One of Orlando’s newest attractions is a 400 foot high observation wheel (similar to the London Eye and the rotating wheel in Niagara Falls). It’s part of an expansive $250 million entertainment destination, which includes popular restaurants, an aquarium, a food court, tourist shops and more.
This is a great option if you’re looking for a break from theme parks or hot weather/rain. Essentially, you walk into a large lobby area which is a hub to all things I-Drive (entry to The Eye, Sea Life Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, food and shops) buy your tickets and enjoy. In the centre of the complex is a food court area.
The full rotation of The Eye takes about 20 minutes. There’s also a five minute 4D video that all patrons watch before getting on to the ride.
Our tips for making the most of The Eye in Orlando, Florida:
- It makes a great evening activity. After a day at the big parks, I recommend making this your evening activity – grab dinner in the area and enjoy the sunset from 400 feet above the ground.
- Use the restrooms before you ride (this especially applies to children)
- Keep young children close during the 4D video experience. The movie is very realistic and there are certain moments that frightened our kids (an alligator jumps out at the screen for example). It’s also quite loud so we had to cover our toddler’s ears to muffle the extreme sounds.
- Bring alternative distractions for toddlers. After the novelty wears off, some young children won’t understand the true nature of voyaging so high in the sky. Luckily we had our phones to keep our young son occupied. The Eye rotates extremely slowly (it’s hard to tell it’s actually moving) which can make for squirming kids.
- Go rain or shine. Don’t let the weather deter you. We experienced it in rain and sun and both made for an enjoyable, thrilling time.
- Not for the faint of heart. No one in our family has a fear of heights but with our toddler thumping into the glass and a looming thunderstorm in the distance, both myself and my step-son got sweaty palms/feet and had to sit down and hold the bar. Make sure all people in your party are ready for the height. Once you’re on the ride there’s no getting off. Note: someone in the glass pod ahead of us got sick to his/her stomach so the fear is real.
7. Leave the stroller in the car. You can’t bring strollers on the Eye so you have to leave them sitting outside the loading gate. It rained while we were on the ride and our stroller got wet. Better to leave them behind and opt for a carrier, backpack leash or carry your child.
Free parking is available at the I-Drive 360 attached parking garage. You can’t miss it.
Shake Shake, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabbas’ Italian Grill, Olive Garden, Yard House, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tapa Toro, Naru, Paramount Fine Foods and Sugar Factory are all in the area. The smell of fresh baked cookies leads you into the I-Drive complex. Yum!!
Overall, this is a fabulous way to check out the sites, learn about the history of some of the major landmarks and just chill out with your family. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day.
For more information on I-Drive activities: