The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando
|The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando|
|Location||8401 International Drive, Orlando, Florida, US|
|Opened|| • 1st passenger: April 29, 2015|
• Official: May 4, 2015
|Owner|| • Structure: Circle Entertainment|
• 'ICON' brand: IDL Wheel Wheel Tenant LLC (tenant & operator)
|Height||400 ft (122 m)|
|Diameter||390 feet (119 m)|
The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando is a 400 ft (122 m) tall giant ferris wheel in Orlando, Florida, United States. Opening under the name Orlando Eye, it opened on April 29, 2015. The wheel was reported to be in the early stages of planning in March 2011, at which point it was proposed for completion in mid-2014, but the opening date was subsequently delayed to late 2014 and then to early 2015.
The attraction was renamed the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye in 2015; the ICON Orlando in 2018; and The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando in 2019. The most recent rename included a re-branding of the property to become ICON Park.
Design and construction
The Wheel at Icon Park Orlando described as an observation wheel, because "this is a stabilized-driven (capsule) that gives you a really smooth experience on the way around, so it doesn't feel like when you're at 400-feet, that you're swinging around in mid-air." According to its official website, The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando is the first wheel ever to use such a system in combination with a suspended 'ski lift capsule design'.
In January 2013, it was reported that the expected opening date had been pushed back to "by Thanksgiving November 2014". Erection of the main support structure began in December 2013. In April 2014 it was reported that completion had been further delayed until early 2015.
Installation of the 30 air-conditioned passenger capsules, each of which can carry up to 15 people, began in mid-January 2015, and the last capsule was installed on February 5. In mid-February 2015, it was announced that the soft opening was scheduled for May 1, followed by a grand opening ceremony on May 4. The Orlando Eye carried its first passenger on April 29, 2015.
On July 3, 2015, at around 4:00 pm, a few months after operations began, the Eye experienced a technical fault with the system that monitors the wheel position, causing the system to automatically shut down, stranding about 66 riders for approximately three hours.
On July 28, 2016, the Orlando Eye followed its London counterpart in becoming sponsored by Coca-Cola and was renamed the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. The deal included the renaming of the Eye and four new "Surprise and Delight" capsules, which are branded capsules with a cooler of soda and selfie sticks.
On March 11, 2018, it was rebranded again as ICON Orlando.
On April 4, 2019, it was rebranded once again to The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando.
- Merlin Entertainments confirms talks with Circle Entertainment
- Wood, Debra (March 17, 2011). "Merlin Eyes Orlando for Ferris Wheel Project". ENR Southeast. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
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- Dineen, Caitlin. "Orlando Eye officially flies Coca-Cola banner". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
- Santana, Marco. "Coca-Cola Orlando Eye changes name to ICON Orlando™". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 14, 2018.