Advertisement
  1. Travel

Orlando I-Drive developer unveils insane plan for 420-foot swing ride (w/video)

A rendering of the Vue 360 ride planned for International Drive in Orlando shows riders flying hundreds of feet in the air.
A rendering of the Vue 360 ride planned for International Drive in Orlando shows riders flying hundreds of feet in the air.
Published Nov. 22, 2014

You know those swing rides with a tall pole that spin and you end up parallel to the ground as you twirl in a circle like a Maypole? It's usually a kiddie ride, right?

Well, what if you take that spinning swing ride and put it 420 feet in the air to make the world's tallest StarFlyer ride?

Not child's play anymore.

Announced this week at a huge theme park convention in Orlando, the Vue 360 will be the third sky-high ride planned for Orlando's International Drive. It joins the world's tallest roller coaster (the 535-foot Skyscraper "polercoaster") and the 400-foot Orlando Eye — a Ferris wheel just 25 feet shorter than the London Eye, making it the fifth-tallest in the world.

They will all rise along I-Drive in the next 18 months or so, drastically changing the Orlando skyline.

And none of them will be at a theme park.

Instead, International Drive will become like a G-rated version of the Las Vegas strip, with $10 to $20 pay-per-ride thrills, upscale arcades and massive hotel convention resorts that rival Steve Wynn's casinos.

An announcement from Unicorp Developments, the company behind the I-Drive 360 developments, says Vue 360 will dwarf a 230-foot StarFlyer already operating just down the street at Magic Midway.

The Vue 360 is expected to open in late 2015 or early 2016. It will take riders up in 12 sets of double seats (24 total) for three to four minutes. Tickets are expected to cost about $10 per person.

Unicorp unveiled the plan this week at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention in Orlando.

A video animation released earlier this week simulating a ride on the Skyscraper roller coaster planned down the street ( tbtim.es/amd) was released by US Thrill Rides, the company behind the $200 million, 495,000-square-foot Skyplex, an entertainment complex billed as an upscale indoor arcade center with simulators, rock climbing, bars, restaurants and retail.

I-Drive 360, being developed by Unicorp with Merlin Entertainment (the wizards behind Legoland) will bring two other attractions by Merlin, a Sea Life Aquarium and a Madame Tussauds wax museum.

The ambitious plans will be the new centerpieces for International Drive, a well-traveled tourist trail of hotels, T-shirt shops and second-tier diversions.