Legoland Florida Unveils Plans

We learned more about next years opening of Legoland Florida yesterday and it promises to be a fun filled park with lots to see and do with many of the highlights being similar to the ones featured in the Southern California park.

For a start there will be the Fun Town Fire Academy, a driving school, a Duplo play area for younger guests, and a medieval-themed Legoland Castle. The emphasis will be on interactive amusements for young children as they explore  the Land of Adventure, with is dinosaur-themed wooden roller coaster and the Factory Tour, which will show how Lego plastic building blocks are actually made.  Lego said the park will feature more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including thousands of large Lego models.

The park, scheduled to open in the fall of 2011, is being built in Winter Haven on the former Cypress Gardens site. The park is counting on its predecessor’s most-famous features — such as its botanical gardens and water-ski shows — to give Legoland Florida a unique flavor.

Legoland has projected that 2 million people will attend the park in its first year of operation. But it is hoping that annual figure grows to 3 million eventually.

Thousands of people attended the community open house yesterday at the Winter Haven Orange Dome. Those who turned up were mainly curious about the new theme park and the status of the old gardens.  There was also a lot of interest in the  1,000 jobs that Legoland is expected to generate although no employment applications were taken at Thursday’s event.

During the open house, members of the crowd learned about the  planned preservation of the gardens and some of the other traditional entertainment that has featured in previous years when the park was known as Cypress Gardens. Features such as the well renowned ski shows will continue but will get a Lego-like makeover. Unfortunately though, one of Cypress Gardens’ newer additions, the wooden Starliner roller coaster, relocated to the park in 2007 from Panama City, won’t make the cut when Legoland Florida opens.

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