On January 21st, Merlin Entertainment announced that Legoland Florida, the world’s largest Legoland, will be opening in late 2011 on the former site of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, Florida. Merlin Entertainment is currently owned by The Blackstone Group, who you may recall, now owns Sea World Parks and Entertainment, as well as holds a 50% stake in Universal Studios Orlando. For more information on that merger, click here.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the park is expected to have between 40 and 50 attractions, including some of Lego’s signature attractions. Lego is even rumored to be keeping some of the more popular Cypress Gardens’ attributes.
According to Merlin’s chief executive officer, Nick Varney, the historical gardens will remain in tact for guests to enjoy. Merlin will also keep Splash Island Waterpark, although it will remain a separately ticketed attraction. Cypress Gardens’ water ski shows and one of its two wooden roller coasters will probably be integrated into the new Legoland as well, Varney said.
Merlin representatives have said that the location, as an already existing attraction, was a perfect fit, shaving years off of their development timeline. Plus, the attraction will bring about 1,000 jobs into the area, which is definitely a plus!
The park will be the second U.S. Lego attraction, with the first being in Carlsbad, CA. “We see it as a big development market for us,” Varney said. Lego, Varney said, “is without question one of the strongest brands in the world.” Other Legolands draw between 1.5 million and 2 million people a year, although Merlin has not released an official attendance projection for Legoland Florida.
Can’t wait for the Florida park to open? Need a Lego fix now? Check out the Lego store at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. They have a Lego play area for children, tons of Lego displays, and even life-size Lego picture spots.
For more information, or to purchase Discount Theme Park and Attraction Tickets, pelase visit our website, The Official Ticket Center, or call us toll-free at 1-877-406-4836.