An new interactive enhancement is coming to The Wheel at ICON Park. Set to launch in early 2023, “The Great Florida Road Trip, A Classic Vacation and Photo Travelogue with the Flamingo Family” will take visitors on a nostalgic holiday through midcentury Florida before the era of sprawling theme parks and resorts.
The experience will be full of throwback imagery and retro storytelling reminding travelers that Florida has been a vacation destination for families long before the international theme park conglomerates started beckoning visitors to the state.
With camera-esque device in hand, guests will join a cartoon family of fun-loving flamingoes on their vacation and help them capture snapshots of Florida vacation spots through a collection of billboards that represent classic destinations across the state.
As guests roll along aboard The Wheel, they will learn about a bygone side of Florida they may never have known. Whoever achieves the highest score by taking the largest number of quality, focused snapshots will receive a special prize to enhance their own Florida vacation, but every party will receive a special memento of their vacation with the flamingo family! Guests will be provided with a retro-style postcard they can fill out after the experience and drop in a themed mailbox for ICON Park to mail it out for them.
“I have always been intrigued and inspired by the role of the Florida tourism pioneers – the roadside attractions and short-stay entertainment venues that paved the way for everything else that followed, said Chris Jaskiewicz, ICON Park president and CEO. “This concept provides a way for us to pay homage to their contribution, while at the same time educating visitors on the diversity of experiences that Florida has to offer. People of all ages can have fun playing the game, and I know there will be tons of smiles from guests who are old enough to reflect fondly on those destinations.”
While this experience is very rooted in the Sunshine State’s history, its technology is anything but vintage. ICON Park has invested in developing this experience with the help of some very reputable, talented partners. Orlando-based IDEAS, Knoxville-based Creative Amusements and Lafayette, Indiana-based Steradian Technologies all contributed to the theming, style and product development the experience required.
The collaboration resulted in a proprietary camera-themed gameplay device that utilizes a traditional infrared system, which enables laser tag-style interactions from up to 1000 feet. A critical factor in this project’s success was the development of the camera-like device that reimagines this entire experience for guests.
An example of that “reimagination” is the work done by Steradian Technologies, developers of the X-Series laser tag that utilized RF control, micro controllers and proprietary circuit boards.
For The Great Florida Road Trip, ICON Park needed to create a product that can be utilized from over 1000 feet away. The camera device body and ergonomics were engineered by Steradian Technologies to allow the accommodation of these pre-existing technologies into this new application and the chimera targets, that were developed in 2015, were also re-developed.
ICON Park and its partners have also invested in the ergonomics and design to ensure the device is light weight and intuitive enough so passengers of all ages can play with ease and everyone can have fun as they learn or remember the feel of an analog photography or experience.
Along with this new experience aboard The Wheel, there’s a redesigned queue, a preshow and themed merchandise mix. All of which serves to transport guests back to what has been called the golden age of Florida tourism, a time when descriptive postcards expressed sentiments like “wish you were here” and high-impact billboards on the side of the freeway pleaded with us to visit and explore.
ICON Park is at the center of the new Orlando Entertainment District. With free parking and conveniently located near I-4, Universal Boulevard and the Beachline, this premiere entertainment complex is easy to access for any Central Florida resident or Orlando tourist.
To learn more about ICON Park, visit https://iconparkorlando.com.