In this edition of The Rumor Queue, we examine leaked documents that imply a new Lionsgate attraction is being considered for Orlando in place of the previously-announced Skyplex.
Disclaimer: Unless where otherwise noted, the following is rumor and speculation, and should not be regarded as fact unless confirmed by the companies mentioned.
By Justin Landers
Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point broke the 200-foot height roller coaster record. Millennium Force, also at Cedar Point, broke the 300-foot height record. For a third time, Cedar Point broke the record with Top Thrill Dragster at 400 feet. Each of these records was only held for a short time, though, as none of them are the tallest roller coasters in the world anymore. Currently, the tallest stands at 456 feet at Six Flags Great Adventure – Kingda Ka. It opened in 2005 and has held that record for 15 years.
Kingda Ka was supposed to lose its tallest title in 2016 when Skyscraper, the world’s tallest roller coaster, was to open on International Drive in Orlando as part of the planned Skyplex indoor entertainment complex. The idea was a 570-foot-tall tower with a roller coaster, AKA the Polercoaster, that went all around the outside and through the inside at points, featuring inversions and drops. The owners of Mango’s Tropical Café, Josh Wallack and his father David, were behind the project. In 2014, they started to seek investors, but by its original opening date in 2016, nothing had started. Between 2014 and 2017, other elements were announced for the tower in addition to the coaster, such as a drop ride, the world’s largest man-made surfing wave pool, and SkyJump, a 500-foot free fall diving experience from the top of Skyscraper Tower. In 2019, the website went down.
For the past six years, this idea has been laughed at. No construction ever began, even though sites were reportedly looked at and locked in. The coaster started to fade to the back of peoples minds. The project was supposed to be completed by 2016 and be built by Intamin. Nothing has been done.
Now? There’s a new suite of rumors backed by some leaked documents that show what might be coming. Keep in mind, these are not an official announcement. There is no promise this will become a thing, but there are some indicators that show it is at least being discussed and considered.
According to the documents, Lionsgate is tied to the entertainment center named “Lionsgate World Resort Orlando” on the same land where the Skyplex was planned on the corner of Sand Lake Road and International Drive – a prime location for more entertainment, as it is already a bustling area with a lot of attractions.
In China, Lionsgate has what they are calling a “first generation vertical theme park,” and this would be their second generation. It appears they also don’t want to stop at 570 feet, but rather are looking at building it 649 feet tall, according to one document. Another document hints at a height of 580 feet tall, but either way, that would put the height record broken by the largest gap ever – potentially as much as nearly 200 feet.
If this comes to pass as listed in the documents, the ride partner would be Intamin and they would break their own Kingda Ka height record. The entertainment venue would also feature other rides and attractions, and offer ticket combo deals depending on which attractions you wish to experience.
In the documents, it appears this project is actually a possibility. The financing work, budgeting work, and market share work that you would expect to find in a thorough and complete business plan are all there. Restaurant partnerships have already been discussed, and it’s even said COVID has been taken into account on the financial aspect of this project.
We even have a proposal for a name: “Rambo’s Revenge Tower Coaster” which fits in with the Lionsgate media brand. OK … I’ll admit it, I hope the name doesn’t stick with the project, but I absolutely hope it gets built. This could provide a new style of groundbreaking roller coaster that provides amazing opportunities for companies with smaller plots of land to offer major thrills.
These documents are the first word of the former Skyplex still being considered. The leaked documents feature more than 500 pages of information, and we are still sifting through it all to find anything else that might be worthy of note. This amount of paperwork on the project is a promising outlook for what could be coming. But with the long-term effects of COVID-19, you never know.
After over six years of anticipation, back and fourths, the project being cancelled, renewed, and more, could the Skyplex finally become a reality? Let’s just hope once the ground-breaking starts, it doesn’t take 20 years to finish – otherwise Orlando could soon enough have a brand new “I-4 eyesore.”
Justin Landers owns Just Shoot Light Multimedia Productions. He has been involved in the amusement and theme park industry since 2013 as a freelance photographer and videographer. You can follow him on Instagram @Inverted_Therapy and Just Shoot Light on YouTube.