Who wins, and who loses, with Legoland in Florida?
Written by Robert Niles
Today's announcement that Legoland Florida will open in late 2011 should get Central Florida theme park officials and fans thinking about how a new park in the area will play out for existing theme park attractions.Tweet
Legoland's John Jakobsen at today's press conference, as the park's first 100,000 Lego bricks are dropped to the ground. Photo courtesy Legoland Florida.
Is this a net "win" for evereyone? Or will Legoland Florida change visitation patterns, potentially siphoning visitors from other theme parks?
Let's start with Busch Gardens Tampa. Will having a new theme park south of the Orlando area encourage more visitors to make the drive down on I-4, potentially drawing more toward Busch Gardens' Tampa location? Or will visitors who would have been okay anyway with driving down simply choose Legoland instead of Busch Gardens on their next trip, instead of devoting an extra day for south-of-Orlando parks?
Walt Disney World's worked hard at creating ticket and hotel packages that encourage visitors to spend their entire week at Disney. If those visitors can "sneak away" to other parks only for a day or two - will Legoland take traffic away from Universal Orlando or SeaWorld?
Or... will Legoland entice more families with elementary-age kids to visit Orlando, increasing the overall market for Disney, as well as Universal and the SeaWorld parks?
I dunno. That's why I'm kicking all these questions to you. Let's hear your thoughts about how Legoland Florida will affect other Central Florida theme parks, in the comments.
Update: For what it's worth, the backdrop behind the lectern at today's press conference included images of these attractions:
(You can find write-ups and reviews of these rides on our Legoland California page.)
Legoland Florida has not yet announced an attraction line-up, but I'll presume that these are on the initial list.
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