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Orlando Eye

Orlando's International Drive is already home to a host of attractions, but 2014 will see the addition of a major new area hosting a selection of brand-new offerings.

Formerly known as I-Drive Live, the area is now known simply as The Orlando Eye. This is a reference to its signature attraction, a towering observation wheel similar in style to the London Eye. But that won't be the only new attraction on offer - instead, developer Unicorp is aiming to offer at least a full day's worth of activities when The Orlando Eye opens by the end of 2014.

5. The Orlando Eye

Orlando Eye (1)

The Orlando Eye will tower some 425 feet over the complex, offering views for miles around. It is being manufactured by Intamin, and will be operated by the Merlin Entertainments Group - the second largest theme park operator in the world behind Disney. It will take nearly 20 minutes to complete one circuit, and will become the tallest structure in Central Florida when it opens.

4. I-Shops

Orlando Eye (2)

A sprawling retail and dining district dubbed I-Shops will rival Universal Orlando's CityWalk and Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney in scale and scope. Tenants that have been announced so far include Walgreens, Cooper Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Wawa, BJ's Restaurant & Brewery, a gift shop, Cold Stone Creamery/Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Resort Partners, O’Neill’s surf shop, Starbucks, LongHorn Steakhouse, Chuy’s Tex-Mex , Bar Jour, Pretzelmaker, Cafe de Paris, Cowgirls, Tin Roof live music bar, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Yard House, Seafood Republic, Dicks Last Resort, Ben & Jerry's, Sugar Factory and a UPS store.

3. Madame Tussauds Orlando

Orlando Eye (3)

Merlin has already cloned the original Madame Tussauds London waxworks museum in numerous locations, and a 25,000-square-foot version is on its way to Orlando, too. Expect the usual array of figures designed to resemble famous celebrities of the past and present.

2. Sea Life Aquarium Orlando

Sea Life

The Sea Life brand is also owned by Merlin, and a 25,000-square-foot aquarium will feature the usual selection of marine life exhibits, including an underwater tunnel.

1. Water fountain show

Orlando Eye (4)

A $1 million water show will sit at the entrance to The Orlando Eye complex. It won't be on the same scale at Disney's World of Color show or the world famous Bellagio show in Las Vegas, but will feature fountains that will shoot water up to 80 feet in the air, accompanied by music and colored lights.

And it may not end there...

Unicorp has mentioned that a further attraction may be in the pipeline for The Orlando Eye.

Shrek

Image © DreamWorks

One potential candidate is a clone of Shrek's Far, Far Away Adventure, the new attraction that is being developed by Merlin and Dreamworks for London's County Hall. Merlin has already revealed that it will open six Shrek-themed attractions over the next nine years, and Orlando would be an obvious location for one of these.

Unicorp, though, has said that the new attraction will be a "world's first" attraction, and that it is working with a "very large, well-known name". Does this rule out the record-breaking Polercoaster coming to The Orlando Eye? We'll have to wait and see...

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