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.Tweet
This is wonderful news for Central Florida.
Legoland Florida is a huge win-win for all of us theme park geeks.
Back me up parents ... Legos ain't cheap!
But I still think that Cypress Gardens was killed more by location than anything else. I just think its plain too far away from Disney/Universal/Sea World on or near I-4
To do well, Legoland needs to draw the locals in.
And (once again) Legoland's model does not require attendance beyond a couple of million guests (about 5,000 a day) in order to succeed.
I have not been to the LL park in CA but I would imagine that it might attract a younger crowd than Busch Gardens or Universal. WDW still has the Magic Kingdom, of course, and so I don't foresee too many young visitors (and their older escorts) being siphoned from there.
I have been to Cypress Gardens within the last five yrs and although they added some "rides" my two sons were completely bored. LL might be just what the area needs, IF they are looking to attract visitors, of course.
There will be an initial increase in employment which is a BIG plus and their business model suggests they only need 5000 visitors per day to do well, but I am willing to bet a bucket of legos that in the end it's not going to work as planned.
WDW and USF offer something for EVERYBODY. Legoland will offer Legos (I know there will be more to it than that,so no sarcastic replies please, but you get what I mean).
I just think the culture of the Orlando area is getting more mature and WDW and USF has both kiddies and adults covered. In my humble opinion what Orlando needs is a kickass gigacoaster park. The biggest exciting news lately were for Manta and Rip Ride Rocket. People want these exciting and cutting edge attractions.
I have nothing against legos. I had tons as a kid learned new and adventurous language when my parents stepped on them in their bare feet (ultimately reducing my inventory of Legos).
I hope they are very sucessful and will def visit the park once.
Additionally, Merlin has loads of cash and experience to make it work. As long as LL-Florida is ran as competently as LL-California, it is a guaranteed success. It'll draw tons of locals and siphon off enough tourists from Orlando to do around 2 million guests, which is plenty enough for it to make a profit.
Also, LL-Florida has little to do with the Lego store in Downtown Disney. LL is part of Merlin while the stores are part of Lego. Two completely different companies (although the family behind Lego does own a minority share in Merlin).
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