^Those look like the ones all over Korea. I'd recommend a google of cotton candy Korea. See a couple in shopping malls, markets, and theme parks making kakao app characters or other shapes and they are always popular.
Green light for Kirkman Road extension that promises to create jobs, new developments Orange County commissioners approved a funding agreement with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to extend Kirkman Road which will boost planned expansions by Universal Studios, Lockheed Martin Corp. and others. Stephen HudakStephen HudakContact ReporterOrlando Sentinel
Orange County commissioners nudged forward a critical road project in the tourism corridor Tuesday that will boost planned expansions by Universal Studios, Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Orange County Convention Center, voting to accept a partial-funding agreement with the state to extend Kirkman Road.
The project, when finished, will add a 1.7-mile north-south artery between Carrier Drive on the north to Universal Boulevard on the south and may lead to 2,500 new high-wage jobs.
The projected cost of building the extension ranges from $250 million to $300 million, said Renzo Nastasi, Orange County’s transportation planning manager.
“There’s an awful lot of activity there and consequently a lot of traffic,” Nastasi said as he outlined the agreement for county commissioners. “Bringing the project forward will certainly benefit the area in terms of additional mobility.”
This map, created by Orange County government to show the planned Kirkman Road extension (highlighted in red), also shows some of the key attractions in the tourism corridor. The area in green shows property where Universal could build a new theme park. (Orlando Sentinel file)
The county is adding a 200,000-square-foot multipurpose venue, an 80,000-square-foot ballroom and another 60,000-square-foot meeting room at its massive convention center, which lures 1.4 million exhibitors and other visitors annually.
Lockheed Martin is adding 255,000 square feet of office space at its site, located on the west side of the extension.
The University of Central Florida College of Hospitality Management, located southeast of the proposed extension, has plans for a 50,000-square-foot building.
Universal City Development Partners, which owns and operates Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, owns 758 developable acres on the east side of the proposed extension, enough for a theme park or two.
The company has not announced plans for the property but industry experts have speculated that Universal Orlando plans to build Nintendo-inspired attractions in a new theme park.
Nastasi described Universal’s property vaguely, calling it a “future attraction area.”
The extension, first added to the county’s long-range transportation plan a decade ago, will be funded jointly by the state, the county and Universal.
The state Department of Transportation will develop a segment beginning at Carrier Drive south to the edge of Lockheed Martin’s property. It will include a reconfigured interchange with Sand Lake Road.
As outlined by Nastasi, the state section will boast nine lanes of travel, including two separated bus lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks
Orange County’s portion runs from Lockheed Martin south to Universal Boulevard.
The county’s stretch will have a similar design to the state’s portion, including dedicated bus lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks.
“All these are subject to minor tweaks but generally speaking this is what the road is going to look like,” Nastasi said.
Could this be a future Universal park? »
Road design is expected to be finished next fall and construction should begin in the summer of 2020.
Nastasi said the county also has to forge a construction-funding agreement with Universal, which he termed “a complicated process.”
To illustrate the design of the proposed extension, Nastasi showed a video animation of traffic that featured some realistic bad driving.
The swerving, veering animated vehicles prompted Mayor Jerry Demings, formerly the county sheriff, to remark, “That’s terrible driving.”
Commissioner Betsy VanderLey quipped that she’d take the bus if the video was an accurate portrayal of driver behavior.
Earlier this year, affiliates of Universal Orlando filed infrastructure plans with the county for hundreds of acres north of Universal Boulevard and Destination Parkway.
The plans showed roadways and stormwater management for 10 parcels possibly to serve a theme park.
The $16 million in state funding is part of the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund program and could grow by an extra $13 million, said Eric Ushkowitz, economic-development administrator in the county office of Economic, Trade & Tourism Development.
He said the county has estimated the project’s partners — Universal, Lockheed Martin, the Rosen hospitality-management college and the convention center — will create 2,534 high-wage jobs that will pay an annual average of more than $51,000.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
Lucas The Drummer wrote:I see that the park is listed to he open til 1am on New Year's Eve. Does this mean all the rides will stay open til that time?
Also, is it likely to be crowded? I've never been to a theme park on New year's eve
Rule of thumb: for these 365 day parks, pretty much any day outside of summer vacation that kiddies have off (remember to factor in the school year of all districts across the country, not just Florida's) will bring intense crowds. Over the summer, you spread it out over three months, outside of the summer, the kiddies and their parents jam their time into the weekends, holidays, and breaks. You can get some pretty good days in if you specifically plan on going days that school districts across the country are generally in school. But on holidays that virtually have district has off, you know it'll be mobbed.
These parks -- no matter who they are -- just live and die by when the kiddies are in school. Ironically, the one chain that's the most insulated by this is Disney -- as they plan to have some adult friendly things, and families are so addicted that parents will actually pull their kids from school just to take Disney vacations. Regional parks rely on the group trips and field trips to fill their parks when the kiddies are in school.
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