Miami-Dade wants to build theme park around Zoo Miami

Posted Monday, January 21, 2013 9:16 AM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The county is reviving a stalled plan to develop oodles of vacant land it owns around Zoo Miami, and its goal is hardly modest: No less than a South Miami-Dade version of the Universal Studios theme park, with maybe some Downtown Disney thrown in for good measure.

Read more from The Miami Herald.

Monday, January 21, 2013 10:55 AM
LostKause's avatar

That area really needs a good theme park. One would argue that Orlando, the theme park capitol of the world, is nearby, but it's 3.5 hours away.

Edited to add the letter "s".

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:39 AM
Monday, January 21, 2013 11:42 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Hmmm. Not so sure. They couldn't support the Dania Beach Hurricane. Nor the Six Flags waterpark back in the 80's.

Maybe it would work in Miami proper? Who knows? Always seemed like a city that skewed younger & single and had a different vibe than most places where you'd plunk down a theme park. Then again, I lived there 20 years ago and have only visited once since then.

Also the 3 hours to Orlando is really just a day trip by most standards. Do you build a park a day trip away from Disney, Universal, etc.?

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, January 21, 2013 11:42 AM
Monday, January 21, 2013 2:49 PM

Sure you do!

I'm always for a new park, and look at BGT...they do pretty good business and they're closer than Miami. Not saying yet another new park would be successful when going up against all the big guns, but I'd be happy to see them try.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Monday, January 21, 2013 4:11 PM
bjames's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Also the 3 hours to Orlando is really just a day trip by most standards. Do you build a park a day trip away from Disney, Universal, etc.?

I wouldn't consider 7 hours of traveling a day trip.

Monday, January 21, 2013 4:16 PM

Just a little farther away to the north is myrtle beach

and they can support a new theme park ...Ohh wait nevermind

Monday, January 21, 2013 5:20 PM
kpjb's avatar

I would build a park three hours from Orlando, however I think building "a version of Universal with Downtown Disney thrown in" is a horrible idea.

I think to make it work, they shouldn't try to compete with the big boys, but rather offer something different. Keep it more traditional and less theme-y. I'd model it after what is now at the Columbus Zoo and go from there.


Monday, January 21, 2013 10:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

bjames said:

I wouldn't consider 7 hours of traveling a day trip.

Neither would I. But I've been here a long time and I can assure you that the room considers within 3 hours a 'day trip' - it's been discussed many times over the years.

Regardless, kpjb has the idea. You don't compete with Disney & Universal 3 hours away from Disney & Universal.

Something small with a decent coaster and some other rides seems like the most reasonable approach. But I just can't help noticing that it didn't really play out well for Boomers. Is 23 miles the game changer here?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:02 AM

There is a big difference between 3 hours away and 3.5 hours away. I would argue that 3 hours is a day trip, because I did that multiple times a year when I went to KI from Toledo. However, I would just barely make it home without stopping to rest from a 10:00 pm close (and for my annual trip to the Haunt I would always stay over.) I did 3.5 hours as a day trip once, South Bend to Cedar Point. I was exhausted and despite it being a Halloweekend Sunday (open 11 to 8) me and my travel group decided to pack it in and head home at 5pm because it was too much.

2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:03 PM

I think the failure of the DBH had less to do about Boomers and more to do with the owners of the DBH. W hile it was AT Boomers it was a separate company.

I was just at Zoo Miami this past Sunday. They have made some nice upgrades in the zoo and there certainly seems to be plenty of land around it for some type of expansion or new gate. I have no idea about the demographics though and I've never been at that zoo when it felt really busy. There is a Railroad Museum with model railroading as well as some real train rides. Thomas the Tank comes in periodically. It is a separate attraction accessible from the zoo parking lot.

I'd say they would have more success with a water park than with an amusement park. If I were planning it I'd at least start with the water park and maybe go from there.

Boomers has the better location, in my opinion. Keep in mind that Boomers is close to the property that used to be occupied by Six Flags Atlantis water park. That property is now a large outdoor shopping area. I think the land values typically don't justify amusement attractions. Perhaps a lease on county owned land at the zoo would be more reasonable and give the place a chance to make a profit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:03 PM
LostKause's avatar

The Zoo in Columbus is a nice model to look at when considering an amusement park gate side-by-side with a zoo.


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