Thursday, January 15, 2009

Scott And Carol Present: Farewell To The Old New Cypress Gardens

Here are a few pictures from the last day of ride operations at Cypress Gardens. A massive kudo to all the staff who really gave it their all this day. No 'I don't care' attitudes here, they went out of their way to make it a super day for all in attendance.

It was evident that it would be a big day for the park. If only people had come out like this every weekend, this story would not have happened.

A Cypress Gardens traditional bell was on hand to greet the guests. Sure beats a cartoon character, not that there is anything wrong with that!

With the removal of Swamp Thing, the sign won't look the same this spring.

The full train traversing the manicured grounds show just how busy the day was; there were lines for every attraction.

The non-skirted belle of Cypress Gardens has to be the Starliner. A sad day for us, this is the second park in which we have ridden this coaster on its final day of public operation.

The owners of Cypress Gardens were very cognizant of their prize piece of Florida amusement park history. Hopefully this John Allen classic will find yet another home in the near future.

Getting their last rides on the Starliner was the highest priority for most of the park patrons.

Scream, cheers and tears were the order of the day in Winterhaven. In honor of the occasion, the operators gave double rides and rotated so they all could say the ran the Starliner on it last day.

Swamp Thing had its legions of followers, with some too short to ride pouting about their misfortune. No shot at maybe next year for them.

The Okeechobee Rampage ran continuously throughout the day, but not with full trains.

Fiesta Express chugged right along, no matter how big its riders were. Their were so many adults riding it proved to be the little coaster that could, all day long.

The spinning Galaxy Spin (Crazy Mouse) ran smoothly after a rocky start up period.

The Triple Hurricane had greased tracks for its final day. Much better airtime than the last time we rode it during its inaugural year in 2004.

The classic water ski show played to full lawns. These performers are so good they have taken their show overseas during the off-season.

New tricks are featured compared to when the park had its first ski shows.

But the loudest cheers occurred when the classics from the past were performed one last time.

For the last afternoon performance, the famed pyramid prompted a standing ovation.

Now Cypress Gardens has gone quiet, except for the equipment used for removing the rides.

This Snowy Egret braves an alligator attack. The signs warn people not to approach the water!

Another icon of Cypress Gardens, the beautiful topiaries, will greet guests this spring when the park reopens.