Cypress Gardens had been closed since April 2003 and reopened in late 2004. The new operator gave up in September 2009. Between Tampa and Orlando in Winterhaven. From Interstate 4 onto US Highway 27 South, then onto State Road (SR) 540 West towards Winterhaven. Botanical gardens, water ski demonstrations, butterfly conservatory, reptile and bird of prey demonstrations.
From autumn 2011 the largest Legoland in the world will be on the site (official website). Legoland offers more than 50 attractions, rides and shows. Previous attractions such as the botanical garden, the manor house and the water ski shows remained. Legoland amusement parks are currently in Billund in Denmark, in Windsor near London, north of San Diego in California and in Günzburg in Bavaria.
The park was opened by Dick and Julie Pope in 1936. Originally only 6.4 hectares in size, it soon became particularly popular with its subtropical fauna and cypress groves. Most recently, the park had an area of 81 hectares and was partly reminiscent of the flower island of Mainau. But not only gardens with streams, lakes and cypresses were found. More than 8000 plants and flowers from more than 90 countries, water ski demonstrations, variety, figure skating, butterflies, small animals, reptiles, birds and museum exhibitions were shown.
Cypress Gardens was the “Mainau” of Florida, especially a facility for botany lovers. It was much quieter than the turbulent large parks in Orlando -Area, the visitors were mostly older. The park was less recommended for families with especially small children. The park was easy to visit with a stroller. The shows featured strongly acrobatic content. Whether the ski show was the best in Florida or not is an open question. You could easily spend a whole day here. Those who stayed until the evening experienced a “lighting orgy” which, according to average European tastes, can be perceived as kitschy. Those who stayed that long should, however, be mosquito-proof; these little beasts were already active during the day.
Worthwhile trips from Orlando
There are several attractions in the Orlando area that are well worth a visit.
Popular destinations for excursions include, for example:
- Kennedy Space Center: The Kennedy Space Center is about an hour’s drive from Orlando on the Atlantic coast. Space history was once written here with NASA’s moon missions. Today the interactive visitor complex of the Kennedy Space Center can be visited. And with a little luck, you can even experience rocket launches live here during your explorations.
- Cypress Gardens – Legoland Orlando: The Cypress Gardens are located in the largest Legoland on earth. This beautiful and historic botanical garden has been restored to its original state. Here in this horticultural masterpiece you can marvel at many native plants such as azaleas and camellias while on vacation. A particular highlight is the huge banyan tree that was planted in 1939. Cypress Gardens is about an hour’s drive from downtown Orlando.
- Tampa: The city of Tampa is located on the Florida Gulf Coast at Tampa Bay, which is not only an important economic center, but also has many attractions to offer. The museums and cultural offerings and of course Busch Gardens with its rides and animal enclosures are remarkable. And those who really want to have fun on their tour in the evening will also appreciate Tampa’s lively nightlife. From Orlando, Tampa is approximately a 1.5 hour drive.
- St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg is about half an hour from Tampa and is a nice destination if you are going to Tampa anyway. In addition to the beautiful beaches, the Salvador Dali Museum with works by the painter and the Fort De Soto Park are worth seeing.
- Gatorland: About 20 kilometers south of Orlando, Florida is Gatorland, an alligator reptile animal park that opened in 1949. In Gatorland, visitors can marvel at hundreds of crocodiles and snakes, and face a variety of alligators face to face on the grounds. Because several hundred alligators live on the grounds of the park.
- Daytona Beach: You also want to relax a little and enjoy the sun by the sea and not just by the pool? Then take a trip to Daytona Beach with its endless white beaches. You can also spot manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles here. Daytona Beach is located approximately 80 kilometers away from Orlando.
- Everglades: The Everglades swamps are a considerable distance from Orlando, but are part and parcel of a stay in Florida anywhere, so the drive is definitely worth it. Take a look at the unique landscape in this paradise during an airboat tour and you will probably also have the opportunity to take a look at the alligators in the marshland from an airboat.