Merlin Entertainments has confirmed that it is working with Circle Entertainment (Cexe.pk) and the developer Unicorp to bring at least three of its attraction brands to Orlando – including an ‘Eye’-branded observation wheel.
As part of its plans to become a partner at the new I-Walk Orlando development on International Drive, Merlin also wants to open Florida’s first Madame Tussauds waxwork attraction.
“I-Walk Orlando will be a very exciting addition to International Drive, providing a unique mix of leisure and retail activities,” notes Circle Entertainment president Paul Kanavos. “Merlin has a unique portfolio of visitor attractions with global reputations; but most importantly they are the owner and operator of the world famous London Eye. Circle Entertainment is committed to building and owning the Orlando Eye at I-Walk Orlando and is seeking other pre-eminent domestic and international locations for observation wheels under an exclusive worldwide license agreement with US Thrill Rides and founder Bill Kitchen.”
“I-Walk Orlando is destined to be a ‘must visit’ destination for Orlando’s millions of visitors,” adds Merlin CEO Nick Varney. “More than that, in October we are opening Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, our second Legoland theme park in the USA, underlining the importance of North America, and Florida in particular, as key development areas for Merlin.”
Scheduled to open in 2013, I-Walk Orlando will be located in the centre of International Drive on the former Mercado site. Talks with Merlin Entertainment are believed to be at an advanced stage. If built, the Orlando Eye would stand 425ft (130-metres) tall.