Plans were announced today to develop the world’s tallest roller coaster, The Skyscraper, and a Skyplex indoor entertainment complex at the north east corner of International Drive and Sand Lake Road.
The Skyscraper at Skyplex, the tower coaster to be built not far from the soon-to-open Orlando Eye 425-foot ferris wheel, will alter the Orlando skyline dramatically. The $200 million Skyplex will comprise approximately 495,000 square feet located on 12 acres. Skyplex will break ground in 2015 and is expected to open in 2016.
“Next to our theme parks, International Drive is one of the most recognized icons of Orlando,” said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel. “It’s exciting for our tourism community to see this type of investment being made to continuously raise the bar on the dining and entertainment experiences we offer across our destination.”
The Skyscraper will be 570 feet tall and will feature the first Polercoaster type coaster to be built. This mega-thrill ride is a vertical roller coaster created with coaster-length tracks featuring “all the other thrilling mayhem” of a great coaster experience, but in a small footprint, according to Michael Kitchen, president of US Thrill Rides, the Orlando based company that created the ride.
Bill Kitchen, Founder of US Thrill Rides and creator of the Polercoaster said, “Not only will the ‘Skyscraper’ coaster be the world’s tallest, we believe it will be the most thrilling. There will be incredible heart-pounding inside and outside loops, dives, spirals and inversions like the world has never seen.”
The Skyplex observation deck at the top of the tallest structure in Central Florida will offer views 535 feet from the ground. To get there, visitors will ride in the region’s tallest glass elevators. Skyplex will also include a 1,500-car parking garage with a valet parking option.
Facts about the Skyscraper:
• Over 50 stories tall
• Price for unlimited rides is expected to be under $20
• There will be full inversions on the coaster
• Ride time will be around three minutes
• Height requirement is expected to be 48 inches
• The track will be 5,200 feet long
• It will reach speeds up to 65 MPH
“We’re extremely excited about creating a record-breaking, must-try attraction on International Drive,” said Joshua Wallack, Mango’s Tropical Café chief operating officer, who also will open a Mango’s Orlando next year across International Drive from Skyplex. “Nowhere in the world will you have two iconic structures like The Skyscraper and the Orlando Eye. This will be an incredible opportunity for International Drive.” Wallack and his father David are partners in the mixed-use development that includes opportunities for additional attractions, entertainment, interactive venues, restaurants and retail to include a two-story prime retail space on International Drive. The 7-11, Burger King and World Bowling Center will be demolished to make way for the new complex. But these businesses will be offered space in the new complex or nearby.
“Imagine a night of incredible dining, lounging and dancing atop a glass elevator ride 55 stories into the air,” said David Wallack. “It’s a true meeting of engineering, technology and art that is making this dream happen for us. We plan to bring Ocean Drive to I-Drive with a new dining and nightlife district that locals and Orlando visitors won’t want to miss.”
Mango’s Tropical Café in Orlando, opening in 2015 on the opposite corner of International Drive where TGI Fridays used to be, will be a restaurant and nightlife entertainment destination. The restaurant, with 55,000 square feet of entertainment space, live bands, shows and dancing, plus dining and event packages, will have a parking garage next door to it where Walgreens is now located. Walgreens will be relocating across I-Drive.
For more information, visit www.skyplex.com.
View the official announcement in the video below: