Two weeks after TPR was invited for a hard hat tour of the new Orlando Starflyer, the attraction was officially ready to have its grand opening today! Having never been on a Starflyer before (the closest thing I've experienced was Windseeker at Cedar Point), I was very excited to finally get on a ride like this, and the world's tallest no less as my first!
The Orlando Starflyer is the newest addition to the ICON 360 complex (formerly known as I-Drive 360) and the tallest of this kind of ride in the world! The new Starflyer brings with it a new bar, a tourist info center, Wetzel's Pretzels and Haagen-Dazs. The Starflyer itself runs for approximately three and a half minutes per cycle and seats 24 riders via twelve sets of two-seater cars.
There are several ride sequences programmed for the Orlando Starflyer but the most frequently run sees the carriage bringing riders up to the top of the tower (spinning on the way up), for an extended spin at the highest height, followed by a slowed descent that speeds up for another forceful turn before lowering guests back down to exit. The cars have a good deal of room to turn and tilt thanks to the flexible nature of the chains holding the rows (a far less fixed experience than that found on Windseeker).
After five daytime rides and two evening rides, I can say that the Starflyer is a really great addition to Orlando's lineup of things to do when you aren't going to the parks (whether a tourist or a local). The ride is $12 for the initial flight and $7 for every subsequent, same-day re-ride. The ride can be surprisingly forceful, especially with a good Florida breeze. And if you time it right, your nighttime rides may give you one of the best views of the local fireworks you can get in town! I highly recommend giving the Orlando Starflyer a go, at least once. And if you're not comfortable simply hopping on, walk into the I-Drive Star Bar, get yourself some liquid courage and then get in line when you're ready to soar in one of the most unique ride's you'll find in Central Florida!
Our day started off with Chuck Whittall (of Unicorp) talking a little about the development of the Orlando Starflyer.
Next up was a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by 24 riders who had one a contest to be the first guests on the Orlando Starflyer being able to ride.
An Austrian band was brought in for the occasion to bring some music to the event... Why an Austrian band? Because that is the general region where the ride was manufactured, or so we were told.
A look at the back of the Orlando Starflyer seats.,,
The I-Drive Star Bar, the Orlando Starflyer ticket office, a tourist info center, Wetzel's Pretzels and Haagen-Dazs will all make up the venues in this building when everything is completed.
The Orlando Starflyer really is something to look at when you're standing all the way at its base.
Can't look away!
Coming back to Earth!
Several statues can be found throughout the Orlando Starflyer midway depicting children having fun on the ride.
This one seems to have fallen off of the ride!
Going back up!
All the way to the top!
A look at the now-open I-Drive Star Bar.
The signature drink included vodka and blue curacao.
And the signature shot of liquid courage included peach schnapps.
This will soon become Wetzel's Pretzels.
Just in case you missed the pricing information for this ride.
Some photos in the ticket office for the Orlando Starflyer show that the ball at the top of the tower was signed by the core team working on the project.
And here it sits today!
I came back in time for a few nighttime rides on the Orlando Starflyer!
The lighting package is really awesome!
And if you can time your rides properly, you may be able to see fireworks from Disney off in the distance.
After the ride opened to the general public, lines definitely started to fill up! It definitely looks like Unicorp and ICON 360 have another hit on their hands!
Last edited by robbalvey on Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:25 pm.
Cool. We were there Wednesday night and we saw it running. We walked over as we were staying at the Fairfield Inn next door, hoping for maybe, just maybe they were doing sneak peek rides. Alas, it was not to be. They were just in rehearsal mode. It was cool to get to watch the control panel operations though. (and the Star Bar was open) Can't wait to ride it. Oddly enough, I have a fear of heights and hate Windseekers, yet I like star Flyers. I know it's weird. Also, the Fairfield next door is a great place to stay. (thanks to hotels/com free night bonus) Clean, great breakfast and has a kinda cool hipster boutique hotel vibe to it, and great views of the Eye and Star Flyer.
cfc wrote:The Starflyers are more fun than the Windseekers, probably because the chairs are held by "tiny"' chains as opposed to big steel arms. I'm willing to give this one a try.
I like Windseekers, but as you note, Starflyers are way more fun.
to me, Windseekers are basically like being on a skyneedle with the windows open. . tho I could see them being terrifying for those scared of heights. Starflyers always have me giggling like a fool while spinning around up there on those tiny chains.
this one looks like a fantastic and fun ride. Can't wait to get to give it a try some day!
The ride has a minimum height restriction of 44 inches but no maximum height or weight restriction. As long as you can fit in the seat and can close both restraints (an over the metal lap bar with a plug and a more traditional seatbelt), you’re fine. I found the seats to be pretty spacious and there were plenty of guests larger than me that were able to ride.