Yesterday, during a press conference, Merlin Entertainment released opening date information for the cornerstones of its I-Drive 360 complex: The Orlando Eye, Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds Orlando.
The grand opening date for all three will be Monday, May 4, 2015, less than three months from today. Tickets are already on sale starting on that date.
Earlier this month, the final capsule for The Orlando Eye was put into place, but a spokesperson said they must undergo more testing to make sure everything is in working order. Then the staff must be trained so guest interaction on and off the ride goes smoothly.
The wheel revolves at heights up to 400-feet tall along International Drive, and the 6,600-pound capsules can fit up to 15 people. The wheel spins slowly, taking up to 45 minutes for a full circle.
Yesterday on the official Disney blog, Walt Disney World revealed opening dates for more sections of the Fantasyland expansion at Magic Kingdom.
The first grand opening will take place on December 6, 2012. Attractions and restaurants opening during this phase will be:
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
Be Our Guest Restaurant
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Bonjour! Village Gifts
These areas will have a soft opening (usually done to work out the kinks with actual guests) starting November 19. Castmembers, annual passholders and Disney Vacation Club members may get even earlier access.
This phase covers most of the Fantasyland expansion. Princess Fairytale Hall (character meet area) will open in 2013, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride (a really cool looking rollercoaster) will open in 2014.