A group from Baker Leisure Group, a themed design consultancy who has worked with pretty much everyone in Orlando at one time or another, is proposing to bring a new amusement park to the International Drive area of Orlando. The park would focus on big roller coasters and other thrill rides. It would be located near the Prime Outlets, essentially right across the I-4 freeway from Universal Studios.
According to this story on WFTV, some of the coasters would be tall enough to require an FAA waiver (above 200 ft, I believe). As the 70-acre property is near some residential areas, it must still pass a few hurdles, but it sounds like city planners would be behind the project.
A theme park like this has long been rumored for Walt Disney World. It would be mostly roller coasters and themed to some of the most famous villains from the Disney pantheon. With the acquisition of Marvel entertainment, Disney has even more stories to draw from for such a theme park. Part of me wonders if this isn’t a move by Baker Leisure Group to either preempt a move by Disney or get Disney to bite on some other project they have in mind. More power to Baker Leisure Group for seeking to build a new park in Orlando when the other players have balked.
I’m all for more tourist destination attractions in Central Florida. Disney will continue to monopolize those who plan to visit for just a few days, but many international guests want to stay two weeks or longer. Plus a theme park for thrill seekers will draw from one of Orlando’s under represented market segments, teens and twenty somethings.