ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Source: Icon Park // 2021 was a historical year for ICON Park. Chris Jaskiewicz, the entertainment complex’s president and CEO, shares the top 10 accomplishments over the past year.
1. 12 for 12
Over the course of 12 months, ICON Park signed/opened 12 new projects, including Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, Sloppy Joe’s, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Museum of Illusions Orlando, Orlando SlingShot, Orlando FreeFall, and In The Game ICON Park, each of which are now important players in the Orlando Entertainment District experience.
2. Want to play? More is better!
We expanded the ICON Park Play Pass – with nearly 50 amazing restaurants, funky bars, boutique shops and can’t-miss attractions, there’s only one way to experience everything the complex has to offer – the ICON Park Play Pass. This local favorite package offers up to 50 percent savings and includes access to world-class attractions, exclusive happy hours, dining discounts and shopping specials.
3. Out with the old and in with the new
We renovated The Wheelhouse, the center of energy at ICON Park. We replaced the building’s front walls with a retractable glass panels entrance, built new ticket counter and two new bars, and installed new floors, creating synergy between our open-air space and main building. Guests are now greeted by the large, circular Wheelhouse Bar where they can enjoy a drink with Tin & Taco eats and other Wheelhouse Food Hall offerings, and then visit the new Sky Bar before boarding The Wheel. To optimize the guest experience throughout all of our 20 acres, we also expanded the ICON Park Promenade with 40 specialty kiosks lining the brick walkway under festoon lights.
4. What do Lester Holt, Blake Shelton, and Gordon Ramsay have in common?
Over a 45-day period in 2021, ICON Park hosted NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, a special performance by Blake Shelton, and signed Gordon Ramsay’s newest fish and chips restaurant.
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt created a special broadcast to showcase the return of tourism across the U.S. and ICON Park was its first stop. Blake Shelton visited his ICON Park restaurant, Ole Red, and delighted guests with a special performance. We also celebrated the signing of Gordon Ramsay Fish and Chips, which officially opened in August 2021.
5. Your choice at 400 feet: Your music or an Orlando history story
Each of The Wheel’s 30 capsules now includes a brand-new Bluetooth feature that allows guests to connect their phones to the capsule sound system featuring Bose speakers, to enjoy their favorite playlist or a custom Wheel playlist created in partnership with iHeartRadio. The trendy upgrades include new media players, upgraded audio controls, and an option to listen to a fascinating sightseeing tour of Central Florida that is timed with the rotation of The Wheel. The audio tour option describes to guests the new and old sights of Orlando that are viewed from the capsule and the fascinating history of Orlando, including its development as the world’s vacation capital.
6. Root for the Home Team
ICON Park is proud to host several events to give back to locals including Orange County Sheriff’s Office Cycling Team Thank You, Apopka’s Shop with A Cop, the 4th annual Salvation Army Donation Rotation, Fire Fighter Appreciation and many more.
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with the history of Ferris Wheels
Everyone knows ICON Park is the perfect place to have fun, but did you know that it’s also the perfect place to skip the classroom for your school’s next field trip? Over the past year, we’ve enhanced our educational program and made our entertainment complex the ultimate field trip destination. Students can learn at new heights on The Wheel, hearing the history of Ferris Wheels while exploring the science, technology, engineering, and math that make this mechanical marvel turn. We’ve also created a series of downloadable resources for teachers, including lesson plans, discussion topics, activities, quizzes, and projects. ICON Park is also home to top-tier museums such as Museum of Illusions Orlando, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds.
8. The Land of the Giants
ICON Park collects big toys. In 2021, we unveiled the world’s tallest slingshot at 300 feet, the Orlando SlingShot, and the world’s tallest freestanding drop tower at 430 feet, the Orlando FreeFall. These giants join the nation’s tallest freestanding swing ride standing at 450 feet, the Orlando StarFlyer, and at 400 feet, the tallest Ferris wheel on the East coast, The Wheel at ICON Park.
9. Central Florida’s Home for the Holidays
To celebrate the year, ICON Park created a variety of holiday experiences to become Central Florida’s home for the holidays. We hosted the Light the World with Love festival, the lighting of the Menorah during the Orlando Chabad Grand Car Menorah Parade and partnered with the I-Drive Business Improvement District to display a 50-foot holiday tree on property. Thousands of visitors were able to enjoy the festive additions to the Orlando Entertainment District throughout the holiday season.
10. Leading the way
ICON Park’s leader, CEO and President Chris Jaskiewicz, was named i4 Business Magazine’s Tourism Business Leader of the Year, Orlando Magazine’s Orlando’s 50 Most Powerful People, and an Orlando Business Journal CEO of the Year. Chris attributes these accolades to the ICON Park team, who work every day to create special memories for our guests.
ICON Park is extremely thankful for its amazing team and partners who support the entertainment complex each and every day!