From the quiet Cypress Gardens located in Orlando a shot from one of the botanical gardens. I have not been in FLA for a bit and have heard that Legoland has taken over the property of Cypress Gardens and has kept some of the gardens in place? When I went a few years back there was only a few people visiting the park and it was nice to have had a chance to see it!
Here is some history from the web: Cypress Gardens was one of Central Florida’s original tourist attractions, opening in 1936. This makes it a contemporary of Gatorland, another popular attraction that predates the arrival of the Disney Empire, having opened in 1949.
The original attraction at Cypress Gardens was the namesake botanical gardens, including a sprawling banyan tree. Over time, other attractions were added, like strolling Southern Belles in period costumes and a water ski show on adjacent Lake Eloise. Water skiing often overshadowed the gardens as a point of interest, and many world records in the sport were broken at Cypress Gardens over the years.
Cypress Gardens became a popular spot for filming movies and television specials in the 1950s and 1960s, with Esther Williams starting in several of them. Johnny Carson also appeared in a special at the park, and it was visiting by such celebrities as Elvis Presley.
The arrival of the Disney theme parks hurt Cypress Gardens, which is located about an hour away from Downtown Orlando, in a more far-flung spot called Winter Haven. It changed hands several times, starting in the 1980s, and attempted to reinvent itself as more of a traditional theme park, with roller coasters and other rides, eventually adding a small water park as well.
Competition increase as other Orlando theme parks like SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure kept people from leaving the immediate Orlando area. The struggling theme park, now rechristened as Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, suffered a further blow when three hurricanes struck the region in 2004.
There were sporadic park closures over the year, culminating in a final closure in September, 2009.