The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, April 14, 2003

GOODBYE CYPRESS GARDENS (AS BIG AS ELVIS??)
the un-theme park
It was a sad day in central Florida this past weekend. The section of the state that's largely defined by theme parks said goodbye to one of its oldest venues, as Cypress Gardens closed rather abruptly after 67 years of operation.

The park had been floundering for years, as its sedate flower gardens and waterski shows just couldn't compete with the dazzle of all the Disney and Disney-esque megaparks in Orlando. Being situated in Winter Haven--the middle of nowhere, basically--didn't help either. Although it was part of the Busch Entertainment Corporation network of parks for a long time (not for the last few years, though; if it still were, it probably would've gotten shuttered years ago), it's roots really were the same as those of other old-timey roadside Florida attractions, and like most of those, its time has passed.

I liked this reaction to the closing; it just drips Cracker sensibility:

"To me, this hit me as hard as when Elvis died," Tom Allen said. "This is serious."


Daaaaaaaamn, G! No foolin', as bad as when The King croaked? That's heavy, babe.