Merlin confirms Central Florida is in the running for second US Legoland

Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:34 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A spokesperson for Merlin Entertainment Group confirmed to WESH that the company is considering Central Florida as the location for a second US Legoland park. Possible locations vary from Winter Haven to Kissimee.

Read more from WESH/Orlando.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:21 PM

Winterhaven? that is so "off the beaten path"!. Its relatively close to I-4 but does Legoland have the popularity to lure people?

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 1:03 PM

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Legoland was looking to build a park in Missouri somewhere?? Did those plans fall through??

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:15 PM

^You're thinking of the Kansas City venture from a couple years' back, right? I think I remember seeing some info about that at *around* the same time as Schlitterbahn announced their KC park.

As for Winter Haven, it IS apparently too far from "the beaten path," as my fellow Floridian mentioned...otherwise, we'd still have Starliner to ride.

As nice as LegoLand Cali was, I'd be thrilled to havve another one closer by... Dragon coaster was an absolute blast! :)

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:16 PM
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 2:29 PM

Build it close to WDW and you can bet on me going there.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:41 PM

I'm surprised no one put two and two together. If Winter Haven is a serious contender then I would say it's pretty obvious that they intend to purchase Cypress Gardens and convert it into a Legoland Park. I'm sure the current owners of Cypress Gardens would be happy to dispose of the park and with some of the infrastructure already in place it would cut down on the costs for Merlin. They have a strong brand and the park showed a lot of life in the kiddie department under the ownership of Kent Buescher. He would still own that park if it weren't for the hurricane and the insurance nonsense.

It may also bring new life to two family friendly wooden coasters that I believe are still sitting on site.

Last edited by egieszl, Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:42 PM
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:55 PM

^Eric, clearly my line of thinking was thinking "Winter Haven killed one park, hopefully the good people at Lego are smart enough to recognize a substandard location when they see one". Then again, maybe not? If it were my millions at $take, I'd stick closer to the Mouse/I-4 corridor...even down by the Convention Center there's plenty of land for a VERY viable business. Winter Haven is just too far out, IMO...

edit: I do realize that I'm cutting "slitting my own throat", Starliner is an absolute gem. But Cypress' "convenient to nowhere" location is to me a primary reason for the park's failure (along with the obvious hurricanes/insurance fiascoes).

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:56 PM
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 5:04 PM

Interesting they were looking at the old Splendid China site... that would have put the park closer to Animal Kingdom then any of the other Disney parks!

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 5:30 PM

Gator, I was also thinking anywhere along 528 between the airport and I-4 would be optimum for grabbing incoming Orlando visitors. Winterhaven...as with any city along US 27 (except Sebring) just looks depressing.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009 7:49 AM

Apparently none of you have boys ages 4-14. If a Legoland is dropped anywhere in Florida (or even Georgia for that matter): even smack in the middle of the Everglades, I will be making regular trips there. Heck...my son has been begging me to fly all the way out to California.

And, while $63 might seem a lofty ticket price...have you seen the prices on Lego sets these days?

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009 4:16 PM

But doesn't Busch get some serious traffic? They sell joint tickets with Orlando and Tampa attractions so someone must be willing to go the distance to get to another park.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009 4:54 PM

^To get to an Anheuser-Busch park, one that's been established in Tampa for many years, and is convenient as heck directly off the Interstate. The I-4 corridor (and its ancillary roads like 528), to me at least, is key to establishing something new in terms of an FEC/full-fledged park. Route 27, 12-18 months ago looking like a growing thoroughfare, now looks increasingly deserted every time I find myself driving on it.

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