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Zipitydooda
08-03-2006, 11:19 PM
I just posted this on the "attractions" board, but I thought it would be good here too.

I just want to put in a plug for Cypress Gardens. For anyone who has younger kids, this place is great! A lot of folks are in Orlando and mixing it up at different parks and are looking for something inexpensive to do on their down days. We have re-discovered Cypress Gardens. They have a buy 1 day get another free deal that turns out to be less than $20 per day and it is really geared for the younger set. No lines, great shows, and lots of water fun at their excellent water park--all included! Their night ski show is great and the food is very reasonable. We got the annual passes for $60ish and they are also good at Wild Adventures in Georgia. The other great thing is you can still do Disney at night! We take the 6 and 3 year old kids to Cypress Gardens during the day and then to Boardwalk at night (after a swim and a nap) for dinner and fireworks, or dinner at Ft Wilderness Campground buffet and the electric boat show/fireworks. Great for the low key trips where you can't squeeze all Disney all the time due to budget constraints. Cypress Gardens is very easy to get to using I 4 (briefly) to 27 south about 15-20 mins to Cypress Gardens Blvd in Winter Haven. They have great down size roller coasters for kids, and the crowds are so low kids stay in the seats for another ride! It is not Disney, but it is a wonderful experience blending the old and new. Give it a try. :cheer2:

Christypl
08-04-2006, 06:26 AM
I second it! Winter Haven is my hometown. Before we moved last month I took my 3 year old weekly. The water park is great for little ones. There are a lot of great places to eat in Winter Haven also.

gottaluvdis
08-04-2006, 10:12 AM
I'll also give a hearty recommendation. We go to CG pretty often since it is fairly close to my in-laws house (up Rt 27 about 45 minutes). We were just there in Feb. We hadn't been since Anhauser Busch sold it and it was re-purchased. The new owners kept it the same with some new additions (particularly rides). DD loved staying on the rides as many times as she wanted. It does not get crowded. We really like the butterfly conservatory (with a live-in parrot) and the water ski show. The gardens are lovely to walk through as well, and there are animals for the kids to see. Definitely a good deal for those looking to see something other than Disney. I thought it was a little further than 15-20 minutes from Disney though. I'd say more like 35-40 minutes.

Zipitydooda
08-04-2006, 12:36 PM
You are right, I guess I really did not think about the time on 27. Still worth the extra few minutes!

Ozymoe
08-04-2006, 12:44 PM
My DDs17 and I are planning to do this in a few weeks. We have Disney APs, but the girls still talk about how much they enjoyed the day at CG several years ago...especially the butterfly conservatory. I have never been (the girls went that day with daddy, while I took DS and his friend to MK for the day)...so I am really looking forward to it.

Zipitydooda
08-04-2006, 10:52 PM
It really is nice but of course it is not Disney. Right around the entrance is a ride that is nice to get a view of what is at the park. It is a large, slow moving "arm" that slowly raises a slowly rotating viewing deck. From there, you can see all the old parts of the park that are in all the old post cards. It is right near the butterflys.