When visiting Legoland be sure to rid the "Island in the Sky" to get a 360-degree panoramic view of the park, surrounding lakes, Downtown Winter Haven, and even the Bok Tower in nearby Lake Wales. Island in the Sky is a rotating platform that is lifted high into the sky by a giant mechanical arm. Be advised, however, that it can get awfully windy up there!
Many rides at Legoland are designed for children as young as 3 (or tall 2-year olds) to ride, and the roller coasters are not quite as extreme as those found in other parks so as to allow those in middle childhood a chance to enjoy the thrills alongside the grown-ups.
winter haven is best known for it's famous tourist attaction cypress gardens. cypress gardens was a botanical garden planted by dick and julie pope in 1936. cypress gardens is one of florida's oldest tourist attractions. from the 1930's to the 1970's cypress gardens was known for it's water ski shows and it's costumed southern belles. several ester williams movies were filmed at cypress gardens. attendance began to decline over the years after the opening of disney world in 1971. cypress gardens closed in april 2003. in 2004 the property was bought by adventure parks group. this new owner added roller coasters and thrill rides in order to attract a wider audience to the park. sadly this new venture failed and the park closed in 2008 due to the current economic recession. in january 2010 the this historic park was sold again and will be the home to the largest legoland park in the world. the new legoland park opened in late 2011.
What was the most famous visitor attraction in central Florida in the 1950s and 1960s?
Before DisneyWorld, the answer would have been Cypress Gardens. I first went in 1950 with my parents, and then we went again in 1967 with my two children who were then almost 6 and almost 4. In those days, there were water ski shows, and the botanical gardens which you could ride through on an electric boat, and girls in costumes posing for photos. My dad took a lot of photos of the girls, but all I have are some of the water ski shows and some of the gardens which Dick Pope opened on January 2, 1936.
The water ski shows had formations (such as girls with flags), acrobatics on skis and jumping from ramps. Kite skiing and barefoot skiing were new ideas back then. Now it has been turned into a theme park with rides etc. and is MUCH more expensive. The website says:
"Be amazed by daring lifts and jumps, as well as barefoot skiing, tandem jumps and the world-famous Cypress Gardens water ski pyramid. The graceful Delta Kite Flyer (photo 2) takes to the sky above the park once again as part of the park’s signature show. The ski show brings back a historic tradition that started at the park in 1943.
Nature’s Way is home to more than 300 hundred furry, feathered and scaly friends, including a beautiful jaguar, Nile crocodiles and an alligator that once starred alongside Johnny Weissmueller in the old black & white “Tarzan” movies!
Thrill to 40 rides for children of all ages, including five coasters and the world’s tallest spinning rapids ride! Take a heart-stopping drop on the Thunderbolt, or brave the wooden curves and corners of Triple Hurricane."
They even have ice shows now.
The park generally opens at 10 am
Regular Admission ticket (Age 10-54) $39.95, plus tax
Seniors (55 and over) $34.95, plus tax
Juniors (3-9) $34.95, plus tax
Children 2 and under Free
Cypress Gardens has its own Virtual Tourist page, and most of my photos are there.
Tired of the lines at Disney, we ventured out to Cypress Gardens, about a half hour outside of Disney. We got there at 10am and found a wonderfully uncrowded place! The entire day we never waited for rides. Some rides we stayed on 2 and 3 times.
This place is not for big thrill seekers or teenagers. Only a couple of the rides could be considered scary to the above 10 crowd, but my little ones loved it. Even my 10 year old thought most rides were cool.
The water ski show was great...especially the physically fit women;). If you sit on the grass between the bleachers, you get a better view of them.
Food was average and if you can get past the fact that most of the ride operators look like they haven't seen a dentist in 50 years, then you should enjoy yourselves. It is a bargain compared to Disney and the kids had as much fun.
The pirate comedy show was actually very funny, and the guys were all over my 22 year old neice!
Horseback Riding is great in Winter Haven and a really fun thing to do while you are there. Check out Holiday Stables at 863-662-8700.
winter haven has a very nice historic downtown with a number of shops and restaurants. pictured is one of many historic buildings in downtown winter haven.
Cypress Gardens has both indor and outdoor model trains and small cities. Looks like a real boatlanding.
Cypress Gardens is Most Famous for the Water Ski Show. It is Great. Its the water ski capitol of the world.