Global visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments (‘Merlin’) confirmed today that it is working with entertainment company Circle Entertainment, Inc. (Cexe.pk) and developer Unicorp, to bring at least three of its best known global attraction brands to Orlando including Madame Tussauds and the Orlando ‘Eye’ – a sensational 425 ft high wheel! Talks are well advanced, and if agreed, the attractions will form a key part of Circle and Unicorp’s exciting plans for I-Walk Orlando – a new high quality development of retail, restaurant and bars and entertainment facilities scheduled to open in 2013 in the centre of International Drive at the old Mercado location.
Commenting Paul Kanavos, President of Circle Entertainment, said “I-Walk Orlando will be a very exciting addition to International Drive, providing a unique mix of leisure and retail activities. When we were looking for a partner, Merlin was the obvious place to start and we welcome them to I-Walk. Merlin has a unique portfolio of indoor visitor attractions all with global reputations; but most importantly they are the owners and
operators of the world famous London Eye observation wheel in the UK.
They are also the second largest attraction operator in the world and are expanding very rapidly here in the USA. Circle Entertainment is committed to building and owning the Orlando Eye at I-Walk Orlando and is seeking other preeminent domestic and international locations for its Observation Wheels under its exclusive worldwide license agreement with US Thrill Rides and Bill Kitchen, its founder.”
Unicorp President Chuck Whittall is excited about the project and his development joint venture with Circle Entertainment. ‘We are so pleased to undertake this extraordinary new development opportunity that will re-shape the landscape of International Drive. We waited patiently for four years to create the ideal retail and entertainment destination. This is it and will be a world wide destination. I-Walk Orlando has secured all necessary zoning and entitlements.”
Commenting Merlin Entertainments’ CEO Nick Varney said “I-Walk Orlando is destined to be a ‘must visit’ destination for Orlando’s millions of visitors. With this project we believe Merlin, Unicorp and Circle Entertainment will be bringing an exceptional group of new attractions to what is undoubtedly the best and most exciting location for family entertainment any where in the world. More than that, in October we are opening
LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven, our second LEGOLAND theme park
in the USA and fifth in the world underlining the importance of North America, and Florida in particular, as key development areas for Merlin.”