Tag Archives: The Orlando Eye

Orlando, you are #TRULYLoved

It’s been a heavy month for the world, and in Orlando specifically. Our local City and County government, as well as our LGBTQ and Latinx communities have been working through their grief non-stop since the tragedy at Pulse. People here are slowly healing but still, we can’t forget. But we can make it better, all of us.

#LocalLoveOrlando Map (Pulse Edition) by Macbeth Studio

#LocalLoveOrlando Map (Pulse Edition) by Macbeth Studio

As a citizen and resident, I knew I wanted to do something. More than just saying ‘thank you,’ more than just a friendly tweet of encouragement. Smiles were the first thing that came to mind. They’re free, and anyone can inspire one, anywhere and at any time.

Many individuals and Orlando agencies have had to work through their grief, non-stop, over the past month including; City of Orlando and Mayor Buddy Dyer‘s office and communications teams, City of Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Orange County and Mayor Teresa Jacobs‘ office and communications teams, Orlando Police Department and Chief John Mina, Orlando Fire Department and Chief Williams, The Center, Orlando’s LGBT Community Center of Central Florida, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando.

So… what’s the plan?

First things first – the smiles. I don’t know about you, but when I see one of Truly Nolen’s Volkswagen Bugs driving down the road, I immediately smile. From the ears on the roof to the tail on the back, I could be sitting in the worst traffic ever, see that mouse car, and smile. Did you know that Truly Nolen also has a Mouse Limo? It’s true! If seeing a huge, yellow Mouse Limo roll down the road doesn’t make you smile, I’m not sure what else will.

Truly Nolen Limo Side

Another thing that makes me smile? CUPCAKES. Win! Little cups of cake and icing, and enough joy to fit in the palm of your hand. Who doesn’t love a good cupcake? Even when they’re bad, they’re good. (Note: I have never had a bad cupcake, even ones I’ve baked myself. And I don’t cook.) 

So… I decided to combine the two, and thanks to Truly Nolen and Sprinkles Disney Springs, tomorrow’s JOYride will be a little sweeter!

How did I come to cupcakes and Mouse Limos?

At last month’s Mascot Games at the Amway Center, Jack Martin, who drives Truly Nolen’s Southeast U.S. Mouse Limo all over the country, offered to take me for a ride in the limo – and of course I said yes! After the attack on Pulse happened on June 12th, I knew I wanted to do more than just take a joyride around town in an unusual, but really cool limo.

Wait. JOY… ride. JOYride!! Makes PERFECT sense. 

Luckily Truly Nolen is as active in their communities (all over the United States) as Central Florida Top 5 and I are here in Orlando. In fact, we’ve teamed up a few times before. We received a not-as-scary-as-it-sounds bug education at Truly Nolen University and they also introduced us to a young quilting expert named Faith-Christina Duncan and her friends at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.

After brainstorming with Truly Nolen’s Community Events, Social Media, and PR Manager, Toby Srebnik, we came up with a plan. Why not share smiles with everyone in Orlando (including those on the road) on our Mouse Limo JOYride through Orlando?

Next, I needed to locate cupcakes… dozens of delicious, colorful cupcakes. The first company that came to mind, who was equally as community-minded, was Sprinkles Bakery.  Sure, they have an amazing new Cupcake ATM at Disney Springs, but could they fill a very tall order of 5 dozen cupcakes? A quick call to Sprinkles Los Angeles and Sprinkles Disney Springs sealed the deal! The answer was an immediate YES!

The answer is always YES to cupcakes. Especially Sprinkles cupcakes!

The answer is always YES to cupcakes. Especially Sprinkles cupcakes!

[To learn more about them, read our 5 Things You Never Knew About Sprinkles Bakery post!]

So, tomorrow, I will be hand delivering smiles and Sprinkles cupcakes, via Truly Nolen’s Mouse Limo (the Official JOYride Vehicle!) to – just a few – of the people who have tirelessly kept our Orlando community safe and loved; City of Orlando, Orange County, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and The LGBT Center of Central Florida!

Does all of this sound goofy or sweet? I’m okay with either. As long as smiles are smiled tomorrow, it’s a good day. We’ll have to play it by… ear. (Ha! Mouse… Ear.)

I will also make a small delivery of wheelchair afghans and cuddly stuffed frogs for an out-of-state friend to Give Kids the World at some point on Wednesday! Please, I-4, be kind to us!

You can follow my Orlando JOYride on Google Maps! I will also post a link tomorrow beginning at 1pm from the app Glympse, so you can follow our JOYride in REAL TIME, and maybe catch a glimpse of Truly Nolen’s Mouse Limo. (More puns! Okay, I’ll stop.)

Want to join in on the fun? When you’re out tomorrow, if you see us on the road or at one of our ‘sweet’ stops, snap a picture of Truly Nolen’s Mouse Limo and hashtag it #TRULYLoved!

Not in Central Florida? No problem! Snap a picture of you and your friends smiling or forming a heart (with your hands, arms, pencils, a drawing – anything you like) and share it on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook using #TRULYLoved! We’ll be sure to share them all!

Also, be sure to follow @TrulyNolen, @CentralFLTop5, and me, @jenvargas on Twitter for live, on the road and inside the Mouse Limo updates!

 

About Truly Nolen
Founded in 1938, Tucson, Arizona-based Truly Nolen of America is the largest family-owned pest control company in the United States. Our East Coast Operations Office is proudly headquartered in Orlando and is visible off Interstate 4. Truly Nolen has over 80 branch offices in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. The company also has independently owned and operated franchises in an ever-growing number of territories including Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Canada, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. To learn more about Truly Nolen, visit www.trulynolen.com or follow us on Facebook(www.facebook.com/TrulyNolenand Twitter (www.twitter.com/TrulyNolen).

About Sprinkles Cupcakes
Sprinkles Cupcakes opened “the world’s first cupcake bakery” in Beverly Hills, as reported by the Food Network, and is credited by the Los Angeles Times as “the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze.”  Founded by Candace Nelson, judge on Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars,” and husband Charles, Sprinkles has inspired long lines of devoted Hollywood stars and serious epicureans alike.  From Tom Cruise to Oprah Winfrey, Blake Lively to Ryan Seacrest, celebrities are abuzz about Sprinkles!  Baked fresh in small batches throughout the day, Sprinkles Cupcakes are handcrafted from the finest ingredients and contain no preservatives, trans fats or artificial flavors.  Sprinkles has 20 locations nationwide, a traveling Sprinklesmobile – the world’s first cupcake truck, and sells its cupcake mixes at over 250 Williams-Sonoma stores throughout the US and Canada.  In 2012, Sprinkles debuted the world’s first Cupcake ATM and continued its foray into classic American desserts with the launch of Sprinkles Ice Cream. For additional information and a list of future locations, please visit www.sprinkles.com.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort Awesomer Annual Pass is Buy One Get One Free Today for Cinco de Mayo

Are you a fan of LEGOLAND® Florida Resort? What about The Orlando Eye? Then today is your lucky day! As a Cinco de Mayo special (today only and while supplies last), you can purchase a 12-month Awesomer Annual pass for the attractions listed below AND you’ll get free parking, discounts in the parks, discounts on LEGOLAND resorts, and more.

What do you get with the $149 Awesomer pass?

  • Unlimited Admission to LEGOLAND® Florida
  • Unlimited Admission to LEGOLAND Water Park
  • Unlimited Admission to The Orlando Eye
  • Unlimited Admission to Madame Tussauds Orlando
  • Unlimited Admission to SEA LIFE Aquarium Orlando
  • Unlimited Admission to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
  • Collectors Edition Welcome Kit
  • Free Parking
  • 10% off Dining, Retail, LEGOLAND Hotel Stays, VIP Experiences and Premium Play Bands
  • Bonus Brick Time (9:30 am park entry)
  • LEGOLAND e-newsletter (exclusive invitations, previews and more)
  • $15 off Guest Tickets to LEGOLAND Florida (up to 6)

To purchase, click here and enter code 6043.

The Orlando Eye is celebrating their one-year birthday this week. What a great way to celebrate than with an annual pass. Make it your first visit of many!

Shake Shack comes to I-Drive 360!

Soon… very soon. Like Wednesday, August 19th at 11am soon!

Speaking of, August has been a very lucky month for Shake Shack in Central Florida. If you haven’t read our first impressions of Shake Shack in Winter Park, go forth!

To have a store at the beWHEELdering I-Drive 360 complex is just… dangerous!

ALL THE FRIES!!!! I digress…

What’s in ‘store’ for us with Shake Shack number two? Two Orlando and I-Drive 360 themed custard concrete flavors and a local pie tie with some South Florida flavor;

  • Orlandough, a salty sweet chocolatey frozen treat with chocolate truffle cookie dough, marshmallow sauce and chocolate covered pretzels
  • Eye Drive, the anything but plain vanilla frozen custard with peanut butter sauce chocolate toffee and chocolate sprinkles
  • Key Lime Pie oh My, blends a slice of P is for Pie‘s classic Key Lime Pie with vanilla frozen custard

Happy times ahead for us as well as our local musical youth, so make sure you try the Eye Drive concrete. Shake Shack’s charitable heart, Stand For Something Good, will donate 5% of every Eye Drive sale to A Gift For Music!

More info from their press release is below:

We’re so thankful for the warm reception and continued support we’ve received from our fans since opening in Winter Park last year,” says Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti, “We’re excited to be a part of the dynamic I-Drive 360 destination and looking forward to this Shack being a part of the community, welcoming Orlando locals and visitors alike.

Situated in the shadow of the impressive Orlando Eye observation wheel, the Shack will be accessible to guests entering from the center’s bustling inner shopping circle or zipping in for a pit stop from International Drive, Orlando’s major thoroughfare. The expansive 50-seat raised open-air patio and recreational space is the perfect hangout spot—fully outfitted with both a shuffleboard and outdoor Bocce Ball court. Let the games begin!

As part of its community outreach efforts and commitment to Stand For Something Good®, the I-Drive Shack will donate 5% of sales from the Eye Drive concrete to A Gift for Music, a local non-profit program helping the Orlando area’s underserved youth reach their personal potential through quality music education.

The I-Drive Shack’s commitment to keep it local even carries over to its beer menu. Diners will be able to wash their burgers and fries down with Florida’s own Orange Blossom BreweryBack in the Day IPA and Cigar City Brewing Florida Cracker White Ale, as well as Shake Shack’s exclusive Brooklyn Brewery ShackMeister® Ale. Wine lovers can enjoy a glass of organic and biodynamic Shack RedTM and Shack WhiteTM wine from Napa-based Frog’s Leap Winery.

As with every Shack, the design is in the details. The walls of the I-Drive Shack are clad in custom wooden wall panels, crafted from hand-axed, salvaged sinker pine from North Florida’s Suwanee River. An expansive, whimsical wall mural by St. Louis-based artist Noah Macmillanstretches the length of the back dining room and gives a subtle, Shack-filled nod to the flora and fauna of Central Florida’s abundant wildlife. In keeping with Shake Shack’s commitment to green architecture and eco-responsibility, energy-efficient commercial kitchen equipment by Electrolux Professional and lighting are employed throughout the space. Chairs and booths are made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and tabletops are handcrafted from reclaimed bowling alley lanes by Brooklyn’s CounterEvolution—a longtime Shake Shack partner.

About Shake Shack
Shake Shack® is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural, antibiotic-free Angus beef burgers (no hormones added ever), hot dogs, frozen custard, crinkle cut fries, beer and wine (available at select locations), and more. With its fresh, simple, high-quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community-gathering place with widespread appeal. From its premium ingredients and caring hiring practices to its environmentally responsible designs and deep community investment, Shake Shack’s mission is to Stand For Something Good®. Since the original Shack opened in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, the company has opened multiple locations in 12 states and the District of Columbia, as well as international locations including in London, Istanbul, Dubai, Moscow and more.

Skeletons Museum Family Gives You A Sneak Peek of Animals Unveiled

Skeletons Logo

Central Florida Top 5 was invited by President Jay Villemarette, Sr. and his family to give you a special sneak preview of the new Skeletons: Animals Unveiled located at iDrive 360, right under The Orlando Eye! The great thing about their massive collection of osteological specimens is they want you to not only see, and in some cases touch their exhibits, parent company Skulls Unlimited International wants everyone to LEARN about an animal’s lifecycle. The also hope to educate its visitors on how to appreciate and preserve the natural world. To quote Jay Sr. himself, “We couldn’t take the educational value out of this museum if we tried!

Owner and President Jay Villemarette, Sr. says, “I started collecting skulls when I found (one) in the woods at the age of seven. My father encouraged me to collect skeletons. Over the years I became a lifelong collector of skulls.” This discovery would eventually lead Jay on an unexpected career path that, really, made perfect sense. “In 1986 I found myself unemployed as an auto body technician, so I started selling skulls as a hobby and finally turned that into a business. As my business grew, so did my collection. By 2000, I was interested in opening up a museum.” And he did just that, and more.

The Museum of Osteology, the only one of its kind in the United States, focuses on the function and form of the skeletal system. They opened in 2010 and display hundreds of specimens they’ve collected from around the world. TripAdvisor even awarded them two Certificates of Excellence in 2013 and 2014. “(The museum) took off in a way we were barely prepared for,” says oldest son, Jay Villemarette, Jr. “It really started to give us a lot of ideas. We realized this collection was very valuable to people and they wanted to come out to see what we have.”

On the heels of success in Oklahoma City, Jay Sr. approached his sons to help expand the business. “We’re a family oriented attraction and museum,” he says. “We wanted to do something with the public and so many people come to Orlando, we wanted to be part of that.” FYI, there’s a really cool Barnyard Scene set up which shows skeletons from all walks of farm life, including a farmer. “We have a horse, a goat, a potbelly pig, a cow, a sheep… there’s a barn owl and even some rats. It’s a lot of fun and I think people will enjoy themselves.

Family being the operative word. Jay Jr. says the business is indeed a family one, and they’re literally building it all together. “We’re all here. My brothers and my cousin… We’ve been working 12-14 hour days putting the museum together. My dad’s here, and the rest of the family will be flying in a couple of days to help put the finishing touches on everything.”

To give you an idea of how large a feat putting together a museum is, and a museum based around skeletons at that, a human skeleton is comprised of 206 bones. A snake can have double or more of this amount. A blue whale up to 15,000 bones. This is just the skeletons, that’s not including the build out, electrical wiring or the dioramas themselves.

Jay Jr explains, “We’ve put together about 400 skeletons in almost fourteen months. These skeletons don’t go together very quickly. Not only are these skeletons brought to us as a carcass, we have to clean and whiten them before we even begin the articulation. The articulation process can take anywhere from twelve hours to 240 hours depending on the specimen just in drilling and wiring, then the articulation process.” There’s no instruction manual on any of this, folks.

Good news for parents and educators! As with the Museum of Osteology, Orlando’s Skeletons: Animals Unveiled experience is also appropriate for all ages. “My heart is in education,” Jay Sr. explains. “It’s enjoyable to me to watch a child walk up to (an) exhibit and see the ‘wow’ on their faces when they approach and see what’s here.

Our first question we asked while touring, “Are these skeletons real?” Jay Sr.’s answer? YES. “Everything came to us as a carcass. Every skeleton in this museum is REAL. We hand remove as much tissue from the bones as possible and feed them to our (Dermestid) beetles.” Beetles?! Seriously? “Yes, we have insects that actually eat the meat off the bones. It can take up to six month to clean one single skeleton.” 

He’s not kidding. Near the front of the exhibit are two colonies of beetles, encased for all to see, and a time lapse video of them cleaning a tiger skull. In two minutes time you see them devour the flesh like it was a buffet – and to these insects, with a particular set of skills, it is. Because these insects are used so often, Jay and his family even breed them.

Of the many dioramas included in this new attraction, is one dedicated to Florida’s wildlife. “The Florida exhibit offers a wonderful opportunity for teachers as well as parents to bring their children to our museum and see animals native to Florida (unveiled). They’re looking at skeletons of a twelve foot alligator, a black bear and multiple other species as well,” says Jay Sr.

Skeletons: Animals Unveiled Details

  • Hours: 9am to Midnight (last entry at 11pm) beginning May 1st. Open 365 days.
  • Prices: $19.99 for adults, $12.99 for children 3-11, with 3 years old and under being free. Early bird specials, group rates, buyouts and educational lock-in pricing also available.
  • Address: 8441 International Drive, Suite 250, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Phone number: 407-203-6999
  • Email: info@skeletonmuseum.com

ProTip: Groupon Orlando is currently offering Admission for Two or Admission for Four at a discounted rate. Click here for details.

The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium to open May 4th

May the 4th be with I-Drive 360 and with all of us!

Anticipated news dropped today from Merlin Entertainments. The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium are all scheduled to open to the public on Monday, May 4th! But wait… it gets better. (Standby for a Selachimorphic dance off…)

Visitors can sign up for ‘exclusive, early access’ (May 1st – 3rd) to all of these attractions via OfficialOrlandoEye.com!

Tickets to each attraction start at $25 ($20 for children 12 and under), however, combination tickets are available across multiple attractions and sister attraction LEGOLAND® Florida.

  • One Attraction: $25 for adults/$20 for children (12 and under)
  • Two Attractions: $39 for adults/$34 for children (12 and under)
  • Three Attractions: $49 for adults/$44 for children (12 and under)
  • Three Attractions and LEGOLAND Florida: $99 for adults/$94 for children (12 and under)

Added bonus for LEGOLAND fans, there’s a transportation option! A shuttle will pick your party up in the morning and drop you off on the first level of I-Drive 360’s parking garage daily, and it’s only $5 per person (plus tax)! Click here for operating schedule, park hours and to book in advance.

“We’re proud to offer economical and flexible pricing for all of our attractions so that guests will be able to fit in a visit to I-Drive 360 into that overall Orlando experience,” said Merlin Entertainments’ James Paulding at this morning’s press conference.

Tussauds Neil Patrick Harris

Also revealed at this morning’s press conference was Madame Tussaud’s newest figure addition. We know How I Met Your Mother fans will ‘suit up’ to meet Neil Patrick Harris as ‘Barney Stinson!’ Stay tuned after the reveal to meet Left Shark‘s dancing nemesis, Magnus from SEA LIFE Orlando.

First passenger capsule installed on The Orlando Eye

By: @jenvargas

Construction update!

Number One of thirty total glass passenger capsules was installed yesterday on The Orlando Eye at the new I-Drive 360 Complex!

The Orlando Eye installs pax capsule

Over the next two to three weeks you should start seeing The Orlando Eye take even more shape as we start putting more and more capsules on,” said Robin Goodchild, General Manager of The Orlando Eye.

Visitors can expect a fully immersive experience while on or off the 400 foot observation wheel. “It’s going to be an overall fantastic 4D experience of all the sites Central Florida has to offer,” says Goodchild. “Onboard the capsule, not only will you have obviously air conditioning, there will be plenty of space to move around and take in those wonderful views. We’ll also have these tablets that we’ve installed at the moment, and they’re going to be an interactive experience. If there’s any part of Central Florida that you’re not quite sure about, you can zoom in and find a bit more information about that area.

I used my own Glass ‘eye’ (Google Glass) while chatting briefly with Robin, who was fascinated by the device. Here’s our interview…

Tin Roof Orlando: Top 5 Favorite Things (so far)…

By: @jenvargas

Your first reaction to hearing the name Tin Roof Orlando might be the same as mine…

The overwhelming urge to yell, “Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiin Roof! Rusted,” a kitschy fermata from The B-52s 1989 smash hit “Love Shack.” When I asked Patrick Neitzer, General Manager of Tin Roof Orlando if people who did this would be laughed at or quickly asked to leave he said, “Heck no! We ENCOURAGE it!

(Note: If this was not your instinctual reaction, that’s okay too. You’re still welcome to visit!)

Firstly, Tin Roof Orlando is a Live Music Joint. It also happens to be a restaurant, soon-to-be featuring an Americana (or, as they describe on their website, TennTex) style menu and a full service bar with indoor AND outdoor seating. Tin Roof opens for business on Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 11am but will be open for a big New Year’s Eve party! (Click here for more information and other big announcements!)

The idea started in Nashville in 2002 when Jason and Elizabeth Sheer wanted to give local musicians a place to jam, as well as a place to hangout when they weren’t cranking it up to 11 on stage. Encouraging locals, musicians and non, to just ‘hang out’ became their mantra and being classified a “Regular,” is the Tin Roof equivalent of being called “Norm!” at Cheers in Boston. Obviously, a high honor.

I hung out recently with the team from Tin Roof Orlando, and was quite impressed with the space. The location, at the entrance to The Orlando Eye and across the way from YardHouse, is very conveniently located. It will be even more visible in the next couple of weeks with the addition of this neon gal standing on – of course – the roof!
Find a lake clarke shores roofing company for more information.

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The 50s-60s roadside feel inside is casual and comfortable. Tin Roof will be open for lunch at 11am and will close at 2am, seven days a week, making it a cool hangout spot for our service industry folks getting out late. Also a great benefit, the neighboring I Drive 360 parking garage is FREE to park. When The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and SeaLife Aquarium are completed, visitors and locals alike could spend a day at the complex, becoming “Regulars” at Tin Roof Orlando in no time!

Things I appreciate about Tin Roof Orlando so far…

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  • The management. They really want their guest to have a great time and come back often!

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  • The bar area is equipped with ample power outlets which have traditional 110 plugs *and* TWO slots to charge via USB! After a long day, I could totally see taking a load off, enjoying a cold one and charging my phone. Of course, I would tip my bar staff handsomely (Hi Sammi!) for this and you should too.

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  • Keep an eye peeled. Nifty little neighborhood touches and shout outs to Florida, Central Florida and other locations with meaning to the staff all over the place! Don’t be surprised to see love for my Reds (Go Big Red Machine) or even a little Roll Tide action.

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  • Since ‘The Roof is a Live Music Joint, they fully embrace local music and encourage them to come out and play! (Bands: For now, email your EPKs and info to infoorlando[at]tinroofbars.com) Speaking of, music (and vinyl) lovers will also appreciate the decor…

I haven’t sampled their menu items… yet. You’ll see yummy menu photos and Instagrams in another blog very soon! Here are my Top 5 most anticipated menu items:

  • Chicken and Waffle Nuggets (w/ Benton’s bacon-maple syrup)
  • Buttermilk Tenders (buffalo style, tons of ranch)
  • O-Eye Mac & Cheese (maple-smoked white cheddar & breadcrumbs) <– YES!!!
  • Hot Chicken Torta (Buttermilk fried chicken rubbed with cayenne, ranch potato salad and pickles on a Mexican style roll)
  • Roof Burger (white cheddar cheese & all the fixins including bacon)

Will you be a ‘Regular?’ I know I will!

The Orlando Eye gets festive!

Is that Santa at The Orlando Eye?? Maybe he needed to defrost? Or a quick staycation before the busy season?

Can you believe it? Only a week left until Christmas!! And right around the corner… Spring 2015 and the opening of The Orlando Eye!

With The Orlando Eye growing to 400-feet and the outer wheel nearly complete, Santa felt compelled to put a star on top so the reindeer knew to fly a little bit higher than usual.

With The Orlando Eye growing to 400-feet and the outer wheel nearly complete, Santa felt compelled to put a star on top so the reindeer knew to fly a little bit higher than usual.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort updates and more at IAAPA 2014

by: @jenvargas

© 2014 Chip Litherland Photography Inc.

© 2014 Chip Litherland Photography Inc.

Wednesday is going to be a BIG day at IAAPA (the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) expo, especially for our friends at Merlin Entertainments Group! The world’s second largest attractions operator, has expanded here in Central Florida quite a bit over the past few years. We look forward to hearing updates about SEA LIFE Orlando, Madame Tussauds Orlando and 400 ft tall The Orlando Eye (With 4D Cinema Experience) opening in the Spring of 2015.

But wait… there’s MORE! Merlin also plans on sharing new construction updates and photos of the five-story, 152 room LEGOLAND Hotel (opening Summer 2015)… and they’ve had some help!

© 2014 Chip Litherland Photography Inc.

© 2014 Chip Litherland Photography Inc.

 

 

Who’s that handsome devil up there? Only true BrickFans know for sure. There’s a little something extra included in Wednesday’s plans! Master Builder Emmet (from The Lego Movie) and Team LEGOLAND have been working very hard lately, and not just on the new Resort.  Merlin also will reveal a new nine foot across, eight foot tall LEGO model designed for LEGOLAND Florida Resort which features all three coming attractions!! I’ve hugged Buddy. My new goal is to hug Emmet! Will I see him in person? I hope so!

Make sure to follow @CentralFLTop5 on Twitter and LIKE our Facebook page for exclusive news live from the IAAPA Trade Show Floor!

FLASHBACK: Remember when we walked all NINE MILES of IAAPA’s aisles back in 2012?

International Drive’s Orlando Eye to be completed by end of 2014

by: @jenvargas

We’ve had our ‘eye’ on International Drive, have you? A little over three weeks ago, The Orlando Eye looked like this…

 

  On October 26th, it looked like this!

Now, her inner circle is all closed in and her outer circle will be filled in the coming weeks! (More about this below…)

Back in January, we told you about our Top 5 Development Projects of 2014. In April, we were one of the first to reveal the name of the new I-Drive 360 complex. Since then we have watched this area evolve into a more realized home of entertainment in the heart of the International Drive corridor. If you’re eyeing a major project in your area, as well, might as well get in touch with used forklift dealers and other sellers for quality used heavy equipment.

So, what are your thoughts, Top Fivers? What are you most looking forward to experiencing when I-Drive 360 opens next Spring?

 

The Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye Completes Inner Wheel

Work now begins on the outer wheel, bringing structure to height of 400 ft

Orlando, Fla. – Oct. 31, 2014 – The Orlando Eye celebrates a major construction milestone with the completion of the spoke installation of the inner wheel, clearing the way for work to begin on the outer wheel, eventually bringing the massive structure to a height and width of 400 feet, making it the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast of the United States.

As it stands, the Eye can be seen from miles around, and many believe the structure is nearly complete. However, the outer wheel still needs to be constructed, then workers can begin the installation process of the glass capsules, and finally, work can begin on the electrical and A/V components of the Eye.

“This is a really exciting moment for The Orlando Eye. From this point forward, construction will soon showcase the true height of the Eye at 400 feet,” said James Paulding, head of new openings for North America for Merlin Entertainments. “Work is progressing quickly, and we are on track for our grand opening next spring.”

The outer wheel of the Eye is expected to be complete by the end of the year. To follow along with news and updates, visit www.officialorlandoeye.com.

The Orlando Eye is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

 

The Orlando Eye

Located in the heart of International Drive, the 400-foot Orlando Eye is the tallest observation wheel on the U.S. eastern coast, offering a new way to experience the breathtaking views of Central Florida.

Poised to become a top visitor attraction for the tourism capital of the U.S., the Orlando Eye, part of the I-Drive 360 entertainment and dining complex, will showcase 360-degree views of Central Florida, including nearby theme parks and attractions, downtown Orlando and Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast, all within the comfort of 30 air-conditioned glass capsules. Each capsule has room for up to 12 guests to enjoy a serene 20-minute journey above the scenic landscape.

Included in the Orlando Eye journey is access to the pre-flight 4D cinema experience, taking guests on a full 3D aerial journey of Florida, with the added dimension of sensory experiences, including lighting, wind, spray and scent effects.

 

Merlin Entertainments

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS plc is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment. Europe’s Number 1 and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 105 attractions, 11 hotels/3 holiday villages in 23 countries and across 4 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its almost 60 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and c25,000 employees.

Merlin has twenty three attractions and one hotel in North America  – including two stunning LEGOLAND Resorts – LEGOLAND Florida with its theme park, water park, and LEGOLAND California theme park with water park, SEA LIFE aquarium and themed hotel; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions in New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas; Hollywood; and San Francisco LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Kansas City Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia; Boston; Westchester, New York; Toronto, Canada; a Dungeon in San Francisco; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas/Fort Worth; the Mall of America in Minneapolis and Charlotte – Concord – underlining the company’s position as the world’s biggest global aquarium operator.  Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.