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Skycoaster Becomes The 10th Tallest Structure In Orlando

Last week brought another change to the I-4 skyline as a 250 ft high rollercoaster was completed at Fun Spot America. The Skycoaster arrived in Orlando from Las Vegas where it used to be located at the MGM Grand Hotel. The new Skycoaster will be different than the 300ft Kissimme Skycoaster and not just in height. It will be constructed using a metal frame and not just beams.

You might be saying, “This thing sounds pretty cool, but what the heck is a skycoaster?” A skycoaster is an amusement park ride where riders in groups of 1-3 are put together in a harness and then pulled up to the top of a launch tower. They are then released and fly, like a pendulum, back and forth under a giant arch.

There are a lot of impressive facts about the height of the Skycoaster. It is the 2nd tallest Skycoaster in the world and the first one at Fun Spot USA, Kissimmee, FL. Once it was completed it became the 10th highest structure in Orlando and the 2nd tallest on I-Drive. It is so tall that it will require FAA aircraft lighting! It will be visible for miles.

Skycoaster is only the start of a $20 million expansion to Fun Spot America, which will also include two roller coasters, rip curl, tilt-a-whirl and a crazy new wood and steel combination rollercoaster called White Lightning. There are also plans for a water park and other thrill rides in the near future.

These new additions add to the incredible expansions going on or planned in the Tourist District and Orlando attractions, including Universal Studios, Disney, and Sea World.  It is an exciting time to plan your group or class trip to Orlando.

Orlando’s New I-Drive Live

Orlando Attractions I-Drive Live

Construction on the new I-Drive Live shopping and entertainment area near the attractions is scheduled to start next month. The $200 million entertainment district will be over 95,000 square feet and feature a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Up until 2007 the area was home to The Mercado which was one of the most popular tourist spots on International Drive. The open air shopping area had hosted huge exhibits like Titanic and The Guinness World Records Experience. Competition took its toll on The Mercado and closed in 2007 when it was demolished. Enter Unicorp and Merlin Entertainments (operator of Legoland Florida) with plans of building a brand new shopping and entertainment area, which is now known as I-Drive Live and The I-Shops.

The centerpiece of the new I-Drive Live will be a huge observation wheel that will be modeled off the London Eye ferris wheel. It will be 425 feet tall and take visitors on a 30 minute ride so they can see the entire Orlando skyline. The new tourist attraction will also feature a huge 25,000 square foot Sea Life Aquarium and a Maddam Tussauds Wax Museum.

Some restaurants have already signed leases and include some well known eateries like Outback Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Restaurants new to the area include Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Chuy’s Tex-Mex Restaurant, and Seafood Republic.

All of the construction has a timeline of 24 months and should be ready by the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015. It will be an exciting new spot to visit on I-Drive and a great place to go hangout after a long day at the Orlando Attractions.

For help with booking your group trip to Orlando, Florida to visit Disney World, Universal Studios, or the other multiple attractions visit our Start Planning page.

More Rumors Of A Harry Potter Expansion At Universal Studios

Months after rumors began to circulate because of construction at Universal Studios Orlando a Harry Potter expansion has still not been confirmed. Most theme park goers are convinced that it is coming but without official word we are still left with just speculation.

Photos of Universal Studios still unannounced expansion keep popping up, which have lead to rumors of a Gringotts Wizarding Bank roller coaster with a recreation of the part of London featured in the Harry Potter movies around it. The roller coaster may be modeled after the scene in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 where Harry Potter rides a small cart through the underground bank vault.

Other than the Universal Studios construction there isn’t any other unknown construction at other theme parks. So the last mystery remains. Hopefully the construction is done soon or the studio at least makes an announcement on what we can expect. Now would be a good time to start booking your tickets for class and group trips planned for later this year or next year. That way you will be ahead of the game and some of the first to experience all of these exciting expansions at Orlando’s wide variety of theme parks!

For more information on booking class, band, and dance trips to the Orlando area please visit the Orlando page at American Tours and Travel and fill out an inquiry form today!

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