Hosts Banks Lee and JeniLynn Knopp bring you this week’s theme park and attraction news. On this week’s episode: [Read more…]
Hosts Banks Lee and JeniLynn Knopp bring you this week’s theme park and attraction news. On this week’s episode:
One of Disney’s most popular restaurants, California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, will be reopening on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 following a major makeover. [Read more…]
The 220-acre sports complex at Walt Disney World formerly known as Disney’s Wide World of Sports has been rebranded by ESPN, and will officially relaunch Feb. 25 as “ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.”
The “E” of the ESPN logo was lowered into place on the complex’s entrance today. Disney’s multi-sport venue hosts more than 250 sporting events each year for amateur and professional athletes.
On Feb. 25, ESPN Wide World of Sports will re-open with more than 40 high-definition and robotic video cameras, plus 10 handheld cameras, and 40 high-definition video screens, including two Jumbotrons placed throughout the complex. More information can be found at espnwwos.com.
Photo by Gene Duncan.
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Merlin Entertainments Group has purchased Cypress Gardens.
A spokeswoman for Merlin said the purchase includes the current Cypress Gardens theme park, the Splash Island water park and the adjacent botanical gardens. The company did not disclose the sales price.
Merlin is the second busiest amusement operator in the world. Its holdings include Legoland theme parks, Madame Tussaud’s wax museums and the London Eye.
The acquisition also increases the already substantial presence of private-equity colossus The Blackstone Group in Central Florida’s theme-park industry. Blackstone, which has fall purchased SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and co-owns Universal Orlando, holds a majority stake in Merlin.
Last June, we reported rumors of Legoland possibly coming to Central Florida. Some Legoland visitors took a Legoland online survey which asked their thoughts about visiting Legoland Florida if it were to be built. It also asked what they thought about Legoland being built where Cypress Gardens is located.
Cypress Gardens closed last September after a months-long closing and removing all of their rides, then reopening with just the gardens and ski show.
A press conference has been scheduled for next Thursday to discuss the sale. The Stars of Florida Waterski Show Web site also lists Jan. 21 as an important date, stating “Check back to this website for news on Cypress Gardens! Jan. 21st could be a big day!”