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    The Ledger Legoland Florida articles

News Chief
  Thursday, December 26, 2013
Cypress Gardens Relic Unearthed, Will Be Donated to Museum
By Ryan E. Little THE LEDGER
The owners of Miller's Marine in Winter Haven found an old Cypress Gardens crest
lodged in the ground behind their shop earlier this month.
Now, the longtime logo of Florida's first theme park is heading for a museum.
There, unofficial Winter Haven historian Bob Gernert
will have it restored to its former glory before adding it to the museum's collection at
the Winter Haven Woman's Club at 660 Pope Ave.
The land is the former site of the Cypress Gardens ski manufacturing company,
which was owned by Dick Pope Jr.
The company manufactured Cypress Gardens-branded wooden skis
there for years before later relocating to Eloise.
Wikipedia Woman's Club of Winter Haven
News Chief
  Friday, November 22, 2013
Legoland Announces Plans for On-site Hotel
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Legoland Florida General Manager Adrian Jones,
elected officials and tourism leaders donned yellow hard hats
and gripped shovels with shiny gold blades for a symbolic photo Thursday morning.
The invited guests, including Winter Haven Mayor J.P. Powell,
three Polk County commissioners and a state representative and senator,
dug into a pile of multicolored Lego bricks and tossed them into the air.
The gesture culminated an announcement that Jones happily described as
"the ­worst-kept secret in Central Florida."
He revealed that the 2-year-old attraction plans to construct
a Lego-themed hotel with an opening date of early to mid-2015.
The four-story, 152-room hotel will enable Legoland
to draw guests for overnight stays rather than just day trips from Orlando, Jones said.
Legoland leaders have said since before the park opened in October 2011
that they eventually would build a hotel but had not previously set a date
The L-shaped hotel, including a pool and a restaurant,
will be built in the southwest section of the park
between the pedestrian entrance and the shore of Lake Eloise.
Jones said the hotel will be designed so that many rooms have views of Lake Eloise.
News Chief
  Thursday, November 14, 2013
Legoland Florida faces a civil lawsuit filed by a man
who claims he was injured at the theme park.
John Lopez, a Pinellas County resident,
filed the suit Nov. 1 in the 10th Circuit Court in Bartow.
The suit says Lopez was a "business invitee" at Legoland on Feb. 20
and attended the park with his grandson.
As the pair exited the Dragon roller coaster ride, the complaint says,
Lopez's grandson walked through a mulch-covered area to get back to the line for the ride.
When Lopez followed his grandson, the complaint says,
he tripped on an electronic junction box hidden under the mulch and fell,
sustaining significant injuries.
The suit accuses Legoland of failing to install effective barriers
and supervise pedestrian flow at the ride.
The suit seeks damages in excess of $15,000.
News Chief
  Thursday, October 31, 2013
Legoland Florida reported no accidents involving guests in the third quarter of 2013.
The Florida Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection
issues quarterly reports on self-reported accidents at theme parks.
It was the sixth consecutive quarter in which Legoland reported no incidents.
News Chief
  Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Legoland Planning to Hire 165 Workers for The Holiday Season
Legoland Florida plans to hire 165 part-time employees to work through the holiday season.
The theme park will begin interviews next week
and expects to have all of the seasonal workers in place before Thanksgiving,
spokeswoman Samantha Lane said.
She said the temporary openings range through most departments at the attraction,
including food and beverage, retail, ride operations and admissions.
All applications must be done through the Legoland Florida website
News Chief
  Monday, October 21, 2013
Business Leaders and Legoland Officials Plan For New Development
By Ryan E. Little THE LEDGER
Two years after Legoland Florida opened, Cypress Gardens Boulevard
looks no closer to being a vacation destination than it did when Cypress Gardens closed.
But behind the scenes, economic development officials, business owners and Legoland officials
say they are slowly putting together the bricks to kick off a round of initial development.
About 80 percent of Legoland's out-of-town visitors are staying in Orlando.
Small scale retail units along the Legoland corridor are only two-thirds full.
Few businesses have been willing to invest in the area.
Legoland Florida has created about 1,350 jobs
with its opening and subsequent expansions, the company said.
News Chief
  Thursday, October 3, 2013
Legoland Enhancing Park's Toddler Zone
Duplo Village is being renovated, adding a train and tractor ride.
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Legoland plans major changes in the Duplo Village section,
which will reopen next spring with the new name Duplo Valley.
Legoland is adding a train, a tractor ride and a water play area,
all with the theme of Duplo, a line of Lego toys designed for children ages 1½ to 5.
The "splash and play" area will feature water spouts,
interactive water elements and a soft deck, all set among models of farm animals.
Legoland Florida Director of Sales and Marketing Kim Isemann
News Chief
  Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Legoland Florida Announces Ultimate VIP Experience Package
By Mary Toothman THE LEDGER
Legoland Florida announced Monday final plans for special "VIP" offers
that would pamper guests with the ultimate experience of the theme park
for between
$495 and $595 for one day.
Gabriel Gibaldi of the Dalton Agency, speaking on behalf of the park,
said the offers feature private, guided tour experiences
and include park admission value between about $66 and $81,
a personal guide, lunch, refreshments and an "exclusive" model shop tour.
It will also feature a "special build experience" with a master model builder.
For more information, or to make a reservation, call 855-753-7777
News Chief
  Tuesday, July 2, 2013
World of Chima: Kids Frolic in Legoland's Latest Attraction
Ride features a cascade of water and water cannons that make a drenching inevitable
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Officials at Legoland Florida unveiled the Lego World of Chima presented by Cartoon Network,
a major new element of the park based on a fresh line of anthropomorphic toys.
Adrian Jones, Legoland's general manager,
said it's the first time any theme park has created an attraction
tied to a product collection in the same year it was launched
  Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Legoland introduces the World of Chima
By Virginia Johnson, Entertainment host/reporter
The main attraction of the newest wing of the park is an interactive water splash ride called
"The Quest for Chi" that will whisk riders through the world of Chima
complete with water cannons as they traverse the tribal habitat.
News Chief
  Tuesday, June 4, 2013
National Recognition Sought for Features of Former Cypress Gardens
By Tom Palmer THE LEDGER
Some of the iconic features of the former Cypress Gardens tourist attraction
may be on their way to getting national recognition.
The County Commission approved a resolution supporting the designation of
the botanical gardens and the ski show circle on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tuesday's action came at the requests of Bob Gernert,
executive director of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, who is leading the effort.
Cypress Gardens was founded by the late Dick and Julie Pope in 1936
as one of Florida's pioneering tourist attractions.
The attraction was world famous for its water ski shows that debuted in 1943
and led to the attraction being considered the "Water Ski Capital of the World."
The 30 acres covering the botanical gardens and the water ski area are owned by Polk County,
which purchased that portion of the property for $5 million.

Wikipedia National Register of Historic Places
  Thursday, May 2, 2013
Legoland gives miniature sneak peek of new summer attraction
By Virginia Johnson, Entertainment reporter/host
The World of Chima is the latest attraction slated to open at Legoland Florida this summer.
The Winter Haven property has been under construction for several months,
but Lego builders are giving us a miniature sneak peek of the ride The Quest for Chi.
They created a traveling model that uses 125,000 Lego bricks and took more than 200 hours to build.
Its six feet wide and 10 feet long. And it is built to scale
 » World of Chima Coming Summer 2013
News Chief
  Thursday, May 2, 2013
Legoland Florida will host a "Star Wars" Miniland Yoda Model Build event Saturday and Sunday.
Activities will include a Lego Yoda Build in Fun Town outside of the Wells Fargo 4D Theater,
a Yoda Scavenger Hunt in Miniland USA,
and Lego "Star Wars" video showing in the Wells Fargo 4D Theater
and a photo opportunity in the Lego "Star Wars" Miniland model display cluster.
News Chief
  Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Print Circulation Drops While Digital Readership Grows
By Kyle Kennedy THE LEDGER
Total U.S. newspaper circulation fell slightly
and digital readership saw growth in the latest figures tracked by a media industry group.
Newspapers' overall weekday circulation was down 0.7 percent as of March 31
compared to the year before, the Alliance for Audited Media reported Tuesday.
Sunday circulation slipped 1.4 percent.
Digital newspaper editions, such as smartphone apps and subscription websites,
accounted for 19.3 percent of total circulation, versus 14.2 percent last year.
The Ledger's average weekday circulation declined 5.4 percent to 44,737.
Sunday circulation fell 11.2 percent to 62,275.
The News Chief in Winter Haven, part of the Ledger Media Group,
had a 10.6 percent decline in weekday circulation, which fell to 3,529.
The newspaper's Sunday circulation dropped 17.6 percent to 4,260.

News Chief
  Saturday, April 20, 2013
Discount to Legoland Is for Polk Residents
Legoland Florida is offering deep discounts on single-day admission
for Polk County residents for selected weekends in May.
The Winter Haven attraction is selling tickets for $25 plus tax for single-day admission
on the following dates: May 4-5, May 11-12 and May 18-19. Regular admission is $79 plus tax.
The passes include admission to Legoland Water Park.
To purchase tickets, Polk County residents should go to,
click on "
Polk County Resident's Day" and enter their ZIP codes.
News Chief
  Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Legoland Florida is temporarily closing some sections of the park
to ensure safety and expedite construction of a new attraction, The World of Chima.
The closures, effective today, affect the Duplo Village section of the park.
Granny's Jalopies, Big Rig Rally and Jr. Fire Academy are closed during the construction period.
A spokeswoman for Legoland Florida said the park hopes to reopen the attractions in July,
though a specific date has not been set.
Other parts of Duplo Village, including the Duplo Barn and Playtown, will remain open.
News Chief
  Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Legoland Makes Free Offer to Active Military Members
Legoland Florida is offering a free, one-time, single-day admission
for all active-duty military personnel throughout 2013.
The pass applies to active-duty members of the
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard and Reservists
News Chief
  Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Reports: Owner of Legoland Florida to Go Public
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Merlin Entertainments Group, the England-based owner of the Legoland properties,
is preparing to go public, according to published reports.
Merlin Chief Executive Officer Nick Varney said the company has been meeting with investors
in advance of an initial public offering in London or New York, Reuters reported last week.
Varney said the move would allow Merlin to pay down debt of 1.27 billion pounds, or $1.92 billion,
and would help fund planned expansions in the United States and Asia
Correction:The headline on the story also was inaccurate.
Legoland is not considering going public.
Legolands parent company, Merlin Entertainments Group, is considering going public.

News Chief
  Saturday, March 30, 2013
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Former Owner of Cypress Gardens Visits Legoland
Although the former owner of Cypress Gardens took his time
in coming to see the tourist attraction that took its place, Kent Buescher said it was worth the wait.
Buescher, who owned the theme park from 2004 to 2007,
toured Legoland Florida on Wednesday, accompanied by Legoland General Manager Adrian Jones.
"I was thrilled to see that they were able to utilize
so many of the elements we had added, so they didn't go to waste,"
said Buescher, who now lives in Valdosta, Ga
Buescher paid $7 million in 2004 for Cypress Gardens,
an attraction founded as a water-ski show by Dick Pope Sr. in the 1930s.
At the time, Buescher also owned Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta.
Months after he took ownership, a series of three hurricanes in six weeks
barreled through Polk County, causing millions of dollars in damage
and delaying plans to reopen the park
A dispute over insurance coverage led Buescher
to put Cypress Gardens up for a bankruptcy sale in 2007.
Land South Holdings, a local real estate firm, bought the property for $16.8 million
Land South sold the property to Merlin Entertainments Group in 2010
for an estimated $22.3 million
Buescher said it was an unexpected bonus
to get a personal tour of Legoland from Jones, the general manager

Wikipedia 2004 Atlantic hurricane season
 » Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, Florida
News Chief
  Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Legoland Expanding With 'World of Chima' Attraction
Legoland announced it is expanding with a new attraction area, World of Chima,
which includes an interactive boat ride adventure that will coincide with
a Cartoon Network television show and a new line of Legos.
"This is the first time ever that a theme park has launched a major new expansion
concurrent with a rollout of a new brand and a new product line in the same year,"
said Legoland Florida General Manager Adrian Jones.
"It's very exciting for my team and I to be a part of this unique venture."
The new area will bring about 50 new jobs to the park.
The Cartoon Network show, "Legends of Chima," which debuts March 27,
IMDb "Legends of Chima" (2013)
Wikipedia Legends of Chima
Wikipedia Lego Legends of Chima
Lego Chima
News Chief
  Friday, March 8, 2013
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Legoland Gets Wet: Its Water Park, Which Opens Today, Offers Aquatic Fun
When Legoland Water Park opens for its second season today, guests will encounter Moby Dick,
a cetacean made from 200,879 Lego Duplo bricks.
The beast is one of several new models Legoland Florida
has installed in time for the water park's opening.
All told, Legoland added 2 million Lego bricks,
doubling the previous number, spokeswoman Samantha Lane said.
The enhancements include a 15-foot-tall mermaid outside the entrance to the water park,
a display of waves and sharks along the 583,000-gallon wave pool
and a colorful archway at the entrance to the Build-A-Raft River ride.
The weather forecast calls for a temperature of 64 at the opening time of 10 a.m.,
though the temperature is predicted to reach 77 in the afternoon
Waveside Grill, located near the Lego Wave Pool,
will specialize in hot dogs and other casual fare
Entry to the water park is $12 per person on top of admission to the main park.
There is no separate entry for the water park
News Chief
  Thursday, February 28, 2013
Legoland Water Park Preview Tickets Available
The Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce
is selling tickets for a Legoland water park preview on Wednesday for $10.
You don't have to be a chamber member to buy them, but only 750 are being sold.
The tickets can be purchased at the chamber.
The tickets are good for Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.
News Chief
  Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Legoland Offers Special Pass for Floridians
By Matt Reinstetle THE LEDGER
On Wednesday, the Winter Haven theme park announced
a $99 Florida Resident Annual Pass for adults and children
This new pass includes admission to
Legoland Florida and Legoland Water Park with no blackout dates.
"The Legoland Florida Resident Annual Pass provides families unlimited access for an entire year
to all that Legoland Florida has to offer including special events for families with children ages 2 to 12,"
Kim Isemann, director of sales and marketing at Legoland Florida, said in a press release.
This pass joins Legoland Florida's other annual pass offers:
$129 Standard Annual Pass for adults and $99 pass for seniors and children.
Included with this new Florida Resident Pass is free regular parking,
a 10 percent discount on retail and dining, admission to special Legoland events,
guest discounts and unlimited admission to other U.S. Merlin properties, such as Legoland California.
This new pass puts Legoland Florida in more competition with other Central Florida attractions
for guests from around the state,
as a three-day Walt Disney World pass is $119,
Universal Orlando is $164.99 with blackout dates and
Busch Gardens Tampa is $85 for adults
News Chief
  Thursday, February 14, 2013
Legoland Unveils New Way to Save With Discounts on Advance Tickets
By Gary White THE LEDGER
Legoland Florida has unveiled a "variable pricing" option
that provides discounts of up to $15 on tickets purchased in advance.
The Winter Haven theme park announced the "Pick-A-Date" feature Wednesday
in a press release and began making the option available on its website.
The "variable pricing" option is available only for ticket purchases made online
and requires guests to select the day they will visit the park.
Under the new option, single-day tickets purchased eight or more days in advance are
$64 plus tax for adults and $54 plus tax for children ages 3 through 12 and seniors (age 60 and older).
That's a discount of $15 off the regular prices of $79 and $69, respectively.
Tickets bought two to seven days in advance are available for a $10 discount.
The savings apply to tickets for the main park or Legoland Water Park, which reopens March 9.
Legoland General Manager Adrian Jones said the discount
may be unique among Central Florida theme parks.
"Families no longer need discounts or other special offers to save year-round at Legoland Florida,"
Jones said in a press release.
"Simply put, families who plan ahead now get additional savings."
News Chief
  Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Legoland Florida reported no accidents involving guests in the final quarter of 2012.
The Florida Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection issues quarterly reports
on self-reported accidents at theme parks.
Legoland in Winter Haven was one of five attractions that reported no incidents
from October through December.
The others were Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, Wet & Wild and Universal Studios.
Walt Disney World reported six accidents, none fatal.
News Chief
  Sunday, January 13, 2013
Legoland Will Host Business of Education Event This Month
By Merissa Green
The social mixer between Polk Career Academies students
and members of the chambers of commerce throughout the county will be held Jan. 29.
The free event is open to the community and business leaders within the chamber.
Sponsors include MidFlorida Credit Union, Bartow Ford, Lakeland Ford,
Jarrett Gordon Ford of Davenport, Jarrett Gordon Ford of Winter Haven
and the Winter Haven Public Education Partnership.
In the 25 years that President Kathleen Munson has led
the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce,
this will be the first time she will see all of the county's chambers
brought together for a student career exhibition.