In 2015, the major theme parks appear to be holding off on any huge developments (with the exception of Downtown Disney), however, the International Drive area will grow to heights not seen before – literally. Just recently another height attraction was announced that it would be coming to this popular tourist area in Orlando. StarFlyer is a 420-foot-tall swing attraction that will be spinning its way into the I-Drive scene late next year.

This new tower ride will reach speeds of 40 mph and will last 3-4 minutes. The cost will run about $10/passenger. It will be located in the Vue at 360 (where construction for McFadden’s Irish Pub has begun). This project is near another development the same company, Unicorp National Developments, is working to complete early next spring.

Orlando Eye attraction

The Orlando Eye is still on target to open in the spring of 2015. New details about the capsules which will carry passengers up and down from the 400-foot observation wheel have been released. Each car will carry 15 people and there will be 30 capsules for a total capacity of 450 riders at a time. Each ride, or cycle, will last about 20 minutes and offers guests a 360-degree view of the area. Orlando Eye will be the main draw of I-Drive 360, a new shopping and dining complex.

ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: The Yard House, Carrabba’s and Outback Restaurants are already open if you want to dine in this area before spring. Soon the Tin Roof Bar will be open as well. The Convention Center is just down the road, so if you are in town for a meeting, be sure to check this area out! Many other restaurants and shops will be added – and a parking garage, yea!

Ricky Martin & Wax FigureIn this same Orlando complex, Madame Tussauds wax museum will also be completed in 2015. Singer-actress Selena Gomez was the first celebrity identified as having a wax figure included in the Orlando museum attraction. Ricky Martin will also be featured along with a gallery of other celebrities, politicians, icons and famous athletes with Central Florida ties.

Rounding out the lineup at I-Drive 360 is the Sea Life aquarium. Recently the underwater tunnel for this attraction arrived. The 9-ton acrylic tube will give visitors an immersive view of the nearly 5,000 aquatic creatures which will inhabit this new Orlando attraction. Touch pools, bubble tanks and floor-to-ceiling displays are all set to open in the spring.

Other I-Drive Attraction

Another attraction that will be rising up on International Drive beginning in 2015 includes the Skyplex which is still being planned for completion in 2017. As you can see, the local tourism industry continues to do well, and Orlando is setting the standard for innovation and expansion. For us locals, we benefit by having more jobs, additional tax revenues and more fun things to do in our own back yard.