It’s official! LEGOLAND is coming to Florida! I’m so excited I can’t type fast enough. Merlin Entertainments Group purchased 145 acres in Winter Haven, the former site of Cypress Gardens (Florida’s first theme park) and announced all the juicy details to a very anxious crowd. So here’s the scoop:
Who is Merlin?
Merlin Entertainments Group is Europe’s No. 1 and the world’s No. 2 visitor attraction operator. They have 59 attractions along with hotels and holiday villages in 13 countries across three continents! Their multimillion dollar investment here will create the biggest family tourist center in the world with the opening of – DRUM ROLL PLEASE – here’s its official name – LEGOLAND® Florida!
LEGOLAND is a year round, theme park experience that’s specifically geared toward families with kids between the ages of two and 12. There are four other LEGOLAND Parks: Denmark, Germany, UK and California. It's fantastic, but don't take my word for it. LEGOLAND California has been voted ‘Best Children’s Theme Park’ by Amusement Today for six straight years!
LEGOLAND Florida will be the biggest LEGOLAND park to ever open. And, in case you’ve never been, pack an extra pair of socks because this place will knock yours off! They plan to have a nice mix of more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including their famous, off-the-chart, spectacular LEGO models.
In addition, Merlin plans a ‘resort’ strategy so it’s likely that there will be accommodations and further attractions here, too. How great is that??!!
Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said, "We plan to create one of the best and certainly most beautiful, theme parks in the world. LEGOLAND California has already proven how much U.S. families love the unique LEGOLAND concept. Now we are bringing that fun and experience to a much wider audience – the millions of U.S. and international visitors who come to Florida every year."
LEGOLAND Florida plans to open in less than two years – at the end of 2011 – and I can’t wait!
On another positive note, LEGOLAND Florida is going to create more than 1,000 jobs by the time it opens. Three cheers for Merlin Entertainments Group! Woo hoo! See you at LEGOLAND Florida!
Jill Martin, Family Insider, VISIT FLORIDA
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