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.
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)