Merlin Entertainments has announced three of its global brands coming to Central Florida next year; The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life aquarium will open in Spring 2015 at the newly renamed I-Drive 360 on International Drive. The Orlando Eye, the cantilevered observation wheel at the heart of the complex, will be a little sister icon to London’s world-famous landmark, providing views of Central Florida in all directions within fully enclosed, air-conditioned glass capsules.
Madame Tussauds Orlando, the world’s most famous celebrity wax attraction showcases incredibly detailed and lifelike wax figures that pay tribute to the most influential celebrity and historical figures features: • 25,000-square-foot indoor attraction • Themed rooms featuring a Red Carpet Arrival, A-List Party, History & Leaders, Modern Leaders, Sports, Music, Authentic History and more • Presentation video about the history of Madame Tussauds and how the wax figures are made • Make your own wax hand cast to create a 3D mold as a souvenir • At Sea Life Orlando, you will experience a journey from the wetlands and swamps around Lake Apopka – to the fun and colorful Florida Keys and tropical shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Diverse species are displayed within authentic and fantastically themed environments, influenced by all the language and look of the subtropical southern environment.
Sea Life will offer a new wave of underwater adventures with beautiful displays of colorful fish, sharks, jellyfish, sea horses and more. Winding tunnels, floor-to-ceiling tanks and bubble aquariums provide an immersive experience for children and adults alike. Additionally, the aquarium, known for its strong conservation efforts, will have unique educational components for young marine life enthusiast.
Features: • 25,000-square-foot indoor attraction • 360° underwater ocean tunnel • Over 5,000 creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, seahorses, octopus, jellyfish and rays • Over 30 displays • 350,000 gallons of water in the ocean tank • 12’ deep ocean tank • Interactive touchpool experience • Educational talks and feedings throughout the day • Kids’ quiz and activity trail • Presentation video theater • Children’s soft play area.
Merlin, the second largest visitor attraction operator in the world, operates Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, which opened in 2011.
“The success of Legoland Florida has underlined to us the potential for Merlin’s high quality global attractions in Central Florida; and particularly in Orlando, undoubtedly the best and most exciting location for family entertainment anywhere in the world,” said Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments. “We believe that this is an exceptional group of attractions which will not only provide three quite different new experiences for visitors; but also together add an exciting new dimension to what is already available in the area.
“We are very excited to be bringing some of Merlin’s best-loved global attractions to International Drive. Sea Life and Madame Tussauds have already proven their popularity with audiences across North America; and in Europe and Asia,” added James Paulding, head of openings for North America, Merlin Entertainments. “From 2015, these two, together with the unique views from the Eye will become must-do experiences for every visitor to Orlando.”
All three attractions are scheduled to open in Spring 2015, in addition to numerous shopping and dining options in the I-Drive 360 complex, which will have various opening dates, some this year.