Legoland owner buys Cypress Gardens
It looks like Merlin Entertainments Group, the owner of Legoland California and a slew of parks thoughout Europe, has bought the defunct Cypress Gardens park
What this means? Your guess is as good as mine. Stuck in a lousy location away from Florida's major highways, Cypress Gardens has never had great success, though its won fans during its various incarnations over the years.
Some folks seem to hope that Cypress Gardens could become the site of a new Legoland Florida. Merlin's been rebuffed so far in its attempts to find a site for a second U.S. Legoland in the Midwest. And Legoland did select Carlsbad in Southern California for its first U.S. park, rather than building in more traditional tourist areas near Anaheim, San Diego or Los Angeles.
But Merlin owns many brand names, so there's no reason why the company couldn't try to give a Cypress Gardens-branded amusement park a go.
If nothing else, PLEASE save the Starliner Roller Coaster! It was already saved once and moved to Cypress Gardens.
According to Screamscape, most every ride in the park is up for sale (including
I think Legoland might be trotting in dangerous territory. Universal got in there when Disney only had two parks, and look what Disney did - immediately built a new theme park.
It will be interesting to watch to see what they do, but everyone has to remember Legoland doesn't go for the same large crowds as WDW, S.w. or USF goes for. I think I remember they are usually about 2 million a year were it's more like 8 to 10 (guessing) for the other parks. Location is my only concern, but if they build it, I will go check it out as a local, never been to a Legoland...
As that line in the movie goes" If you build it, they will come". If Merlin does put in a Legoland at Cypress Gardens, and does major advertising untill it's established in the market, it'll do fine.
I doubt any of the major chains will build another park in response to this. Honestly, I doubt Disney will ever build another full scale park. Their existing parks need a LOT of work before they even consider building a new park. Universal just spent millions on Harry Potter - I doubt a new park is in their budget. BG/Seaworld just opened Aquatica not even 2 years ago so I doubt a new park is in their future.
Love the idea. Merlin has a terrific track record and if they decide to leave Cypress the way it is, build a new Legoland, or create some sort of hybrid; this site might actually become successful.
Merlin are second in the industry in terms of size, I'm sure they will have the resources and expertise to pull off opening another Legoland in the already competitive market of Florida.
I went to Cypress gardens in the 80s. Don't remember any rides at the time, other than the boat ride through the canals with beatiful gardens adorned with girls in Southern belle outfits. Oh, yeah, and the water ski show. I think if they preserved some of the original gardens for the retro vibe, and built a legoland along with it would be great! I would make the trek out there.
So once again, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, and Cypress Gardens are all under the same corporate umbrella: Blackstone. I've only been to CG once and agree with another poster that it's an add-on park, hopefully Merlin can make it successful again. While Legoland would attract tourists back to Winter Haven I hope they can keep part of the "classic" CG intact. It's not Cypress Gardens without a water-ski show.
Even though Blackstone owns control of both Merlin and SeaWorld, those are seperate companies with their own management.
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