SKYPLEX and Skyscraper
By James | Last updated December 29, 2023
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A new 495,00 square foot complex called SKYPLEX is being developed by Wallack Holdings. It will be located on International Drive at the intersection with Sand Lake Road.
Centrepiece of the SKYPLEX entertainment complex is a tower topping out at 570 feet (174 m) with the world’s tallest vertical roller coaster called Skyscraper. The roller coaster is a “Polercoaster” where the track spirals up and then down around the central tower.
The tower also features the world’s tallest drop tower ride called SkyFall and a zipline ride called SkyFly. The zip line is 1,500 feet in length and features two person hard seats rather than a traditional harness.
Guests will also able to travel to the very top of the tower by 55 story glass elevators without going on the ride and at night, the whole attraction can be lit up.
On top of the attraction will be a two story restaurant with an observation deck, 535 feet (163 m) above ground level offering fantastic views across downtown Orlando, the theme parks and even as far as the Kennedy Space Center on a clear day.
Other attractions will include upmarket video arcades, simulators, rock climbing, additional indoor rides and retail space as well as restaurants including the world’s largest Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and bars.
In June 2015, the developers announced plans to build SkySurf, a surf park on top of the complexes 10 story parking garage with three pools.
At ground level there will also be a concert hall and an 2,400 space parking garage complete with a go-kart track.
In November 2016, they added SkyLedge, where you can walk around a ledge near the top of the tower with nothing but a safety harness attached to a bar above your head. This is similar to EdgeWalk at the CN Tower in Toronto.
They also plan to offer Virtual Reality headsets for the roller coaster though not sure why anyone would not want to witness the actual height and sights that far from the ground.
Then in February 2017 they added SkyJump which offers guests a 500 foot free-fall bungee style dive from the top of the tower. There is a similar attraction in Las Vegas on the Stratosphere.
SKYPLEX is being developed by Miami South Beach based Mango’s Tropical Café who opened a Mango’s Tropical Café restaurant and nightclub on International Drive across the street from SKYPLEX in the summer of 2015.
Mango’s Tropical Café offers a nightly dinner and show as well as other entertainment including a Michael Jackson tribute, reggae, samba, conga and mariachi.
The SKYPLEX and the nearby I-Drive 360 development featuring the Orlando Eye observation wheel, Sea Life Aquarium and Madame Tussauds wax works have started to transform International Drive in Orlando over the last few years.
When SKYPLEX was first announced in 2013, construction was planned to start in 2015 with a completion date of 2017. Latest indications are that development will start in late 2017 with an opening date of 2019/20.
Some of the world records that will be broken if Skyplex is built:
- Tallest roller coaster
- Longest vertical lift
- Tallest inversion
- Steepest drop
- Tallest drop ride (Skyfall)
- Largest man-made surf park
The complex will also include a 450 room convention hotel, around 40,000 square feet of restaurant space, 80,000 square feet of retail space and over 300,000 square feet of entertainment space.
During the IAAPA Attractions Expo in November 2013, the US Thrill Rides company, based in Windermere, Florida, announced that it had been contracted to build a 520 foot (158 m) high roller coaster in Florida, making it the tallest coaster in the world. It would also be the longest in the United States with 8,000 feet (2.43 km) of steel track.
Construction was due to start in early 2014 and be completed in 2016 but no announcements were made at the time as to where the ride would be built. It was not expected to be built at one of the major theme parks in Orlando. One possibility was on International Drive in Orlando or perhaps Miami.
A further press release was expected a couple of weeks later but nothing more was heard until May 2014 when documents revealed by WESH2 News suggested the likely site as next to the new Mango’s Tropical Café on the Northeast corner of Sand Lake Road. This was then confirmed in a press conference by Mango’s Entertainment LLC. Construction had been expected to start in 2015 with completion in 2016 which was then been pushed back to 2017.
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