Merlin Purchases Cypress Gardens: Legoland Florida is Coming!
Long-lasting rumors about Merlin Entertainments Group’s research for an appropriate location for a Legoland in the US state of Florida now come to an end. The historical facility with theme- and water park as well as its historic botanical gardens Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven that closed in September 2009 was purchased by Merlin from the property investment company Land South Group. The acquisition of the 145-acre (59 hectares) site comprehends the freehold on the current theme and water park as well as an operating lease in perpetuity on the historic botanical gardens which will stay intact. Also the popular Splash Island Waterpark will continue to operate. Water ski shows and a wooden roller coaster will probably be integrated into the new park. Merlin announced that Legoland Florida, that is to become the biggest Legoland of all five parks worldwide, will open at the end of 2011. The company plans a multi-million dollar investment over a number of years, including more than 50 attractions, accommodation, shows and Lego-branded models. (eap)