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Cypress Gardens

Last revised March 23, 2000.
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At A Glance Cypress Gardens is located approx 45 miles southwest of Orlando. Main attractions consist of stunning plant displays, daily waterskiing shows, large butterfly house, and a large model railway layout.
Open daily from 09:30 - 17:30 with extended hours in peak season, entry costs around $28 Adults, and $17 children 3-9. Time required - 1 Day

Established in the mid 1930's, Cypress Gardens ranks as Florida's oldest theme park, though there are no thrill rides to frighten visitors here. It's more of a relaxing environment, of plants, animals, and stunning flower displays, through which visitors can wander at leisure, though there are some impressive organised waterskiing displays put on daily. An aerial view of the whole park can be obtained by riding the 'Kodak Island in the Sky' - a 153 ft high revolving platform.

Cypress Gardens is located approximately 45 miles southwest of Orlando, off the US 27 near Winter Haven. The park is 223 acres in size, over half of which is laid out in stunning floral arrangements, with over 8,000 varieties of plants and flowers, including bougainvillea at over 40ft high, floss silk trees, bird of paradise, chrysanthemums, and of course the Cypress trees after which the park derives it's name. The All-Americal Rose Garden includes 500 of the most popular American rode varieties.

Plant festivals held at Cypress Gardens include an annual Chrysanthemum festival, held during Mid November, which consisting of more than 2 million blooms is the largest display in America, and a Poinsettia festival, from mid December until mid January. Southern Belles dressed in period costume provide an added touch of colour, and are happy to pose for photographs.

Cypress Gardens double as a wildlife haven, where visitors can explore nature trails, a large aviary, and a forest area that nurtures threatened and endangered wildlife. There's also a huge climate controlled glass conservatory, which houses more than 50 species of butterflies from around the world.

The park also holds America's most elaborate model railway, with 1,100 feet of track, 400 buildings, and 4,800 miniature animal and human figures, cast in the role of Cypress Junction, recreating a typical American town in various seasonal settings.



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