Legoland Florida opening October 15

Posted Monday, May 23, 2011 12:12 PM | Contributed by Jeff

It’s official: Legoland Florida will open on Oct. 15. Following several days of hints, the theme park’s management posted an announcement on Facebook early Monday morning saying the attraction will open that date at the former Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven. Oct. 15 is a Saturday.

Read more from The Ledger.

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Monday, May 23, 2011 10:20 PM

Locally there is very little excitement on this.. at least that I have seen so far. I am very curious to see how this park does and hope it doesn't join it's predecessor.

Monday, May 23, 2011 10:33 PM

Really? Maybe it has died down, but when they had their open house at the Orange Dome, it was packed, and had a decent crowd waiting more than a half hour before it started. They also sold a ton of those lifetime passes, plus season passes from what I understand.

Monday, May 23, 2011 11:18 PM

Admittedly I am no where near the target demographic..

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:24 AM

I am in Ft Lauderdale and we are watching all of the news about this. I have an 8 year old boy and a 5 year old girl and they are anxious.

AAA Florida has a deal right now where you can buy an adult annual pass and get a child's annual pass for free. We will be doing that for sure.

If Cypress Gardens doesn't make it as Legoland then it won't make it as anything in my opinion. The only real downside of the place will be in the support services in the City. I'm not sure how much Winter Haven will benefit from the place until they build up their hotel occupancy. I think a lot of families will make home in Orlando and day trip out to Legoland as part of their week vacation in O-town.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 9:00 AM

Oh, here we go with the hotel crap again. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:32 AM

Not sure what hotel crap you are referring to. But, if Winter Haven and the surrounding community is going to truly benefit from the Legoland crowds then they need to have some infrastructure in place. As I understand it they have about 4 "chain" hotels which might be...what...1,000 rooms or less?

I know some folks in influential roles in Winter Haven who have identified their lack of hotel space, kid friendly activities (outside of Legoland), etc as major obstacles to the potential success of Legoland...not to mention the ability of the community to capitalize on the visitors.

My guess is that there is a pretty sizable Florida Resident demographic like me who would like to be able to visit Legoland without dealing with the Kissimmee craziness. Even if we do come up and stay 45 minutes to an hour away over on 192 then our tourist dollars aren't even in the same county, let alone the same city.

It is something that needs to be addressed...and my understanding is they have had a number of meetings with local business leaders to do just that. The problem, as I see it, is that the hotel owners may be waiting to see if Legoland is sustainable yet Legoland may not be sustainable without the hotel owners. No one wants to put the cart before the horse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:37 AM

But wahoo, if they needed a hotel, they would have built one already. ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 12:19 PM

I think he had the good sense to not read that nonsense, and as such probably has no idea what you're talking about.

But it really is a chicken/egg problem when it comes to building hotels in Winter Haven. I mean, you can't even go see a Tribe game there anymore.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:01 PM

Yeah, I admit I'm a bit lost in the conversation. I understand a Legoland Hotel will be part of a Phase II expansion but I don't know the timing on that.

Winter Haven was a great place to watch the Tribe though I understand the team was pretty disappointed with the facilities (and lack of upgrades) the last few years they were there. Their workout facility was in an outdoor "barn", for lack of a better word. Apparently the City doesn't miss the Indians any more than the Indians miss the City but that was a huge loss for me as a displaced Tribe follower.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:05 PM

No, there were two other threads where some dude insists that if a hotel were sustainable near SFGAdv, it would already exist.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:08 PM

Sort of like how Disney didn't need more hotels after the Poly and Contemporary opened? Eisner was obviously a knucklehead for building all of the other resorts when he got to town in the 80s.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:03 PM

How I wish I was "in the dark" regarding all the ohtel discussion...

If LegoLand needed a hotel, they'd already have built one....presumably out of Legos!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:43 PM

I am hopeful that this gets off the ground in a big way, both for the park and for Winter Haven. I could see that the area just outside the park on Cypress Gardens Blvd. was waiting to try and boom into a US250/192-like area, and I can see another similar stretch popping up on 27, if things go right.

But they really do need to get at least a few hotels up close to the park on Cypress Gardens Blvd. or 27 soon. Hopefully with the business and revenue from park patrons, the downtown area and west end can be tidied up a bit.

When Legoland goes to their Phase II plan with the hotel and water park it will be interesting to see how they approach the hotel especially. Given the distance from both Tampa and especially Orlando, they won't get tourists unless they drove down or rented a car. So I would bet on it being marketed directly to the Floridians, which, given the big response I've seen and heard, I'm surprised they haven't looked at moving ahead with the hotel portion ahead of schedule. I think the "stay-cation" segment will be huge for this park.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3:07 PM

Didn't I hear about making 27 a major highway from I-4 in order to allow for easier travel to the park, or was that way back in the park's other incarnation? I think that that is important to the parks success as well as hotels. My friend Google tells me that there are about seven hotels on 540, near the park.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3:30 PM

The chain hotels are in the downtown area, around where the Tribe's spring training facility was. Besides being in a more residential area, that part of town isn't exactly something that I would want tourists seeing or staying in. Not that is is actually bad, but it doesn't look like the Disney resort area either. It is definitely a town that appears to have kind of stuck in time around the 70s/80s apart from new/remodeled fast food places and a few hotels. Very sleepy town, and one that is definitely in need of an economic boost like Legoland.


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