Great Wheel Corporation announced today it will begin construction on the Great Orlando Wheel, an iconic observation wheel. Scheduled to open in 2010, the Wheel will be 400 feet tall and offer views spanning 25 miles in all directions.
The Wheel will sit on 20 acres next to the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center. Located at 6503 Westwood Boulevard, the giant wheel will be near I-4 and SR 528. The Great Orlando Wheel is one of several observation wheels currently under development in gateway cities around the globe, including Beijing, Singapore and Berlin.
Passengers aboard the Wheel will ride in the comfort of fully enclosed, rotating flight capsules. There will be 24 of these air-conditioned, glass capsules affixed to the Wheel’s outer rim. Measuring approximately 38 x 16 feet, each capsule will carry up to 40 passengers. Guests will be free to move around the glass cabins or sit in one of the plush central seating areas. Capsules may be reserved for business meetings, birthdays, weddings and other special occasions. For passenger entertainment, each capsule will have its own audio and video system.
During each 30-minute ride, the Wheel will ascend slowly and silently. It moves so slowly (nine inches per second) that guests will enter and exit without the wheel having to stop. Surrounding the Great Orlando Wheel will be an 80,848 square-foot flight terminal. There will be no waiting in long lines. The passenger lounge will house unique restaurants, cafes, a bar and boutique shops. The multi-level terminal will include an indoor space of 61,125 square feet plus outdoor covered plazas. The terminals shape will look like a giant infinity sign, with two curved buildings surrounding the Great Orlando Wheel at the center. One structure will be the arrival building, and the other will house the passenger lobby. An arced glass corridor will connect the two buildings.