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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Orlando to get its own version of the London Eye in 2010

It looks like Orlando is to get its own version of the iconic London Eye in 2010.

The Great Wheel Corporation announced on the 25th June that is is to start work on constructing a giant 400ft high Big Wheel on a piece of land near to the Orlando Convention Centre. The company has already constructed similar wheels in Singapore, Beijing and Berlin. (It should be noted that the Great Wheel Corporation did not construct the London Eye. )

Scheduled to open in 2010 the Great Orlando Wheel will tower at 400 feet. It will capture the experience of flight with spectacular views spanning 25 miles in all directions. The 25-mile panoramic view will showcase world-class Central Florida attractions like SeaWorld, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, as well as firework displays and rocket launches from NASA Kennedy Space Center.

The Great Orlando Wheel will sit on a 20 acre piece of land next to the Convention Center, making it less than five minutes from Interstate 4 and SR 528. The location is also convenient to the main Disney tourist areas, and many vacation rental villas communities.

As one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations, Orlando provides the ideal location for North America’s first Great Wheel, ” says Florian Bollen, Chairman of Great Wheel Corporation. “Passengers aboard the Orlando Wheel will experience a unique and ever-changing perspective above this vibrant landscape, soaring to heights unattainable anywhere else in the region. ”

“This iconic attraction will cast a stately silhouette, ” Bollen continues. “In the future, it will be difficult to imagine a postcard of the Central Florida skyline that does not include the Great Orlando Wheel. ”

Measuring 38 by 16 feet, each capsule will be larger than many living rooms and will accommodate up to 40 people. Capsules will be reserved for individuals as well as for business meetings, birthdays, weddings and other special occasions. For passenger entertainment, each capsule will have its own audio and video system.

Some Fun Facts about Orlando’ s Great Wheel:-

* Towering 400 feet, the Great Orlando Wheel is as tall as Orlando’s highest skyscrapers and equally wide.

* At 660 tons, the Wheel’s spindle will weigh more than 15 commercial airliners.

* The spindle’s diameter will be as wide as the Lincoln Tunnel that connects New Jersey with midtown Manhattan.

* Approximately 3, 000 tons of steel will be used to build the Great Orlando Wheel, about the same amount it takes to produce 2, 000 trucks.

* The total weight of the wheel and its capsules will be 4, 200 tons. That’s twice as heavy as the Space Shuttle Discovery and its engine components at liftoff.

* The Great Orlando Wheel’s diameter will be approximately 380 feet, twice the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

* The Wheel’s circumference will be 1, 200 feet. Extended in a straight line, that’s four times the length of an American football field.

* One Great Orlando Wheel flight capsule will weigh approximately 18 tons – equaling the weight of nine, full-size standard utility vehicles (SUVs).

The iconic London Eye was envisaged as being a temporary structure to celebrate the Millennium, but was retained given its huge attraction to tourists. Even yet, trips on the ride need to be booked in advance. It will be interesting to see how this structure compares.

Those with Vertigo need not apply.

Author: Alan and Morag Hutchison (Villa link: click here)
Other articles by this author: click here

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Page added on: 27 June 2008
Viewed 4114 times since 1 September 2008.

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