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prahaboheme

I-Walk Orlando

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I think this project is worthy of a dedicated thread. This could be a huge boost to tourism in Orlando and would claim the title as the largest ferris wheel in the US.

What we know so far:

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Madame Tussauds wax museum and a 425-foot “Orlando Eye” observation wheel will anchor a new tourist complex in central Florida. Merlin Entertainments announced Wednesday that it is collaborating with two developers to bring its attractions to a new shopping and entertainment complex to be called “I-Walk Orlando.” Opening is set for 2013. At 425-feet, the “Orlando Eye” wheel will be nearly as high as the landmark “London Eye” wheel, also owned by Merlin. The company also will operate the Legoland theme park opening later this year near Orlando. Merlin is collaborating on the project with Unicorp National Developments Inc. and Circle Entertainment Inc.

New_Square_11-0228900.jpg

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Where will this development be located (approximate location)?

Where the Mercado used to be located.

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I am assuming the front of the image is along I-Drive?

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I am assuming the front of the image is along I-Drive?

It looks like it... the tall buildings in the back turn at a steeper angle, which seems to match the shape of the direction of Universal Blvd in that area...

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I thought the eye was supposed to go on Westwood Ave? Was that a different wheel?

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Yes that's a different project, and I suspect if they still had any plans to build it that has changed with Merlin's announcement:

Great Orlando Wheel

The Westwood Blvd location just doesn't compare to being in the heart of the I-Drive corridor surrounded by a mixed-use development such as the proposed.

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Man I'm so confused. Soo I-Walk is a separate entity from the OTP (Orlando Thrill Park)? Or did they scrap the OTP plans due to noise affecting Tangelo Park??

City of Orlando link:

http://cityoforlando...othrillpark.htm

The Thrill Park proposal is for the site immediately south of Festival Bay at the north end of I-Drive, whereas I-Walk is slated for the old Mercado site between Sand Lake Road and Pointe Orlando.

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Yes that's a different project, and I suspect if they still had any plans to build it that has changed with Merlin's announcement:

Great Orlando Wheel

The Westwood Blvd location just doesn't compare to being in the heart of the I-Drive corridor surrounded by a mixed-use development such as the proposed.

Yea, I read somewhere in the last week in a piece connected with I-Walk that Greatwheel Orlando had folded sometime back due to an innability to get funding. The I-Walk people say they are better capitalized and that shouldn't happen in this case.

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Has there been anything mentioned of Merlin purchasing air rights around this new proposal? What if, down the road, someones builds towers across Universal or immediately north on I drive? The Great Wheel's location might not have been the most ideal but its location adjacent to the Beachline provided it a guarantee that it would not be blocked, at least for a considerable distance, by future development.

Now, I know the possibility of a developer constructing a 440-450 foot hotel anytime soon is practically non-existent, but the first one that does block the view from Merlin's project would greatly decrease the desirability of hopping on this thing.

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Has there been anything mentioned of Merlin purchasing air rights around this new proposal? What if, down the road, someones builds towers across Universal or immediately north on I drive? The Great Wheel's location might not have been the most ideal but its location adjacent to the Beachline provided it a guarantee that it would not be blocked, at least for a considerable distance, by future development.

Now, I know the possibility of a developer constructing a 440-450 foot hotel anytime soon is practically non-existent, but the first one that does block the view from Merlin's project would greatly decrease the desirability of hopping on this thing.

Immediately north on I-drive is Gooding's shopping center, Ripley's and the Wyndham. I think on the north side, they're safe. Between the wheel and Lockheed? I'd say the hotels would be able as good to look at as looking to the east and seeing Lockheed anyway.

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Well the views over the Butler Chain of Lakes and Downtown are neat but not remarkable. Not, at least, compared with this:

View_from_the_London_Eye_10-2003_01.jpg

London-eye-view-westminster.jpg

eyenelson.jpg

The views over downtown Orlando and points North would have been a bit more interesting, me thinks.

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Going on the London Eye doesn't provide really spectacular sights either. You see Big Ben and Parliament, which looks more impressive at street level, and a church or something next to it. The egg building in London is OK. In Orlando, you would go up and say that the round thing is Spaceship Earth at Epcot and the red and yellow checkered building to the north is the world's largest McDonalds. Not really exciting either. London has a river that doesn't have much going for it with regards to view. Orlando has a bunch of lakes that are boring as well. London is filled with buildings and buildings as far as the eye can see. Orlando has smaller buildings and lots of trees.

I think that people have this idea that you are going to be amazed at the view when the ride itself is more of the lure and people don't actually realize it. You just have to put a monstrous ferris wheel in a place with lots of traffic. That's it. It is a ride. The view is almost a moot point.

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How high does the balloon at West Side Disney go? Isn't that about the same height? If they can draw business, I don't see why a Ferris wheel couldn't.

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How high does the balloon at West Side Disney go? Isn't that about the same height? If they can draw business, I don't see why a Ferris wheel couldn't.

But it's DISNEY. People will gladly hand over money to the Mouse no matter what. I've never been on the balloon, but I've been to the top of the Contemporary Hotel, and the view is actually more interesting compared to what you'll see from the middle of I-Drive. I think part of the appeal of looking down on Paris, London, or even the Magic Kingdom is being able to see places you've been and can identify with. From an amateur urban planner's viewpoint, I love seeing how a city is laid out and all the pieces that make it work. The view from I-Drive? There's no there there.

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Universal Orlando is jelous, they will dismiss the cases.

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