What's New for July: Summer Sizzles with fun on I-Drive with new attraction openings!
ORLANDO, FL (July 2017) – Summer fun is in full swing in the I-Drive Resort Area, so make plans now for an Orlando getaway and put these new venues on your “must do” list!
If you are on I-Drive during the 4th of July, there are lots of activities to celebrate within a short drive. Check them out here
Cool off, make a splash and enjoy Universal's Volcano Bay
. The new tropical island water park features innovative, thrilling attractions and TapuTapu wearable technology for virtual queuing. See details
and make plans to cool off at Orlando’s hottest new attraction!
Soar at iFly Indoor Skydiving's
new facility next to WonderWorks on International Drive, equipped with two all-glass wind tunnels in an open single-story floor plan that allows I-Drive passersby to see fliers in action. iflyworld.com
Take SeaWorld Orlando's
Kraken roller coaster to a new level with "Kraken Unleashed
." This new twist on the coaster is the first of its kind virtual reality roller coaster. www.seaworld.com
Andretti Indoor Kart Racing & Games
opens late this summer with 100,800 square feet including multi-level go-karting, laser tag, rock climbing, zip-line, twelve bowling lanes and more. andrettikarting.com/andretti-orlando/
And with all this fun, you have to eat!
If you're looking for something spicy, Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican
opened their doors on June 27th to join the dining offerings at I-Drive 360. The Texas-based restaurant chain sits near the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, with a patio around the building for a perfect view of the wheel. The Tex-Mex menu includes everything from honey chipotle salmon to cowboy queso. unclejulios.com
Visitors always enjoy endless I-Drive fun including six of the world's most famous theme parks (SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica - SeaWorld's Waterpark, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay), restaurants, dinner shows, shopping experiences, mega entertainment complexes, smaller family style attractions and spas. The excitement never stops at the world-famous Orlando resort area and you will want to check out everything that is new!
If you haven’t been to the Resort Area lately…don’t miss the recent openings
The "world's first-ever flying theater," Universal Orlando's "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
" is open. Check here
for more details.
you are here
Coca-Cola Orlando Eye is part of the $200 million entertainment destination located in the heart of International Drive. The 400-foot, iconic observation wheel is the centerpiece of this themed complex featuring a dynamic blend of attractions, restaurants, nonstop entertainment and shops. USA Today Travel named it the second largest observation wheel at 400 feet tall.
Joining the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye
as part of I-Drive 360’s unique line-up of attractions are world-famous Madame Tussaud’s, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Skeletons and Arcade City
. Twice a day, visitors enjoy a $1.5 million water show set to music and color-changing lights. The complex offers free parking in its 1,600-space garage. www.i-idrive360.com
Mango's Tropical Café & Nightclub Complex
opened its $40 million, 55,000-square-foot restaurant and nightclub providing nonstop live entertainment, dancing and dining. The Latin-themed restaurant and club is an expansion of the Mango's brand in South Beach and is the newest nighttime hotspot on I-Drive. www.mangos.com/orlando
Skull Island Reign of Kong
, at Univeral's Islands of Adventure, provides a journey deep into a mysterious island, swarmed by enormous prehistoric predators. Check it out here
. And also open: The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster
. Check details
Also open this June at SeaWorld Orlando
is the new and improved Dolphin Nursery
which includes underwater viewing. seaworldparks.com
Lockbusters Escape Game
offers five uniquely themed escape adventure rooms. Opened May 26th. www.lockbustersgame.com
Breakout Escape Rooms Orlando
opened December 2016 and is located in the Regency Village Shopping Center on Vineland Ave. Race against the clock with only your logic and wit to save you in one of their three rooms: "The Ringmaster's Den," "Game of Espionage," or the "Zombie Roadhouse." roombreakout.com/orlando
At Pointe Orlando, Main Event Entertainment
, a state-of-the-art bowling experience, opened at Pointe Orlando with 48,000-square-feet of space. mainevent.com
Pio Pio Restaurant
, featuring Colombian and Peruvian cuisine, moved to its new, larger location which includes a full bar on May 4th. www.mypiopio.com
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
has opened at CityWalk. Read all of the yummy details here
The World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's
at the corner of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road has re-opened and is the first in the country to have a newly-designed 22-foot-tall kids' jungle gym with slides and tunnels. Eight kitchens prepare more than 200 menu items. http://mcfun.com/
Hulk Hogan's Beach Shop
opened March 30th. Shop for shorts and sunglasses amidst Hogan's memorabilia and Hulkamania inspired keepsakes for purchase. Don't forget to get a selfie with the Hulkster life-sized statues. shophulkhogan.com
Seabra Foods Market
at Orlando Crossings Mall opened with 17,000 square feet of shopping space that includes a variety of ethnic products from Portugal, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Spain, and more. http://www.seabrafoods.com/
At Universal Orlando, Cabana Bay Beach Resort
has expanded by adding a hotel tower with 399 retro designed rooms, which opened May 2017. Additional details here
Upcoming events at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center:
| National Train Show||Aug. 4-6 || website|
| Orlando Boat Show||Aug. 11-13 || website|
| Orlando Fall Home & Garden Show||Aug. 25-27 || website |
| Southern Women's Show||Oct. 12-15 || website |
is already making plans for Christmas and plans will include Harry Potter and his pals. Both Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley will deck their themed halls and celebrate Christmas with new experiences. The festivities will kick off on November 18, 2017 and continue through January 6, 2018. The special features will be included with general admission to the parks. More information to come. Details
Hot off the press…
Orlando International Airport (OIA) plans completion of its $2.15 billion south terminal project for fall 2020. The project will coincide with major theme park expansions.
Check out I-Ride Trolley... the Fun Way to Get Around I-Drive!
As one of the most popular attractions in Orlando’s tourist corridor, the I-Ride Trolley Service
has provided an affordable, fun and convenient way to transport visitors to the attractions, shopping, restaurants and accommodations in the International Drive Resort Area.
Fare: Single cash fare, $2.00 per ride; kids cash fare ages 3-9, $1.00 per ride; senior cash fare age 65 and over, $0.25 per ride. Unlimited ride passes are available: one-day pass, $5.00 per person; three-day pass, $7.00 per person; five-day pass, $9.00 per person; seven-day pass, $12.00 per person; 14-day pass, $18.00 per person.
Since it began in 1997, it has been considered the easiest way to travel, allowing visitors to park their cars, save some money and enjoy the ride. And it got easier with a fleet of trolleys equipped with a state-of-the-art automated vehicle location system (AVLS) known as NextBus. With Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, NextBus technology provides predicted vehicle arrival information and live maps to visitors.
I- Ride Trolley information is available via the Internet, smartphones and text messaging. Each of the 105 Trolley stops provides a QR code that visitors may scan for access to a new mobile site - iDrive2Go.mobi - dedicated to the International Drive Resort Area. In addition, the trolley equipment includes security cameras on each vehicle, automatic passenger counters, automated stop announcement system, LED destination signage and LED exterior accent lighting visible day and night.
Go Mobile on I-Drive!
With iDrive2Go.mobi, guests find loads of options for dining, shopping or attractions on I-Drive. The I-Ride Trolley section provides “NextTrolley” information as well as maps and listings of what is near each trolley stop. Access to the mobile site is obtained by QR scanning, SMS texting or by simply going to iDrive2Go.mobi on a smart phone.
The trolleys operate from 8 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. daily. Details along with downloadable maps may be found at http://www.iridetrolley.com
Coming in 2017
Lexus of Orlando
to build a 175,000-square-foot showroom and maintenance facility. Expected completion in September 2017. www.lexusoforlando.com
The Hollywood Plaza Parking Garage to open as a seven-story parking facility located directly next to Mango’s Restaurant & Nightclub. To include Circo Orlando, high-end Italian rooftop restaurant, 10 level, 880 space parking facility, 9,500 square-feet of ground level retail and office space. Opening fall 2017.
expects a fall 2017 opening for a three-level, 65,000-square-foot entertainment center. Also: private event space and 102 climate-controlled hitting bays. topgolf.com/us/orlando
Air Force Fun Orlando Helicopter Tours
at Orlando Crossings Mall is scheduled to 'take off' at Orlando Crossings Mall this fall 2017. The 2,400-square-foot facility will include a two-story building with two helicopter pads. airforcefun.com
Starflyer-Vue at 360 will open the world's tallest spinning swing ride at 440 feet. The tower ride will reach speeds of 40 mph as riders reach the top and begin spinning. The ride will seat 24 passengers. Expected opening November 2017.
Westgate Resort Condominiums
anticipates a 2017 opening date for a new eight-story, 80-unit condominium building. westgateresorts.com
Residence Inn Marriott Universal Studios
, plans a five-story, 145,000-square-foot, extended-stay hotel with 196 rooms. Expected opening is late 2017. marriott.com
will be doubling it's 5,000-square-foot meeting accommodations, adding more space and attractions to its gaming area and redesigning its bar and restaurant. Expected completion late 2017. idrivenascar.com
After over 20 years at their current location, Visit Orlando's Official Visitor Center
will be moving to the retail space next to Mango's Tropical Cafe this summer. With 6,000-square-feet and 30-foot ceilings, the move will more than double their current space. www.visitorlando.com
Cambria Hotel & Suites
plans a seven-story, 140-room hotel. Expected opening in 2017. choicehotels.com
DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
has begun an expansion to include up to 40,000-square-feet of new indoor / outdoor space, which will bring their total meeting space to 100,000-square-feet. Completion in 2017. doubletree3.hilton.com
Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations
has started their amenities expansion which includes plans for a new activity center, splash pad, two-story pool waterslide, expanded lounge seating and grass-covered event space. Anticipated completion in the second half of 2017. www3.hilton .com
Coming attractions and improvements in 2018 and beyond...
The International Drive widening project
plans to complete its expansion from four to six lanes from South Westwood Blvd. to North Westwood Blvd. in January 2018. For more details, check here
Under new management, the International Palms Resort & Conference Center, a 652-room property has shut down for a 10-month renovation. It will be rebranded as Avanti Palms Resort & Conference Center
. Renovations include lobby, guest rooms, dining areas, pools & 20,000 SF of meeting space. Completion expected first quarter 2018. avantiresort.com
a three-phase retail center along Daryl Carter Parkway, anticipates breaking ground in June 2017. Total of 69.41 acres and 447,500-square-feet of retail space, to include: Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, Boot Barn, First Watch, Ulta Beauty, Midici: The Neopolitan Pizza Company, amongst others. Phase 1 opens spring 2018. oconnorcp.com
expects to open on I-Drive in June 2018. The $28 million property plans to have 175 rooms. house.hyatt.com
Universal Orlando Resort has confirmed their sixth hotel, the Aventura Hotel. The hotel will be 17 stories with an all-glass design, including a rooftop bar.The 600-room hotel is scheduled to open August 2018.
is ready to rush the rapids with Infinity Falls
, the world's tallest river rapid drop coming summer 2018. seaworldparks.com
Fast and Furious: Supercharged
is coming in 2018 to Universal Orlando. Buckle your seat belts and read about it here
expects to open in 2018 with 21 floors, 354 rooms, a top-floor adult pool, nightclub and restaurant. www.paramounthospitality.com
Hyatt House Hotel
started construction on their second Orlando location on Caravan Ct. It will be a 9-story hotel with 168 units. Expected opening in 2018. house.hyatt.com
iSquare Hotel and Mall Complex
plans to include Capella Suites
and Solis Orlando Hotel
: two 23-story towers, 539 hotel rooms combined. As well as a 434,800 square-foot multi-level upscale mall, restaurants, meeting room and office space, 25,000 square-foot luxury spa, ice rink, rooftop infinity pool, heliport and seven-story parking garage. Expected opening: 2019. isquareusa.com
Sand Lake Road Improvement Project
expects completion in late 2019 of work that includes widening to six lanes, bike paths and new sidewalks. Extends from I-Drive to Universal Blvd. cflroads.com
SKYPLEX Entertainment Complex
will open with Skyscraper, the world’s tallest roller coaster at more than 500 feet. Also: SkyFall - a 450-foot drop ride, Skyfly - a 600-foot zipline, Skysurf Park, SkyLedge thrill experience, Sky Jump - 500-foot free fall dive attraction, Sky Plaza - retail & dining area, open-air promenade, indoor arcade, 450 room hotel, and go-kart track. Project size: 1.5 million square feet. Expected opening: 2020. mangos.com/skyplex
I-Drive dedicated transit lanes
from Sand Lake Road to the Beachline plan to be completed late in 2021. Approximately three miles of dedicated transit bus lanes from Sand Lake Road to the Beachline. New sidewalks, landscaping, and signage. orangecountyfl.net
Super Nintendo World
is coming to Universal Orlando Resort
. This themed area will be expansive, immersive and interactive, filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants based on Nintendo's iconic games, heroes and villains. blog.universalorlando.com
announced a new Sesame Street
land will replace Shamu's Happy Harbor play area by fall 2022. seaworldparks.com
Fun Spot America
is planning an expansion to include new themes, incorporate new food & beverage partners, add coasters, water rides and much more. Visit fun-spot.com
Renaissance at SeaWorld
is planning to add an additional 41,731-square-feet of new meeting space that would include a 16,503-square-foot ballroom. www.marriott.com
The Reserve at Shingle Creek Resort
to add a 325-room, 16-story condo tower, walk-in pool and lazy river, additional golf holes, 133,000-square-foot operations building with parking, 36,000-square-foot laundry facility, 250,000-square-feet additional convention space and a multi-level parking garage. rosenshinglecreek.com
I-Drive 2040 Vision Plan
Recognizing the importance of creating a shared vision for the International Drive Area, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs appointed a Steering Review Group (SRG) composed of I-Drive-area stakeholders and landowners who are committed to maintaining I-Drive as the world’s premier global destination for tourism and family entertainment. She envisioned a vibrant International Drive corridor that would be a dynamic gathering place for visitors and residents alike. See the plan here