Legoland Florida sets opening date for fall

If you've been eager to see the transformation of Cypress Gardens into Legoland Florida, mark your calendars. The new park announced Monday that its opening date will be Oct. 15.

The 150-acre theme park will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 and will feature replicas of iconic American buildings like the White House. Plus it will have 20 "pink-knuckle" rides — from roller coasters to race cars — as well as some 30 family-focused shows and attractions.

The park, located midway between Orlando and Tampa in Winter Haven, also revealed a new online reservations system on its site ( legoland.com) that allows families to book travel and hotel rooms.

A key benefit of the program, Legoland Florida sales manager Todd Andrus explained in a news release, is that it features 13 preferred hotels in Central Florida that are officially endorsed by the park. Called the "Bed & Brick" program, the hotels are all family-friendly and provide a range of price points and assets to accommodate different styles and budgets. Each of the hotels in the program will offer special rates and ticket/room packages, the news release said.

As previously reported, the 1930s vintage botanical gardens under the old theme park's name will live on untouched, although the Lego Belles will be plastic brick models, not young women in hoop skirts. The Cypress Gardens water ski show will re-emerge as an extreme stunt show with Lego Pirates.

Full price for the park is $65 for adults and $55 for seniors and kids 3 through 12, but discounting will be common. Park officials with the British Merlin Entertainments Group hope to draw up to 20 percent of a forecast 2 million visitors from group rates such as weekday school field trips combining admission and selected classroom at $5 to $12 a person.

There are currently four other Legoland parks in the world: Legoland California in Carlsbad, Legoland Billund in Denmark, Legoland Deutschland near Günzburg, Germany, and Legoland Windsor outside of London.

Note: This story has been edited to reflect a correction to the price of admission.

Legoland Florida sets opening date for fall 05/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:33pm]

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