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After 40 years, Wet ‘n Wild Orlando to close at end of 2016

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

After 40 years, Wet ‘n Wild Orlando announced Wednesday that it will close for good at the end of 2016.

“Since it’s opening in 1977, Wet ‘n Wild Orlando has been a place where guests have created wonderful memories,” a statement on Universal Orlando’s blog states. “As America’s first water park, Wet ‘n Wild has been the birthplace of numerous innovations that are now considered a common part of the water park experience.”

Wet 'n wild

The park will officially close Dec. 31, 2016. According to the blog, Universal Orlando will now focus on the opening of Volcano Bay, which is expected to open in 2017.

Universal Orlando recently purchased land around the water park for future development.

One of Wet ‘N Wild’s most attractive features was its affordability. The family-friendly wave pool and slides were also a draw.
The Themed Entertainment Association ranks Wet and Wild as the fourth most popular water park in the U.S. It’s behind Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney World, and SeaWorld’s Aquatica in Orlando.

Wet ‘n Wild wasn’t Orlando’s first water park: River Country USA at Walt Disney World first opened in 1976 and closed in the fall of 2001.

Even though River Country opened first, the World Waterpark Association credits Wet ‘N Wild with being the first official waterpark, and called the park’s developer George Millay the “Father of the Waterpark Industry.” Millay also developed SeaWorld.

SeaWorld unveils Mako, new 200-foot coaster opening 2016

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

SeaWorld Orlando has unveiled its next thrill ride, Mako, which the theme park said will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster when it opens in 2016.

SeaWorld’s Brian Morrow revealed Wednesday that Mako will be 4,760 feet long — over 9/10 of a mile — and feature a 200-foot drop at a top speed of 73 mph.Seaworld Orlando Mako

Quick Facts

  • Opening summer 2016, Mako will be the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Orlando.
  • Mako will be a hypercoaster, designed for speed and relentless “air time.”
  • SeaWorld Orlando will now have a portfolio of 5 thrill rides: 3 distinctly different coasters, plus 2 family coasters.
  • The 2-acre realm of the park will now be fully themed around sharks: including Mako, Shark Encounter, Sharks Underwater Grill, themed gift shops, shark and shipwreck theming and educational experiences.

Surfacing summer 2016 at SeaWorld Orlando will be Mako, a 200-foot-tall hypercoaster that will reach 73 mph along 4,760 feet of steel track — nearly a mile long — and leave riders feeling both breathless and weightless. Named for one of the ocean’s fastest known sharks, Mako will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster.

“On Mako, you’ll experience what it’s like to be this apex predator, surging through the water at top speed and chasing prey throughout a massive reef,” said Brian Morrow, SeaWorld’s attraction creative director. “It will be a wild mix of fear, thrills and fun.”

Mako’s tight turns and speed are inspired by reality. Mako sharks — also called “blue pointers” — are known for their top speed, making extreme jumps and the ability to quickly change course as they pursue their prey.

The new coaster will become one of the world’s true hypercoasters, a group of roller coasters known for high speeds and steep drops and hills that create a feeling of weightlessness or “air time.” As the sleek coaster cars crest each hill, riders float, nearly weightless.

Orlando Eye to open in spring 2015

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

The Orlando Eye is a 400-feet-tall observation wheel that is a sister attraction to London’s world-famous London Eye. The Orlando Eye will give riders a sweeping view of Central Florida and on a clear day, guests will be able to see the east coast and the Kennedy Space Center. The cantilevered wheel will have 30 air conditioned glass capsules for passengers to ride in.

Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye website lists ticket prices as $18 for adults and $13 for children. The Orlando Eye is located at 8401 International Drive.