When Fun Spot was readying to open in the late 1990s, the very first attraction purchased for the new park was the iconic Ferris Wheel, but now the granddaddy of all Fun Spot attractions is calling it quits.
The 100-foot-tall wheel was already ten years old when Fun Spot purchased it in 1997, and since then, the company has expanded to three locations and numerous groundbreaking rides, including Florida's first virtual reality roller coaster.
Image via Fun Spot
Fun Spot's old Ferris Wheel is nearly completely demo'd with all gondolas now removed.
Even while the International Drive location expanded beyond its original five-acre footprint, the Ferris Wheel remained a beacon, easily visible from downtown's towers and from much of the tourist district. But a new wheel, with an even more impressive lighting package, will soon call the park home.
The new 98-foot tall wheel is manufactured by Italian-based ride builder Technical Park
and is similar to one that the company showcased at recent IAAPA Expos with semi-translucent frosted white plastic gondolas, which light up thanks to a unique lighting package found inside the gondola structure themselves. Altogether the 20 gondola wheel can hold up to 120 guests at a time.
Photo via Fun Spot
The new Ferris Wheel coming to Fun Spot
John Arie Jr, CEO of Fun Spot America Theme Parks explained, "I am sad to see the first ride that Fun Spot America bought in 1997 leave our parks, but at the same time we are replacing it with a brand-new spectacular wheel. This wheel reminds me of a fireworks show where it catches your eye and you can't stop looking at it, waiting on the next big bang! This will definitely help light up north International Drive and attract more guests to this side of Kirkman Road in the International Drive district. This wheel will draw a fraction of the amount of energy compared to our old wheel because of the new drive motors and LED lights. It may not be the biggest wheel in Orlando, but for Fun Spot it's HUGE!!!!!"
Fun Spot confirmed that the new Ferris Wheel will have the "newest LED light package that offers various light sequences, better depth of colors and a series of different light speeds to enhance its impact visually."
The new LED-lit wheel comes just as other sections of I-Drive also look at lighting as a way to enhance
the visual appeal of the area. From art installations to projection mapping, new lighting may soon come to the tourist district.
The discussion on those projects is ongoing. The Fun Spot wheel should open by early June.
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