A New 'Mini-Mega Park' in Orlando?

A new park may be coming to International Drive.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:57 AM
The Baker Leisure Group is disscussing a new park to be placed on 70 acres of land south of Orlando Festival Bay Mall currently titled "the Orlando Thrill Park". the plans so far are for 15 rides to be in the park, including:

-An Intamin ZacSpin coaster

-Two 312 foot tall S&S towers

-A 5th Dimension S&S Coaster (Think X2)

and to top it all off...

-A 425 foot tall Intamin launch coaster (similar to Top Thrill Dragster)

Here are the confirming news storys:



From David Graham
Posted October 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Screamscape has art work for what layout is "suppose" to look like. Rumors are some rides from the closed Hard Rock might come to it, since it's Baker Leisure Group as well.

According the Fox News today, the developers were suppose to be meeting with residents around there to talk about impacts for them. They also stated that most businesses around there support it for more $$$ and foot traffic for them as well.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 14, 2010 at 12:35 PM
Between this, SFMM, and Busch Gardens, we've had quite the busy news day!

From Pyra-Danny V
Posted October 14, 2010 at 3:02 PM
OH this sounds so exciting! (As if there wasn't enough stuff to do in Orlando already) I can't wait to drive by and watch the construction progression

From Robert Niles
Posted October 14, 2010 at 4:41 PM
The Baker tie-in prompts me to wonder if this might be intended as a destination for some of the rides from the now-defunct Hard Rock/Freestyle Music Park in South Carolina.

No inside info. Just throwin' it out there.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted October 14, 2010 at 5:24 PM
If Zeppelin and Life In The Fast Lane find a new home, I'll be happy. They are/were terrific examples of their type.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 15, 2010 at 7:58 AM
^Robert, that is what everyone is thinking and would make perfect snese, as I think while the three big coasters are great that are planned, adding the Hard Rock coasters is an inexpensive way to double your coaster count for the park which in turn draws more visitors.

From Gareth H
Posted October 16, 2010 at 11:04 AM
Ha ha, Bordering on residential area Tangelo Park.
Well lets invest some money in security then, not the greatest of areas.

Bordering Festival Bay mall on the other side?
Well personally I think they'd be better off knocking down that "Mall" (10 shops maybe?) and building on that, or at least intertwining it and trying to bring some much needed business to the mall.

Personally, this sounds like lots of talk without much chance of action.

You've already got "Fun Spot" 2 minutes away, a kiddie park with no real draw for Adults.

Universal is only a 5 min drive away.

And remember, that this new park would border on a residential area, so try and get planning permission through for these proposed big thrill rides (Look at the problems Alton Towers in the UK have had)

This reminds me of the "Great Orlando Wheel" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Orlando_Wheel) that was suspended due to financing.

From steve lee
Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:52 PM
If they actually manage to pull this off (and I'm not optimistic), here's hoping they're smart enough to realize that they're going to have to seriously undercut the prices of their competitors. I'm not going to pay $50 for a couple of credits when there's 8 to 9 other parks around. Hopefully there's still people at Baker who learned lessons from Hard Rock/Freestyle (although I think the Baker people did a good job with what they had last year).

From Derek Potter
Posted October 16, 2010 at 8:30 PM
Three words that make me wonder...

Baker Leisure Group

I think a thrill park would be a nice addition to Orlando. There's a whole lot of theme...not a lot of thrill in Orlando. If done right it could be a winner. If they can't make a park happen in the zero competition, high tourist market of Myrtle Beach, then what makes me think they could pull of a park in Orlando.

Don't get me wrong, I wish them all the luck in the world..I just have my doubts based on whose park it would be.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 17, 2010 at 6:59 AM
^I think they should do better in the Orlando market than the Myrtle Beach market, because while Myrtle Beach recieves a lot of visitors, none of them generally come for theme parks and neither do the people living there. Orlando on the other hand is almost completely about the theme parks!

From Derek Potter
Posted October 17, 2010 at 11:32 AM
Orlando also has Disney, Universal, and Sea World...with Busch Gardens and Legoland in the vicinity. If they can't make a park fly with zero competition and endless amounts of potential visitors, why am I to think they would meet expectations in Orlando?

Of course there's a lot more to the Hard Rock story then them simply not being successful. They were hobbled by a ridiculous lawsuit filed and somehow won by previous owners, and the park had zero standing with suppliers, vendors, and other contractors because of non-payment the year before. They bought the park for a song though, so I just don't get it. Also, Myrtle Beach isn't just a 3 month beach town anymore. There are scores of other attractions in the area that thrive. Water parks, mini golf, shows, giant shopping malls, small amusement parks...etc etc, enjoy a lot of success. Obviously people aren't on the beach all of the time. There's no reason why that property couldn't have been successful

The edge they have is the presence of big time scream machines in a sea of themed attractions. I think a thrill park would work in the area just fine, but it's a tough market, and management is key. If it were Cedar Fair, Herschend, or the Holiday World management handling it, I wouldn't be as skeptical.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 17, 2010 at 12:43 PM
It will succeed because it would be different. Every park in Orlando is very nicely themed, but none can be considered a thrill park. If they put a 426-foot tall Intamin coaster and an S&S 5-D Coaster, people will come. Hard Rock just didn't have any attraction close to that, along with Cypress Gardens.

And as far as the Myrtle Beach area, please tell me an amusement park which has succeeded tremendously. Nobody goes to Myrtyle Beach for an amusement park.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted October 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM
Nick said: "Nobody goes to Myrtyle Beach for an amusement park."

I guess that makes me a nobody, then. Granted, it was part of a trip that included Dollywood, BG Tampa, Wild Adventures, SF Georgia, and Kings Dominion. But the fact remains, the ONLY reason I went to Myrtle beach was to visit HRP.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 17, 2010 at 4:33 PM
^Yes, I would go to Myrtle Beach for Freestyle Music Park anytime if included with a bunch of other parks, but now that park is gone with no chance of coming back, so my statement for the present time being can stand.

I am not trying to be rude about the whole Myrtyle Beach thing, I just don't think you all should name this park a failure before it even gets a chance based off of a park the failed before. One must fail before they succeed.

From Derek Potter
Posted October 18, 2010 at 5:02 AM
That's part of my case, owners never gave Hard Rock/Freestyle a chance to succeed. They expected and banked on such big numbers and then went bust when they didn't get them. If they would have been a little more patient with their money, charged a little less, marketed better, and stuck out the recession, they would have been successful. Myrtle Beach had a record year for tourists this year, as opposed to 2008 when the economy was at it's absolute worst in 70 years.

One of my big questions with them is this. Are these guys going to cut and run again?

From Jesse Key
Posted October 18, 2010 at 9:59 AM
I am hearing a lot about lawsuits and such with Hard rock park here in SC.... you know, basically people who are owed money are probably trying to figure out how to suck blood out of that turnip to get what they can back out of it. So what I wonder, or is my question, is will they let a company that had a hand in Hard Rock park get those rides without a hefty pricetag due to trying to get that money that it owes from bankruptcy and such? This is an actual question because I don't know the awnsers to the question or the scenarios surrounding it.... lol.
As far as the new park your talking of in Orlando, I personally don't think it would be high on my list of places to visit while in the area based on it being another park like Six Flags or whatever. If I wanted to go to Six Flags or a Cedar Point park, there are ones much closer than Orlando. I go to orlando for quality rides and attractions, not the thrill park attractions like you'd expect at Cedar Point or Kings Dominion. I guess it does give people another option though.
Why not consider building in Jacksonville? It's close to Orlando.... people driving to Orlando can stop there on the way (since this park sounds like a one day park). It also is a big city with locals who might be willing to get season passes since it would be an hour closer to them than the Orlando parks. Maybe, maybe not.... but could be looked into.

From Pyra-Danny V
Posted October 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM
I changed my mind... although I will definitely enjoy watching the progress of the park from groundbreaking to opening day... I have my serious doubts about how awesome this park will be.

I'm expecting another ho-hum Fun Spot-ish type of place. Just rides, no real theme or memories. Just a place to eat your money.

From Derek Potter
Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM
I'm not sure of the status of those coasters at Hard Rock. Maybe they could have 6 months ago, but I don't know if they could simply remove coasters from the property now. I think the only way would be to either sell them (to their own company?) or to win them in a future auction that's likely to happen. I don't think the company itself has declared bankruptcy, but I do know that the holders of the mortgage in SC are ready to pull the trigger on foreclosure. Just depends on the language in all the paperwork.

From Nick Markham
Posted October 18, 2010 at 8:09 PM
Pyra, you don't need to theme the park when you have coasters like they have proposed. while theming is a plus, some people don't understand the ride experience on the proposed coasters is aqmazing, especially a 5D Coaster by S&S (trust me, X2 is my #1 and I have ridden 72 coasters).

So, if they follow through with the proposed rides, it will be difficult for the park to be unsuccessful.

From Derek Potter
Posted October 19, 2010 at 1:51 PM
...unless it's mismanaged

From Nick Markham
Posted October 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM
^They would have to be EXTREMLY bad mangers, but it has happened in the past...

From David Sutter
Posted October 20, 2010 at 3:01 AM
Anything with Baker gets me wondering. If their in it how far off is Land South? It appears everything they have touched in the last few years has failed.

From Joel Shelby
Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:16 AM
In the end, does anyone think this this park will end up being built when all the dust clears?
Thanks for all the insights :)

From Joel Shelby
Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM
It would be nice for the park to be built. I find it sad that the low income residents of tangelo park dont want it. The city will push it through to create jobs, hopefully the thugs of tangelo park wont come into the park and make it nasty. The economy is bad, people needs jobs. Orlando also needs more thrill rides, its tiem the lwo income residents of tangelo park shut up.

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