The Orlando area is the number one tourist destination in the country, and some of the most amazing attractions are located here. However, the tallest roller coaster in the world is not one of them. That will be changing in 2016. Today, it was officially announced that a brand new complex will be built, including include a coaster that will be well over 500 feet tall.
A press conference was held this morning at the 12 acre site of this new project, right near International Drive. Joshua Wallack, along with his father David, made the announcement that The Skyscraper at SKYPLEX will be opening in 2016. It is being billed as the “world’s tallest roller coaster and entertainment complex.”
The SKYPLEX itself will be a 495,000 square facility that will house retail shops, dining, and entertainment experiences. The top of the tower will be two levels with an observation deck and a restaurant that will convert to a nightclub environment in the evening. The coaster will also launch from near the top of this 570 foot tall tower.
The Skyscraper coaster is going to be the first “Polercoaster” to be built. It was created by Orlando based US Thrill Rides. That company’s president, Michael Kitchen, was also on hand to discuss the new venture. He explained that it will be a “first of its kind” experience that will thrill riders on a whole new level. First off, it is going to be a very long track at nearly 5,200 feet, and the ride will last close to 3 minutes. The coaster cars hold 8 passengers in a 4 by 4 stadium style configuration, and they expect the capacity to be approximately 1,000 riders per hour. There will be several inversions and it will reach a top speed of 65 mph.
To get a feel for how tall the SKYPLEX will be, the owners generously offered those in attendance a helicopter ride above the press conference site. I was able to get some great photos from 500 feet, and the views were incredible. I will say that sitting inside of the helicopter was probably much less scary than speeding inverted down the outside of a tower, doing over 60 mph with no windshield! However, it was interesting to get a feel for how high we will be when boarding the Skyscraper, and to provide you with pictures and video of the experience.
It was fun to take a break from my business at WDW Guided Tours to cover this event for Taking the Florida Plunge. Skyscraper at SKYPLEX is going to break ground in 2015 and I can’t wait to ride it in 2016!