The Orlando Eye – International Drive’s Biggest, Newest Attraction
It was back in May 2015 that the latest big attraction from Merlin Entertainment – the Orlando Eye – was finally opened to the eager public and holiday-makers of International Drive, Orlando.
The great big centre point of the new I-Drive 360 complex, the Orlando Eye is the Floridian counterpart of its older brother which rests upon the bank of the river Thames in London. And, like the London Eye, this 400 foot behemoth represents one mighty Ferris Wheel, offering a truly unique view over the theme park centre of the world that is Orlando.
The Eye Experience
Contained within one of 30 enclosed glass capsules a ride on the Orlando Eye promises to be unlike anything else you’re likely to experience during your stay in central Florida. Which, given the huge array of attractions within spitting distance, is really saying something.
Of course, the ride is a decidedly more sedate affair in comparison to some of the more high octane experiences in Orlando (The Hulk and Aerosmith roller-coasters springing readily to mind, for example). But what it lacks in speed, it will surely make up for through its sheer scale, spectacle and jaw-dropping scenery.
As you make your serene, meandering way around the wheel you’ll have mile upon mile of Florida landscape opening up before and, more accurately, below you. A chance to get a unique perspective on the major theme parks in the area as well as the ever-expanding skyline of downtown Orlando, old town Kissimmee and the vast stretches of lakes, swamps and lush greenery that the more rural aspects of central Florida has to offer.
And, according to the official website, on a clear day you can even see as far away as the Space Centre at Cape Canaveral. Which makes me ponder that an Orlando Eye Capsule would be quite a cool place from which to see a launch.
Similar to the London Eye the Orlando equivalent offers a range of different experiences from which to choose including booking out your own private capsule for you and up to 14 friends, to champagne accompanied rides which sounds like the perfect way to catch a sunset. In addition there’s also a 4D cinematic experience to be enjoyed as part of the experience – an intriguing added extra that’s worth exploring further.
As part of the new I-Drive showcase Merlin Group have added two of their other premier branded attractions to sit alongside the impressive Eye and help to create a real new dimension to family friendly entertainment in the already packed to bursting International Drive area.
Launched in conjunction with the Orlando Eye is the SEA LIFE Aquarium, offering visitors an opportunity to experience and explore a vast and really stunning array of different sea creatures, fish and general aquatic life.
And then there’s the iconic name in Wax Modelling – Madame Tussauds Orlando. Taking its lead from the world famous London venue this brings the wax museum to Florida, bringing with it a decidedly American feel to this distinctly European attraction.
Now a few months old and the Eye is fast becoming a major landmark on the Orlando skyline and another BIG attraction for a region already bursting with things to do. Nevertheless, the wheel certainly promises to become something of an Orlando icon in the coming years and a perfect antidote when you need an alternative source of entertainment from the theme parks.