grows mangoes is very nationalistic, these are the mango varieties that are the most sought after around the world because of sweetnesss (Brix) and demand.

The Chaunsa has a Brix rating in the 22 degree level which is unheard of!
Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
Perhaps it is time for a GLOBAL taste test ???

In alphabetical order by Country....



Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 

It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at P…

Mangoes date back 65 million years according to research ...

Experts at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) here have traced the origin of mango to the hills of Meghalaya, India from a 65 million year-old fossil of a mango leaf. 

The earlier fossil records of mango (Mangifera indica) from the Northeast and elsewhere were 25 to 30 million years old. The 'carbonized leaf fossil' from Damalgiri area of Meghalaya hills, believed to be a mango tree from the peninsular India, was found by Dr R. C. Mehrotra, senior scientist, BSIP and his colleagues. 

After careful analysis of the fossil of the mango leaf and leaves of modern plants, the BISP scientist found many of the fossil leaf characters to be similar to mangifera.

An extensive study of the anatomy and morphology of several modern-day species of the genus mangifera with the fossil samples had reinforced the concept that its centre of origin is Northeast India, from where it spread into neighbouring areas, says Dr. Mehrotra. 

The genus is believed to have disseminated into neighb…