Preview of the New "I-Drive LIVE" Project

The I-Drive LIVE project, previously called I-Walk Orlando, was first announced in March of 2011. It will include a Madame Tussaud's wax museum, a Sea Life Aquarium, the incredible Orlando Eye (that will be even bigger that the London Eye), as well as shops, restaurants, hotels, and many other undisclosed additions.

Today we'll take a quick glimpse at some artworks and images (all subject to the copyright of I-Drive LIVE) that will show us how the area may look like when the whole complex will open to the public in 2013:

First of all, here is a map that gives a general idea of the location of I-Drive LIVE. It will be located in the land previously occupied by the Mercado, which was a small shopping area that didn't seem to work very well:

The following rendering shows the visual impact that the entertainment district will provide:

This following map gives us the exact location of some of the future attractions:

And now, here's how the guest areas will look like (remember that these artworks are subject to change):

The area will look beautiful with all the plants and palms that will be planted all around the walkways:

In addition to that, here's an overview of the three Merlin attractions coming to the entertainment district:

Sounds like a really interesting project, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, as of today, work has not started in the future site of this mega entertainment complex. This doesn't mean that nothing has been done in the meantime. On the contrary, the company that owns the entire piece of land, where all these attraction will be built, has bought an additional amount of land nearby, according to the Orlando Sentinel. This mean that they will have a total of 70 acres available to build!

This is surely going to be a great addition to International Drive. What's the attractions you are looking forward to see the most?


  1. Its got to be the Orlando Eye, cant wait to see the view from the top :)

  2. Im just thrilled that some class is on its way to the tacky I-Drive as it is now. Some beauty and WOW factor will be a welcome addition from all the buffets and "lowest price souvenir" gift shops

  3. I cant wait for Madame Tussauds, I love to see things moving in the right direction.

  4. First thing I noticed was the attractions location map has the old Goodings listed as Retail Entertainment. Since when was a grocery story listed as Retail Entertainment?

    Also note the interior road. It links directly into the plaza parking lot. With the purchase of the hotel just north of the plaza I expect this interior road to be the new corridor of this entire area. The hotel already has the entrance directly across from Canada Ave. With a light at Canada and Sand Lake Canada could extend all the way to Via Mercado (which will the name of this street change once the Mercado rebuild is complete?).

    Another thing I noticed was the SeaLife exhibit is only 25,000sq ft. This seems extremely small for a aquarium. I hope it survives but a small aquarium a bike ride away from one of the worlds best sea parks seems odd to me.

    The LED light show is something that seems to be overlooked by most media reports but IMO this aspect of the project is the most exciting, not only will the wheel change the Orlando's southern skyline but will make it look very Asian and futuristic at nighttime.

    My only fear is the height as we are already seeing hotel towers near this height. In a few years will this wheel just be able to see the buildings on either side of it?

  5. this whole complex is a welcome shot in the arm for the increasingly tacky International Drive area

    I do feel however that Merlin are taking a massive risk with its Sealife Centre in Orlando. I have visited several Sealife Centres in the UK, and although they are probably the best small aquariums, they simply cannot compare to Seaworld. In my opinion they offer a similar experience to some of the Seaworld attractions but on a much smaller scale

    Sealife Centres are a success in the UK as they are the best available place to view aquatic life: In Orlando, there will be a vastly superior alternative literally just down the road. Would anyone really want to visit an inferior version of something available nearby?

    Its almost like driving a Smart car when you can have a Ferrari!

  6. I think the Sealife Centre will do just fine. Remember, this is NOT a theme park. Believe it or not, there are actually lots of people who dislike theme parks (even Seaworld and Disney), but love shopping. It's like bringing your kid to the pet store to pet the puppies in a shopping mall. Do you not do it simply because it is inferior to the nearby zoo? While there are some people (like many of us) who like both theme parks and shopping, I think I-Drive Live is really targeting a different customer segment than Seaworld, so it should do just fine.

    And the views from the Eye should be absolutely incredible!

    Just my 2c. I reserve the right to be completely wrong! ;-)


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