Skyplex Orlando, a mini theme park in the heart of Orlando’s tourist corridor, will be built around the world’s tallest roller coaster.

The 14-acre project centers around the 501-foot Skyscraper, which will rise vertically but have the same dips, twists and loops of a traditional coaster. The attraction will also include a 450-foot thrill drop ride (Skyfall), a surf park ten stories in the air (SkySurf) and a zip line (SkyFly).

Skyplex will offer an immersive, thrilling entertainment experience for Orlando visitors,” said Joshua Wallack, the developer and owner of Skyplex.

Bill Kitchen, founder of Orlando-based US Thrill Rides and creator of the vertical coaster concept, said that Skyscraper would be “unlike any in the world.”

A 360-degree observation deck (Skyledge) and rotating restaurant will sit at the top of the Skyscraper. Skyledge will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and similar to EdgeWalk at Toronto’s CN Tower. Guests will be harnessed to a safety railing while they explore the edge of the tower.

In addition to the attractions, Skyplex will also host a 450-room convention-style hotel and 380,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.

Before Orange County Commissioners approved the project in 2015, it was opposed by Save Our Orange County Community, a group backed primarily by Universal Orlando. Universal raised concerns about noise, light pollution, traffic congestion and the height of the Skyplex tower.

The $500 million project will be built at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and International Drive. Joshua Wallack and his father, David, also own Mango’s Tropical Café in Orlando.

Skyplex is expected to break ground early this year and open in 2018.

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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