Cypress Gardens to Close, Reopening With Expanded Water Park Planned for March
By Rick Rousos THE LEDGER
Published: Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 9:38 p.m. Last Modified: Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 9:55 p.m. WINTER HAVEN | Cypress Gardens will close beginning Nov. 17 and plans to reopen in March after an expansion of its water park.
The rides and animal attractions will be permanently closed but the botanical gardens and the ski shows will stay, park officials said Sunday night.
“It is obvious the park cannot successfully function as four parks in one. We have some exciting new plans that everyone will be thrilled to see come March,” co-owner Rob Harper said in a prepared statement.
Cypress Gardens has about 200 hourly workers, most of them part time, and 15 full-time salaried employees, said Brian Philpot, the other owner.
About half of the workers were told of the closing and renovation plans Sunday evening and the other employees were to be told today.
Cypress Gardens has a big wave pool, a “lazy river” and a swimming area for kids that includes five slides.
Philpot said Cypress Gardens will choose, likely in December, between a variety of options to expand the water park area of the park.
Its been reported for a few weeks now that people have been coming to the park and getting prices on the rides...and they have dropped the admission price numerous times..it was just $5 again today to get in...Shame really. Wonder where the animals will get sent to.
No way it will survive as gardens/a water park either. Who is going to go to their waterpark with 5 slides even if it is cheap (under $20) and take a day out of their vacation when you have Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Aquatica and Wet N Wild all in the area.
No one's going to be shocked, but once again, it is lame. It looked like it had a few nice rides, albeit the total package was mostly just a vekoma/zamperla showcase. It's too bad this will mean the end for the Starliner. It's too bad about the animals too.
Atleast I got all but one credit there (Starliner). I think it will open again with rides in time. Right now is a bad time for anything with the economy the way it is. It is not like this is the first time it closed.
I think the park could open again with a pay per ride system with a low entrance price for just getting in. Also, charge for gardens.
With the area it is located in, that is the only way it could ever survive. It has potential for aniche market if the price is right.
Atleast that is my opinion.
The only reason I went was because I only had to pay for one ticket out of 3 when I went. Otherwise, the price was really a little high.
I think the sad thing was when people wanted to go to Florida, they want to do Disney, Universal, the Busch parks, and so on. I don't think many people knew about it (Cypress Gardens). If I knew more about the park, I might've predicted it, but I do not own a crystal ball. So who will bailout next?
It's still a bit too far away from the major Central Florida attractions for the tourists to decide to venture there for a day but as far as locals,they might visit it occasionally but the major parks are still too close to skip them and go frequently to Cypress Gardens,kinda ironic,don't you think?I don't really know what their plans are,but they don't sound too impressive,keep the gardens and make a bigger waterpark.Last time I went to Cypress Gardens we somehow ended up walking by the waterpark area even though it was closed off and it took us about 2 minutes to walk it,they would have to seriously improve and increase it for people to consider going there instead of the waterparks 45 minutes up the road.I kind of liked what they had going there,I remember getting passholder newsletters for the park,even though I wasn't a passholder,have no clue how they got my name,but I liked that they had concerts and I liked the rides area,especially that MegaBounce,I could ride that all day!!If that park was down here in theme parkless South Florida it probably would be able to get more visitors.
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