UPDATE: The Orlando FreeFall ride operator, the SlingShot Group, has issued a statement on the tragedy at ICON Park. They said:
“We are heartbroken at the incident that took the life of one of our guests. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We are working with the Sheriff’s Office and ride officials on a full investigation. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed until further notice.”
Late Thursday 24 March 2022, a boy tragically fell to his death at Orlando’s ICON Park, authorities say.
According to a report from Click Orlando, the unnamed 14-year-old boy was riding ICON Park’s newest attraction, Orlando FreeFall, when he somehow fell to his death. They say:
A 14-year-old has died after falling from a thrill ride in Orlando, Orange County deputies say.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to 911 calls for an emergency at the Orlando Free Fall at Icon Park at 11:12 p.m. after witnesses reported seeing a person fall from the ride to the ground.
The teenager was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries, deputies said.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.
As of yet, neither ICON Park nor Orlando FreeFall’s manufacturers, SlingShot Group of Companies, have issued a statement on the tragedy. (UPDATED — see above)
Orlando FreeFall opened last December at Orlando’s ICON Park. Along with the Orlando SlingShot, Orlando StarFlyer, and The Wheel at ICON Park Orlando, ICON Park is the self-proclaimed land of the giants. The SlingShot, StarFlyer, and FreeFall are three of the world’s tallest, free-standing thrill attractions. A press release when the attractions opened noted:
“ICON Park is devoted to creating unforgettable experiences for our guests. The world’s tallest slingshot and drop tower make great additions to our world-class line up,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park president and CEO. “Between The SlingShot Group’s three towering attractions and The Wheel, the tallest observation wheel on the East Coast, ICON Park truly is the ‘Land of the Giants’.”
Orlando FreeFall boasts the mantle of the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet. According to an announcement for both Orlando FreeFall and Orlando SlingShot last October, the former attraction takes 30 riders into the Orlando sky for “amazing views” of International Drive and ICON Park. After rotating around the tower and reaching the top, FreeFall tilts riders 30 degrees to face the ground for a moment before free-falling 400 feet at speeds of up to 75 mph.
Along with these two new attractions, ICON Park is a popular entertainment destination featuring Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Sea Life Aquarium, Museum of Illusions, In the Game/7D Motion Theater, and the Pearl Express Train.
The official website says this of ICON Park:
Your dream vacation to Orlando, Florida is not complete until you visit ICON Park and ride The Wheel. Even if you’re an Orlando local, there’s plenty to do and see in this magnificent city. ICON Park is an entertainment complex featuring fun and games for the whole family. You can spend your day exploring over 40 amazing restaurants, funky bars, boutique shops, and amusement park rides. Whatever your interests or favorite ways to have fun, ICON Park is the place for you. Learn more about how you can spend your well-earned vacation at our premier attractions.
Inside the Magic will continue to update this developing story.