I have a dirty little Yelp* secret– I have used it since 2010, but I never really maximized it’s wide range of services and opportunities. In March 2014, I attended a Yelp* event which changed my life. My bestie, Meghan, asked me to join her as her Plus One for a Yelp* Elite event at King’s Bowl Orlando. At the time, I transferred from Honolulu to Atlanta, so I could be closer to home and I was excited for a Girls’ Night Out with one of my longtime friends from undergrad. We’ve had plenty of shenanigans over the years, but this event would be a catalyst for one of the biggest changes in my thirties.
Busted March Madness Brackets & Cold Beverages with my Bestie!
[Note: I sincerely believed that this post went live back in April 2014, but it seems in the midst of all my flying, it fell to the wayside. Below includes my review of Yelp’s Big Kid Bowling Party as well as my review of King’s Bowl. ]
I had never attended any Yelp related events, as usually they were few and far between i White Plains, or later conflicted with my flight schedule. At the time, New Smyrna Beach was my home base between flights, so Orlando was close enough where I could venture forth and be more social and even make a friend or two who shares my passions for food, fun, and laughter. (Turns out, I bit off more than I could chew and Yelp about, but more about that in a tick!)
I get by with a little Yelp* from my friends!
Event Review: Yelp’s Big Kid Bowling Party
Although being a Yelp member for four years, I never found my niche or inspiration to go above and beyond in my Yelping… until I attending this fantastic Elite event as a Plus One. Suddenly, I felt like a kid with my nose pressed against the glass, staring into a bright new world of likeminded individuals who love exploring Orlando through the social lubricants of food, drink, and bowling!! Initially, I felt like I was clinging to my friend’s shadow as meeting the other Elites felt like being the new kid on the first day of school!
Catching the end of the Gator game, we were thrown into a great game of Human Bingo, all vying for a pair of tickets to lunch with the new Community Manager, Andi (who is so darling)! After breaking some of the ice over samples of the bar menu and their signature cocktails, my new girl friends and I posed with Woody and got some photos taken! I ate far more than my fair share of Buffalo Wontons and may have snuck back for a second (or possibly third) helping of the Cherry Vanilla Coke. I was having a blast and we hadn’t even begun to fight…. I mean bowl!
The staff was incredibly friendly and super fast! Given the choice, I would take my parties to King’s in a heart beat because the people who work there genuinely care for their customers and anticipate their needs. Unlike other upscale bowling establishments, the King’s folks aren’t pretentious, making chatting with them a true pleasure. I felt like my patronage was welcomed, and despite being an a high volume tourist area, I was not treated like such.
We made our way to The Royal Room (oooh schwanky) and set up shop at Lane 17. With two drink tickets and a giant portrait of The Dude from The Big Lebowski, I had to kick off will a full on White Russian. Let it be known the King’s bartenders are not stingy with their pours. This Fly Gal tried her best to bowl, but the oncoming storm that was the food coma beat me out. Our “team” hit up the SNAP! Photo booth for some fun, and I claimed my check-in bonus of a hug from the CM! I walked in a plus one, but now I have group of Yelp Ladies who are making me love Central Florida even more!
Now, the fire is lit. I have to work my way up into the Elite ranks because I’ve given a taste of the Elite Life, and I’m hooked.
Try as I may, I cannot seem to replicate the perfect balance of KBO’s Cherry Vanilla Coke. I’ve tried several attempts in my at home kitchen experiments, but I cannot crack the code to unlock this tasty cocktail. I do not drink many sodas or soda-based cocktails, but this is one I would truly love to master, so I could share with friends.
Yelp* Review: King’s Bowl
KBO, I love you. I sincerely and truly do. I had the pleasure of meeting you for the first time at the Yelp CMYE Event, and ever since, I cannot get you out of my head. You have officially ruined upscale bowling joints for me because the service your amazing staff provided trumps every other theme park area bowling alley. The food and drink menu is balanced, diverse, and delicious, (and I will have to do plenty of bowling to work off all those delicious calories).
The bar area has a variety of seating options from hightop tables and large half-moon booths to a sofa-packed patio to enjoy the Florida fresh air! There is plenty of room at the bar, and the wait staff are at the top of their game. If you order nothing get the Buffalo Wontons. Get a LOT of Buffalo Wontons. My favorite drink is their twist on the classic Cherry Vanilla Coke. It’s been given at 21+ makeover, and it’s fantastically smooth. It makes reminiscing about childhood far more entertaining.
The facilities are clean and well maintained, but I also love that they have billiard tables. It has been a while since I’ve last played, but having a non-bowling option available if great for those wanting to hang out, but not too keen on slinging balls down the lane. I can’t wait to go back!
I might burn some bridges, but I prefer King’s Bowl to Disney Springs’ titan, Splitsville. I think it is largely in part to the more intimate atmosphere and those dang Buffalo Wontons (seriously, those are no joke). I ended up heading back to King’s Bowl in September 2014 for my birthday, but of course it was Labor Day weekend in Orlando, and there was a two hour wait for lanes. We ended up just having lunch at the bar before heading out, but I am definitely planning more appropriately next time I visit.
Discovering Squad Goals
The greatest takeaway from the entire night wasn’t the full belly, free VIP Room bowling, or all the nifty Yelp swag. That night, I met some of the most wonderful, intelligent, and fun women in Orlando who are now my treasured friends. In the last two years, these women have helped me through break ups, change of jobs, and moving to Orlando full-time. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of not only attending other events with these women, but cultivating meaningful friendships with them, something I have found increasing harder for me to do in general the older I get.
Forget Woman Crush Wednesday because these chicks are my crush every damn day of the week. I am thankful that they are part of my life. Even though we live peppered across Orlando, we’re always catching up with one another when we can and stay in touch any way we can. I often wonder how different my life would have been had I not had the night off to attend the event with Meghan. I am so thankful that I was able to not only attend a fantastic event, but make truly solid friendships which I hold very dear. These women helped me open up and shaped KNO into what it is today. That night might actually be the original Girls Nerding Out.
THANK YOU, LADIES!!
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Have you ever visited a premium bowling establishment or do you prefer the divey kind?
- Do you use Yelp or other review websites? Which ones?
- What activities do you enjoy with your close friends?