Plans revealed for Mini-Theme Park & hotel expansion on Orlando’s I-Drive

Plans have been revealed for a major upgrade to the Icon Orlando 360 complex and other nearby assets on Orlando’s International Drive.

The latest ideas include building several new attractions at Icon Orlando 360 and increasing the number of hotel rooms at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive. Specifically, up to $100 million in new rides and entertainment in the form of a mini-theme park are in the pipeline for the Icon complex, which is home to the 400-foot Icon Orlando observation wheel, a Madame Tussauds wax museum and Sea Life Aquarium. In addition, two new hotel towers are in the works for the 613-room Wyndham hotel, as well as a bump to its meeting space. Here are more details about what’s planned:

A new double slingshot ride on the southern side of Icon Orlando, bookending the complex with the existing Starflyer ride to the north. The new ride will be built tall enough to be considered the ‘world’s tallest.’

A drop tower, similar to rides like Disney’s Tower of Terror, on the Universal Boulevard side of the complex, which currently is used as parking space. That ride also will be designed as the ‘world’s tallest.’

A new powered zipline ride, as well as other not-yet-announced thrill rides on the Universal Boulevard side of the property.

Two new hotel towers added to the Wyndham that total up to 800 hotel rooms.

Another 150,000 square feet of meeting space added to the existing 60,000 square feet of ballroom space at the hotel.

Many of the plans are already in the design phase, with plans to begin construction by mid-2019. The timeline for the additions vary, with some being completed by 2020 and 2021.

Other I-Drive additions already in the works include a new restaurant dubbed The Ole Red, inspired by country music star Blake Shelton’s “Ol’ Red” song, which merges southern food, hospitality and live country music, is coming to the Icon Orlando 360 entertainment and dining complex, formerly known as I-Drive 360. The $15 million Ole Red Orlando is set to begin construction in early 2019 and open in the first half of 2020.