Orlando Eye Complex Receives Full-Scale Security Solution From Multiple Vendors

Axis Communications, Milestone Systems, Open Options and Signature Systems of Florida teamed up to secure the venue.

ADDISON, Texas — Orlando’s newest entertainment attraction — the Orlando Eye complex — has entrusted security providers Axis Communications, Milestone Systems, Open Options and Signature Systems of Florida to provide a full-scale solution to secure the high profile venue which opened earlier this year.

“As a leading provider of some of the most visited entertainment venues in the world, security has always been our top focus,” said Merlin Entertainment Security Manager Phillip Wallinger. “We have a responsibility to provide our guests with the best in security and we know the team we have assembled to secure the Orlando Eye complex has succeeded in our mission.”

The Orlando Eye complex, which opened in April 2015, includes the 400-foot Orlando Eye observation wheel, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and a SEA LIFE aquarium. As the only attraction of its kind in Orlando, the Orlando Eye gives a panoramic view of all of the area’s popular tourist attractions. Madame Tussaud’s is internationally recognized for its incredibly lifelike, historic and celebrity wax sculptures that provide a fun, interactive museum experience. SEA LIFE Orlando offers a dazzling underwater world, including a 360-degree ocean tunnel, more than 5,000 creatures and a hands-on touchpool interaction.

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Merlin Entertainment sought a security solution that would ensure a good flow throughout the property for guests while keeping unauthorized personnel out of restricted areas, according to Wallinger. They also wanted extra tight access control of the ride area, garage parking and electrical rooms. Signature Systems of Florida management determined the best solution for providing security for the Orlando Eye project was Milestone Systems’ XProtect Enterprise video management software (VMS) using Axis Communications video surveillance cameras. The access control component is provided by Open Options DNA Fusion access control software and supporting Authentic Mercury hardware.

Wiljo Ridanpaa, project manager for Signature Systems of Florida, said Merlin Entertainment needed a full-scale security solution for the triple-attraction complex, which meant they chose proven and trusted vendors for video and access control.

“We have used Open Options, Milestone and Axis many times in the past and have had excellent results,” said Ridanpaa. “Their commitment to open architecture allows us to deliver a comprehensive solution customizable for any configuration.”

With Milestone, Ridanpaa said the entertainment complex security team would receive a great benefit from “the playback features, the carousel camera viewing – everything you get in the XProtect Smart Client interface. Being able to run XProtect on any server or any PC with enough power makes it the best plug-and-play video management system out there,” he said.

Axis, which has more than 250 IP network cameras on the project, provides “quality and functionality,” said Ridanpaa. “The ability to autofocus may seem like a simple tool, but it’s absolutely essential. You don’t have to have a guy on a ladder focusing the lens while you’re talking to a guy that could be at a monitor with lag time. That feature alone is worth its weight in gold.”

Open Options “combines great access control hardware with software that just gets better and better,” said Ridanpaa. “The updates aren’t frivolous – we see tangible improvements every time.”

Now that the Orlando Eye complex has been open for several months, Wallinger said security employees have mastered the system and look forward to future capabilities.

“There are exciting future prospects for the system, especially involving further integration of the Milestone video interface and Open Options’ DNA Fusion access control ID verification option,” he said. “We’ve invested in a terrific system that so far has delivered beyond our expectations and has contributed greatly to the smooth operation of our entertainment complex.”

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