Cypress Gardens cutting weekdays in September

Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 11:14 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Cypress Gardens will experiment by closing Monday through Thursday in September. They have not decided if the reduced hours will carry into October.

Read more from The St. Petersburg Times.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:32 AM
I read this in the St. Pete Times this morning. The paper was sitting outside the hotel room, and there's the article on the front page. Not at all surprising....weird it didn't happen last year. Hopefully they'll figure out some sort of Halloween schedule - that park has some perfect natural haunt areas...like the banyan tree. :)
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 2:05 AM
Hmmm. I don't think this says much about Cypress Gardens but rather about how good Disney has gotten at keeping their visitors on property.

The Magic Kingdom alone did over 17 million people in 2007. That's an average of almost 47,000 people per day.

In comparison, this article quotes the park as saying they see days during the week in the fall with as few as 50 people in the park.

Ouch.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:49 AM
Cypress Gardens doesn't need Magic Kingdom numbers to be successful, so the Disney figures are impressive, but irrelevant. I don't think the article infers anything about Disney's ability to keep guests on property. Since reopening when has Cypress Gardens really put much effort into trying to draw Disney guests off-property?

This policy change simply reaffirms what was already known when Cypress Gardens reopened that it cannot depend on Orlando visitors. The operating policy change is overdue since Cypress Gardens has shifted their focus to the local audience, not the Orlando visitor, but their operating schedule in the past two years hasn't reflected that.

The new owners of Cypress Gardens got the park for a bargain and there is no reason why they cannot turn a profit on this property by focusing on locals.

*** This post was edited by egieszl 7/30/2008 6:10:04 AM ***

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 8:34 AM
Damn it! I'm going on my honeymoon in Sept and we added Cypress Gardens to the agenda!! GRRR
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:57 PM

This policy change simply reaffirms what was already known when Cypress Gardens reopened that it cannot depend on Orlando visitors.

Because the big parks (specifically Disney) have them so wrapped up.


Cypress Gardens doesn't need Magic Kingdom numbers to be successful, so the Disney figures are impressive, but irrelevant.

Except that it gives an idea of how many people Cypress Gardens isn't attracting. Obviously they don't need Disney numbers, but I think the business idea was that with that many people in the general area, the overflow alone could sustain the park. Picking up 1-in-1000 of the visitors Disney gets isn't working.


The new owners of Cypress Gardens got the park for a bargain and there is no reason why they cannot turn a profit on this property by focusing on locals.

I tend to agree. Unless, of course, those 50 people a day were generally locals. ;)

Seriously, I understand Cypress Gardens is 35 miles away, but with all the people passing through Orlando, you'd think they could pull way more than 50 a day just by putting brochures or rack cards in all the hotels or tourist stops in Orlando.

I think the fact that it doesn't happen and the idea that locals need to support the park says a lot about how well the big parks (again, specifically Disney) retain their guests.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:41 PM
If Cypress were "on the way" from Orlando to Tampa, with a major road running past, they'd pick up a MUCH better percentage of the Orlando traffic. You'd have been astonished at the number of Brits at BGT/A the past few days (we made impromptu stops on Sunday and Tuesday). Clearly Busch in TAMPA is picking up a nice chunk of the international visitors...

The point I'm trying to make....too far from I-4 to Cypress....

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:33 PM
I see your points Gonch. People typically only have so many days of vacation and with four theme parks and two water parks at Disney there is already too much for them to do in a typical vacation.

September is a very slow month for the Orlando parks in general, so the already few tourists making the trek to Winter Haven is probably just that many fewer.

To the honeymooner Cypress Gardens is still going to be open Friday - Sunday.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:45 AM
I have to agree - the average 'international visitor' is there for two weeks and already has a head swimming with the amount of parks they need to do.

i've spoken to many from here in the UK who simply say "cypress gardens - oh is that the one down south?" clearly meaning Busch....

The only reason i found out about CG was through rcdb.com - i was generally nosing at all the parks in florida specifically to see what else besides disney, universal and the AB-Group parks was worth a visit!

As it stands, i've since made it a priority to find out about as many 'off the beaten track' places as possible, including silver springs further up north and places like Boggy Creek etc.... soooo much more in FL than just the big parks!

What they should do as well is shout at the international travel agents "hey!!! we're not in your brochures but we're bigger than gatorland!!!"

just my $0.02...

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