Orlando’s Tourism Corridor: More Than $1 Billion in Development Planned Through 2019 for Thriving I-Drive Resort Area
yer in Orlando’s booming hospitality industry. And this past year has been a game changer for the tourism corridor with the opening of highly anticipated new projects including:
I-Drive 360, $200 million entertainment destination and home to the Orlando Eye opened in the heart of International Drive. The 400-foot, iconic observation wheel is the centerpiece of the themed complex featuring a dynamic blend of attractions, restaurants, nonstop entertainment, dancing and shops. Joining the Orlando Eye as part of a unique line-up of attractions, are world-famous Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium, SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled! and Arcade City. www.i-drive360.com
Mango’s Tropical Café & Nightclub Complex opened its $40 million, 55,000-square-foot restaurant and nightclub providing nonstop live entertainment, dancing, dining. The Latin-themed restaurant and club is an expansion of the Mangos brand in South Beach.www.mangos.com/orlando
And the World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald’s just reopened and is the first in the country to have a newly-designed 22-foot-tall kids’ jungle gym with slides and tunnels. The two-story restaurant is 48 feet tall and includes19,000-square-feet of space. With 348 seats on the first and second floors, there is a 2,000-square-foot arcade center with 50 games and eight kitchens prepare more than 200 menu items. www.mcfun.com
In addition to new attractions and entertainment, the area is also home to six theme parks (SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Waterpark, Wet ‘n Wild, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure), restaurants, dinner shows, shopping experiences, mega entertainment complexes, smaller family style attractions and spas.
Details on all upcoming projects may be accessed here.
Coming in 2016 and beyond…
SeaWorld Orlando opens its Mako Coaster this summer. Orlando’s tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster the 200-foot-tall hyper coaster will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless.www.seaworldparks.com
Also this summer at Universal Orlando: Lowes Sapphire Resort to open with 1,000 rooms. Visit www.universalorlando.com. And Skull Island Reign of Kong, also coming this summer to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, provides a journey deep into a mysterious island, swarmed by enormous prehistoric predators. Check here for the details.
At Pointe Orlando, Main Event Entertainment, a state-of-the-art bowling experience, will open in the fall with 48,000-square-feet of space. It features bowling, multi-level laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, billiards and interactive and virtual video games, with dining experiences ranging from fast-casual to chef-inspired casual. www.mainevent.com
SKYPLEX Entertainment Complex expects to be completed in 2019 with Skyscraper, the world’s tallest roller coaster at more than 500 feet. Also: plans include a record-breaking drop tower, observation tower, open air promenade, indoor arcade, hotel, restaurants, and retail.www.mangos.com/skyplex