Legoland Florida Update and Interview
One of the most exciting new projects for 2011 is the transformation of the former Cypress Gardens amusement park into Legoland Florida. Jackie Wallace, media relations representative for the park, was nice enough to share some new information with us.
Why was the former Cypress Gardens amusement park selected as the location for Legoland Florida? How did the decision of location come about?
We have looked in detail at the market in Florida and believe that the unique LEGOLAND concept will thrive there. Our experience in California suggests that there is enormous demand for this type of unique full-day family theme park experience in the US. It will bring a completely new element to what is currently on offer in Florida. Add to this the famous historical gardens and some of the other elements we have planned, and we believe it will be a must do attraction for a high proportion of families visiting the area.
Cypress Gardens is already a popular and established leisure venue attracting more than one million visitors a year. What it has lacked is a powerful and compelling brand to deliver sustainable commercial success. LEGOLAND will deliver this.
How will Legoland Florida differ from Legoland California? What will be the similarities and differences between the two parks?
The LA Times recently did a fairly accurate side-by-side comparison, that I think you’ll find helpful: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/09/news/la-trb-legoland-florida-preview-20101105
What parts of the former Cypress Gardens will remain intact? Will any existing attractions need to be moved or modified in any way to accommodate the new attractions?
The site has excellent infrastructure in place so we have hit the ground running and be ready to open in almost half the time we would normally anticipate. We are certainly seeking to use some of the existing assets as a base for the new LEGOLAND Florida as appropriate, and will of course continue to develop the botanical gardens.
Is the park green? What is Legoland Florida doing to ensure the park will be environmentally friendly? What kind of green technology will be used?
LEGOLAND® Florida is preventing 18,000 tons of concrete slab from entering Florida’s landfills by crushing the existing sidewalks and foundation into stones and powder. The Park has contracted with an outside company to operate a 15 ton machine to “chew up” concrete and sort it into several different sized bits. Once crushed, the gravel will be re-used in the Park as a base layer for the new sidewalks thorough Central Florida’s newest full-day family theme park.
“It’s important to us at LEGOLAND Florida to make as little environmental impact as we build Central Florida’s newest full-day family theme park,” said General Manager of LEGOLAND Development, John Ussher. “By recycling and reusing the concrete already on the property, we’re not only saving 18,000 tons of slab from area landfills, but doing what’s right for our business.”
Other ways the Park is reusing assets is with tree restoration and relocation. 660 oaks and palm trees from the property’s former adventure park area have been moved to an alternate location for the duration of construction. Once the diggers and back-hoes have completed their job, the trees will be relocated to their new home in LEGOLAND.
Thanks again to Jackie for sharing the information with us. I can’t wait to visit this park when it opens. I’m sure it will be a big success.