Tag Archives | International Drive attractions

King Kong, Skyfall & New Water Park Coming to Orlando

Waiting is difficult for those wanting to experience the returning King Kong ride at Universal Studios or the new Skyfall ride coming to the SkyPlex attraction in Orlando. We also learned recently the rumor of a new water park at Universal is most likely true. The wait has begun. These new features and Orlando theme parks will be here soon enough; a lot of preparation is required. New attractions just don’t magically appear – even in our magical vacation land!

King Kong Ride is Coming Back

You may remember the old King Kong ride. “Kongfrontation” opened in Universal Studios Florida in 1990 and closed in 2002. It involved a tram ride and a large Kong beast. As technology progresses, the new Kong ride will be an all-new experience. Comcast recently confirmed the return of the ride, but few details are being released. It’s anyone’s guess as to what features will be built into the new attraction. It will most likely be located between Jurassic Park River Adventure and Toon Lagoon in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Details will be announced as the year progresses – stay tuned to Orlando Tourist Tips. It may not open until 2016, but the push is on to get it out prior to the release of the movie “Skull Island.” Legendary Entertainment is expected to release the film in 2017, maybe sooner. This movie tells a tale of King Kong’s home – before westerners intervened. The story will be something to look forward to and could very well be incorporated into the new attraction.

New King Kong ride coming to Universal

universal-water-park

Submitted plans tipped off rumors concerning a new Water Park at Universal Studios in Orlando

Universal’s New Water Park

Plans have been submitted for a new water park, and rumors are spreading like wild fire. Where’s the water to put them out? Near Cabana Bay Beach Resort, that’s where. The new water park will include a volcano with slides, a lazy river and rapids ride, a wave pool and many other features packed within the 25 ± acres.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: If you hear of “Volcano Bay” or “Wondersea Island” or another new water park coming to Orlando, this is the Universal Studios Water Park. The documents that helped spread the rumor earlier this year, project the construction continuing through November of 2016.

SkyFall and StarFlyer Rides Coming to SkyPlex

As written in an earlier post, the I-drive area is seeing a boom in new Orlando attractions. It is hard to keep up with it all. I-Drive 360 is an entertainment complex just south of the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Drive. It is set to open to the public on May 4, 2015. We know in addition to the Orlando Eye, another attraction complex called SkyPlex is adding new rides across the road. Orange County will need to seriously consider a pedestrian overpass, because these attractions go so well with each other.

The Skyscraper Polercoaster (the world’s tallest roller coaster), StarFlyer (swing ride) and the SkyFall (drop tower) are in the plans for SkyPlex. There will also be an observation deck at the top of the giant structure. The view from 535 feet off the ground is sure to show a growing Orlando.

SkyFall will be built inside the Polercoaster ride. It will drop 16 people at a time from 450 feet up. Be sure to look around on the 40 second ride to the top, because after the 15 second hold at the top, the 10 second ride down may be spent with your eyes closed! That’s 90 miles per hour! This new Orlando attraction is expected to be complete in 2017.

SkyPlex in Orlando


With so much to do in Orlando already, many people return to Central Florida each year trying to fit in what is already open. Sounds like the coming months and years will offer tourist even more reasons to return again and again. The new attractions will be thrilling, but waiting for them is so difficult!

Keeping an Eye on Orlando Eye

Orlando Eye attraction

If you are keeping up, or trying to keep up with all of the happenings on I-Drive in Orlando (International Drive), you’ll want to sign up for updates on a new web site. The Orlando Eye’s official site is live and registers people who want to receive updates concerning this new attraction in Orlando. The site, officialorlandoeye.com offers everything you need to know about this Orlando attraction. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Their Facebook page is another way to keep up with the latest updates.

New restaurants continue to open in the I-Drive 360 entertainment area where the Orlando Eye is located. Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Outback Steakhouse were the first to open and offer a great atmosphere. Carrabba’s is huge with 7,800 square feet. The dining room offers family tables and an open kitchen. The bar is modern and mixes traditional and contemporary design inspired by an Italian decor. Outback Steakhouse will also step it up with a “modern Australia” design both inside and out.

If you are planning a visit to Orlando, be sure to check out the I-Drive area. There is a lot to do here and more being planned. Another attraction in the works for this entertainment complex is SKYPLEX. Claiming that it will be the world’s tallest roller coaster, The Skyscraper™. It is named that, because it takes up very little space on the ground, but is 570 feet tall! Next to it is the Orlando Eye – a 400-foot tall observation wheel which opened in the first half of 2015. The huge observation wheel provides a view you’ll want to keep your eye on and not miss out.

A New Amusement Park Coming to Orlando?

Developers have just announced plans for a new amusement park, Orlando Thrill Park.  The plan is in the very early stages and will be weeks before a proposal reaches the city commissioners, but Orlando Mayor Budd Dyer said the plan sounds exciting, stating “We’re always excited for new opportunities, especially since we’ve had some challenging economic times. Anything that’s out there that can bring jobs, we’re happy about.”

The park would be built on 77.7 acres near the north end of International Drive, owned by I-Drive Investors LLC.  The Baker Leisure Group, which specializes in building theme parks, is assisting with this project.  The park may feature as many as 15 rides, including several roller coasters.  The proposal mentions ‘extreme’ roller coasters, with interlocking loops and vertical “top-hat” drops.  The tallest ride will need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, due to the height, 425 feet tall! These types of extreme rides are very popular with ride enthusiasts and the shear height alone will attract a lot of attention to this new amusement park.

Developers acknowledged the park could lead to an increase in light pollution and traffic, and will conduct a noise study in this area, which is bordered on the north by Festival Bay Mall and on the south by a residential neighborhood, Tangelo Park.  On the other hand, a new park would generate much-needed jobs in the area. Jobs for when the park is eventually opened, as well as many jobs during the construction phase.  If this park is approved, it could pose a challenge to other amusement parks in the area, such as Fun Spot and Magical Midway.  They may need to “rise up” to the occasion to sustain their business. Keep checking our website for additional information as plans progress.