Florida Guide > Other Activities
For a unique way to see Orlando and the surrounding area, try the Orlando Eye. Opened in May 2015 the Eye gives visitors a fantastic panoramic view. The 400-foot tall wheel provides breathtaking views of Central Florida in all directions, with sights of downtown Orlando’s skyline, theme parks, lakes and lush landscape. On a clear day you can even see Cape Canaveral on the east coast, almost 55 miles away.
The Orlando Eye is located in the heart of International Drive at Orlando' s newest dining and entertainment complex, the I-Drive 360. The parking lot for the Orlando Eye is accessed from Universal Boulevard which runs parallel and behind International Drive. There are plenty of spaces either in the open or the enclosed multi storey parking garage and there is no charge. Once you have parked, you proceed to the main entrance area where tickets can be purchased if these haven’t already been purchased online. Tickets are sold in time slots throughout the day with the first ride commencing at 10. 00am. Combined tickets can be purchased to gain entry to Madame Tussauds and the Sea Life Centre which are on the same site.
Once you have purchased a ticket, you are shown to an area where a staff member takes a photograph of your group using a green screen to provide the Orlando Eye as a backdrop. You can view and then purchase your photograph once you have completed your flight on the Orlando Eye.
After the photograph has been taken you are then shown the pre-flight 4D Cinema Experience. You are given 3D glasses and then watch a film which showcases the flora and fauna of Florida as though you are flying in the Orlando Eye.
Finally, you are then shown to the waiting area to board The Eye. This couldn’t be easier as it is very slow moving and you step into the pod. Each pod is air conditioned and provides excellent views from wherever you stand. There is also a small seating area for anyone who wants to take the weight off their feet. The ride is very smooth and you are provided with a commentary as The Eye rotates. It is easy to make out the familiar landmarks such as Spaceship Earth at Epcot, the roller coasters of Islands of Adventure and Everest at Animal Kingdom. As the experience lasts about 20 minutes you have ample time to take photographs. In the coming months the owners of the Orlando Eye will be installing iPads into each pod to further enhance the visitor experience by making it more interactive.
All too soon the experience is over and it is time to disembark the pod but you are left with the feeling of having experienced something completely different to the theme park experiences.
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Page added on: 3 August 2015
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