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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Icon Park doubles down on roadside rides with two record-breaking attractions

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 1:02 PM

  • Image via ICON Park Slingshot | Slingshot Group of Companies

We’re still weeks away from international tourists returning, and business travel may never fully recover. However, any uncertainty that may still be found in the travel industry can’t be seen from International Drive. While other attractions have been fretting, Icon Park has been busy forever changing the skyline of Orlando.

Already home to two of the most recognizable landmarks in the region, Icon Park will soon open two more record-breaking attractions. The world’s tallest drop tower and the world’s largest slingshot will join the equally record-breaking Starflyer and the park's iconic wheel in coming months. Last week, the two new attractions were topped off.

Visible from miles away, the 430-foot-tall drop tower is covered in programmable LED lights. Beyond its height, its most notable feature is a multi-story wind dancer candlestick ornament on the top of the tower. Nearby, the two towers of the Orlando Slingshot reach 30 stories into the air.

click to enlarge A close up of the wind dancer candle stick ornament that sits atop of the Orlando Free Fall drop tower - IMAGE VIA SLINGSHOT GROUP OF COMPANIES | ORLANDO FREE FALL
  • Image via Slingshot Group of Companies | Orlando Free Fall
  • A close up of the wind dancer candle stick ornament that sits atop of the Orlando Free Fall drop tower

The two new attractions are just the latest in a busy year for Icon Park. Last year Blake Shelton’s Ole Red opened in the plot next to the slingshot and drop tower. This past winter saw the complex’s small arcade expand into the Wheelhouse. Now with more than 7,000 square feet, the arcade is among the largest in the region. Escape rooms, VR experiences, and a carnival-style game were also added to the expanded arcade.

2021 kicked off with the Museum of Illusions opening in the former Skeletons museum. This summer, Gordon Ramsay became the latest celebrity chef to have a presence in Orlando when his Fish & Chips concept opened at Icon Park in August.

  • Gordon Ramsey North America

Few of those additions are as visible as these latest two, however. Even while other sections of I-Drive try to shed the roadside attractions that made it famous, Icon Park has found a way to blend traditional tourist offerings with the more upscale ones sought by convention-goers and modern travelers.

click to enlarge dji_0169_1_.jpg

Unlike its predecessor, the Mercado, Icon Park has ample public spaces and has become a de facto front lawn for I-Drive. Developments that have tried to focus on one group over the other (conventioneers, theme park visitors, families, singles, international travelers and oh yeah, locals) haven’t seen nearly the same success. Icon Park has shown that an "all things to all people" approach may be the ticket to success in this highly competitive but diverse market.

The Orlando Slingshot and Orlando Free Fall drop tower are both slated to open later this year.

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