Caesars' 550-foot High Roller Ferris Wheel will eclipse the Singapore Flyer by about 10 feet to become the world's tallest Ferris wheel when it opens in the latter part of 2013. The observation wheel will face north to south (parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard) with 28 glass-enclosed cabins offering broad views of the city and surrounding desert during the 30 minutes it will take to complete one revolution. It's to become the anchor of Caesars Entertainment's new open-air retail, dining and entertainment district, known as the LINQ, which will span more than 200,000 square feet and feature more than 30 unique "experiences." Yet, tall is it may be, the High Roller may not hold on to its record for long. New York's forgotten borough of Statin Island hopes to put itself on the map with a 625-foot-tall wheel of its own by 2015.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.
Coming to SeaWorld Orlando this spring: penguins. Lots of them. The park's single-largest expansion project since it opened in 1973 will replace the previous Penguin Encounter habitat and become the coldest attraction in Orlando at a frosty 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors will explore the simulated environs of Antarctica aboard a trackless vehicle that will feel as though it's sliding across an icy terrain (like a penguin). Additionally, the attraction will include what SeaWorld is billing as the world's largest colony of penguins outside of Antarctica.
BioMuseo in Panama City, Panama
Famed Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry will have his Latin American debut in August with the opening of Panama City's new BioMuseo. The colorful museum, located in the birth country of Gehry's wife, Bertha, will "celebrate Panama's immense biodiversity and its historical condition as a biological bridge between the Americas." Eight galleries will cover subjects like the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, local biodiversity on land and sea, and 15,000 years of human culture. The adjacent Panama Canal, meanwhile, is in the early stages of a multibillion-dollar expansion project to be completed for its 100th anniversary in 2014.
Sky City in Changsha, China
In the race to build the world's next tallest building, China has, predictably, upped the stakes. Why just build the tallest building in the world, the designers of Changsha's Sky City say, when you can dazzle (and scare) the world by building it in 90 days. Thousands of construction workers from the Broad Sustainable Building company are expected to erect the 2,749-foot skyscraper at a rate of five stories a day to meet the deadline by using large elements that were prefabricated off-site (by comparison, the world's current tallest building, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, took five years to build). The 220-story Sky City will include a hotel, hospital, schools and residential units when/if it is completed by the end of march.
ABBA The Museum In Stockholm
Few living musicians can boast their own brick-and-mortar museum, but that's just what the peppy pop sensations behind ABBA will get this spring. Sweden's biggest global cultural export of the 1970s leapt back into the spotlight thanks to the world-touring musical "Mamma Mia!" and its 2008 film adaptation. Capitalizing on a reinvigorated fan base, the museum, which will be integrated into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame on the island of Djurgården, is likely to have many a "Mamma Mia!" fan singing: "My, my, how can I resist you?"