As fans of RexandtheBeast.com know, our focus is on enjoying the theme/amusement park experience. Therefore, we do not spend a lot of time being critics of parks with “sky is falling” analysis, but we do give our thoughts on attractions, parks and experiences.
However, we do have some concerns with the potential Skyplex development that has been proposed on I-Drive in Orlando that we wanted to mention. As we tweeted back in June of 2014 when the Polercoaster was announced, in response to a question from Arthur Levine @AboutThemeParks as to whether we were saying the whole project could fall apart, “I am. I’m ordinarily very positive, but have an odd negative reaction to this.”
Since June, 2014 when we questioned the project, Skyplex has announced plans for a 350-unit hotel complex, the worlds largest Perkins restaurant, a retail component called SkyPlaza, a drop thrill ride called SkyFall, multiple parking garages and a surf park/pool on top of one of the garages, among other proposals. Meanwhile, no actual dirt work has been done to our knowledge on any part of the project except for the Mango’s restaurant/bar.
In connection with the various new announcements set forth above, the opening for the project has been pushed back a couple of times and is now stated as sometime in 2017 (although admittedly, it has never had a firm opening date).
So, with the issues that I-Drive has (which we will discuss on a future podcast) and the required funding for a complex of this size and nature (reportedly $300 million+), is this a project that makes sense and can get the required funding–because we have heard nothing specific about that funding being completed or locked up.
This has been an amazing couple of years for Orlando and park projects, and Skyplex was part of that wave in announcing its project. But Skyplex is not a Universal or Disney project (no one is concerned about whether Universal has the funds to complete Skull Island: Reign of Kong) and with the limited history of the people and companies involved (and of even the Polercoaster/Skyscraper concept) we believe more skepticism about this project than we have seen is appropriate.
As Joshua Wallack, managing principal of the project said in May, “Sometimes I don’t believe that this is real,” said Wallack. “But it is.” We at RexandtheBeast don’t believe it either, but we hope we are wrong!
Beast! It’s Skyplex!