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Mayor Demings modifies stance on Universal road deal. It would still grant the $125 million but keeps the CRA sunset at 2028.

It’s by no means the whole loaf (or even half) and he’s reserving the right to change his mind, but it’s a first step to not rolling over for whatever the industry wants.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-ne-demings-tweaks-universal-deal-20191213-36ug7ratsvbgxe2z66qezcotsy-story.html

From the Sentinel 

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As Orlando’s theme parks get busier and busier, how will queuing be managed effectively?

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201912/7164/

From Theme Park Insider 

A closer look at the next attraction coming up at DHS:

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201912/7166/

From Theme Park Insider 

What do you think? A “D” attraction?

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On 12/14/2019 at 6:28 AM, spenser1058 said:

Mayor Demings modifies stance on Universal road deal. It would still grant the $125 million but keeps the CRA sunset at 2028.

It’s by no means the whole loaf (or even half) and he’s reserving the right to change his mind, but it’s a first step to not rolling over for whatever the industry wants.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-ne-demings-tweaks-universal-deal-20191213-36ug7ratsvbgxe2z66qezcotsy-story.html

From the Sentinel 

Interesting update here...

"On the eve of a crucial vote for its new theme park, Universal Orlando announced it would pledge 20 acres of land to build about 1,000 affordable units near the tourism corridor to help fight Central Florida’s housing crisis."

"Universal will also pledge about 3 acres of land to be used for mass transit solutions,..."

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orange-county/os-ne-universal-pledges-20191216-fxsrt2cutreabc6gxlb777bnqe-story.html

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I am reposting this from the forum Inside Universal because I believe it is extremely relevant here as well.

"

 

Tomorrow, Tues. Dec 17th, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to take two important votes relating to the development of Universal's Epic Universe. The Kirkman Road Extension Agreement and Universal's Land Use Plan Amendment are two of the largest remaining obstacles in EU planning before the avalanche of building permits can begin.

The proposed Kirkman Road Agreement details what responsibility Universal and the County each have in the extension of the road. The Kirkman extension will have 8 lanes, including 2 dedicated bus lanes, and is expected to be the main artery for transportation between the two Universal resort complexes. The proposal is for Universal to manage construction of the road, subject to certain county limitations and oversight, and for the county to maintain it thereafter. Orange County is planning to contribute $125 million of the projected $315 million cost, with Universal covering most of the remainder and being responsible for any cost overruns.

The Land Use Plan Amendment is a key document in determining what Universal can build, as it proposes rules on topics like building density and maximum height. Additionally, Universal is requesting many waivers from the normal Orange County code, which would allow things such as launching fireworks or using atypical perimeter landscaping.

The Kirkman Road Agreement, in particular, has generated significant controversy. Many local residents oppose spending so much local money for the benefit of one large corporation, and are unexcited about the additional traffic that the development will bring to the area. If you have time to do some reading, the Orlando Sentinel has done good reporting on the organized opposition to the agreement, as well as Universal's campaign to push it through. They have also uncovered some more questionable actions taken by Universal, arguing county commissioners were misled about the Major Economic Development Projects initiative after not being informed that Universal designed the program themselves and that Universal threatened county staff with having the EU property annexed into Orlando (and therefore out of Orange County's tax jurisdiction) in order to get exactly the proposal they wanted.

In light of this controversy, there were a lot of questions at today's housing announcement about whether the land donation was really just a way to win votes for these crucial EU development milestones. Both Universal and Mayor Demings said that the timing wasn't related to the Universal votes tomorrow, with Mayor Demings instead saying the timing probably has more to do with affordable housing discussions that will be happening at the board meeting tomorrow. It still looks suspicious, however, especially in light of Universal's extensive public campaign and lobbying efforts (also detailed by the Sentinel) and the expectation that the Kirkman vote could be close, although I believe that both Universal measures are expected to pass.

"

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The Sentinel tells us why the Keys  and the Panhandle in Florida can use the TDT for local needs but Orlando can’t (not to mention places like Vegas, Honolulu and Portland).

Bottom line: your local leaders sold you out.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/laborland/os-bz-tourism-industry-disney-taxes-20191218-hc622hqsxzgdjikyfbgxx3fw7y-story.html

 

 

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Florida owns the theme park business,right? Pretty much, except when it comes to one thing: roller coasters.

When thrill seekers discuss the best or most harrowing metal (or occasionally, wood) gargantuans, the Sunshine State quickly falls out of the discussion.

Busch Gardens Tampa (a Sea World Park) is setting out to change that:

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201912/7180/

From Theme Park Insider 

Stay tuned for the Iron Gwazi!

 

 

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There’s enough land around Fun Spot on I-Drive that I think they could pull it off if they wanted. It would no doubt require additional financing, probably partners and a different vision. I wonder if they’d be up for it?

Or, who knows, Sea World might just decide they’re over keeping up with Uni and The Mouse, not to mention constantly taking incoming from PETA, and just send out the animals and roll in the metal.

Edited by spenser1058
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2 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

There’s enough land around Fun Spot on I-Drive that I think they could pull it off if they wanted. It would no doubt require additional financing, probably partners and a different vision. I wonder if they’d be up for it?

Or, who knows, Sea World might just decide they’re over keeping up with Uni and The Mouse, not to mention constantly taking incoming from PETA, and just send out the animals and roll in the metal.

I await Cedar Fairs reply

Edited by codypet
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13 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

There’s enough land around Fun Spot on I-Drive that I think they could pull it off if they wanted. It would no doubt require additional financing, probably partners and a different vision. I wonder if they’d be up for it?

Or, who knows, Sea World might just decide they’re over keeping up with Uni and The Mouse, not to mention constantly taking incoming from PETA, and just send out the animals and roll in the metal.

Hasn't Sea World already decided that? Whats the last new animal exhibit they've built? They're kind of stuck with a lot of what they have.... unless they be like South Park and just start killing all the cows because everyone switched to eating plant based burgers and nobody has anything to do with them. Just like PETA wants.

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SeaWorld and Busch Gardens will become Florida's rollercoaster capitals. I think Iron Gwazi is just the being of top 10 coasters coming to Florida in the future.

On 12/22/2019 at 7:58 PM, JFW657 said:

Idea for Orlando/Central Florida's next major theme park....

ROLLER COASTER WORLD!!!! :yahoo:

A centralizedone stop shopping destination for the biggest, baddest, tallest, steepest and fastest state of the art roller coasters and nothing but.

A world wide mecca for coaster enthusiasts. 

 

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15 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

A great interview with Imagineer Kevin and Robert of Theme Park Insider about Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. 

From the description, it sounds like there may be more to it than a garden variety “C” dark ride:

https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201912/7190/

Still feeling a bit burned that Disney trashed the Great Movie Ride rather than updating it, although the Runaway Railway appears to be a worthy replacement.

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On 12/27/2019 at 2:10 PM, prahaboheme said:

Still feeling a bit burned that Disney trashed the Great Movie Ride rather than updating it, although the Runaway Railway appears to be a worthy replacement.

My guess is that what had to be high labor costs probably didn’t help the case. Over time, each new attraction has been designed for huge throughput with the smallest number of cast members.

I hated to lose it also, particularly with all the film libraries Disney has added since 1989.

Edited by spenser1058
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On 12/23/2019 at 9:20 AM, aent said:

Hasn't Sea World already decided that? Whats the last new animal exhibit they've built? They're kind of stuck with a lot of what they have.... unless they be like South Park and just start killing all the cows because everyone switched to eating plant based burgers and nobody has anything to do with them. Just like PETA wants.

Yeah didn't we report not too long ago that Sea World has got another huge coaster being developed to compliment Mako, Kraken, and Manta?  I think a 4th offering  places them in a pretty good position ala marketability for those types of rides.

I think they're evolving the park ride by ride.  What I think they should make now is an elevated tram that takes you around the entire park weaving in-between the coaster uprights as well.  

On 12/22/2019 at 8:08 PM, spenser1058 said:

There’s enough land around Fun Spot on I-Drive that I think they could pull it off if they wanted. It would no doubt require additional financing, probably partners and a different vision. I wonder if they’d be up for it?

Or, who knows, Sea World might just decide they’re over keeping up with Uni and The Mouse, not to mention constantly taking incoming from PETA, and just send out the animals and roll in the metal.

I used to go there a lot when they first expanded.  I agree.  I think they could add coasters and other thrill rides and evolve it; but, yeah, I don't they can afford the Busch-level of $$$ coasters.

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On 12/27/2019 at 3:11 PM, jrs2 said:

Yeah didn't we report not too long ago that Sea World has got another huge coaster being developed to compliment Mako, Kraken, and Manta?  I think a 4th offering  places them in a pretty good position ala marketability for those types of rides.

I think they're evolving the park ride by ride.  What I think they should make now is an elevated tram that takes you around the entire park weaving in-between the coaster uprights as well.  

I used to go there a lot when they first expanded.  I agree.  I think they could add coasters and other thrill rides and evolve it; but, yeah, I don't they can afford the Busch-level of $$$ coasters.

Didn’t Funstop just add a coaster to their Old Town location? 

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Ken Storey, one of our UP’ers, takes a fascinating look at the “non-attraction” side of Disney, including RCID, mitigation strategies, Flamingo Crossing retail (including one of the largest Targets ever conceived), where cast members, college program folks and even some affordable housing might end up.

There’s also talk about more hotels coming and a venture off property to the exploding growth of Horizon West.

All in all, For urban geeks (like me) focused on Central Florida, this is a wonderful gift. Thanks, Ken!

https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2019/12/30/disney-has-been-on-a-land-buying-spree-heres-why-it-probably-isnt-a-new-theme-park

From the Orlando Weekly 

Edited by spenser1058
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1 hour ago, HankStrong said:

Thanks Ken

Thank you! I actually did a paper for my Urban Planning History class on the original EPCOT plans. It was good to be able to use some of that in this story.

Here is a map from the RCID 2020 Conservation Plan. The land purchased fills in that odd jigsaw area in the upper left between the yellow and the Seven Seas Lagoon. 

932789756_RCIDMap2019.png.6c483a46ffa882c942c51057a8d9fcc2.png

Here is a map of all the buildings, as listed on the RCID ARCGIS.  You can see there's a few big areas where development has yet to happen. Lots of area to fill in around existing buildable areas. This map doesn't show ESPN WWOS or the All Star Resorts. 

image.png.98dc92c45ae5f005fbae9f94229838f5.png

 

If interested. Here's a great post on the history of Lake Buena Vista and the shopping district now known as Disney Springs (which I have another story in the pipeline about thanks to M&M World). http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2016/06/lake-buena-vista-and-shaping-orlando.html.

Some of you might find this 1967 Economic Impact of WDW study interesting. UCF's Buzz Price Archives are an incredible resource, espcially now that most of it is scanned and online. https://stars.library.ucf.edu/buzzprice/21

This similar 1965 report is also very fascinating. https://stars.library.ucf.edu/buzzprice/130  

 

 

Edited by klstorey
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