Orlando’s International Drive is getting a massive face lift for the years and decades ahead. Just south of Sand Lake Rd on International Drive, the Orlando Eye is being erected which will tower the city of Orlando in a similar fashion to the London Eye in England’s major city.
The Orlando Eye will be a 425-foot-tall observation wheel (for comparison purposes, the London Eye is roughly 443 feet in height). Yes, the Orlando observation wheel will be enormous, higher than the nearby Hyatt (formerly the Peabody) Hotel tower.
Where is the Orlando Eye?
The newly built complex is on the east side of International Drive, south of Sand Lake Rd, just north of Point Orlando. Heck, just look in the sky for it once you approach International Drive, and you’ll be able to see it!
What else will be at the Orlando Eye or nearby?
It will be a part of the Orlando Eye complex (originally named I-Drive Live) which will include a number of other attractions such as a Sea Life aquarium and a Madame Tussauds wax museum. These attractions along with the Orlando Eye itself will all be operated by the international company Merlin Entertainments Group (the same group that operates the London Eye).
In addition to these major attractions, a number of restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Carrabba’s, Yard House and more will also be included in the complex. Additionally, the Titanic and Bodies Exhibit will possibly be tenants in the complex.
Lastly, the complex is adjacent to the Kings Bowl and Charley’s Steakhouse on International Drive, and is also just down the road from the Point Orlando complex.
What does it cost to ride the Orlando Eye?
This is yet to be determined, but for comparison purposes, the London Eye typically has ticket prices starting at roughly 26 pounds which is over $40 US. You can expect that the Orlando Eye ticket prices will be a minimum of $35.
When will it open?
The Orlando Eye is under construction and is scheduled to open by the end of 2014. The owners have a goal of having the attraction open in time for New Years Eve at the end of 2014.
Will the Orlando Eye be popular?
The attraction will be hugely popular. It will be a landmark attraction for the city and is perfectly located on International Drive, smack in the middle of the convention and resort area. International Drive also has quite a bit of foot traffic.
Ideally, the Orlando Eye will have a price point that is significantly less than attending a theme park (I believe it will). A ticket in the $35-40 range should do very well. Additionally, the Orlando Eye will be a great option for resiednts and tourists alike that are looking for unique activity be it daytime or nighttime.
The views itself from the Orlando Eye will undoubtedly be worth the price of admission. The gigantic observation wheel is actually a fairly unique attraction for a city full of attractions and known as the theme park capital of the world. The timing is good and the revitalization of International Drive will be a major success.
Orlando Eye Photos
The following photo shows the construction progress of the Orlando Eye. Notice the large parking garage adjacent to the new complex.