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Skyplex Orlando Discussion Thread


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Screamscape is 6 months late with news once again.

 

His whole article was dumb. He went on a little rant about how Intamin's involvement means that this ride is now automatically unsafe. You'd think a guy as smart about the industry as him would realize that ride accidents are extremely rare and that Intamin rides are no more likely to have incidents than any other manufacturer.

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Bit of a potential setback today and the craziest thing is that it seems Universal is behind it!

 

Read this guy's twitter who was at the meeting from the bottom up, very interesting!

 

 

For those of you too lazy, basically SkyPlex presented to the planning and zoning board today and with a big Universal counter the board ended up NOT recommending the project go forward in a vote of 4-3. This is just a recommendation though, and the Orange County Commission has the final say and rumor is that they DO support the project so we'll see. Some really crazy stuff on both ends though including this photo:

 

CRX0RRDUYAAJUh7.jpg

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Let me post the entire twitter thread. You can read it here:

 

Waiting for P&Z meeting to discuss @SKYPLEXOrlando. It will essentially be Team Skyplex vs. Universal.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 6h6 hours ago

Skyplex discussions pushed to last item (next in line) since it will be longest. I'm having flashbacks of the Orlando venues vote night.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 6h6 hours ago

The @SKYPLEXOrlando item begins P&Z discussions ...

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 6h6 hours ago

Interesting. @SKYPLEXOrlando's Joshua Wallack said the climb up the Skyscraper will be straight vertical not wrapping around tower. Word?

 

Watching Universal team in the last row of this @SKYPLEXOrlando meeting. They just smirked at Skyplex demo video ending in fireworks.

 

The @SKYPLEXOrlando legal speaker called Universal's lawsuit over a lake "whohaa" (Did I spell that right?)

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 6h6 hours ago

The numbers are thrown around but the highest point of the Skyscraper coaster is 501 ft. The core structure goes higher.

 

The topic of that I-Drive/Sand Lake Rd. pedestrian bridge is coming up now in these @SKYPLEXOrlando talk.

CRXqdYRUkAAptCT.jpg:large

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 6h6 hours ago

The Skyplex team taking QnA from P&Z board on dealing with traffic. The Universal people look ready to go.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

And Universal is on to give their concerns on @SKYPLEXOrlando

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Universal legal speaker saying not enough study has been done on @SKYPLEXOrlando project to determine true impact.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Universal legal speaker also said they don't think the project is "compatible" with the size and magnitude.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Next Team Universal speaker questioning lack of traffic study and how smooth traffic will actually be when it opens.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Universal's heavy-hitter John McReynolds park supports but not at the height. Disney, Uni and Seaworld are "world class" without being 500ft

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

McReynolds also took shot at County for talking about @SKYPLEXOrlando before I-Drive vision plan complete. Says his time must freed up.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Universal's McReynolds also said @SKYPLEXOrlando can have the "tallest" moniker. And that this isn't about competition.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Head of the I-Drive ETC (represents some biz) said she support project but also at a height restriction.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Confusing part was ETC rep asked who was on board and it included prominent people who I believe weren't against @SKYPLEXOrlando. #hmm

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Clarification: ETC member was asked who was on her board. Not sure it was clarified who on that board had a problem.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

First slide in @SKYPLEXOrlando rebuttal!

 

CRX0RRDUYAAJUh7.jpg:large

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

.@SKYPLEXOrlando legal rep asking after all the success, "why us?" "They know we can't build" with a lower height.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

I'm still laughing about that Universal bully pic. That was gold. Sorry ... serious face.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

.@SKYPLEXOrlando legal rep says Universal has special land use process where they don't have to worry about notice or compatibility.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

I have no other way to describe this other than @SKYPLEXOrlando is going all out to punch Universal in the mouth.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

The last slide from @SKYPLEXOrlando rep saying THIS IS about competition with Universal.

CRX2bzVUsAEPYr6.jpg:large

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

P&Z member said he didn't know I-Drive ETC were against this. @SKYPLEXOrlando rep says that board lost way and peeps leaving that board.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

P&Z member asked why not wait for I-Drive vision plan? @SKYPLEXOrlando's Wallack says they have already & this will revolutionize I-Drive.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Will the lack of a traffic study and not height push this vote back? Looks like that's the bigger issue here. @SKYPLEXOrlando

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

So far I'm counting 2 members that won't go for this. One seems in support the other 4 I can't get q read on yet.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

Holy heck! This discussion has gone into preventing light pollution?! @SKYPLEXOrlando

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

.@SKYPLEXOrlando rep says fireworks impact night skies and this wasn't a concern when it comes to tourist area.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 5h5 hours ago

OK another P&Z member says she is uneasy on "giant pole" glowing in sky. My feeling is she's starting to lean against.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

I can't help but sense personal opinion in play here. I've seen it happening in many of the boards in play with this @SKYPLEXOrlando project

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

To update: The concerns of height (we expected to be the issue) has evolved into traffic, light pollution and glowing. @SKYPLEXOrlando

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

This may get pushed into the I-Drive vision study. P&Z is trying to catch county planner flat-footed on if this fits in the vision.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

OK so far one P&Z member says he would deny based on new info of people against the project.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

P&Z member calls out Universal for coming up with a residential letter against the project that was sent law last night. Gives his support

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

Member with glow issue says that's her issue. Another says there's still too many question. Score so far is 3 against and 2 for. 2 left.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

Vote taken and the motion failed 4-3 against @SKYPLEXOrlando. This means they DO NOT recommend the county leaders to approve it.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 4h4 hours ago

Note this isn't the end of @SKYPLEXOrlando because the Orange County commission has their say later. However, this isn't good.

 

Richard Bilbao ‏@RichOBJ 3h3 hours ago

.@SKYPLEXOrlando update: Speaking with people after meeting and I hear O.C. staff supports project and that weighs more than the P&Z board.

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Sounds like the main thing Universal is against is the height variance. Which makes some sense, since the ride will be visible from their parks and most certainly draw attention. It will still probably be approved, since I-drive is such a mess and needs more possible "anchor" things to do.

 

Side Note: If I was Universal, my biggest concern would be what happens if the project fails? I'd hate to have a 500ft closed roller coaster tower looming over my property.

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Sounds like the main thing Universal is against is the height variance. Which makes some sense, since the ride will be visible from their parks and most certainly draw attention. It will still probably be approved, since I-drive is such a mess and needs more possible "anchor" things to do.

 

Side Note: If I was Universal, my biggest concern would be what happens if the project fails? I'd hate to have a 500ft closed roller coaster tower looming over my property.

 

Very good point. It'll become an Eyesore real quick.

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I mean, I found the "bully" slides funny, but did they really think the board would vote in their favor with stuff like that? When you're trying to go up against such a big group as Universal, you should show maturity, and not call them "bullies".

 

I'm guessing Universal's just mad that a hot new project might steal their new rides' thunder, but they should know by now that there are enough tourists to go around.

 

Oh and that "Disney, Universal, and Seaworld never build huge attractions and they're doing just fine" line is stupid. The whole point of this project is to be tall, telling them they'll still attract guests with a shorter ride is just plain dumb.

Edited by Woodie Warrior
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Just an observation, but how many tall tower attractions do you know of that are abandoned? Off the top of my head, none. Everyone loves to go to the top of towers and look around. The complex below is a bit different, but I cant see the tower itself failing really.

 

That aside though, its a good point that it could be visible inside Universal, maybe. Someone would have to do the math to really know. But it is close, at only 2 miles away.

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Sounds like the main thing Universal is against is the height variance. Which makes some sense, since the ride will be visible from their parks and most certainly draw attention. It will still probably be approved, since I-drive is such a mess and needs more possible "anchor" things to do.

 

Side Note: If I was Universal, my biggest concern would be what happens if the project fails? I'd hate to have a 500ft closed roller coaster tower looming over my property.

 

While you can see it from some places at Universal (parking garage, top of a roller coaster, etc), it is almost 3 miles away from Universal's property. You can also see the Orlando Eye, Fun Spot's Skycoaster and Magic Midway's Starflyer. I don't think that should be too much of an issue nor should Universal have a say.

 

Personally, I think they are being kind of jerks to oppose it and I hope it goes through!

 

But it is close, at only 2 miles away.

It's 2.5 miles from the edge of Universal's property. Closer to three miles away from anywhere inside the park where you could maybe see it.

 

Sorry, but The argument of "it shouldn't be built because you might be able to see the structure from inside of another property miles away" is insanely stupid.

Edited by robbalvey
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Just an observation, but how many tall tower attractions do you know of that are abandoned? Off the top of my head, none. Everyone loves to go to the top of towers and look around. The complex below is a bit different, but I cant see the tower itself failing really.

 

These two came to mind:

WorldFairTower1.jpg 225px-Landmark_hotel_1986.jpg

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^HAHA, there you go. I was actually asking, I couldn't think of any.

 

Sounds like the main thing Universal is against is the height variance. Which makes some sense, since the ride will be visible from their parks and most certainly draw attention. It will still probably be approved, since I-drive is such a mess and needs more possible "anchor" things to do.

 

Side Note: If I was Universal, my biggest concern would be what happens if the project fails? I'd hate to have a 500ft closed roller coaster tower looming over my property.

 

While you can see it from some places at Universal (parking garage, top of a roller coaster, etc), it is almost 3 miles away from Universal's property. You can also see the Orlando Eye, Fun Spot's Skycoaster and Magic Midway's Starflyer. I don't think that should be too much of an issue nor should Universal have a say.

 

Personally, I think they are being kind of jerks to oppose it and I hope it goes through!

 

But it is close, at only 2 miles away.

It's 2.5 miles from the edge of Universal's property. Closer to three miles away from anywhere inside the park where you could maybe see it.

 

Sorry, but The argument of "it shouldn't be built because you might be able to see the structure from inside of another property miles away" is insanely stupid.

 

I totally agree, its not valid at all. I'm just trying to figure out why they care, not that it's actually a good reason,

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Just an observation, but how many tall tower attractions do you know of that are abandoned? Off the top of my head, none. Everyone loves to go to the top of towers and look around. The complex below is a bit different, but I cant see the tower itself failing really.

 

These two came to mind:

WorldFairTower1.jpg 225px-Landmark_hotel_1986.jpg

To be fair, though, the Landmark was torn down years ago and it's not uncommon for World's Fair buildings to be left to rot after the event has ended.

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Thanks for the info Robb. Didn't realize it was that far away. My second guess would be this has to do with Wet'N'Wild redevelopment, which is still odd since a revitalized (not ghetto) I-Drive will only help whatever they do to that property.

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Thanks for the info Robb. Didn't realize it was that far away. My second guess would be this has to do with Wet'N'Wild redevelopment, which is still odd since a revitalized (not ghetto) I-Drive will only help whatever they do to that property.

 

I agree with this. Universal is showing more of an interest in developing areas on I-Drive and they see this as direct competition to their potential future plans when in fact they could all help each other.

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Thanks for the info Robb. Didn't realize it was that far away. My second guess would be this has to do with Wet'N'Wild redevelopment, which is still odd since a revitalized (not ghetto) I-Drive will only help whatever they do to that property.

And even Wet n Wild, while closer than Universal, is still 1.3 miles away at the other end of I-Drive with a LOT of stuff in between.

image.thumb.jpeg.0983382b4248e8a71d67c93664fbee0d.jpeg

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The thing is, Skyplex is among several sky high projects on the Orlando horizon that started with the addition of The Orlando Eye and will be followed by the world's tallest Starflyer nearby. Universal seems to be fighting city progress for fear of business impact, and they're latching on to visual intrusion as an excuse to do so... Hopefully the next meeting goes more in favor of the Skyplex team than this one did.

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What about the Skyplex's height? Could Universal be going after the attraction because, when it would be built, would be able to be seen from inside their parks?

 

EDIT: Whoops, missed that Joey brought that up earlier in the thread.

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As much as I'd love to ride this coaster, the developer bought up land that was zoned with a 200-ft height restriction. He either didn't do his research (which I doubt) or took a risk and thought he could just force the rezoning issue to get the unlimited height restriction. I'm sure part of Universal's issue is with competition, but their biggest issue is that the developer is trying to strong-arm his way into a zoning change before the new I-drive master plan is finalized. They're unable to change their zoning, so I'm sure they're pissed that the county is randomly letting other people do whatever they want (like the Eye) which is not what the intention of the convention center overlay was for. I don't get all the comments of "Universal is being a bully, etc..." when in reality the developer is trying to bully his way into a new zoning classification to get what he wants (for presumably less money because land with height restrictions costs less than land without).

 

I have mixed feelings about the project because I'd love to ride the coaster, but the whole I-drive corridor is a mess as it is and I can't tell if this is going to make it worse, or better. I'm very interested in seeing the new I-drive master plan, so it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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their biggest issue is that the developer is trying to strong-arm his way into a zoning change before the new I-drive master plan is finalized. I don't get all the comments of "Universal is being a bully, etc..." when in reality the developer is trying to bully his way into a new zoning classification to get what he wants

Show me where you have proof of any of this. I've been to some of the I-Drive meetings myself, had several one-on-one conversations with Joshua Wallack and I have seen zero evidence of what you are implying.

 

So unless you can back up your statement, I think this is you just making some assumptions that aren't factual at all where on the other hand, you can easily point to articles written and eyewitness reports from other people have been at these meetings that Universal has been very vocal about trying to shut down this project.

Edited by robbalvey
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