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Monday, May 6, 2019

Icon Park wants to dominate I-Drive with the world's tallest drop tower and largest slingshot

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2019 at 10:44 AM

click image An artist rendering of the proposed new attractions at ICON Park. The slingshot and drop tower can be seen on the right side of the rendering - IMAGE VIA ICON PARK ORLANDO | FACEBOOK
  • Image via ICON Park Orlando | Facebook
  • An artist rendering of the proposed new attractions at ICON Park. The slingshot and drop tower can be seen on the right side of the rendering
Nearly 8 months after announcing the International Drive project, construction has begun on two new record-breaking attractions at Icon Park.

The spot formerly known as I-Drive 360 is already home to the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast and the world's tallest swing ridge, but now it plans to add the world's tallest drop tower and the world's largest slingshot.



Both of the new attractions will go on an empty lot on the southwest side of Icon Park, near Uncle Julio’s Mexican restaurant, and will act as a bookend to the StarFlyer that sits on the other end of the site. Few details regarding the new attractions have yet to be shared, which is typical when attractions seeking new world records are under development. The manufacturer for both of the new attractions is thought to be Funtime, who also is the design team behind the StarFlyer.

The drop tower, called the Orlando Gyro Drop Tower, will be the taller of the two attractions. The tower has a decorative crown similar to the StarFlyer's. Posts by Icon Park have stated that the tower will be 400 feet tall, but currently, the world's tallest drop tower, at 415 feet, is Zumanjaro found at New Jersey's Six Flags Great America. That tower is attached to the side of a roller coaster, though.

Icon could be referring to the tallest freestanding drop tower, which is the 377-foot tall Giant Drop in Australia. Either way, it will hold the record for the tallest gyro drop tower. The renderings confirm that the drop tower won't be the highest one, which remains the 160-foot tall Big Shot that sits on top of the 921-foot tall Stratosphere Tower in Vegas.

Riders on the Orlando Gyro Drop Tower will get quite the view of I-Drive as the seats rotate and possibly tilt forward, similar to Falcon's Fury at Busch Gardens. Like the nearby StarFlyer, both the Orlando Gyro Drop Tower and the Orlando Slingshot will be used for promotional materials for FunTime so they will use many of the latest technologies on them including impressive lighting packages.

The Slingshot is similar to the current world's largest, which sits less than a mile up the street at Magical Midway. That tower, also by Funtime, is roughly seven stories shorter than the 300-foot tall one planned for Icon Park. Guests on the slingshot will be flung nearly fifty stories into the air. Previous announcements mentioned that this will be a dual-loading slingshot, allowing for one group to be loading while another is experiencing the attraction, but newly released concept art shows a more traditional single-load system.

These aren’t the only projects in the pipeline for the entertainment complex. A powered zipline was approved last year at the same time as these projects. Also previously announced is a $15 million, 15,000-square-foot Blake Shelton-branded dining and entertainment venue Ole Red. An Element by Westin hotel is also currently in the works. Despite not appearing the in the concept art, a small retail building will be constructed near the plaza where the Orlando Gyro Drop Tower and the Orlando Slingshot will be located, similar to the one found at the base of the Orlando Starflyer.

The two new record-breaking tower attractions will open next spring.

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