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Artegon Site for New Theme Park?

natespf

--Classified--
Premium Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,670
I disagree with that. When Universal gets their next park open, I think I-Drive (and Seaworld) will win big.

I, and I'm sure many others, like to take a couple days off the tourist attractions I set out to see, and explore something else. The problem recently has been Disney for the week, and the couple days have been going to Universal instead of I-Drive and SeaWorld. I think as the new park opens and Universal cements itself as the destination rather than the one off to Disney's guests, I-Drive will no longer be in competition with Universal to peel off a day or 2 from Disney, it will instead have many more vacations to peel a day or 2 from Universal to get its base. And I think as these "world's tallest" attractions keep getting built between the parks, more and more people will be enticed. The biggest thing is making sure the airport can keep up.

I personally think Legoland made a huge mistake not buying this property and placing their park here instead of out in the middle of nowhere.
Good points. But the south property was deed restricted with a non-compete clause for Universal... it couldn't be used for large themed attractions.

Also with the Endless Summer resorts Idrive is more walk able from Universal property. With that being added to the bus system, is there anything stopping guests of other Universal resorts using it to get to Idrive?
 

GoUCFKnights

Newcomer
Jul 28, 2017
89
Good points. But the south property was deed restricted with a non-compete clause for Universal... it couldn't be used for large themed attractions.
The Artegon site has not had that sort of deed restriction. It, with the parcel to the south, was previously the proposed site of a rumored WWE theme park, and a thrill park.
 

natespf

--Classified--
Premium Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,670
The Artegon site has not had that sort of deed restriction. It, with the parcel to the south, was previously the proposed site of a rumored WWE theme park, and a thrill park.
Sorry, for some reason I misread that to be the Universal south property. My mistake.
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
3,056
Orlando
So I finally made it out to Dezerland (nee Festival Bay, aka Artegon). Much as I wanted to hate on it and mock it ... it's actually kind of fun.

Didn't do the actual car museum (in the center of the mall), but so many display cars are "outside the paywall" I didn't miss it Mostly pop culture icons--a couple Herbies, a ton of Flintstones cars, Nemo's LXG car--with a few classic cars mixed in, scattered throughout the hallways.

On top of that, there's a lot of other stuff going on--the best movie theater in Orlando that no one knows about has stayed opened, a suitably psychedelic blacklight indoor mini golf, the re-opened/rebranded trampoline park, bowling, two generic indoor go-kart tracks, and a couple acres of D&B type games. A couple shops have opened at all, including a Rocket Fizz (always fun) and a knock-off beach shop in the old RonJons that is basically the same store without the logos. It's easy to spend an afternoon with kids here.

Coming in April is a potential game-changer: a 007 museum and restaurant-lounge. A ton of the actual vehicles and weapons from the movies will be in here--the new bar, which has soft-opened, is built around the tank from Goldeneye. The whole set-up looks epic. Supposedly a rip-off of Sci-Fi Dine-In is coming as well, and an axe-throwing range. Things that will fit in well here, it definitely needs more dining and bars.

Don't get me wrong, there are still issues here. It still feels half-empty, and needs at least a dozen more "fun" shops to open. M&M Store, American Girl store or Crayola Experience would have been huge gets--I would court the latter two heavily to defect from Florida Mall--but even just ice cream and pretzel franchises and whatever the 2020s generic mall equivalent of Hot Topic or Charming Charlies is would help. They also need to cut a deal to reopen the Bass Pro Shop entrance, and find a marketing budget--this place felt even deader than when it was Artegon. (Or maybe hand out free booze again.)

Still unconvinced it will survive to 2022, but there is potential here that I feel the former tenants never had. Dezer has made far more headway than I ever anticipated, hopefully he'll keep going. Done right, this is the sort of thing that could become a cornerstone to rebuilding north I-Drive.