UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Jayne
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Legoland Florida

Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:39 am

Screamscape are reporting this morning that Merlin Entertainments have bought the defunct Cypress Gardens in Florida, with an official announcement to follow on 21st January (next Thursday).

Odd choice, due to poor location in Florida, and past attempts to revive it. I'm thinking Legoland Florida though... A strong brand may help increase gate numbers and attract the passing trade going to Disney and Universal.

Thoughts?
Last edited by Jayne on Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:45 am

Legoland Florida springs to mind immediately. I just wonder if CG has a large enough size... It's good that Merlin now have property in Florida to add to their portfolio.
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:14 pm

From the Orlando Sentinel

British amusement operator Merlin Entertainments Group has purchased Cypress Gardens, the venerable Polk County attraction that shut down last fall.

A spokeswoman for Merlin said Friday the purchase includes the current Cypress Gardens theme park, the Splash Island water park and the adjacent botanical gardens.

The sale closed Jan. 7. The price was not immediately disclosed.

Merlin is the second busiest amusement operator in the world. Its holdings include Legoland theme parks, Madame Tussaud’s wax museums and the London Eye.

Rumors have been circulating for months that Merlin would like to open a Legoland in Florida, which would be its second U.S. location. The company currently operates four parks themed around the child’s building blocks in Carlsbad, Calif.; Germany; Denmark; and England.

Spokeswoman Julie Estrada said Merlin has been working with Polk County and Florida officials on new business plans for Cypress Gardens. Details are expected to be unveiled at press conference Merlin has scheduled for Thursday.

The acquisition expands the presence of private-equity colossus The Blackstone Group in Central Florida’s theme-park industry. Blackstone, which last fall purchased SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment for roughly $2.5 billion and co-owns Universal Orlando with General Electric Co., holds a majority stake in Merlin.

Once famed for its botanical gardens and Southern Belles, Cypress Gardens has struggled over the last decade, enduring multiple closures and a bankruptcy. The 73-year-old Winter Haven attraction has been unable to compete with Orlando’s much larger, more modern theme parks.

Cypress Gardens’ current owner, Land South Adventures, spent $17 million to buy the park at a bankruptcy auction in 2007, betting it could revitalize the park through a combination of scaled-back attractions and cheaper tickets. The bet failed and Land South abruptly shuttered Cypress Gardens in September, saying it could find no way “to keep the park running in its traditional form.”

A representative for Land South on Friday referred all questions to Merlin.


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Cypress Gardens failed because it was too far away from the main Orlando tourism area, will Merlin be able to overcome these problems?
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:37 pm

If they advertise enough around the area and put the effort they have put into there other attractions then I cant see why not. Giving CG the Legoland brand will offer something differnt in Florida. This could also work with there anouncement of making Lego themed water parks as there is one there already.

Its good to see CG may be back on the map as its such an old place.
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:49 pm

It has been reported that the Jungle Coaster from Windsor is being moved to another Merlin Park, maybe this is where :) ?

I personally think it's a great move to buy this park :)
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:54 am

"James6" wrote:
It has been reported that the Jungle Coaster from Windsor is being moved to another Merlin Park, maybe this is where :) ?

I personally think it's a great move to buy this park :)


They're welcome to Jungle Coaster.

Seriously though, this is a potentially brilliant move for Merlin. Exciting times!
[color=#FF4000]New for 2011]
 
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:36 pm

Effectively confirmed that Crypress Gardens will be the next Legoland, as reported by the orlando sentinel.

In the e-mail, which includes the warning "confidential until Thursday," Mark Jackson, a director with the Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau, tells commissioners that "Legoland Florida will be the fifth Legoland attraction worldwide" and that "Merlin's massive research in the area already indicated that the Legoland brand already has high recognition and a 90 percent intention to visit by families in their target market."

The tourism executive also reminded commissioners, should they be sought out for news-media interviews following the announcement, to trumpet positive points such as the fact that "Legoland is a family-oriented theme park, a great match for this area, the company's extensive knowledge and expertise in the attractions industry, and the team effort that it took to land this project."

The existence of the e-mail was first reported by the Lakeland Ledger. A spokeswoman for Merlin declined to comment on it.


Rest of the Article here
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:49 pm

It's confirmed. The site of the defunct Cypress Gardens will become the biggest LegoLand ever built. The 30 acre park will have 40 - 50 attractions, a seperate water park, it's own Miniland. Cypress' recently relocated woodie Starliner will probably be incorporated into the park which I set to open as early as 2011.

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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:17 pm

That's definatley Jungle Coaster on one of those posters! :D

I can't see how it would rival Dinsey tbh. I certainally don't want this to become Merlin's loss. :(
 
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:31 pm

FAQs (spoilered to prevent scrolling)

[spoiler:2ur4ssym]When will the park open?
The Legoland makeover will take approximately two years. They’re expecting to open at the end of 2011.

Why open it in Polk County?
Officials said they visited Cypress Gardens in past years and fell in love with the place. They explained that their other theme parks are located on beautiful grounds. They looked at many locations in Orlando but ultimately chose Cypress Gardens. They also added that if they had built from scratch on another location, it would have taken them five or six years.

Will the gardens remain?
Yes. They stressed that they will keep the beautiful gardens.

What about the Southern Belles and the Florida shaped pool?
They haven’t decided if they’ll remain yet or not.

Will they keep the water ski shows?
They haven’t decided for sure, but they hope to. They think the water ski show could easily be themed with the Lego brand.

Will the Cypress Gardens name remain?
Maybe in some form. The location will be called Legoland Florida, and eventually Legoland Florida Resort. They are thinking about calling the gardens part of Legoland “Cypress Gardens”. If so, you’d go to Legoland Florida to visit the Cypress Gardens.

How many attractions will there be?
Somewhere around 50 all together. This includes rides and shows.

Will any of the Cypress Gardens rides remain? What about the wooden roller coasters?
Some of Cypress Gardens’ rides have already been removed. Some of them have been sold but not moved off property yet. Officials said they will probably keep some of the rides and retheme them. They are thinking about keeping one of the wooden roller coasters but didn’t say which one.

Will a Legoland hotel be built?
They plan to eventually build an onsite hotel, but not until a while after the opening.

Where is it located and how do I get there?
The property is about a 45 to 55 minute drive from Downtown Disney. From Orlando, you would take I-4 West to exit 55, (U.S. 27 South), then turn right on Cypress Gardens Boulevard. It’s an easy drive if I-4 traffic isn’t bad.

Will they offer promotions with other Central Florida theme parks?
They hope to. They said they’re willing to work with any of the other theme park companies including Disney.

Will the water park remain? Will it become a Legoland waterpark?
Yes, the water park will remain. It won’t become a Legoland Water Park right away, but if their upcoming first Legoland Water Park, which opens in California in June, does well, they may bring it here.

Will the waterpark be included with admission to Legoland?
No. It will require a seperate ticket.

How much will ticket prices be to Legoland?
They haven’t announced prices yet, but a current one-day adult ticket to Legoland California is $67.[/spoiler:2ur4ssym]
Announcement video: [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGxFbDkkh00" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGxFbDkkh00[/url]

Merlin/Blackstone have an opportunity to really take Disney on. I can't see Legoland failing like Cypress Gardens did, they have the intellectual property to suceed.
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:49 pm

This whole "keeping the gardens" thing reminds me of somewhere else that is owned by Merlin! :wink:
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:30 pm

"AltonThorpe" wrote:
This whole "keeping the gardens" thing reminds me of somewhere else that is owned by Merlin! :wink:


You're thinking of THORPE PARK. They have kept their lovely Sunken Garden!
 
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:58 pm

Im really excited by this i personally wasnt expecting Merlin to build a new theme park for many years.

I guessing they are quite advanced with the planning of the park so it will be interesting to see the plans when the emerge.

Does anyone have any details on the Californian Water Park mentioned in the article?

Also isnt there a big Lego store and Lego Sculptures in Down Town Disney? I wonder what will happen to these and indeed how Disney will react?
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Re: Cypress Gardens, Florida

Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:13 pm

Just to let you know, the http://www.legolandfloridaresort.com website has just launched.
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Re: Legoland Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens)

Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:08 pm

Damn 2011, and I'm going to Florida this summer! I love Lego, still there's some Lego centre in Orlando that I can go to for now!
 
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Re: Legoland Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens)

Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:58 pm

They are selling starliner instead of triple hurricane ) : http://www.italintl.com/detail_page.php?record_id=1159 :( :shock: Why?

Merlin are also selling Galaxy Spin http://www.italintl.com/detail_page.php?record_id=1158 and just over half (4 out of 6) of their thrilling flat rides really dissapointing if you ask me. :(

Maybe send one to Alton! :P
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Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:10 pm

I'm wondering If sonic spinball will
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Re: Legoland Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens)

Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:18 pm

Erm.. no.

It just wouldn't happen. Nice idea though. It would probably be cheaper to buy a new Spinner than send Sonic Spinball over! It's also now over 5 years old!
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Re: Legoland Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens)

Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:50 pm

Remember this is legoland, of course they'll be selling the thrilling rides. I highly doubt they're that popular with the 4yr olds ;)
 
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Re: Legoland Florida (formerly Cypress Gardens)

Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:49 pm

Oh, I haven't been to a Legoland but if it appeals to small children only then I guess they will be getting rid of the fun rides. Drat!

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