Monday, February 7, 2011

Aerial Antics: Cypress Gardens Update

The transformation of Cypress Gardens into Legoland Florida is well underway, with the new park planned to open this October.

Google Earth has some recent aerials of the park, and from them we can see just how ripped up things are. Legoland is really doing a complete transformation of many sections of the property.

This is the entrance area, and what was a large outdoor amphitheater.  The theater is long gone at this point, with plenty of construction trailers located where it once sat.  The entrance gates and associated structures were razed as well.

One of the many ride areas Cypress Gardens had has been wiped clean as well.  Starliner, the park's large wooden coaster, has been dismantled.  Several smaller rides were also removed, as well as the Vekoma junior coaster - though that's expected to return in an expanded form for Legoland.

New life can be seen in the updated shot, the layout of a new ride is clearly visible on the left.

One of the few rides that is staying at the park is the Triple Hurricane family wooden coaster, which will now be known as Coastersaurus.  The entire ride section around it has been gutted, though.  The Galaxy Spin wild mouse went to FunSpot, and the Storm Surge raft ride headed to the United Kingdom.

Another of the park's well known areas, the sunken garden that was home to some elaborate floral displays, has also been cleared.  When Cypress Gardens added thrill rides this was home to many of them, but the positioning of the rides never really clicked, and they looked out of place.   You can see the very start of another new attraction in the updated view.

The Vekoma inverted family coaster seen at the top will also stay as a part of Legoland Florida.

Finally, the park's water area looks fairly untouched. I do not believe it is set to reopen with the park this fall.  Let's just hope they clean that water before it reopens!

Here's a link to the most current Google images of Legoland Florida.  For the older ones I used Google Earth's awesome archived aerials.