Just got back and was very impressed. I took some photos here and there (then got caught up in having fun and put the camera away... sorry!) but my friend took a few hundred he'll be posting tomorrow.
Overall Despite being more than twice as old as the target demographics for the parks it was a really good time. I visited LEGOLAND California last fall and enjoyed the relaxing nature of the park and what's not to love about LEGO models everywhere. This park is on par, if not better than the California one. The location along the lake really helps as even when you are on the opposite side of the park you can still see it through the trees. The atmosphere is great. Most (if not all?) paths are pavers (or stamped concrete). It is really hard to notice any former signs of Cypress Gardens unless you knew what you were looking for (save for the obvious recycled attractions).
Landscaping was great. They kept as many trees as possible it seems like and there are flowers everywhere. It didn't look like a park that just opened but rather a park that has grown in.
Rides The ride collection was nice - lines were VERY long so I didn't get to ride as much as I would have liked. It is really nice they kept the Triple Hurricane and you can hear the roar (squeaking?) of the train around that whole area. The Dragon's dark ride was about the same length as its California counterpart. Island in the Sky was down for the day. The highlight for me was the Rescue Academy - teams sit in self-propelled fire trucks or police cars and race to a "burning" building then work together to put up the fire before racing back. It was actually lots of fun. I remember talking to the park's GM a year a so ago and he joked it was the best ride in the park since all the "electricity" for the attraction is supplied by guests doing the work to move things or shoot the water. Test Track was positioned perfectly so that as you crest the hill you have a perfect view of the lake.
For "opening day" operations wasn't terrible but as someone used to crazy high capacity rides and top-notch operations you have to give the park some credit that with so many little kids the attractions do take longer to load than say your average Intamin or B&M creation.
Entertainment The Pirate's Cove show wasn't half bad. It featuring a lot more water skiing then I thought and featured the usual LEGOLAND humor "You know, you despise him, and he smells... Brickbeard!"
The Gardens If I had to saw there was one let down for me with the park it was the gardens. Besides a few benches near the entrance you would have thought the Merlin team never walked the gardens. Plenty of Cypress Gardens signs (yes, I know the area is still called Cypress Gardens but this was with the old logo that said "Adventure Park" under it). A few of the smaller side paths were overgrown. I know that that area is a protected something (wetlands?) but the water in the canal throughout the garden looked like it has been sitting still for years - like a big sheet of green ice. I counted one bench in the entire thing (there was about 10 at the entrance) and it would have been perfect to sit and relax. No signs (and if you been there you know it is like a mini-maze) - not even an entrance sign to let you know about the gardens - just a plastic A-frame. Good or bad (depending on how you look at it) there was no sign of LEGO anywhere in the gardens.
Food The food selection was great and cheap (for theme parks). I ate at the pizza & pasta (and salad) buffet which was 10.99 and included a drink. Of course there was the Granny Apple Fries. The park does a good job of trying to stay away from typical greasy theme park crap. The one quick service location served pre-made box sandwiches that looked really good.
MiniLand The MiniLand features Florida (Daytona, NASA, Key West, Tampa, St Augustine, Miami, and random tourist stuff), DC, Vegas, San Fran, Hollywood, and NYC. The Miniland is unreal - its just really cool all the litte details. You could spend lots of time just looking at all the little details (most of which are humorous in nature). Details like the Stratosphere had X-Scream and a tiny bit of the Big Shot on it, employee break areas behind the casinos, a couple getting yelled at by a cop for PDA. The list goes on and on.
One con... The attractions are great but for the most part have the lowest possible capacity out there. Take driving school or boating school where there is maybe 10 people on it at once per a few minute cycle. Coastersaurus and Flying School both only have one train and with the PTC junior cars they recommended one adult to a seat which made for some serious long waits. The Dragon was running one train (second train wasn't even on site). There just isn't really any "people-eaters" attraction wise which cause lines to get very long, very fast. Without going into specifics out of respect of the person who shared the information with me - today official numbers wasn't what you rank as a "busy" day at the park but most rides had long lines (the coasters, minus flying school, all had 30+ min waits) and the midways were slammed. Granted not every store and food location was up and running but this park could have some capacity issues. We got there before opening and stayed until park close and didn't get to do everything.
Like I said I was really impressed with the park - they market it for kids (rightfully so as that is what the kind of rides the place has) but I think anyone (especially if you played with LEGO before) can enjoy the park. The park is a garden in itself and there are LEGO displays everywhere. One thing I have come to like about the LEGOLAND Parks is the little humor they use throughout - the script in the ski show, the details in the models, etc... it is like the park was built by a bunch of fun people who realized building a park around LEGO bricks should be fun.
The question of the day, hour, week and last 2 years... will it survive? I think it will be the sleeper hit (and I was very skeptical from the start). The bar has been set so low by almost anyone I know around Orlando ("it will never make it", " give it two years", etc) that I think everyone will be surprised. Yes today was a preview day in which not one person paid to get in (friend and family of park staff and construction crew) but the place was packed, people were having fun, and the line to buy an annual pass was long. The quality of the park won't let it fail.
The park looks REALLY nice. I suppose I'll let it "burn in" for a while and on my next visit drive down and whore it out! And look at the legos perhaps, I have been known to build amusement rides out of them, probably still would if I didn't think it'd make me look creepy.
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