In Which Hitty sees Star Wars, Pirates, Times Square and Las Vegas in One Day

Just in case you think I have discovered a new way of travel or have learned to teleport myself, let me explain that you can see all this and much more at Legoland, the oldest and the newest theme park in Florida

Logoland Florida is the former Cypress Gardens and is located on Lake Eloise in Winter Haven, Florida.

Cypress Gardens opened in 1936 and was Florida's first theme park.  The botanical gardens and water shows made it world famous.  Esther Williams, actor and competitive swimmer, starred in movies and TV specials filmed at Cypress Gardens.  So many groundbreaking stunts and world records were broken there that Cypress Gardens was billed as the "Water Ski Capitol" of the world.

Competition for attendance became critical when Disney World opened in 1971.  Founders Dick and Julie Pope retired in 1980 and ownership passed to their son.  Cypress Gardens closed in 2009 and the park re-opened as Legoland Florida in 2011.

Legoland features the original botanical gardens, water shows, a water park, rides, shopping and Miniland USA. Forget the roller coasters----the miniature replicas of cities and landmarks----made completely of legos---was my favorite part of the park.

The Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee with other cities in the background

News conference on the capitol building steps!

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Fort at St Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously operated European settlement and port in the United States.  It is a very popular tourist attraction and a beautiful old city.

Miami Beach

The Space Shuttle

On to New York

Times Square and the Statue of Liberty

On to the West Coast

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Hollywood Bowl and on the set of Star Wars (below)

We brought home souvenirs.  Watch where you step!

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