Thursday, September 24, 2009

Florida's First Theme Park Closes

Known for beautiful Southern Belles in period costume greeting visitors in the expansive botanical gardens, Cypress Gardens closed its doors on Wednesday. The state’s first theme park opened in 1936 and featured daily water ski shows that defied gravity.

So in honor of Cypress Gardens, I want to encourage everyone to give some of Florida’s classic theme parks and roadside attractions a visit before they disappear from the Sunshine State landscape.

Weeki Wachee Springs, my personal favorite, home to the underwater mermaid show and one of the deepest freshwater springs in the state.

Gatorland, a roadside attraction that pays homage to Florida’s native alligator.

Marineland, the world’s first oceanarium, opened in 1938. Today you can swim with dolphins and learn about ocean life in a unique oceanfront park.

Silver Springs, where the glass bottom boat ride originated, is a great wildlife and wilderness park and yes you can still take the boat ride.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm, which began way back in 1893 as the first animal attraction of its kind.  See alligators, Gator Wrasslin’, snakes, turtles, monkeys, birds, and much more along with educational shows. 

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