The largest of the Orlando factory outlet centers recently completed an architectural transformation to become what is now an inviting covered outdoor mall (similar to the way the Premium Outlets are laid out). It offers a wide range of merchandise and over 125 of the hottest designer brands, which, in a few cases, can be gotten at a savings of up to 75% off retail prices. Still, as is the case with most outlets, most buys here are no better than what you'll find in discount houses in your hometown. There are more than a dozen shoe stores (Bass, Cole Haan, Nine West, Nike, Vans, Sperry, and so on); nearly as many housewares shops (Calphalon, Waterford, Pfaltzgraff, and more); a Universal Studios Outlet; and 60-some clothing and accessories shops for men, women, and children (Neiman Marcus Last Call, the Gap, Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, ESPRIT, Aéropostale, Ecko, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, Kenneth Cole, Pac Sun, Polo, Perry Ellis, Nautica, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, DKNY, Colombia Sportswear, Van Heusen, OshKosh, Izod, GUESS, and others). You can also shop for books, records, electronics, sporting goods, health and beauty aids, jewelry, toys, gifts, accessories, lingerie, and hosiery.
Thankfully, the recent overhaul ensures that you no longer have to get in and out of your car to hop from building to building, an incredible inconvenience that once kept this shopping center off my list of favorites. It is, however, in an off-the-beaten-path location, so unless you're staying close to Universal Orlando, the other outlet options make a much better choice.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010