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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Joshua Wallack confirms new VR headsets for Skyplex roller coaster, and 'SkyLedge'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 10:24 AM

  • Photo via Skyplex website
As Skyplex, home of what will be the world's tallest roller coaster (501 feet), readies to break ground in the coming months founder Joshua Wallack shares more details on what can be expected at the ‘vertical theme park' attraction.

Already confirmed to be home to an impressive line-up of attractions, Skyplex will also host a 450 room convention-style hotel, nearly 80,000 square feet of general retail, which will include the world's largest Perkins restaurant, and over 300,000 square feet of entertainment retail.

While Skyplex will feature five major attractions, including a professional quality surf park ten stories in the air (SkySurf), and a massive zipline (SkyFly), the main focus of the entire complex is the central tower, known as The Skyscraper. This is where the majority of the attractions will be located, along with an observation deck and a restaurant/bar with 360-degree views of The City Beautiful.

Wallack recently confirmed new details on what can be expected when the Skyplex opens in 2019. The roller coaster, which also been confirmed to feature a magnetic lift system and a small indoor scene at the beginning of the ride, will have a virtual reality headset option. VR headsets are the latest technology to hit the amusement industry. SeaWorld will open Orlando's first permanent VR coaster this upcoming spring. Guests at SeaWorld will be able to choose to ride Kraken with the VR headset. The video will be themed to an attack of a Kraken. Fun Spot has also tested a VR option on its' coasters as part of a preview during an industry convention. VR headsets have also been rumored for various Universal Orlando attractions, most notably its roller coasters. The Skyscraper at Skyplex roller coaster will feature optional VR headsets that Wallack confirmed will include multiple themes, such as flying a jet plane or surfing a giant wave.

Also recently announced is another new attraction for the Skyplex, The SkyLedge, which will allow guests to walk around the outer ledge of the Skyscraper with nothing between them and 600 ft. drop off except their single safety harness. The attraction is similar to one found at Toronto's CN Tower known as EdgeWalk. This will be the first attraction of its kind in the U.S. After being harnessed in guests will be able to explore the edge of the tower for 30 minutes. A safety railing above their heads connects to the harness ensuring that no one slips off the edge.

Other attractions in the entertainment complex will include a 450 ft drop tower ride (SkyFall) and numerous attractions yet to be announced. Strong rumors point to a flying theater attraction, a walk-thru museum of some sort, a state-of-the-art arcade similar to a Dave & Buster's plus there's likely at least one more high-thrills attraction yet to be announced.

Safety will be the primary focus of Skyplex with confirmed safety checkpoints, similar to the ones at Universal Orlando, that all guests must enter through. The Skyscraper at Skyplex roller coaster will also see at least 4 months of testing before it opens to the general public. Other safety protocols include planned daily checks on all of the rides and escape pods.

Construction should go vertical by mid-2017 with a late 2018/early 2019 opening for most of the complex while the rides themselves should open by mid-2019.

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