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A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-10-18 19:49:10

Sean

--Guest--
I had the chance to visit the botanical gardens on Monday—the first time in over two years. Here’s a rundown of my first impressions:

The entrance to the gardens has a nice sign posted near the first bridge that identifies the area as Cypress Gardens. The sign looks like the one depicted on the park map. The entry bridge has been repainted and looks to have a new hand-rail. The only thing that detracts from the entrance is all the duck weed growing in the canal. Other than that, the entry to the gardens looks inviting. The only thing I would change in this area (other than cleaning out the canal) is to post an informational sign that explained the historical importance of the gardens.

After walking through the gardens, I thought they looked good…but there was plenty of room for improvement. There are many bare areas scattered throughout the gardens that need plantings and there are several areas in need of weeding. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that the landscape crews have to focus a lot of their time getting the Legoland side of the park in order first. Don’t get me wrong, the gardens still look good, but they still need more attention before I say they look great. Greg previously mentioned he saw a lot of extra employees standing around doing nothing. Maybe Legoland could pare back some of these workers and hire a few more landscapers instead.

The view of the gazebo looked okay except for all the duck weed covering the lagoon. The red impatiens planted in the bedding rows were spread too far apart which allowed too much earth to be seen between them. The park could have been more creative with how they planted the seasonal annuals in this area. This is one area of the gardens that really needs to shine since it makes a great selling point for people to want to see them. I hope the garden staff revisits this area soon.

While walking along the lake, I noticed a yellow flotation barrier wadded up amongst some reeds. This needs to be removed since it’s an eye sore. I also noticed one of the alligator warning signs is a leftover from the old park…it even has the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park name still on it! There were more benches spread throughout the gardens—something lacking in earlier reviews.

One thing that surprised me was that there were several areas in the gardens that were inaccessible due to a chain-link fence blocking them off. I already knew the Florida Pool area was blocked off, but so was the Oriental Gardens area. The French Garden area (the sunken circular area) was also blocked off but was clearly visible beyond the fence…no landscaping had been performed in it. There was also a path that leads to a circular viewing area overlooking the lagoon that was blocked off. The park map depicts two Southern Belles standing in this area. I believe these areas were blocked off so it would allow the gardening staff more time to focus on other areas of the park. I hope they will tend to these areas soon and get them reopened.

If I were to compare the gardens of today to how they were in the recent past, I would say they looked better under Kent but marginally better than they did under LandSouth. I think Legoland can improve the gardens dramatically if they increased their gardening staff (perhaps 10 landscapers dedicated to the gardens and 10 landscapers dedicated to the rest of the park) and invested a little more money maintaining the gardens. If they’re going to charge seniors $85.00 for a garden pass, then they need to step up their game to justify such an increase.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2011-10-19 00:14:33

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
Yeah, hopefully we'll get to see the Florida pool again soon! I hope they do more than just a basic clean up. I want it to look like this again (on the left):



The boats and scavenger hunts are also eagerly awaited!
 
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I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Chitown2011-10-19 03:17:21

Chitown
Sarasota, Fl.

Green Thumb
153 Posts
That looks like a marble base on the left. Why did they get rid of that?
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-10-19 09:11:22

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
So the Legoland map showing only part of the gardens was correct after all as I feared - at least for now. It appears that is what is currently open. At least Legoland was accurate as to what to expect. Kent with way less total available funds and also with major park renovations and additions plus three hurricanes was still able to bring all the historic gardens back to a better condition then Legoland did. Kind of tells you where Kent's priorities and dedication to the historical gardens vs. Legoland. Kent did more than just talk about the historic value and beauty of the historic gardens.

Legoland probably will get around to getting the gardens into nice shape at some point. I don't think they intend to or will ever get them even into the condition that Kent did - but only time will tell. As to the Florida pool - if it gets cleaned out and a minor refurbishment that would be the most I think can be expected. The odds of it ever being refurbised to its original movie condition are probably next to zero. Since the gardens are not the major draw or theme of the park anymore, the investment and money spent on them will be limited. I think Legoland has proved this by their actions to date. I am talking about actions, not words in a press release or interview.

The gardens were saved and are there to be enjoyed. If one does not expect what was and enjoys them for what Legoland does with them (no other choice) - that will make for a more enjoyable experience. Folks can provide Legoland with feedback about the gardens and what they would like improved/opened - if thousands did this it might help. At this point in time I am not sure there are enough that would even take the time to do that. Maybe that is what Legoland also believes and why the gardens are such a low priority.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-10-19 16:51:00

Sean

--Guest--
The edge of the Florida Pool wasn't made of marble but thousands of hand-laid tiles. Tiles at the southern end of the pool once spelled "Happy swimming, Esther Williams." The pool reportedly cost $48,000 to build back in 1952. The tile work was eventually removed and replaced with a narrow concrete walkway to save money.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-10-20 10:39:24

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
The Florida pool has changed so much from the actual pool that was built as a movie prop that to me it has not been very historic for a long time. It has undergone such drastic changes. Truth be told not many around that remember Ester Williams or the 1952 movie which would make it significant to them but not really to anyone else. Few things survive as really historically significiant with the passage of time - to me this is one of them. Just my opinion.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2011-10-21 15:44:40

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
Cool video and tour of the gardens! (Long, about 28 minutes.)

 
--------------------
I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-10-21 21:35:15

Sean

--Guest--
I would have to agree with Ed about the Florida Pool. I don't think it would be a good use of resources to fully restore a set piece from a relatively obscure movie shot almost 60 years ago. If they ever decided to restore the pool, it might be interesting if they used legos instead of regular tiles to finish the pool's edging. That would certainly make a very unique publicity shot to promote the park.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Chitown2011-10-21 22:20:18

Chitown
Sarasota, Fl.

Green Thumb
153 Posts
^True, but it is a very unique pool in its own right so I think it should be restored for viewing. On top of that, they could have signs posted showing the way the pool used to be and mention is was built for a Hollywood movie.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Gracie2011-10-22 00:46:06

Gracie

--Guest--
The Oriental Gardens were my favorite. I hope they can re-open those soon. That would be one of the few reasons I would ever go to LL
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by B.G.2011-10-22 13:04:12

B.G.
Orlando, FL

Ace Arcader
273 Posts
The Florida pool has been modified already. I don't see why the "Florida" Pool couldn't be Lego-ized for Legoland "Florida." It could make a great prop for future Legoland Florida commercials.



 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-10-22 17:37:44

Sean

--Guest--
I too hope the Oriental Gardens reopen soon. From what I could see through the fence, the area wouldn't take too much work to get it back into shape. The most labor intensive part of this area would probably be the cleaning of the water basin in front of the giant Buddah statue. Here's a shot at how good it looked back in the day:
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-10-23 19:48:50

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
I was concerned when the map on the Legoland site had the back part of the gardens cut off, which included the Oriental Gardens. It would not be major effort, compared to everything else done at Legoland, to get all the closed areas refurbished and open.

To me, if they needed more time they should have said so and announced that the Historic Gardens would be closed for a few months after Legoland opens to give more time to get them completely refurbished. They could also have held off selling the Senior Garden passes until it was all refurbished and open. Even if they wanted to partially open the gardens they should have had "pardon the dust" signs with information when all the refurbishment would be completed. In short open it all or wait until all is ready. If you want to open only part - fully explain why and when all will open. They failed on both accounts.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-10-23 21:11:07

Sean

--Guest--
I completely agree. When LL started to offer the Senior Garden Pass, the park's spokeswoman (Jackie Wallace) said the following: "Legoland Florida has carefully restored the botanical gardens to their former grandeur." Not only is this statement inaccurate, but it also raises the expectations of people who are familiar with the old gardens.

It would have been better to close the gardens for a couple of extra months and let guests know ALL of the gardens will reopen as soon as they've been restored to the high standards people have come to expect from LL. Green water, fenced-off areas, and lackluster landscaping around the gazebo isn't the kind word-of-mouth that will get seniors excited to spend $85.00 on a garden pass.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-11-12 17:00:04

Sean

--Guest--

Today, I noticed the park installed a new sign marking the entrance to the botanical gardens. It looks similar to the old sign pictured above...only more elaborate. Maybe Greg can post a picture of it the next time he visits the park.

The recent windy weather we've been having has blown all the duckweed out of the canal near the entrance area; however, the rest of the canal and the big lagoon are still covered with a green film. One thing the park needs to do is remove all the reeds growing at the entrance to the lagoon...they're impeding the flow of water which only helps the duckweed thrive. If that doesn't work, perhaps the park could install a pump at the end of one of the canals to keep the water from becoming stagnant.

I'm surprised the park doesn't have more park rangers monitoring the gardens. I noticed a few kids without any parental supervision kicking the lego belle in the gardens and trying to pull it apart. I was about to tell them to stop it, but another guest beat me to it. If the park doesn't do a better job of monitoring this area, I think it's only a matter of time before someone vandalizes the lego belle or other elements in the gardens. Maybe the park should install a few surveillance cameras to keep an eye on potential trouble makers.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Coasterjunkie2011-11-13 09:03:50

Coasterjunkie
Orlando, FL

Ace Arcader
243 Posts
^That's the problem in this day and age. I'm 34 years old and it's really disturbing to see how some parents don't monitor their children like they should. I see kids climbing all over things that clearly have signs that say "keep off" or "no climbing" in front of them with the parents watching them do just that. It's really sad to see that respect for rules and property that isn't yours is not being taught like it should be.
 
--------------------
Life's a roller coaster, so enjoy it while you can with your hands high in the air.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-11-14 20:24:44

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
I 1st walked through the gardens in 1972 and many times through 2008. I never saw much of any rangers or monitoring of the gardens in the past. I don't think Legoland will change that.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Chitown2011-11-14 21:58:18

Chitown
Sarasota, Fl.

Green Thumb
153 Posts
The few times I walked through the gardens, I never saw 1 employee.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-11-15 18:16:37

Sean

--Guest--
The park didn't have as much a need for rangers prior to 2003 since there were more guests and Southern Belles strolling through the gardens to keep an eye on things. After 2004, the park began experiencing financial difficulties and didn't have the money to patrol the gardens effectively. There was vandalism that occured in the gardens during this period.

LL might not feel there's a need to monitor the gardens too closely right now, but their attitude might change if some unsupervised kid decides to deface the lego belle. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I think it would be better to be proactive and have a couple of surveillance cameras in place to watch things.

Here's something on a postive note...the park finally added the gardens to the Explore The Park section on its website!!! Here's what the write-up says:
Quote:
Take a relaxing stroll through the historic botanical gardens, with more than 30 acres of beautiful landscaping and lush vegetation. Guests of all ages will enjoy this lovely area, especially the magnificent Banyan tree at the heart of the gardens.
There's one small error in the write-up: the historic gardens cover about 16 acres...not over 30 acres. Anyway, it's nice to see the park finally acknowledge them on its website.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-11-15 19:32:25

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
It is indeed nice they finally acknowledged the gardens on their website. Will even be better when they finally finish restoring and opening up the rest of the garden area.

To me any damage to plants or the lego belle could be fixed and probably would cost way less than rangers or setting up surveilance cameras and monitoring them. To me the biggest concern should be that unsupervised or not properly supervised children could get hurt in the garden (a lot of the plants are not children friendly not to mention all "running around" hazards) or fall into a canal or pond. Accidents get very expensive. That would be a good reason for rangers or surveilance cameras. But like a lot of the time something has to happen before anything is done.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-11-16 17:07:39

Sean

--Guest--

I believe the old park had surveillance cameras. If you look at this picture of the Florida Pool, you can see a camera mounted atop a pole behind the sign. You can go into Greg's picture gallery for a larger view. I figure the park already has a video surveillance system in place to keep an eye on things when the park closes at night. Adding a few more cameras isn't going to be any huge financial burden. They especially need one or two cameras around the Banyan Tree to make sure people don't carve their initials in the tree as some have already done. The cameras should be conspicuous enough so people will be aware that they're being monitored.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-11-17 21:34:19

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
It has taken some time just to put up a new Cypress Garden sign and add the gardens to the website. They also need to complete renovations to the rest of the garden area and open it up. Not to mention getting the canal water quality up. Probably be some time before they would even think about a video surveillance system and even longer to put one in if they decide to. When it comes to the gardens there is a lot on the "to do" list and probably a limited budget.

They will probably get around to all of it - but it appears it is going to take some time.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Coasterjunkie2011-11-18 10:57:11

Coasterjunkie
Orlando, FL

Ace Arcader
243 Posts
It looks like they don't do things half harted Id rather see them tale their time and do something worth while than rush through it all.
 
--------------------
Life's a roller coaster, so enjoy it while you can with your hands high in the air.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concerd2011-12-17 16:09:26

concerd

--Guest--
Quote:
The edge of the Florida Pool wasn't made of marble but thousands of hand-laid tiles. Tiles at the southern end of the pool once spelled "Happy swimming, Esther Williams." The pool reportedly cost $48,000 to build back in 1952. The tile work was eventually removed and replaced with a narrow concrete walkway to save money.
is this really the florida shaped pool in legoland fl in the area that was blocked off to tourist
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-12-17 17:15:59

Sean

--Guest--
That was indeed how the Florida pool at Cypress Gardens used to look back in 1983. Below is how it looked in 2005...big change:
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-12-18 20:20:30

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
Even a bigger change currently - can't see it at all! Over the years it has gone from a fancy movie prop with great tile work, to a basic pool in the shape of Florida, to currently not being available to view. Given what is left of the original pool and few alive who remember who Esther Williams was - probably past time to get rid of it and return that area back to nature or landscape the area as part of the original gardens.

There are just some things that get to the point that they are no longer worth saving.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concerd2011-12-26 22:40:20

concerd

--Guest--
Quote:
The edge of the Florida Pool wasn't made of marble but thousands of hand-laid tiles. Tiles at the southern end of the pool once spelled "Happy swimming, Esther Williams." The pool reportedly cost $48,000 to build back in 1952. The tile work was eventually removed and replaced with a narrow concrete walkway to save money.
dear Florida fans of the Florida shaped swimming pool and cypress gardens

i was just got Information that they are redoing Tiles at the Florida shaped pool and it will be opened on January 1 2012. of this year.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2011-12-27 18:03:03

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
Quote:
i was just got Information that they are redoing Tiles at the Florida shaped pool and it will be opened on January 1 2012. of this year.

That sounds too good to be true...
 
--------------------
I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2011-12-27 19:12:39

Sean

--Guest--
I haven't seen any indications that the pool is being retiled. If it were, I doubt it would be ready by January 1st. Perhaps concerd's source heard the pool area would open up in January and assumed it would have new tiling.

With all the things that still need to be done in the gardens, retiling the pool should be a low priority. The most pressing issue in my opinion is cleaning out the big lagoon. Nothing detracts from the gardens more than having the waterways covered with green film.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concerd2011-12-30 09:40:39

concerd

--Guest--
p.s a employee toll that the Florida shaped pool was opening on January 1 2012
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2011-12-31 22:58:16

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
It would be nice to know when all the historical gardens will be open again. For something that was suppose to be protected, saved and had the total support of Legoland in press releases - it is taking a very long time to get it all open. I guess most of the public have lost interest so there is no urgency to do anything.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2012-01-02 21:30:36

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
Nope, no Florida pool opened yet. Took a shot of it (as best I could) and it doesn't look like much is going on.



(Kinda hard to see from such a distance.)
 
--------------------
I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Concerd2012-01-04 20:21:02

Concerd

--Guest--
Liars the park employees are absolutely. Liars? they to me
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2012-01-04 20:58:13

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
^ I wouldn't go that far. I think many of them are just not knowledgeable about what's going on. The kid at the Garden Shop said he "heard" that the butterfly conservatory would open in January. So far, I doubt that will happen.

Same for the Florida pool. I think they'll get around to those things, but they aren't the priority right now. Which is fine. So long as they get to it eventually.
 
--------------------
I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Concerd2012-01-04 21:01:54

Concerd

--Guest--
P.s when I go to legoland fl I don't come for the Legos all I what to see are the historical botanical gardens that had always been there since 1936 when dick pope and wife opened them to the public. And that's all I what not little Lego bricks.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2012-01-04 22:15:52

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
Concerd - I think the reality is that a vast majority of folks that go to Legoland now do only care about the Legos and the Lego rides and attractions. As a result the historic gardens are probably the lowest priority of Legoland management. Should really be expected since it is now Legoland and not Cypress Gardens. When the Pope family decided to sell Cypress Gardens they sold their heritage, control and future of the gardens they started in 1936. That was their decision and what is today is a result of that decision.

I also believe Legoland will eventually get around to opening the rest of the historic gardens - but it appears it won't be in the near future. I would guess they are not getting a lot of negative feedback about all of the historic gardens not being open yet - probably would act to open them sooner if they did. The squeeky wheel gets the grease!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2012-01-05 20:50:54

Sean

--Guest--
If it weren't for the gardens, I too wouldn't have purchased a LL pass. It would be interesting to know how many senior garden passes the park sold to get a sketchy idea how popular they are. I say sketchy because the park has spent almost zero effort promoting the pass.

The garden pass sales would undoubtedly be much higher if the park showed a little more haste in restoring the gardens and then did a decent job marketing them to the snow birds. For instance, look at the picture of the gardens the park has on its website. There are so many scenic areas in the gardens and this is the best photo they can come up with? If I had never seen the gardens before, this photo alone wouldn't excite me enough to want to experience them. Dick Pope could teach LL a thing or two about how to advertise!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2012-01-06 09:34:15

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
Sean by this time I think it is pretty clear that LL does not want to market the gardens and just wants to market the Lego aspects of the park. The historic gardens are there because they have to be by agreement and restriction. Despite all the LL press releases of total support for the historic gardens LL by their actions to date have shown minimal interest and priority as to the gardens. To me, up to now, LL has done the minimum they feel they can get away with as regard to the historical gardens to avoid "controversey" and to avoid any bad press related to the gardens. To me the Senior Garden Pass was just part of that minimum to avoid controversey and bad press.

LL has owned the old CG site for over a year now and have been open for 4 months now - Kent with far less time and money did way more to refurb and open all the historic gardens by this time (not to mention dealing with 3 hurricanes). At this point I would say LL just has no real desire to refurb or open all the historic gardens anytime soon. As to the money to be made on garden passes - nothing compared what they make on the Lego aspects of the park and that is what has their interest.

I hope LL proves me wrong and gets off their butt and gets all of the historic gardens open ASAP. That would make me happy and would make LL live up to all the hype in their press releases and speeches as to the importance and their support of the historical gardens. All you folks out there that support the historic gardens should be sending letters to LL. If people show no interest in the historic gardens - I believe LL will be very happy to leave things as they are. Again, I hope LL proves me wrong.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Concerd2012-01-08 20:41:05

Concerd

--Guest--
P.s when I go to legoland all I what see are historical botanical gardens and that's it nothing us. Not tiny little Lego bricks
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2012-01-09 10:35:09

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
Concerd - I would suggest that you and all the historical garden supports write to Legoland and express your desire that all the historical gardens are refurbed and opened. Talking about the past and history on this site is nice - but only enough outcry to Legoland from garden supports will get all the historical gardens opened faster. If enough people don't show an interest - can't blame Legoland for dragging their feet.

By the way, get use to the Lego blocks - they are there to stay! Also those Lego blocks saved the old gardens. If not for Legoland there would be some protected acres of land with dead overgrown gardens.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concern2012-01-14 15:14:14

concern

--Guest--
please fans of cypress gardens

if you have any Infromation about the Florida shaped pool or the oriental gardens opening please i really what to know if anybody out there knows about it please contact me.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concern2012-01-14 15:21:58

concern

--Guest--
o.k world give me what you know and fans
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Chitown2012-01-14 19:33:39

Chitown
Sarasota, Fl.

Green Thumb
153 Posts
Why don't you give Legoland a call to find out?
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concern2012-01-14 19:40:29

concern

--Guest--
if somebody with information be you please contact thank very much.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by concerd2012-01-14 20:23:52

concerd

--Guest--
p.s i contacted legoland fl and they did contact me. and said o sorry that it's gated and that is all.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Chitown2012-01-15 00:20:28

Chitown
Sarasota, Fl.

Green Thumb
153 Posts
They have their reasons. Maybe it's because the oriental section was in serious need of rehabbing. I remember the one wooden covered structure in that area being pretty flimsy. I was worried to walk into it. Maybe a safety issue at this moment.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2012-01-16 19:45:52

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
They had ownership of the park a year before it opened and it has been open for over 3 months now - LL had enough time at this point to fix any issues in the closed garden sections if they wanted to do it. Maybe they are happy with just the gardens they have open now and don't see the need for the expense of opening more. Remember it is not just the cost of refub - it is the constant upkeep cost also.

Every guest and newspaper review I have read of LL never mention that part of the old gardens are closed. There seems to be very little interest and maybe LL is reacting accordingly and will just leave it as it is.

Yes I understand some will say they just need more time and that might be so - but how long? A month, 6 months, year? Since they announced the go ahead for the water park and hotel - exactly why didn't they already finish the refurb on the rest of the gardens? They will always give a public relations dance around if asked - but in the end it may come down to that they just don't see a need to and don't want to open the rest of the old gardens. Again, I hope I am wrong and that they prove me wrong. But at this point in time I believe one has to at least begin to question their "devotion" to the old gardens.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2012-01-17 18:13:25

Sean

--Guest--
I think LL underestimated the cost of refurbishing the gardens. When they realized the amount of money required was more than they budgeted, that's when they probably hired a lobbyist to seek $500,000 of state funds to help with the restoration.

When the allocation of those funds was vetoed, Adrian Jones said the company was disappointed and stated "We believe the gardens are a shared responsibility for all parties, and we will continue to seek willingness from other partners."

LL probably gave a sob story to the county/state about how much money it would cost to refurbish the gardens by themselves and likely received permission to temporarily fence off some areas to to lessen the upfront costs of restoring them.

Now LL could have come up with the extra money and fully restored the gardens if they wanted to. They obviously didn't want to go over the amount they orginally budgeted which is why they are making the garden restoration a drawn out process. While they feel this route is saving them money, I think they are only shooting themselves in the foot.

If the park spend the extra money to fully restore and market the gardens, I think they could have significantly increased the number of Senior Gardens Passes they sold and come out ahead revenue wise. If the park wants to pursue a money losing strategy, then that's their business. I just don't want to ever hear them complain about how much money they're losing with the gardens when they're undermining them with their lackluster upkeep and marketing.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2012-01-18 09:39:35

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
LL spent 10's of millions of dollars to open Legoland and will spend millions more to open the water park and hotel. That $500,000 they lost in a State grant that was and should have been eliminated by the Governor is really nothing compared to the money they spent and plan to spend. LL if they wanted to could already have all the historical gardens open and restored. They simply just don't want to. I can't give you their reasons why - probably because a large majority of the public/guests, media, plus County and State really don't care if the rest of the gardens are open or not.

As to losing or making money on the old gardens - not important to LL. They are only concerned about making money as a children's park that is all about Legos. That is what will make them a success or failure and that is what they want to market and grow - even if they have to mostly ignore the historic gardens and any possible small profit they could make from it. So to keep the agreement they made they refurbed and opened some of the historic gardens and they will drag their feet on the rest mainly because it appears too few care enough to pressure them to open the rest.

We are all guessing what is going on and do not know the real true story. But we do know what has actually happened to date - LL is dragging their feet in opening all the historical gardens, do next to nothing to promote them, and their "total devotion" to the historical gardens is far from "total". But they do indeed have total devotion to the Lego aspects, are drawing large crowds with just the Lego aspects, and find the money to add to the Lego aspects not to mention a water park and hotel. Kind of makes it clear what is really important to LL? Hard to argue with their viewpoint and actions to date since it is indeed LL now and just the Lego aspects are drawing large crowds. If few really care about the old gardens (including County and State) why should LL?

 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by jt2012-01-18 11:13:24

jt

--Guest--
If everyone start calling in ...something might be done.. sean why dont you start a reopen the gardens site.. and get the media involed.. call the newspapers tb stations... hold up sogns in front of the park..get the word out.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2012-01-18 16:04:35

Sean

--Guest--
Quote:
That $500,000 they lost in a State grant that was and should have been eliminated by the Governor is really nothing compared to the money they spent and plan to spend.
LL obviously felt that $500,000 was a consequential amount. If they didn't, they wouldn't have bothered trying to lobby for the funds.

When a corporation budgets a certain amount of money for a project, it doesn't like to hear the project went over budget. The manager in charge will do everything in their power to make sure the project is completed on time and on budget (under budget is preferable). Doing so reflects well on the manager and improves their chances for promotion within the corporation.

I have a feeling that fully restoring the gardens would have pushed the budget over its projected amount and LL decided to cut some corners to prevent that. Another possibility is the LL side of the construction went over budget and the shortfall was taken from the garden budget. Those are the most plausible reasons I can think of why LL is dragging their feet on the garden restoration.
Quote:
As to losing or making money on the old gardens - not important to LL.
No sane company is going to be ambivalent about losing money on any part of its operation. LL wants to make money on the gardens...that why they offered the Senior Garden Pass. The problem is LL hasn't done a very good job marketing the garden pass. Yes, their main focus should be attracting families to the LL side of the park. That doesn't mean they can't simultaneously do a limited marketing campaign to draw more seniors to the gardens. It seems that LL is so fixated on only one type of demographic that they can't see the other vast demographic slipping through their fingers.

Jt, I think all the gardens will open up eventually. LL is under contract to maintain the gardens and they can't unilaterally decide to fence off areas that they find inconvenient to maintain. I'll give them a few more months. If nothing happens by then, I'll probably try contacting the county and finding out if the park is in violation of their upkeep agreement.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2012-01-18 16:43:41

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
Just to clarify. It was mentioned in several newspaper articles and LL itself stated it never asked for or lobbied for the $500,000. The local State politican also went on record that it was his own idea. So either they were all lying or LL never asked for the $500,000. They probably realized they would never get the money in the 1st place since the State was cutting spending everywhere else to balance the budget.

What LL "budget" are we talking about? We have no idea what was budgeted for and what wasn't. Nor do we know if they ever intended to refurb all the gardens in the 1st year. All we know is what they actually did.

If they were so concerned about making money on the gardens and believed they could they would have finished opening them by now. The gardens have lost money for years now and LL knows it will not change as more and more of the older garden fans are no longer around and there are less each year. If the gardens could make money they would have been made a seperate attraction with a seperate admission (like the water park). When you know you can't make money on something you kind of ignore it - like LL is doing with the old gardens. Why does LL keep the old gardens open at all - probably only because they have to by agreement. Why did they offer a Senior pass?- why not it makes the seniors happy, who else will go anyway, and they are forced to keep it open anyway.

Does that agreement force them to open all the gardens, obviously not since they haven't done it. What is the agreement? - nobody knows except LL and the County and they aren't telling. Maybe they have another year or two by "agreement" to open all the gardens. Maybe what is open is all they agreed to. Who knows since not a word from anywhere has officially come out. Isn't it odd that not one newspaper, civic goup or "concerned local politician" has publicly asked when all the old gardens will open? To me it all comes down to not enough people care any longer and LL has no pressure to do anything about it. Again I hope I am wrong and all the gardens are open in 3 months. But I have a feeling that will not be the case.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2012-01-19 19:54:32

Sean

--Guest--
I've never seen any news stories that said a local state politician came up with the idea all by his lonesome to request $500,000 for garden maintenance. Here's what a section of a Ledger article had to say concerning the matter:

"The money was requested for Merlin Entertainments, owner of Legoland, which will open on the site of the old amusement area this year, by lobbyist Wayne Watters, county officials learned."

When the funds were vetoed, Adrian Jones was quoted as saying, "We believe the gardens are a shared responsibility for all parties, and we will CONTINUE to seek willingness from other partners."

If you want to believe that a lobbyist was requesting funds for Merlin Entertainments out of the goodness in his heart with absolutely no prodding from said corporation, then I have some shares of the Brooklyn Bridge I'd like to sell you.

As for the budget, of couse LL would have budgeted for the garden restoration. It affects how many gardeners they have to put on the payroll in addition to all the restoration costs. Do you reallly believe the company would have started pouring money into the gardens without first establishing how much they were willing to spend? I think the answer is obvious. It's also obvious that we won't agree on this point, so I'm not going to debate it any further. Believe what you will.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by carole matthews2013-06-06 16:20:18

carole matthews

--Guest--
visited there when I was 12 lovely pool an grounds what a shame so LEGOland get off your duff and fix up the gardens an pool area NOW I doubt people will pay $85 to see a beuch of fences an overgrown canals bunch of sorry for spelling. Lets get a petition going to get this pc of history properly restored Esther Williams just died today 6-6-2012 so do it esp the Florida Pool in her memory GET GOING before it is too late. NOW Carole larcr@msn.com
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by jackson2013-08-16 17:17:54

jackson

--Guest--
i thick since legoland doesn't what to open up these closed areas of the historical botanical gardens i thick we should take legal action and start a petition or get a court order to make them do it. or do a full scale investigation in to why this happening.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2013-08-16 19:45:04

Sean

--Guest--
I think the park will be opening the Oriental Gardens in a couple of months--why else would they spend money constructing a new fence in that area if they weren't going to open it anytime soon? If the fenced-off areas aren't opened by the end of October, I'll start making inquiries with the State/County as to why the terms of the conservation easement are not being enforced.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by preserve florida now and democracy forever2013-08-18 21:43:48

preserve florida now and democracy forever

--Guest--
dear everly cypress gardens fans out there i am completely discussed on how the other closed parts of the old cypress gardens are not being taken care of. legoland is saying they are maintaining it very well but also saying they got nothing to announce but after looking at the gardens they look completely not restore legoland is not sticking to its commitment. so i thick we cypress gardens fans should tell public this and start a petition and get a court order to suit legoland for fines for not doing its job of keeping cypress gardens 100% maintain. and i also called full scale investigation from dep and county to look into this. and getting those closed areas open and making of whats leaf the of old florida shaped pool and the oriental gardens and the other parts of gardens completely restore and so it can be enjoy for future generations to come so fourth. so come on stop waiting for the gardens to get even worst its time for people to rise up come to some legal action and together as community as one and remember legoland might own cypress gardens but it our history and we as a community hads the right preserve land every possible way no matter what.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Scott2013-08-19 20:43:11

Scott
Sarasota

Greenhorn
4 Posts
^Holy run-on sentence Batman!!! You expect people to read that?
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by peter2013-08-26 11:20:02

peter

--Guest--
i really wish some one did something about the closed up areas for the old historical gardens like restoring them instead of waiting for something from legoland to do something. and why don't we contact the county or the state to do something like a petition. i would really like if anyone on this message board or any other cypress gardens fans would do something to contact the county or state dep to write a letter to make a report to make legoland do something because it just breaks my hreat just watching these other parts of the gardens fade away with time and history like the florida shaped pool so please anyone up there to stand up for these closed up areas and do something. not one month not one year but its time to take action for history and preservation for future generations to come. thank you
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by carol2013-08-27 09:05:30

carol

--Guest--
i personally agree with you that there should be a full scale investigation from the fdep or the state to look into this.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by moe2013-09-02 21:40:58

moe

--Guest--
i wonder if legoland fl is opening up the other parts of the gardens this month or next month please keep a watch full eye on that please like the orient gardens.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by historical florida2013-09-06 22:08:05

historical florida

--Guest--
it time to stand up for the other closed parts of the gardens and someone to do a report on it and those areas open up time to stop waiting and do something about it like a full scale investigation on LEGOLAND and get the questions we need.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by historical florida2013-09-06 22:10:10

historical florida

--Guest--
someone please comment and do something now about these closed areas and stand up.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2013-09-07 22:14:52

Sean

--Guest--
Based on the construction of a new fence in the Oriental Gardens and the recent arrival of new plants in another fenced-off area, I believe these areas will be opening next month. The park may have been granted a 2-year extension to open these areas to offset the upfront costs of refurbishing the rest of the gardens.

Like I said before, I'll wait until the end of next month before I start making inquiries with the State/County. Anyone who doesn't want to wait is perfectly free to start making inquiries right now.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Historical florida2013-10-07 15:34:39

Historical florida

--Guest--
so are some areas of the closed up parts of gardens open yet. I would like to have a daily update on the progress on this please. to see what is happening on this.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by historical florida2013-10-17 00:31:08

historical florida

--Guest--
well legoland fl two year extensions are up because legoland fl open up on october 15 2011 two years have gone by and still no progress on the florida shaped pool or the other parts of the gardens time to take action now. what your excuses now legoland fl time up.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by historical florida2013-10-26 16:31:10

historical florida

--Guest--
well its almost november and still there is no progress with the other parts of the closed off gardens. do you what to start making inquiries now to the state and county to do something now about this.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by chobeetuck 12013-10-26 22:17:27

chobeetuck 1

--Guest--
Call the newspapers .. See if they can get a story going ..
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Historical florida2013-11-01 08:31:19

Historical florida

--Guest--
Well it's November first and still there is no progress in the other parts of the historical gardens. guess you have to start making inquiries to the state and county. And you said you wait until the end of next month well guess what time up time to start making inquires to the state and county and if the terms of the conservation easement are being met.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by historical florida2013-11-07 17:25:49

historical florida

--Guest--
Is anyone going to do anything about the other closed off parts of the gardens because its seventh of November and no one doing anything about it. it's time to take action and make inquiries to state of florida and the county. And get these areas open to public for generations to come. and someone please comment please about this.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2013-11-07 20:08:39

Sean

--Guest--
The County Manager is currently investigating the matter.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Historical florida2013-11-08 20:44:53

Historical florida

--Guest--
i thick the next step is to call the newspapers and call the news media about this so people know everywhere about this. And also I am happy the county manager is investigating this
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Historical florida2013-11-10 15:17:28

Historical florida

--Guest--
i wonder what the county manager is going to do with legoland fl fine for not following the state conservation easement terms. or probably tell them to open up the closed up parts of the gardens areas so the public can have the right to see it for generations to come. have clean up the canals restore and the florida shape pool fully restore and those areas look very new like in the old pictures of cypress gardens like in its hay day. So that well be nice so everyone can enjoy it and most important thing is if the children and families of today like what's left of cypress gardens because of legoland the spirit of cypress gardens will live on for future generations.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2013-12-12 09:55:45

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
The County Manager is going to tell the 3 or 4 people that actually contact him that he is "investigating the matter". It sounds good but the honest truth is nothing or little will be done. The County is very happy about the money LL brings into the County and really couldn't care less how the historical gardens are maintained or if the rest are ever opened. The County wants LL to be happy and ignoring the historical gardens makes LL happy. So your will continue to hear excuses or wishful thinking like a 2 year "extension" to refurb the gardens, lack of LL "budget" to maintain the gardens and best of all "there is activity" so another section will open any day now.

LL is a children's park and being a children's park there will always be excuses why historical gardens are not maintained or maintained well - simply because there is little to no interest for the vast majority of folks that go to a children's park to take a garden stroll. LL plays the game they "are fully committed" to the gardens but do little and the County goes along with it.

The Conservation Easements do not provide specific guidlines on what "maintaining the gardens" requires or to what degree it has to be done. Also as with any easements they are totally worthless if those in charge (County) care little about even trying to enforce them. In short - nothing will be done unless LL feels like doing it on their own or thousands of angry folks show up and demand they do something (which will not happen). The last 2 years seems to prove that point. Time to face reality that when Kent failed it was the end of what the historical gardens were. Also historical gardens add little if any value to a children's park - not worth the cost to maintain them properly like in the "old days". LL is there to make money - not to keep "history" alive. Time moves on and the odds are the historical gardens will never be what they were. On the plus side there is now a great children's park and there are many other very well maintained historical gardens in this State, nation and world to go visit.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Banks2014-02-28 09:18:47

Banks

--Guest--
I work for a media outlet in Orlando, and I got word that on March 5, 2014, Legoland Florida will finally be reopening the Florida Pool & Oriental Gardens areas of Cypress Gardens! There will be a media event that day to cover it.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2014-02-28 13:07:05

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
Quote:
I work for a media outlet in Orlando, and I got word that on March 5, 2014, Legoland Florida will finally be reopening the Florida Pool & Oriental Gardens areas of Cypress Gardens! There will be a media event that day to cover it.

Thank you for confirming that! We are very excited to see the Florida Pool again!!
 
--------------------
I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Eric2014-03-05 19:17:25

Eric

--Guest--
Yes it has been confirmed on their website.

LINK
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by jont2014-03-30 19:47:11

jont

--Guest--
what i would really like to see Legoland fl do to the historical botanical gardens is bring back the canal boats because i can remember adrian jones the manager of legoland fl saiding when they where opening up the florida shaped ester williams swimming pool and the oriental gardens that they were going to more restoration on the canals so do you think they are going to bring back the canal boats just like cypress gardens did in it's heyday.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2014-03-31 00:10:39

Sean

--Guest--
It would be in LL's best interest to bring back the electric boats. LL can't install a traditional amusement park ride in the gardens, so bringing back the electric boats would be a great alternative to make the gardens more appealing to children. Some appropriate Lego figures could be added along the canal to create a LL version of Disney's Jungle Cruise. I figure the cost of dredging the canals and repairing portions of the canal walls would be the equivalent of building a small roller coaster. It's definitely doable if the park wanted to aggressively pursue this option.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by jont2014-08-11 10:11:41

jont

--Guest--
I thing I would like to see LEGOLAND FL do in the future is maybe doing an 80th anniversary of the opening cypress gardens in 2016 because after all the gardens did open in 1936. one thing would like to see the canals restore by then. and bringing back the canal boats and maybe bringing back southern bells for one day so guest and see them stroll through gardens like back in day and put displays with information about cypress gardens with old postcards and photographs just imagine LEGOLAND celebrating 80th birthday of cypress gardens. what do you think about
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by jont2014-08-25 10:54:27

jont

--Guest--
I think that LEGOLAND FL should really be holding an 80th anniversary celebration of cypress gardens or maybe an even centennial birthday of cypress gardens in 2036 what do you think that should happen.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2014-08-27 20:57:14

Sean

--Guest--
Legoland still hasn't come up with a good marketing strategy for the gardens. The park's main focus is the 2-12 crowd, but let's face it, most children are not interested in gardens. The gardens mainly appeal to seniors but the park doesn't seem too interested in catering to that market in any significant way. That's too bad.

I think the park could tremendously boost their senior ticket sales if they instituted a Lego garden festival that ran for a couple of months while the snow birds are still here (maybe from March 10th to May 10th). The festival would be similar to the old Spring Flower Festival except they would replace the topiaries with Lego figures depicting a ladybug, snail, duck, bunny, etc. The figures would be positioned throughout the gardens and surrounded by a beautiful array of flowers.

During the festival, they could bring back the live Southern belles to make it even more memorable. After the festival is over, they can discontinue the live Southern belles, put the lego figures in storage, and pare back the flower arrangements until the next garden festival. That way the park can market the gardens as something to see year after year.

For the festival to work, it has to be priced appropriately. Right now the park charges seniors $77.00 for park admission. That's way too high! For the festival to be successful, the park should have a limited time senior admission of $29.95. That would really pack the seniors in...provided the park puts in a serious effort to elevate the gardens and market them aggressively.

The park currently has a limited special going on where seniors can see the gardens for $30.00 (why not make it $29.95 since it sounds lower psychologically). I just heard about this today which makes me wonder if the park put much effort in getting the word out. Anyway, here are the details of the offer from a May 19th article by Gary White:

"Legoland Florida is offering special admission for two dates designated as Senior Garden Days. The passes are for those 60 and older.

Each pass will be valid for either May 31 or Sept. 1. The pass costs $30 per person plus tax, compared to the standard daily ticket price of $77 plus tax for seniors.

Passes must be purchased at Legoland Florida’s main ticket windows. Each guest will receive a keepsake Cypress Gardens handout. Bob Gernert, retired director of the Winter Haven Area Chamber of Commerce and a local historian, will give a short presentation and answer guest questions each of the two days.

Though the passes are aimed at those wishing to visit Cypress Gardens, buyers will be allowed to visit the entire Legoland park."
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Kim2015-06-20 20:35:15

Kim

--Guest--
Went past the Florida pool today and it's clean but weeds,are growing around it. Don't think they've done anything to it since Legoland opened up.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2015-06-20 20:56:06

Sean

--Guest--
I wouldn't expect the park to do too much with the pool other than periodically cleaning the water. It would be nice if they added a sign explaining the significance of the pool. It's clear the gardens are a very low priority for the park so don't expect too much other than basic upkeep to take place there.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by joe2016-01-02 00:14:43

joe

--Guest--
on this day in history: it was 80 years ago today back in January 2 1936 when cypress gardens was first open its doors to the public. so happy 80th birthday to cypress gardens.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Sean2016-01-04 18:31:32

Sean

--Guest--
I'll second that...happy 80th birthday Cypress Gardens! I heard a rumor the park is contracting someone to clean out the canals. Perhaps the electric boats will be making a comeback in the next year or two. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by joe2016-01-28 23:42:28

joe

--Guest--
I wonder if there is any information out there about the restoration of the canals in cypress gardens area because I know when they open up the Florida pool they mention about cleaning out the canals and would an multi-million dollar project.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Jeff2016-04-05 19:23:18

Jeff

--Guest--
Any news on anything that's going on in the cypress gardens area
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Joe2016-08-31 22:19:38

Joe

--Guest--
Is there any news on cypress gardens area yet.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Joe2017-01-27 20:45:25

Joe

--Guest--
I wonder if There are any changes that happened in the cypress gardens area like the canals or the Florida shaped Esther Williams swimming pool so far.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Ed2017-05-31 17:59:33

Ed
Merritt Island

Ski Star V
956 Posts
LEGOLAND is slow in restoring and keeping the LEGO characters in top shape - which bear their name and what this children's park is all about! The concept that somehow they are going to spend millions to clean the canals and re-build the seawalls in gardens that don't really even belong in a children's park seem to be beyond logic. Even more beyond logic is the concept that the boats in the canals will ever return - too much cost to run and has nothing to do with or add value to a children's park. As to any possible Historical funding - that will go to replace money currently used for the minimal "upkeep" to the gardens not to fund expensive capital improvements to the gardens that LEGOLAND doesn't really want or need. We can all wish for the sky but reality is still reality.
 
re: A Walk Through The Gardens by Greg2017-06-04 12:30:55

Greg
Winter Haven, Florida

Master Botanist
1451 Posts
They've certainly been more interested in opening new areas and hotels and less about maintaining what is already there (be it Lego models or CG.)

Hoping they'll find the time and money to do some clean up now that they've pretty much run out of areas where they can expand!
 
--------------------
I am Legoland Florida's most zealous advocate!
 



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