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Cypress Gardens closes again, sparking Legoland Florida rumors

Cypress Gardens ride image

The owners of Cypress Gardens in Florida have confirmed that the park has closed as they seek a new buyer for the property.

It is the second time Cypress Gardens has closed in under a year. The park's botanical gardens and Splash Island water park re-opened in March following a five-month closure, although its rides and animal exhibits did not return.

The news that the owners are in talks with potential buyers will revive rumors that a Legoland park could be built on the site. Earlier this year, participants in an online survey were reportedly asked how they would feel about a Legoland park being located on the Cypress Gardens site.

Mark Jackson, executive director of Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, confirmed that talks have taken place with Merlin Entertainments Group (who operate Legoland parks around the world). He described the group as a "very well-heeled, top-notch organization with potential", but stressed that multiple organizations are in discussions about the Cypress Gardens site.

Current owners Philpot and Harper paid $16.8 million to take over Cypress Gardens following a 2007 bankruptcy sale. The company's plans included expanding the water park, and opening a new museum dedicated to the history of the park. However, the planned expansion was never completed and the park has struggled in the face of heavy competition from Florida's other attractions.

Cypress Gardens was founded as a botanical garden in 1936 by Dick and Julie Pope and grew into a major attraction. It struggled prior to bankruptcy as it faced heavy competition from Florida's other theme parks.

There is 1 comment.

It would be a shame if it closed- I hope someone buys it. Legoland sounds good!!!

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