Out of Winter Haven, Florida, theme park goers are about to witness the rise of a new empire. This month next year, Legoland Florida will make its debut, following a $22.3 million purchase of the former Cypress Gardens site by Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments Group January 7 and a renovation of $100 million.
What's in store for the 150-acre park are nine themed areas in addition to retail locations, restaurants, shows, and rides and attractions. Through the end of the year, the website will feature introductory passes including one-day admission passes for $65, children and senior tickets for $55 and annual passes for $99, for the rest of this year as well as all of next. Hard-core goers can take advantage of the $2,500 Ambassador Pass, a lifetime pass, featuring preferred parking, special events, and discounts on food and merchandise.
Those who knew Cypress Gardens will appreciate the restoration of the botanical gardens' waterfalls, bridges and pathways, the long-standing tradition of Southern Belles and the evolution of the jet-skiing shows into an interactive pirate-themed, jet-skiing show on Lake Eloise. Those who who have come for the park will have 50 rides and attractions to choose from in the areas including The Beginning, Fun Town, Miniland USA, Duplo Village and Castle Hill as well as Xtreme, Imagination Zone, Land of Adventure and Lego City.
At the top of our list is the Land of Adventure, featuring an Egyptian-theme, a laser-shooting ride called Lost Kingdom and the Legoland trademark, Safari Ride. Lego fans will get want to visit Miniland USA, which will have miniature landmarks of the Las Vegas Strip, New York City, Washington, D.C., Daytona International Speedway and Kennedy Space Center - all made of Legos. Also on our list is Fun Town's Granny's Apple Fries, a carry-over from California's Legoland, with cinnamon-powdered, deep-fried Granny Smith apple slices, topped with vanilla cream dip.