I-Drive Live gets a new name: The Orlando Eye
Orlando's I-Drive Live
development, now under construction on International Drive, is ditching that name in favor of branding itself to its main attraction: The Orlando Eye.
The 425-foot-tall observation wheel, a sibling of the London Eye, is scheduled to open with its surrounding development in a little over a year — on New Year's Eve 2014. In addition to the observation wheel, the development is slated to include a Madame Tussauds wax museum and a Sea Life aquarium (all Merlin Entertainments properties), as well as a Ben & Jerry's, an Outback, Buffalo Wild Wings and a Yard House, among other restaurants and shops.
The same developer, Unicorp, also is developing an I-Shops project on the site of the Wyndham Orlando Resort at the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road.
Update: A current construction photo, of the wheel strut installation, from TH Creative:
they should rename it to "THE I" (the eye)
Titanic Exhibit & Bodies Exhibit is also moving to The Orlando Eye
I hope the Orlando Eye doesn't end up looking like it does in the renderings. There are struts and cables everywhere with a huge logo at the hub on both sides.
Wouldn't be surprised if Merlin added an Orlando Dungeon to this sometime in 2014 after the opening of The San Fransisco Dungeon.
I can see the crane installing the supports for the wheel from my office window way over by Universal (as well as the lift hill for the Fun Spot wooden coaster - makes it hard to work when you keep watching the train go up and over all day). The Eye will be a huge "wienie" for the visitors to I-Drive because you'll see it from I-4 and the surrounding I-Drive areas.
Orlando has lots of attractions. They don't need more, which are the scraps from Disney.
Rumor has it that a Target Superstore is going in at that corner of I Drive and Sand Lake Road. Just what we need, that whole intersection is already a complete clusterf**k traffic wise.
No Target on I Drive at Sand Lake
NB: "It looks cheap and a bit garish, at least to me."
I just spit Coke all over my computer screen, TH :-). I tend to agree with NB on a lot of things, but as far as International Drive goes, ehh, what's it matter?
Note to Ms. Howe and ... others, don't slip into cynicism regarding International Drive. Yeah, I offered some snark in response to NB's perspective. Shocker. But I-Drive is ABSOLUTELY a place to watch. A sizable chunk of I-Drive real estate now belongs to Universal Orlando. Wet & Wild (Universal owned) used to sit on rented land. Universal dipped into its checkbook and bought the acreage for a price north of thirty million. Over the haul it seems likely that Comcast will want to kick the attraction up a notch.
My point was the London Eye was designed by an artist, then passed off to engineers to tweak the design and actually make it work. If it didn't even move, it would still be beautiful.
N B, the London Eye is pretty gorgeous. My family are Londoners born and bred and in a taxi last night we all glanced at the eye and Mother declared 'London really is beautiful at night'. It has a real impact. Hopefully this will be even half as good!
To Kelly Muggleton...that corner is already rage inducing..no matter the time of day..LOL
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