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Legoland Florida Discussion Thread

P. 31: Legoland 10th anniversary plans announced!

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Hey everybody!

 

This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Legoland Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens), this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the park as well as past updates, see:

TPR's Park Index Cypress Gardens Page.

TPR's Park Index Legoland Florida Page

 

Legoland Florida’s Official Website

 

Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!

 

--Robb

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2009

September 23rd, 2009 - Cypress gardens closes for good

 

2010

January 15th, 2010 - Merlin Entertainment purchases Cypress Gardens

January 20th, 2010 - Legoland Florida officially announced

October 22nd, 2010 - Legoland announces ride names and themed areas

 

2011

September 28th, 2011 - TPR attends Media Preview Day

November 29th, 2011 - Legoland Water Park announced! Opens in Summer 2012!

December 7th, 2011 - LEGO Christmas tree lit for first ever Christmas Bricktacular

December 28th, 2011 - Park closed to capacity on December 28th, 2011

 

2012

January 19th, 2012 - Legoland Florida's General Manager responds to Obama's Executive Order on Tourism

January 19th, 2012 - Legoland Florida's releases 2012 calendar of events

March 31st, 2012 - HUGE photo report of Greenhouse media event & more!

April 3rd, 2012 - Legoland Water Park gets filled with water!

May 8th, 2012 - Legoland Water Park lifeguards undergo training

May 11th, 2012 - Legoland develops "Roller Coaster Readiness Program"

May 28th, 2012 - Legoland Water Park Media Preview & Grand Opening Report!

July 18th, 2012 - Legoland Florida is NOT raising ticket prices amidst local competition

August 18th, 2012 - Rumors of a new Pirate themed area for the 2013 season

September 4th, 2012 - Park teases Star Wars expansion to be announced soon

September 7th, 2012 - Park announces the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Expansion!

October 19th, 2012 - LEGO Star Wars Miniland to open on November 9th!

October 24th, 2012 - LEGO Star Wars Miniland models arrive at the park!

November 9th, 2012 - LEGO Star Wars Miniland now open! Media day photos!

 

2013

January 10th, 2012 - Expansion in the works, though theme is under wraps

March 19th, 2013 - World of Chima Splash Battle Ride Announced

May 15th, 2013 - World of Chima opening on July 3rd, 2013!

June 17th, 2013 - LEGO World of Chima boat christened for first run

July 2nd, 2013 - LEGO World of Chima Media Event Coverage!

October 4th, 2013 - DUPLO Valley toddler area expansion coming in 2014!

November 21st, 2013 - Groundbreaking for Legoland Hotel, Mini-llenium Flyers trains added to Coastersaurus

 

2014

February 1st, 2014 - Preview of The Lego Movie at Legoland!

May 22nd, 2014 - Legoland opens Duplo Valley!

December 6th, 2014 - Legoland kicks off Christmas Bricktacular!

December 7th, 2014 - Legoland kicks off Christmas Bricktacular!

 

2015

January 16th, 2015 - Opening date set for Legoland Hotel

 

2016

March 15th, 2016 - Improvements announced for 2016-2017

 

2017

September 19th, 2017 - The Great LEGO Race VR Coaster coming to Legoland!

 

2018

March 25th, 2018 - The Great LEGO Race VR Coaster opening day TR!

May 5th, 2018 - LEGO Star Wars Days event photo report posted!

May 10th, 2018 - THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD announced for Spring 2019!

October 15th, 2018 - THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD details announced!

November 20th, 2018 - Third on-site hotel announced for Legoland Florida!

 

2019

January 21st, 2019 - Pirate Island Hotel opening in Spring 2020

February 15th, 2019 - THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD opens on March 27th, 2019!

 

2020

January 28th, 2020 - LEGO Ninjago Days photo report posted!

October 19th, 2020 - Legoland 10th anniversary plans announced!

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Original Post:

 

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/l ... ses_092309

 

Quote
WINTER HAVEN - The future of Cypress Gardens is, once again, up in the air.

 

A statement on Cypress Garden's website says the park is closed, effective immediately, and 160 employees were told today was their last day on the job.

 

"During the last two years, Land South Adventures, LLC, has explored numerous management frameworks and exhausted every possible approach to keep the park running in its traditional form," the statement says.

 

The statement says the owners are in the process of negotiating with several potential purchasers for all or part of the property.

 

 

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Huh. Who would have thought that they would fail again so soon after taking out all their rides? That usually works great.

 

I did enjoy my one visit to this park. But it was already gone, so far as I'm concerned.

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So yeah not too surprised that they closed down again. Last year when friends & I visited the park it was pretty busy, but not packed. They had alot of rides and a few roller coasters. Overall we had alot of fun. It was kinda like going to a zoo, theme park, water park and botanical gardens all in one.(You cant get that @ Disney or Universal) And for the price (I think we paid like 29.99 or 19.99 with our AAA discount) it wasnt too bad.

 

Soooo yeah closing down all the fun stuff and focusing on just the gardens was a poor choice on their part. It didn't work in the past and it sure as hell aint ganna work now. Why replace rides with another parking lot? Make no sense???

My last visit was this past April and it was a sad sit to see. From their "old" parking lot we got picked up in a trailer that was being pulled by a truck right through the old rides section of the park. It looked as if they wanted to show off the graveyard of all the old shutdown rides. I couldn't believe what I saw...

 

Hopefully the new buyers will keep the rides/roller coasters that are left around at Cypress Gardens

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I wonder what's going to happen to this park,I mean the Legoland thing would be cool,but they would probably need to have a multiday ticket that would include it along with the other parks that might or might not become owned by Merlin/Blackstone,I think it's the only way to get people to venture southwest on US 27 from Orlando.I hope the coasters stick around or find new good homes,I never got to ride Starliner as it was being built when I last went and I really liked that Jr woodie,Triple Hurricane,my favorite ride however was the bouncy bouncy.

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I remember Cypress Gardens the first time it was open, before this whole renovation, I went on a field trip in first or second grade. It was the most fun I'd ever had at any park. If it were still it's original park I'd be going alot more often, I have so many memories there, and it was really fun, it had a quaint appeal to it.

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They should just keep the gardens as a cheap entry for locals ran by the city or something. This place could never be a successful Theme Park...Maybe a water park can sustain them. Do we know if they are keeping the water park?

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  • 2 weeks later...

It was noted today on the screamscape website that a reader went by Cypress Gardens yesterday and reported seeing what looked like two large cranes on site near the old parking lot. Sounds like they may be getting ready to take something down perhaps… anyone know more?

 

I wonder what they are building around their parking lots or possibly tearing down??

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  • 3 weeks later...

Eh, I would say chances are the rumors are untrue.. I don't see the value in reinvesting and adding rides, unless they plan on adding unique never-before-seen stuff. That won't happen because its way to much of a gamble, especially considering the parks track record.

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^ Agreed. Unless someone wants to run the place to launder money, I seriously think this is the end. Give it up. No one wants this park. Like, NO ONE!

 

How many times can a park fail before they will figure this out?

 

--Robb

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  • 1 month later...

New article on Cypress Gardens, and it could be interesting to see what happens.

 

WINTER HAVEN - While Cypress Gardens has been quietly deserted since its doors closed abruptly Sept. 23, a contingency of advocates has been aggressively marketing Florida's first theme park in hopes of securing its future.

 

While owners Brian Philpot and Rob Harper haven't made any sort of announcements about the park's future, there are indications some positive activity is taking place.

 

Mark Jackson, executive director of Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, hinted Tuesday that something positive could happen before the end of the year.

 

"Something formal will happen in the next two weeks," Jackson said. "It could be the next few days or sometime before the 31st (of December)," he said. "There are a few things we have to iron out."

 

Jackson said he couldn't give any more information because of a confidentiality agreement.

 

County Commission Chairman Bob English said little Tuesday when asked about Cypress Gardens' future.

 

"There's nothing new I can tell you," he said.

 

For months, rumors have been circulating in trade publications and amusement industry blogs as to the identity of potential buyers for the beleaguered attraction, which once defined Winter Haven but fell victim to competition from Disney World and other larger attractions, the hurricanes of 2004 and the economic downturn.

 

On Sept. 30, the News Chief reported one company interested in purchasing the theme park is the United Kingdom-based Merlin Entertainments Group, which owns theme parks scattered around the world, including Legoland in California.

 

"I can't really say much about it," Jackson told the News Chief in September. "We have had conversations with Legoland."

 

Merlin Entertainment Group - which is second only to Walt Disney World Corp. in the theme park market share - owns four Legolands worldwide. The other Legoland parks are in Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

 

A representative from Merlin Entertainment Group confirmed in September the company's interest in Florida as one of several potential expansion sites.

 

"We have also gone on record saying that the USA is a key market for expansion for the company for all our attraction brands," Sally Ann Wilkinson, a managing partner with Merlin Entertainments Group, said in an e-mail to the News Chief. "To this end, as I say, we are assessing the potential of several key areas/sites, including in Florida, but we have no specific plans as yet for the state."

 

Legoland California is a 128-acre family theme park located in Carlsbad, a seaside community 30 miles north of downtown San Diego. According to its Web site, Legoland California offers interactive attractions, family rides, shows, restaurants, shopping and landscape features specially geared for children ages 2 to 12 and their families.

 

The Gardens' September closing came just six months after reopening following a four-month hiatus with a renewed focus on its history and world-renowned botanical gardens.

 

Harper and Philpot, through their Mulberry-based business, Land South Holdings LLC, purchased the beleaguered attraction, then called Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, from businessman Kent Buescher through a bankruptcy sale for $16.9 million in October 2007.

 

They shocked the community a little more a year later by announcing the temporary closing of Florida's first theme park, which was opened by founders Dick and Julie Pope on Jan. 2, 1936.

 

From November 2008 through March 2009, Harper and Philpot revamped the park by separating Cypress Gardens from Splash Island Waterpark and giving each section an entrance. Two costly sections not original to the park were removed - the animals and amusement rides. Animals in the zoo section were distributed to other Florida parks and the majority of rides were sold, although 12 remained on the property as of early July. And theme park veteran Bill Sims, who once worked with Cypress Gardens founder Dick Pope Sr., was hired to head the management team.

 

Plans were made to refocus on the aspects of the park that made it famous - the botanical gardens, water ski shows and Southern Belles - and continue to operate the popular water park.

 

At a February press conference, Sims called the March 28 opening a "rebirth" of the attraction, where he learned the ins and outs of the business. But by June, Sims was no longer seen around the park and rumors began to circulate about its possible sale or closing. Industry Web sites such as lifthill.com, thedisneyblog.com and screamscape.com posted blog reports about Merlin Entertainment Group showing interest in bringing Legoland to Central Florida and listing Cypress Gardens as a potential location.

 

The much-anticipated announcement of a live concert series was never made. In August, employees began to report seeing survey crews on the property and visitors noted a general unkempt look about the park.

 

Rick Dantzler, a lawyer with the Bartow-based firm Frost Van den Boom and Smith who represents Philpot and Harper, said Tuesday he wasn't aware of any plans for the attraction.

 

Dantzler is married to Julie Pope Dantzler, the granddaughter of Cypress Gardens founders Dick and Julie Pope.

 

Following the theme park's shocking closing in April 2003, Dantzler was instrumental in the community effort to protect the historical areas of Cypress Gardens from developers. This grass-roots effort led to state restrictions being placed on all 150 acres of the property along Lake Eloise. The county controls the 30 acres of the original botanical gardens and the state holds a conservatorship over the rest.

 

Dantzler said in September that Philpot and Harper intended to search for a viable option for the operation of Cypress Gardens.

 

"He told me that he and Rob are committed to finding new owners or operators who can make a go of it," Dantzler said at the time. "So perhaps all is not lost."

 

 

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Cypress gardens has always lacked that uniqueness and charm that would make it worth visiting. I've been there a few times, and I never felt like it was anything more than a public park with a water ski show. Then, they added stock rides -other than the woodies (but really, are they worth making an exception for?)- that had no personality which IMO only made the perception worse.

 

Legoland could bring to the park what it has always lacked, and I really want to believe it would be successful there. However, in order to do that, they will need to invest a ton of money... They can't just slap Lego theming on whats already there, since what's already there has repeatedly proven to be a failure. That being said, I think they are better off finding a better location to build their park... Even if its in Orlando smack in the middle of all the competition.

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^ Agreed. I always felt the biggest problem with Cypress Gardens is that it's so damn hard to get to!

 

It looks so close to Walt Disney World because off I-4 it's just a few exits away, but it takes FOREVER to get out there once you do get off the interstate!

 

And driving through all those little towns and everything is quite annoying.

 

I just wish they would take this park off life support and just let it die.

 

--Robb

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I've always imagined this park as more of a state park than anything... In the few times I visited when it had coasters, I was unimpressed by what was there. I really think that if they were trying to invest in some attractions to pull people in, they should have gone for a few unique ones rather than three catalog coasters and two little woodies.

 

That being said, the location itself was always the greatest issue. Both times I drove there, I ended up getting lost in a residential area without any clue how to get back to the park. Making things worse, the shifting of managements, openings and closures and the moving of the entrances and parking lots certainly didn't help at all.

 

The most scary image that sticks with me to this date from the park came from my first of only two visits. The park was so empty, yet so understaffed that a cast member literally followed us between the different flat rides, just so that he could operate them for us. From what he explained, the ride ops were trained to work as many rides as possible in order to ensure that they could move from attraction to attraction based on guest demand. In our case, we got what felt like VIP treatment with rides opening just for us, but it wasn't something I would go back to experience again.

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