Today the Orlando Sentinel reported that the owners of a parcel of land, that was to be the site of a 78 acre thrill park on the north side of International Drive in Orlando, has abandoned the idea altogether. This comes after the planning council rejected a request to change the zoning to allow the park to be built.
The biggest opposition to the project? Local residents who were worried about the extra traffic and noise the park could possibly bring. The land will be used for something else…just not a thrill park. In fact the request will go in again to change the zoning, but the ruling expressly forbids a thrill park.
Having not lived down the road, or anywhere near a thrill park, I can’t see the problem. There is a school and several houses directly around Universal Orlando, with apartments built right behind one of the parks largest stadiums. Surely the noise can’t be that bad? Apparently it is. Several parks that are near residential areas have huge restrictions, such as early hours during school days and the limit of things such as fireworks, one big reason Universal Orlando doesn’t have a regular fireworks show like rival Disney.
But let’s say for a minute that the zoning change did go through, and they were able to go to the next step. What then? The height restrictions. Currently there is no amusement ride in the Orlando area that exceeds 200 feet. The Orlando thrill park called for a coaster that matched Top Thrill Dragster’s 420 feet. Highly unlikely this would have gotten approval. And after that, who’s to say that the park would be a success? A huge construction budget and very little left to advertise crippled Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach which closed it’s doors less than a year after it opened.
What do you think? Would the park have succeeded? Will someone step up to take it’s place?