Skyplex approved despite Universal Orlando’s best efforts

Yesterday during a three hour long public meeting, Orange County commissioners unanimously approved the Skyplex Orlando development that is set for the corner of International Drive and Sand Lake Road. Skyplex Orlando will feature a 501-foot roller coaster built on a tower that is set to be no taller than 600 feet, but has been approved by the FAA to be up to 700 feet. Also inside the $500 million dollar tower will be a drop attraction, observation deck and rotating restaurant.

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Universal Orlando has been heavily lobbying against Skyplex Orlando for months using arguments about traffic, public safety, skyline concerns, and light pollution. However, their intense lobbying didn’t affect the opinions of local business owners who heavily supported Skyplex coming to International Drive.

What wasn’t being discussed during the months of lobbying was that Universal has plans to purchase the 474 acres of land known as Colony properties, which is approximately 2 miles away and near the Orange County Convention Center. Universal purchasing that amount of land points to one thing – a third theme park. Universal had no comment on the plan revealed by two county commissioners.

Obviously Universal fans would love to see a third park, but land has been the biggest issue. The only sensible place would be on International Drive and it seems as if all of those rumors have been confirmed. And with Skyplex being approved up to 700 feet, things could get interesting for a new Universal park on International Drive if they aren’t stuck to the normal 200-foot height limit. Again, Universal has not announced any concrete plans for a third park, but it’s only a matter of time before they expand to a third gate.

(h/t – Orlando Sentinel)

  • Otto Tieleman

    I think Universal doesn’t care about the skyplex that could be in their new backyard. Why would they, there is already a freaking high lit up wheel there. The coaster? Nope, it’s a one trick pony that probably isn’t that great to ride anyway.
    They made a lot of noise because currently they are held back because of their neighbours. They want to make sure when they buy the new land the city needs to give them some support. For instance for a light rail system like in Miami, connecting the current resort with the replcement hotels for w&w and the new area. If Universal is allowed to build over roads a 3 stop system it would be great for convention goers who can use any Universal hotel and entertainment option and have a excellent commute to the convention building. That are deep pockets visiting Universal. Ofcourse the new park should.be able to use fireworks at night and build higher rides (at least up to 400 feet). They could build a World showcase kind of atmosphere with a lot of ding and drinking options and a not show to complement the visit for the convention goers.

    I think it all plays out in a better future for Universal.
    And the polercoaster with it’s tight turns, constant breaking and record that probably will be broken within a few years will remain the one trick pony that soon will become old.

  • Andy

    Universal is a resort. Skyplex, when built, will merely be a day attraction. The two coasters are literally it, aside from a “fun” observation platform which loses it’s novelty after 15 minutes or so. Besides, if Universal opens a third park the Skyplex will affect nothing. Visitor numbers won’t change, if anything they’ll increase because of more people leaving the Disney “bubble” for international drive