Hopes that the world’s tallest roller coaster would come to Orange County, Florida, hit a snag Thursday. The county planning and zoning commission denied a request to build a 500-foot roller coaster, WKMG-TV in Orlando reported.
There is still hope the proposed roller coaster, dubbed the Skyscraper, can move forward. The proposal has to go before Orange County commissioners, with a vote scheduled for December. The commissioners have final say as to whether it can be built. The roller coaster is only part of the proposed $460 million Skyplex retail and entertainment development, according to the Orlando Business Journal.
The Skyscraper, planned by the developers of Skyplex, also would have had an observation deck on top, making the whole tower about 570 feet high. The Thursday vote came after intense lobbying by the Universal Orlando theme park, which is located in the area.
"We will not be bullied by Universal Studios; we will not be bullied by Comcast," managing principal of the Skyplex entertainment complex Joshua Wallack told the Orlando Sentinel. "We will not be pushed around. They will not win. We will win." He continued: "It's simply because they don't want us to have the world's tallest roller coaster which will draw people to it."
Universal had taken issue with the roller coaster height in recent months. The Federal Aviation Authority has said the height wouldn’t threaten air navigation, and the county’s Development Review Committee has said the project should move forward.
— ThemeParks & Travels (@TPTravels) October 16, 2015
Universal head of external communications John McReynolds told the Sentinel Thursday that Universal does not have a competition issue; instead, it wants a height limit so the project wouldn’t adversely impact neighborhoods. Universal Orlando is allowed to have structures up to 200 feet high.