April 26, 2023 launched the grand opening of the newest gaming experience in Orlando – one with a bird’s-eye view – as it’s played from up to 400 feet in the air while riding aboard The Wheel at ICON Park.
“The Great Florida Road Trip” is the first interactive game to take place while riding an observation wheel, adding an innovative secondary experience on top of the incredible views.
As their private wheel cabin rise up to 400 feet in the air, guests use a special retro-themed camera, outfitted with infrared technology, to aim markers on the rooftops below and compete for points to win a prize.
This experience’s art and game pieces are themed to a nostalgic road trip through Florida in the 50s and 60s, paying homage to the state’s original tourism attractions that were here even before the arrival of famous theme parks.
In the early-to-mid 1900s, Florida was a unique vacation spot with its natural sights, inventive attractions, unique architecture and sports like the Everglades, Silver Springs’ glass-bottom boats, Miami’s art deco style, Daytona car racing, and more. Now, old Florida charm meets exciting innovation with the launch of The Great Florida Road Trip at ICON Park.
“This new experience is inspired by the original features that put Florida on the map,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park president and CEO. “The Great Florida Road Trip is the first interactive gaming experience that you can play on a 400-foot-high observation wheel. Weaving together new technology with nostalgia, this experience was designed for people of all ages to enjoy. Parents and grandparents will love the vintage appeal, and kids can put their gaming skills to the test.”
“We're excited to offer our visitors an additional and entertaining way of learning about everything that Florida has to offer. Travelers have been choosing Florida for decades and this immersive experience will further their understanding of the history, nostalgia and the many reasons why Florida is still the No. 1 vacation destination,” said Visit Florida’s Dana Young, president and CEO.
Upon boarding The Wheel, each player receives a special camera – resembling a vintage long-lens photographer’s camera from the 50s – that’s outfitted with infrared technology that reaches up to 1,000 feet to interact with game markers on the rooftops below. The 45 markers symbolize a nostalgic road trip through the Sunshine State including Florida oranges and giant vintage postcards promoting famous travel destinations of the era, with a 1940s-era radio voice describing fun facts about the sights.
Using the camera, players aim at the sensors at each marker and “snap” a photo to electronically register points. Every cabin has a winner, as the high scorer gets a prize – a $5 arcade card for In The Game ICON Park.
The game is designed to be played during the beginning and end ride segments, so mid-way players can relax and enjoy their view of the ultimate Florida travel destination: Orlando. The Wheel reaches 400 feet high and has views for 26 miles across Central Florida of famous theme parks, beautiful resorts, the Orlando Entertainment District and more.
At the end of the experience, every party will receive a special memento of their vacation with the Flamingo Family. Guests will be provided with a retro-style postcard they can fill out after the experience and drop in a themed mailbox for ICON Park to mail out for them.
Along with this new experience aboard The Wheel, there’s a redesigned queue with a new 70-foot-long vintage Florida mural, a new 1960s Orlando map, a preshow and themed merchandise mix – All of which serves to transport guests back to what has been called the golden age of Florida tourism.
Orlando-based IDEAS, Knoxville-based Creative Amusements and Lafayette, Indiana-based Steradian Technologies all contributed to the theming, style and product development the experience required.
To view or download images and b-roll, click here.
About ICON Park
The 20-acre, open-air entertainment destination is gate-free, offers free parking, and features plenty of fun adventures for the whole family. Located in the heart of the Orlando Entertainment District, ICON Park offers more than 50 amazing restaurants, funky bars, boutique shops, and can’t-miss attractions, all anchored by The Wheel, a jaw-dropping observation wheel that soars 400 feet – 40 stories – in the air.
Visit other attractions including SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds Orlando and Museum of Illusions Orlando. ICON Park also offers a diverse mix of restaurants for lunch, dinner and late-night bites that satisfy a wide variety of flavors and cuisine. Find a unique collection of shopping and dining kiosks and explore each location as you stroll under the festoon lights along the brick promenade.
ICON Park is at the center of the International Drive Resort Area and is conveniently located near I-4, Universal Boulevard and the Beachline.
To learn more about ICON Park, visit: https://iconparkorlando.com.