Cypress Gardens: 1st time and tons-o-pics. 02/16

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Monday, February 18, 2008 3:13 PM
Since moving down to Florida 10 months ago, the only park I visited was Busch Gardens up until this past Saturday. I kept putting off going to Cypress because of the mileage but I said screw it and I was off to Winter Haven.

Obviously I like amusement parks but I am also a history enthusiast and since this park has a ton of history behind it, I just had to go. It's Florida's original theme park.

Rides area is very nice and has a great selection of flats for the kids. Starliner is a fun coaster but nothing extreme which is fine as it is meant to be family oriented since it has a 42" min requirement to ride. I did get a couple decent pops of airtime on the out leg of it. Glad they moved and saved this coaster.

Galaxy Spin is the same as Ragin Cajun at SFGAm. However I did get a nice spin momentum on Galaxy which was fun.

Triple Hurricane is also a fun and mild woodie. The surprise was at the last turnaround before the station. Got some decent laterals there.

Okeechobee Rampage: The Vekoma Rolloskater was actually a decent surprise as it seemed taller then the standard Rollerskater with a different layout. Good ride.

Swamp Thing: Your typical junior hang and bang Vekoma. Rode it once.

Like I said earlier, this park actually has a decent selection of flats. Lots to do in this section thanks to Kent Buescher.

Headed over to where it all started at this park: The Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful and well put together masterpiece. I must have walked through this area for a few hours.

The most famous Water Ski Show that we have all heard about was a class act show with great stunts, comedy, and this history of this show and some famous people who tried their luck on Lake Eloise.

The Topiary Trail is just incredible. They structured different animals with flowers and landscape. I took pics of everything in the park so you will see this artwork.

Plantation Gardens has a nice mansion with wide open green grass and separate smaller gardens. Beautiful.

I still can't get over the Floating Island. An Intamin tower that is just different. Only one of its kind in the U.S. and one of only 4 in the world. I wonder why other parks in this country haven't gotten one? They definitely can hold more people then the typical tower.

The main midway leading to the gardens is set up very well and is well themed. Lots of neat shops including Kringle's Christmas shop and Planes , trains, and automobiles which has full scale toy trains with great scenery. A must see.

Also checked out Nature's Way which is basically their zoo. Nice selection of animals and set up nicely near the lake.

The crowds really started to come in at around 6:30 because Loretta Lynne was in concert this day.

Overall, this is one beautiful park with plenty to do and see. I didn't get bored at all and the waterpark wasn't even open yet for the season. With that open, this can easily be a 2 day park. I recommend doing a side trip to this park if you are visiting Orlando and Tampa.

I took 100 pics which covers every aspect of the park except the waterpark.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.

Cypress Gardens photos. *** Edited 2/18/2008 8:23:23 PM UTC by Chitown***

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Monday, February 18, 2008 4:53 PM
Reading trip reports gives me hope that the season is only a few weeks away.
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Monday, February 18, 2008 10:59 PM
WOW! I can't beleive Loretta Lynn is still touring. I know many of you aren't country fans, but she is the real deal. (Side note: She's very kind in person.) I'm glad she can still draw a crowd.
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