Theme Park in Miami?

Monday, February 16, 2004 12:54 PM
I was just a few years old but I remember my one and only trip to Pirate World in Dania. It would close that year. A few years later, bitten by the bug, I was excited to hear about plans for an amusement park being proposed for Watson Island. Not to be. A few years after that developers were going to put up an amusement park in Miami Beach. Shot down. An indoor ice-themed park by Bayside? Not gonna fly. A movie studio park in Homestead? Pipe dream. Wayne Huizenga's "Wayne's World" park? That one almost happened, until Blockbuster sold itself to Viacom and that too was dead.

So I guess I shouldn't get my hopes too high for this from yesterday's Herald:

It seems as if Metrozoo is going to propose a 20 acre water park along with a 20 acre entertainment center. If all goes well, a hotel and a theme park will follow.

Any thoughts on this?

Yep, I know that those pesky afternoon thunderstorms in the summer doomed Six Flags Atlantis -- but the problem is just as bad -- if not worse -- for central Florida and it has 5 water parks. As it stands, Metrozoo would be in a choice position as the nearest water park is about a 1 1/2 hour drive away with the Rapids in West Palm Beach.

I think this is a brilliant idea and it might very well pave the way for South Florida to finally build an amusement park.

Monday, February 16, 2004 2:00 PM
Well, I'm not holding my breath ... although, I've have been since 1999. That's five years now!

That's when they announced a *very good* possibility (almost a done deal, yeah right?) of the Whitewater Group's (I think that's who it was) Water/Theme Park for Florida City w/Coasters! In the middle of nowhere @ the South End of the Florida Turnpike (no homes, *relatively* close by) and ... across the street from a high school!

Now Miami wants to put all that noise, an more traffic, right next to the Metro Zoo ... don't think so! Residental and Commercial property totally surround the Zoo!

Monday, February 16, 2004 8:24 PM
Actually, the daily afternoon thunderstorms are about equal for both the Miami area as well as central Florida and Tampa Bay, but what really kills Miami is the hurricane track. I don't realistically see it happening, but it never hurts to keep one's fingers crossed.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 12:49 AM
Crystal, good point on the hurricane track -- though Miami has really only been hit by one hurricane (Andrew 1992) in 50 years or so.

CC, as far as the area goes Metrozoo has a huge piece of land -- about 300 acres. Obviously you have significant issues when you combine rides with animal habitats though it certainly hasn't stopped places like Wild Adventures, Busch Gardens, Animal Kingdom, Hersheypark, etc. from merging the elements.

They added a carousel last year, which is a start. I think they realize that they have trouble drawing less than 500,000 guests open 365 days a year while the Fair Expo attracted 770,000 guests -- spending more per guest -- in 2 1/2 weeks last year.

I think this will be a huge hit for Metrozoo (if it happens), in part because it already has a built-in audience of half a million guests who will be there annually.

As for the theme park, once Kent's done with Cypress Gardens I wonder if he can connect the dots. He went 3-4 hours south of Valdosta to Cypress Gardens. Another 3-4 hours south and he would have another project trying to combine elements he is all too familiar with.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004 6:53 AM
It's not quite so much getting actually hit with the brunt of a hurricane, but simply being in the path and the chaos that creates with traffic, airlines, planned evacuations, and so forth. That would mean a lot of lost revenue for a large park, though I don't know of the exact legal issues of when / how they'd have to close as a storm approaches.

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