Remembering Cypress Gardens

Were you there for Cypress Gardens' last day? Even if you weren't, if you'd like to share a few memories or thoughts about the park from a previous visit, here's the place.

From Anonymous
Posted April 15, 2003 at 11:23 AM
"Florida's first theme park" closed, with very short notice.

Although it was not a "thrill park" like today's theme parks, it was one of Florida's defining attractions for many decades.

Cypress Gardens, R.I.P.

[Were you there for Cypress Gardens' last day? Even if you weren't, if you'd like to share a few memories or thoughts about the park from a previous visit, here's the place.--Robert]

From Russell Meyer
Posted April 15, 2003 at 12:46 PM
Unfortunate, but it seemed to be innevidable since it always ended up on the bottom of my list of things to do in Florida. As new parks are added, and parks increase in size, there's just not enough time to do everything in central Florida in a week's vacation. Cyprus Gardens may be the first official casualty of IOA, even though they don't compete directly, that day spent at IOA, for some people, used to be a day spent a Cyprus Gardens. What's worse is that all of the stunt skiiers that are out of work with SWO's show shut down and now Cyprus Gardens closed, what are they going to do now?

From Philip Curds
Posted April 15, 2003 at 1:53 PM
I remember the good old days at Cypress Gardens, a relaxing stroll around the gardens with the parents, the ski show of fun, tricks and frolics and the boat ride through the swamp area of the park. Plus, that tower spiral ride like Sea World with the shops and little restaurants, ah yes, Cypress Gardens was pointless for a thrill-ride enthuiast but different from the rest, that is to be sure.

Is Busch in trouble, the themepark division that is? With the closure of Cypress Gardens, ski show at Sea World Orlando, and only two years ago the selling off of Sea World Ohio? Does this mean Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Williamsburg, and the Sea World's around the US are at threat too? I heard that about 52,000 visitors each day failed to arrive at Cypress Gardens after September the 11th. So, I suppose, Busch made the right decision...

I wonder what will happen now to Cypress Gardens, the site is about 230 acres, only 80 acres being used when the park was open. The word on the street (whatever that is) is that Six Flags Florida or golf/timeshare resort will be built (the latter being far more likely) on the site.


From Philip Curds
Posted April 15, 2003 at 2:03 PM
P.S. What happened to all the staff that used to work for Cypress Gardens? Relocated to Busch Gardens Tampa or Sea World Orlando I suppose or dismissed?

If you have any further details on the Cypress Gardens failure, give the ThemeParkInsider website a visit and tell us!

By the way, as Florida's most historic themepark, does that mean that it was a heritage site therefore meaning the themepark cannot close? Obviously not in this case, any lawyers out there, get on this case, Busch could be liable, worth an investigation...

From Carey Lynn Holtsclaw
Posted April 15, 2003 at 2:33 PM
Busch sold Cypess Gardens in 1995 to a Private Organization. So, Busch was in No way related to the Park's Closing.

Right now Busch is at a High in there parks. I don't believe they are Under-performing in anyway except for the Effects of 9-11-01.

I too will miss the Park. I visited there back in '89, and it was a nice place. Maybe somebody will buy the Property.

From Russell Meyer
Posted April 16, 2003 at 5:50 AM
I agree, I don't think Busch is in any trouble. In fact, most of their parks in in the midst of expansion. SWO and SWSD are both getting huge facelifts. SWSD is getting Atlantis, while SWO is reconstructing the lagoon to create a more unified "rugged" theme.
I think Cyprus gardens really lost touch after Busch sold the park. Busch really didn't want to continue the investment knowing that it would have to be converted into a full blown theme park to compete with USF and IOA which was under construction. CG's new ownership group tried to make it on their own, and I guess finally realized what Busch new all along. I will definitely miss the beauty of the park, and the escape that the park provided. It was the closest thing to paradise in Orlando!

From Jason Moore
Posted April 16, 2003 at 6:42 AM
there may yet be a glimmer of hope for Cypress Gardens.

I'm sure some have already seen this news but the state is looking into the possibility of purchasing at least part of the park. not sure if this is neccessarily a good thing, but it's better than nothing.

From Anonymous
Posted June 21, 2003 at 5:02 PM
Wild Adventures is going to operate the park for the stste of Florida. Wild Adventures promes they will have the park open for October, and they are going to add rides and animals and animal shows and a water park!

From Bryan Fear
Posted June 22, 2003 at 12:41 AM
Glad you posted that. I just read the article about it ( posted previously ) and was sad to hear it closed. I don't live on that coast and never made it there. The only way it could survive is to contemporize.

From Steve Moore
Posted July 16, 2003 at 3:45 PM
Im sad to hear of the closure of Cypress gardens as I married my wife there a few years ago under the beautiful famous Gazebo.
Even on that day I remember that the park was almost deserted, as it was on a second visit two years later.

Still very sad news


From Anonymous
Posted July 16, 2003 at 10:24 PM
Rise From The Grave Cypress Gardens! Thanks to WIld Adventures the park may live again!

From Anonymous
Posted October 24, 2003 at 7:50 AM
is there anyone who can update me as to whether the park has re-opened.

my husband and i were married there almost two years ago and loved it.

we were planning to return with our family one day so they could see for themselves how lovely it was, i would be so upsaet if we never get that chance.

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