Yesterday morning’s media event at I-Drive 360 finally provided the details so many of us have been anxiously awaiting – opening dates, prices, and a look at the famous faces of Madame Tussauds!
Let’s get right into it.
The Orlando Eye opens
After months of watching The Orlando Eye develop and grow to its full 400-foot height, James Paulding of Merlin Entertainments proudly revealed the date that the giant Ferris wheel, Madame Tussauds, and Sea Life Aquarium will be open to the public: “We are thrilled to announce the May 4 grand opening of the newest additions to Central Florida, rounding out Orlando’s world-class offerings!”
Merlin operates over 100 attractions worldwide (along with several associated hotels), 24 of which are located in North America, including Central Florida’s Legoland park. Their contributions to I-Drive 360 may be among the most creative and ambitious endeavors to hit Orlando’s tourist corridor, and anticipation has been building throughout The Orlando Eye’s construction.
Experiencing I-Drive 360 early
Sea Life and Madame Tussauds are located at the base of The Orlando Eye, within the “Terminal Building,” which will also be home to the pre-flight 4D experience that offers an exciting build-up to the ride on the observation wheel.
Additionally, the Terminal Building will contain a food court, wine bar, gift shops, and more.
It’s easy to imagine the complete, inclusive experience offered within The Orlando Eye complex – not to mention I-Drive 360 neighbors such as Skeletons, Sugar Factory, McFadden’s, Cowgirls Rockbar, and more.
Keep in mind that Skeletons will be opening its doors on April 25, providing an excellent excuse for an advance visit to the site. And I-Drive 360 is already fast becoming a hotspot for dining and nightlife even before the attractions are actively attracting, thanks to Carrabba’s, Tin Roof, Outback Steakhouse, and Yard House, all of which have already opened their doors.
<script async src=”//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js”></script>
Continue onto the second page to take the photo tour of Madame Tussauds.[page]A photo tour of Madam Tussauds
At yesterday’s media event, guests were offered a preview tour of Madame Tussauds, where many of the location’s wax figures have already found placement among themed rooms with vibrant backdrops and carefully designed settings.
The first figure to greet guests at the media event, Neil Patrick Harris, was unveiled at the end of the press conference.
Upon entering Tussauds, guests are transported to the earliest days of Florida, where they meet Ponce de Leon. This scene sets the stage for the fully-immersive experience; cannon blasts and smoke effects provide an authentic glimpse into life aboard the first ships to discover Florida’s coastline.
The historical journey continues in full patriotic fashion with visits from Uncle Sam and Abraham Lincoln.
Apparently, we’re still waiting for Neil Armstrong to make his way back from his moon mission.
But in the meantime, we can still tip our hat to iconoclastic leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama.
Creative inventors and visionaries are memorialized, much like their life-changing contributions, which are a fixture in our daily lives.
Not the least of the historical tributes, Madame Tussaud herself has found a modern home here in Orlando.
The sports room features some of the most accomplished athletes representing most every sport in the playbook.
Perhaps the most impressive, detailed figure to take note of, Shaquille O’Neal strikes a pose that only he could accomplish – in dramatic fashion.
The music room highlights talented performers from various eras and genres, from pop starlets to a pair of kings.
Television and film stars are set in positions related to their most familiar scenes. Turn the tables as you interview Oprah, or join the fashionable Sofia Vergara on the set of Modern Family.
Then stroll through timeless classics as you greet Marilyn Monroe or enjoy Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to Steven Spielberg, who proudly keeps watch over the Jurassic Park and E.T. sets.
If you haven’t had your fill of celebrity sightings, the Red Carpet awaits, where Selena Gomez and Taylor Lautner greet you (and the paparazzi).
And, of course, you’ll want to attend the “after party” in the A-List Room, where some of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars are simply hanging out, waiting to mingle. One has to wonder how Jennifer Aniston feels being only a few feet away from Brangelina!
Tickets are already on sale for May 4 and beyond on the official Orlando Eye website (OfficialOrlandoEye.com). Ticket prices are as follows:
- One attraction: $25 for adults/$20 for children (12 and under)
- Two attractions: $39 for adults/$34 for children (12 and under)
- Three attractions: $49 for adults/$44 for children (12 and under)
- Three attractions and LEGOLAND Florida: $99 for adults/$94 for children (12 and under)
If you’d like the chance to catch a sneak peek before May 4, subscribe to the attractions’ newsletters (OfficialOrlandoEye.com, MadameTussauds.com/Orlando or VisitSeaLife.com/Orlando). A special, limited preview event is scheduled to take place May 1 through 3, and will only be made available to a limited number of subscribers.
Will I-Drive 360 live up to the hype? Sound off in the comments below.
Planning a vacation to Orlando?
Want to skip all the work and just price out a vacation to Universal Orlando? We’ll find the best deals for you – for free (seriously.) Learn more, or check out some of the current deals:
- – Halloween Horror Nights 25 Hotel & Ticket Vacation Packages
– Wizarding World of Harry Potter Vacation Packages
– 2-Park Getaway at Universal Orlando
About the Author
Dawn is a transplanted Texan that discovered her passion for Orlando just as she was planning to return to the Lone Star State. A former Magic Kingdom Cast Member and longtime Disney Annual Passholder, she considers the Disney parks and resorts to be her backyard playground. After 20 years covering music and television, Dawn is now focusing her quirky perspectives on Florida’s attractions. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.