You may have heard rumors of a water park, or a coaster or perhaps another ride that you wish Fun Spot would add. Well we have not given up on any of our plans yet. Fun Spot, the Central Florida attraction with a “huge” reputation, is implementing its plans to get bigger.
The company is investing millions this year on a wooden roller coaster at its Kissimmee location and on a 900-slot parking lot for its Orlando attraction near International Drive. Those projects are part of an expansion plan that extends several years, one that management adopted after a decision to get bigger in this market rather than add attractions elsewhere.
Visible additions to the Orlando Fun Spot were two roller coasters, Freedom Flyer and White Lightning, which can be seen in action from Interstate 4. While consideration for one coaster was underway, Fun Spot executives reached out to other amusement-park operators.
“They said you shouldn’t do one but you should do two … so that when they [customers] get off one roller coaster they’ll ride the other then go back to the first one,” Arie said. “Our friends and operators around the world have helped us mold our company here.”
Freedom Flyer, an inverted steel coaster, recently was updated with an option for wearing virtual-reality goggles, you’ll take flight to battle robot looking enemies in a cityscape. There will be designated seats available for both VR and non-VR riders.
The Fun Spot locations have additional thrill rides, go-karts, game and kiddie rides. The coasters were Fun Spot’s best move ever, even though they presented new challenges, Arie said.
“We weren’t successful right off the bat,” he said. “We really had to work on our marketing — get our word out there that we have new products, expanded, tripled our size.”
Another addition to the Orlando park was Gator Spot, an animal exhibit developed by Gatorland and opened in 2015. The longtime Orange Blossom Trail attraction had been seeking ways to enter the I-Drive market, said Mark McHugh, president and CEO.
“We’re not big enough to go down there and buy up an acre of land to build us a Gatorland. The cost of entry into a business on I-Drive is extremely high … and getting higher,” he said. “This opportunity came with Fun Spot. … It was a dream come true for us.”
One version of the future includes a water park for the Fun Spot in Orlando, but its new parking lot was a priority, Arie said. A water park could still happen, he said.
“We’re probably going to see how [Universal Orlando’s] Volcano Bay does and make a decision based off of that,” he said. “They’re doing a great job over there. They’re going to get a grand slam in their park.”
The Kissimmee Fun Spot, which will be home to the new wooden roller coaster later this year, is neighbors with Old Town, a 30-year-old shopping complex. When new ownership came in there, they took down a fence between the properties, said Thearon Scurlock, Old Town’s general manager.
“The people who are coming here would be the Fun Spot customer and vice versa,” Scurlock said. “It made some sense for there to be some open, cross-traffic between the two of us.”
Fun Spot leases some land for rides on Old Town property, and it will manage the new Ferris wheel which features some crazy glass enclosures on the rider pods.
“They’re a great partner. They’ve been really helpful in everything that we do,” Scurlock said. “We meet with them regularly, even from the marketing angle, what can we do together.”
A sign of success is Fun Spot’s surge in annual-pass purchases. He said the figure was up 70 percent this year.
“We figured out that if you give them a reason to come back, they’ll come back. And they’ll tell their friends about it,” he said. “We’ll continue to use that model until we find something better.”
If you are looking for things to do in Orlando besides Disney, Fun Spot America is a great place to start. Located on U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee, Fun Spot America, with two locations, is a family fun amusement park complete with roller coasters, thrill rides, multi-level go-karts, and more. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the inside arcade with many exciting games. When hunger strikes, the snack bar provides several options. Admission and parking are free at Fun Spot America. Pay per ride or per day, depending on what works best for you and your group. Space is available for birthday parties and private functions.
Fun Spot America- Orlando
5700 Fun Spot Way
Orlando, FL 32819