On December 28, ICON Orlando, one of the city’s newest attraction venues, premiered their most anticipated attraction yet. Already known for their wheel and record-breaking 450-foot Starflyer, the park solidified its spot on the Orlando skyline with the debut of the world’s largest free-standing drop tower.
This review will include spoilers for the new Orlando drop tower.
The ICON Park Drop Tower stands at 430 feet, giving the attraction a 15-foot edge on Six Flags Great Adventure’s Zumanjaro, the previous record holder. Its red and yellow color scheme stands out on the canvas of Orlando, and the attraction’s evening lights are stunning, even from the highway. This is a stellar addition to ICON Orlando, and is one I will return to again and again.
Before you ride, you’ll have to stop by the ticket booth located in front of the attraction. A one-time ticket to ride the drop tower is $12, though you can choose to bundle your visit with a ride on the slingshot and Starflyer. Once you’ve paid, take your receipt to the drop tower queue.
When I visited the drop tower around 2 PM, there was no line for the drop tower. ICON Orlando, however, is known to be more highly-attended in the evenings, scooping up tourists and parkgoers from the larger resorts, so the drop tower may pick up a short wait in peak times.
Riders enter through a metal detector before finding their seats. The tower is equipped with comfortable, if not bulky, over-the-shoulder restraints. The seats do not have seatbelts, which helps with throughput as much as it adds to the thrill of the ride.
After boarding, riders are lifted up—and up, and up—until reaching the peak height of roughly 430 feet. The seats rotate for the entirety of the ascent, as well as at the top. Riders will experience two full rotations at the top of the tower before the seats tilt toward the ground.
Going in, I did not know that the seats would tilt, and boy was it effective. The angle is nowhere near Falcon’s Fury’s face-down Intamin drop tower, but even the minimal tilt was enough to really up the stakes of this ride experience.
You stare at the world below for seconds that feel like hours. Then, without warning or fanfare, you drop.
Though you’re dropping for less than 5 seconds, the amount of free-fall time feels endless. If you’re a fan of the negative Gs you might find on Mako or other drop towers, this drop tower may be the most intense sensation of weightlessness you can find, in Florida or otherwise. Though the park advertises speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, it is hard to believe you’re not dropping much faster as you’re plummeting toward the concrete.
Below we have embedded a video showing The ICON Park Drop Tower in action from our visit.
Having experienced both Zumanjaro and ICON’s new drop tower, I do prefer Orlando's drop tower for more than just home field advantage. While Zumanjaro has three towers built into the structure of Kingda Ka, the coaster appropriately holding the record for world's tallest roller coaster, this new drop tower is free-standing, leaving you to ascend, spin, and drop with seemingly nothing holding you in place.
This is a great addition to the ever-growing ICON Park, and will surely continue to capitalize on the late-night crowds after the big guys close. Have you experienced the world's tallest drop tower? Tell us what you think below!