Sunday, 28 August 2011

There's more to Florida than Disney

It's probably about time that I began to discuss the other attractions in Orlando outside of  Disney World.

Obsessed Disney fans rarely go offsite usually because it's not safe downtown dressed like this:

ummm.... nice sea shells
But there are some other things to see and do beyond the World. Whilst there can be no doubt that Uncle Walt primarily drove bulk tourism to Orlando, Florida had long been a sunny haven for the northern 'snowbirds' with beaches and golf courses and gators. The postcards from the 1950's show what it was like.

Cypress Gardens was opened in the thirties as a beautiful botanical garden.  Post WWII tourism grew and the Gardens became more popular and by the fifities Cypress Gardens was the Water Skiing Capital of the World!

The Gardens went from this.....

... to this:

This should be an Olympic sport!
 Of course, by the eighties, Disney was not to out-done by any old waterskiing pyramids and quickly put the characters on the water.

thighs of steel

And Disney have not been the only ones to transform the landscape. Today, the water skiing madness is over, Cypress Gardens is long gone, but on October 15 will re-open as the biggest Legoland theme park in the world!

I wonder if lego waterskis stay in one piece when going over the jumps?
Considering Disney own the rights to Star Wars, I doubt Legoland will be able to do anything like this though:

In a lovely touch, Legoland do plan on maintaining the original botanical garden - you can see that famous little bridge on their map

Mr Ice Cream is helping
But wait a minute ......... what's that I see on the map?

Will Legoland be reviving the water skiing craze?

Old postcards sourced from; 

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