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Cypress Gardens to close all rides, Nov. 17

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Published: November 10, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Just got the press release via e-mail:

After months of exhaustive analysis by park officials and owners, Florida’s first theme park, Cypress Gardens, will temporarily close on Monday, November 17th, for a major renovation. With a reopening scheduled for March of 2009, the plans include expanding the wildly popular water park, while preserving the history and nostalgia of the original park, with a focus on the original botanical gardens and their worldwide notoriety. The ski show shall continue as part of the original park experience. The existing animal area and the ride area will be permanently closed. “The operating expense of running 38 amusement rides, a zoo, the botanical gardens, a ski show, and a water park are considerable,” said Cypress Gardens co-owner Rob Harper. “It is obvious the park cannot successfully function as four parks in one. We have some exciting new plans that everyone will be thrilled to see come March,” Harper added.

The last day at the park, as it is now, will be Sunday, Nov. 16. No word yet on the fate of remaining rides at the park. Thoughts?

Readers' Opinions

From Jordan Siegert on November 10, 2008 at 1:19 PM
Ive lived in Fl all my life and still have never been to Cypress Gardens--ive always just gone to Orlando, yet sad to see the park restructure like this, but im sure it's for the good
From Susan Pfeil on November 10, 2008 at 2:17 PM
I believe we spoke about the direction of Cypress Gardens when they sold a year or so ago. I expressed Cypress Gardens needed to keep to its original formula and remove all the rides. Glad to see they are moving in that direction.

Two enhancements I would add: A little train that picks up and drops off guests around the gardens (just like the gardens in Sydney, Australia). Secondly, in time, build a beautiful glass greenhouse and fill with exotic plants. Can't wait to visit the park when it opens.

From Mike K on November 10, 2008 at 3:13 PM
They should keep Starliner and Triple Hurricane. Or at least keep them operational one day a week for an hour or two. They are great coasters.
From steve lee on November 10, 2008 at 9:21 PM
It does seem rather ridiculous to orphan Starliner after they just got it relocated. I've heard pretty good things about it, so I was hoping to check out the park in December.

Oops. Now I know how my friends who were going to check out Hard Rock Park in October felt.

From Robert Niles on November 10, 2008 at 10:45 PM
If Hard Rock doesn't answer the bell, along with this news, there might be some fine coasters available on the market.

That might sound like good news for coaster fans in other markets, but if that leads to fewer orders for coaster manufacturers in a down economy, that could eventually lead to bad news for coaster fans everywhere.

From David Sutter on November 11, 2008 at 6:11 AM
Well its a sad day. It appears to be very true Cypress Gardens is closing ita rides section this sunday.
Just read about it. And some of the plans for the "new Cypress Gardens".
Moving the parking lot area back to its original location. That would be the ride area folks. And also stated the Starliner and Triple Hurricane will be removed.
Now here comes the kicker..So will the small zoo..No real plans have been ecked out yet but one area that will remain and be expanded is "Splash Island" their waterpark.
Theres no word about the concert series..but with what is planned the Concert stage and seating will be gone also.
Id like to see some of the attractions worked into the new plan that would inclued the Satrliner which is a Robert Allen Woodie..one of the last he designed. And worth saving. The double decker Victorian Merry go round. And retheme the Paridise Sky Wheel with new cars...I do agree with the removel of the flate rides...... Well one things for sure ill be there this Sunday and enjoy the park for one last time...And more then likely never go again...While I admit the Gardens are great and i enjoy them. But theres not enough in them to make a whole day of it. And the water park aspect..not a major fan of them...
So I wish them nothing but success, But this reader may just have spent his last dime there come sunday...

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