Cypress Gardens announces the Starliner
Though Cypress Gardens
has filed for bankruptcy protection
, it has announced plans for a huge expansion that includes the relocation of the legendary Starliner that once called Panama City Beach, Fla. home.
The expansion plans also call for a large kids area with 13 new kids rides and shows themed to insects, called "A Bugsville Adventure." More big name musical acts such as country music legend,Charlie Pride, and Engelburt Humperdink have also been announced.
And something that has shocked me personally, owner Kent Buescher, after calling Cypress Gardens the Wal-Mart of theme parks, has announced that not only do they not plan on raising prices for 2007, but they also plan on giving annual pass holders from other Florida parks free admission until Dec 24th of this year. With plenty of rides and a water park already, these additions will make a fun day at Floridas oldest theme park, which celebrates its 70th year, even more so in the year to come.
Oh, yeah. After all the problems and disasters that C.G. went through the last couple of years, this makes sense. You've got a Florida legend park that is nigh onto a state historical marker. If this type of "one last shot in the arm" to revive it works, then, the folks who own it will profit. Heck, it would be kinda cool for them to offer an expansion area for GatorLand to move into. ;)
I am sure glad to see park management making an effort to keep this park going. Although I have never been to C.G. myself, I have been to the 'sister' park Wild Adventures in Valdosta, GA and know that these folks have a fine operation. Although there are no record breaking coasters, the parks are very clean, family-friendly, and offer a genuine day of fun. My Wild Adventures 'passport' (season pass) is also good at Cypress Gardens and I plan on visiting Florida's oldest park real soon.
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