Controversial Florida Theme Park Closing Select Attractions as Hurricane Idalia Strikes

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ICON Park with hurricane-like clouds forming in the sky

Credit: ICON Park

A controversial theme park only chooses to close a few attractions as Hurricane Idalia rapidly approaches Florida.

Orlando FreeFall - Icon Park
Credit: CNN

Icon Park – The Controversial Theme Park in Orlando

ICON Park is a popular entertainment complex located in Orlando, Florida. It’s known for its iconic 400-foot-tall observation wheel called “The Wheel at ICON Park,” which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including the city’s skyline and nearby attractions. In addition to the observation wheel, ICON Park features a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, and interests, making it a lively destination for both locals and tourists. The complex often hosts events, live music, and entertainment, creating a vibrant atmosphere for visitors. It’s situated on International Drive, a bustling area known for its numerous attractions, hotels, and dining options.

The park has been under scrutiny for years, especially recently following the news of a 14-year-old named Tyre Sampson being thrown out of his seat while riding the Orlando FreeFall attraction in the theme park. The boy unfortunately died on impact despite being rushed to the hospital following the incident. This attraction will now be demolished and closed since the incident occurred in 2022.

Icon Park entrance
Credit: Icon Park

It seems the theme park has released an official statement regarding Hurricane Idalia.

Per the tweet above:

The Wheel and Carousel attractions at ICON Park will be closed on Wednesday ,August 30, but many ICON Park restaurants, bars and attractions will be open for take-out and for guests looking for indoor facilities to dine and gather. For the operating hours of each venue, please call their business directly or check their websites. 

Despite the remainder of the theme park remaining open, ICON Park has decided to stay available to those guests seeking shelter from the storm, according to the tweet above.

ICON Park Orlando
Credit: International Drive Orlando

The park has seen its fair share of controversies outside of the tragic death of that young boy last year. The Ferris Wheel inside the theme park had a fire break out on New Year’s Eve 2022, leading to guests having to evacuate the attraction and the park itself.

The Bullseye Blast attraction also shut down just a short time after being opened in 2022. ICON Park released the following statement about the attraction closing:

Some non-guests and community members expressed that they considered the toy shooting device used to be insensitive. The attractions industry has many similar games which use similar shooting devices, so that is what we were limited to when exploring the game. However, we believe that a device can and should be designed which does not offend anyone in the community. We look forward to leading this new innovation.

Bullseye Blast game satisfied guests who enjoy gaming, arcades, and virtual reality. From capsules, guests use a toy infrared device to compete and hit round, colorful targets on rooftops. The experience was thoroughly tested and well received by guests during a process spanning many months.

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