E-mail link says Cypress Gardens will be Legoland Florida

Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:19 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Merlin Entertainment will announce Thursday that the company plans to open a Legoland amusement park at the old Cypress Gardens site, an e-mail sent to a county commissioner reveals.

Read more from The Ledger.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:59 PM

I think I will hold my opinion until I see concept drawings and if the state is going to help them out with roads. At this point though it doesn't sound good based on what people who have been there, say it takes to get there. At this point if I went to Orlando I think I'd have to stay with the Big 3 rather than go that far out of the way.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:27 PM

I like this idea and really hope it works out well for Merlin!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:42 PM

How many of the rides are still parked there?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:57 PM

I think only the wood coasters and Island in the Sky.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:24 PM

I have a feeling they'd be able to make a go of it regardless of the driving time. I don't think the capital investment is anything near a Harry Potter investment and the other parks don't really offer something comprehensive like that for the age group. And even if down the line Disney or Universal try to up their offerings for the demographic, you just can't beat the name recognition.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:43 PM

Be interesting to see. I think Disney does okay in the Legoland demographic, but the CA park is considered a success with only about 1.8M annual visitors or so (guesstimating from some '07 numbers), and Cypress pulled 1.4M in '05. So, they don't exactly need to blow the doors off if they have the capital to invest and the patience to invest it.

http://www.ecypress.com/news.htm

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 4:47 PM

mwatts said:
I think I will hold my opinion until I see concept drawings and if the state is going to help them out with roads. At this point though it doesn't sound good based on what people who have been there, say it takes to get there. At this point if I went to Orlando I think I'd have to stay with the Big 3 rather than go that far out of the way.

The park doesn't need Orlando tourists to survive. The local population and surrounding communities alone can support this attraction.

For the record, Cypress Gardens is a simple drive from Orlando or Tampa. The roads are fine.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:33 PM

LEGO is an incredibly powerful brand. With a great infrastructure already in place and a well-laid-out waterpark, they are more than halfway there.

LEGO models will look great mixed in with the topiary gardens and if they can build a hotel or two, the place will be able to offer two-day passes with guests staying right next door.

If they want to add a few generic flats, they already have the concrete bases and electrical hook-up, and if they want to operate them, there's two great wood coasters already sitting on property.

This looks like a win-win for both Merlin and Cypress

Last edited by john peck, Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:34 PM
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 5:48 PM

Agreed.

They could also toss in a Robocoaster or three as well.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 6:13 PM

egieszl said:
The park doesn't need Orlando tourists to survive. The local population and surrounding communities alone can support this attraction.

Are you suggesting that the product has just been all wrong the last few years?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 6:22 PM

egieszl said

The park doesn't need Orlando tourists to survive. The local population and surrounding communities alone can support this attraction.

For the record, Cypress Gardens is a simple drive from Orlando or Tampa. The roads are fine.

If this was the case then why hasn't this park previously been successful? For the sake of your argument let's say they don't need to pull from Orlando, they can still lose locals to Orlando quite easy I'm sure. I'm just going by what many on these forums and other forums have said about the roads and getting to the park, as I am not from the area or ever visited the park. But I've also read the investment will be 150 Million dollars so they will not need to draw in the large amount of visitors the major parks in the area need to do.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 6:32 PM

Jeff said:

egieszl said:
The park doesn't need Orlando tourists to survive. The local population and surrounding communities alone can support this attraction.

Are you suggesting that the product has just been all wrong the last few years?

I wouldn't say it was all wrong, but with the Legoland name and what it represents, along with Merlin being a part of Blackstone which now owns the Busch parks, I foresee alot of package deals with Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, and Legoland Florida.

It's just an all around better situation this time around.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:24 PM

Richard Bannister said:
How many of the rides are still parked there?

It's my understanding that pretty much only the wood coasters remain, although rumours as to them being relocated elsewhere persist. I can't imagine that they're in the best of shape by now either. That being said I doubt that they will be a part of Merlin's plans for the park.

I've visited Cypress Gardens four times, the first occasion being close to 25 years ago. Whilst the place has always been pleasant enough, it's always - for me at least - had that "afterthought" feel about it. Which of course is exactly what it is. There's never been anything like enough local trade to keep it in business, and it's just too far removed from the sharp end of Orlando to tempt tourists in sufficient numbers.

I hope I'm proved completely wrong, but I simply can't see this changing in Merlin's hands. A Legoland Florida would be an unmitigated winner if it were to be located within sight of I-Drive or similar, but Winter Haven is simply too far and Lego bricks too unappealing to drag most folks away from the easy lure of Mickey, Spidey and Harry.

Still, it's a better option than Myrtle Beach.........

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:37 PM

Can anyone tell me if I am correct in this.

The proposed high speed rail from tampa to disney and OIA
should pass close to here ? with a Shuttle from I-4 to the park .


If merlin jumps on board could they get a stop on that high speed rail ?

A triple play ticket that includes Sea world,Busch gardens,and Legoland with included (high speed train) ticket.


Kevin38

Last edited by kevin38, Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:44 PM
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:40 PM

kevin38 said:
The proposed high speed rail from tampa to disney and OIA
should pass close to here ?

If merlin jumps on board could they get a stop on that high speed rail ?

Maybe. But - just to imagine for a moment - if a high speed rail link has Disney/Universal at one end and Busch Gardens Tampa at the other, how many people do you think will be getting off at a Legoland? :)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:47 PM

^ Hopefully a good number because Legoland is gonna need all the support it can to get going.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:51 PM

IIRC, Disney has already stated (albeit 5-7 years ago now) that the high-speed rail could stop at Disney *or* at other Central Florida tourist destinations, but not both. Might seem like some pretty strong-armed tactics for a Mouse...but this is one, ummm, Mighty Mouse... ;)

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:33 PM

It seems to me that once built Disney would have a quick change of heart. They wouldn't sit around while all the other parks got to take advantage of the rail. It's just a way Disney can keep all their patrons on site and never leave.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:59 PM

I'm going to go out on a limb and say a Legoland at Cypress will work. Plopping the Lego brand in there will be the equivalent of dropping a Shamu in there. Now, I'm not suggesting it will do Sea World numbers but I think it will be enough to sustain the park over the long term. And, I think Legos will compliment the Gardens.

I've spent an awful lot of money on legos for my typical 7 year old boy. I've considered a trip to California.

I'll say this; if Legos don't work there then nothing will.

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