Hard hit by Hurricane Charley over the summer, Cypress Gardens experienced their share of set backs when it came to the reopening, but thanks to owner Kent Buescher and his dedicated crew the park did reopen and thankfully the World-renown water ski show does go on.
"When I arrived Saturday morning at Cypress Gardens I was devastated," said Buescher. "We had spent so much time restoring and rejuvenating the park that it was heartbreaking to see six months of hard work disappear overnight."
The show goes on.
After almost 5 million dollars of repairs, Cypress Gardens opened its gates to excited park goers, Dec. 9, 2004. The Grand Opening gave patrons access to the famous botanical gardens, 4 roller coasters, three-dozen other rides, animal exhibits and of course the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show, pulled exclusively by Malibu Boats.
Gary Thompson of Water Ski Shows Inc. raved, "Cypress Gardens is the water ski capital of the world, and with the reopening of the park we have reclaimed that position with a show that delivers high energy, in a fast paced format with the very highest standards of skiing performance."
Featuring the best water skiers in the world, the water ski show runs 4 shows daily at Cypress Gardens. The show's theme is "Top Fun Water Ski Academy". It consists of a show introduction, an opening ski segment with skier introductions, a Malibu boat and driver introduction, wakeboarding, sky skiing, comedy, barefooting, doubles skiing, swivel skiing, incredible jumping, kite boarding and hang gliding from 800 feet to bring the cast back to stage for the spectacular finale.
Thompson explained, "The show theme "Top Fun Water Ski Academy" focuses on precision and professionalism, while keeping the audience involved and excited enough they may forget to catch their breath." He continued to say, "Our theme definitely sets the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show apart from any other show."
After attending the Cypress Gardens' Grand Opening, Kurt Greber, Malibu Boats Midwestern Sales Manager, said, "I was amazed at the ability of a relatively small entourage of athletes to exhibit such an entertainingly fast paced show." Greber enthusiastically continued, "I would have given it two thumbs up, but my ice cream cone was dripping down my left hand. Cypress Gardens has great concessions too."
A total of five Malibu boats rule the waters of Cypress Gardens' Mango Bay where the new ski show takes place. Skiers are towed by one of three brand new 2005 Response LXi's, while the show's wakeboarders and sky skiers are pulling big air behind a 2005 Wakesetter VLX and gliders are yanked 800 feet into the air behind Malibu's new 2005 iRide. Malibu Boats builds boats to accommodate each water sports discipline and Cypress Gardens is the perfect venue to showcase the extreme versatility in the Malibu model line-up.
"Since our grand opening, we've received an overwhelming response from our guests regarding our ski show and the rebirth of Cypress Gardens Adventure Park as the Water Ski Capital of the World," shared Alyson Gernert, public relations manager. "The blending of our talented skiers with the speed and performance of Malibu boats has created an unforgettable show for everyone to enjoy."
The Cypress Gardens' Water Ski Show acts as the perfect test bed for Malibu boat design. Thanks to this new relationship Malibu's Research and Development Center has the opportunity to implement potential model changes and test them in the rigors of a show skiing environment. If a new Malibu innovation can survive and make the boat better in this environment then that change is worthy of making it onto a customer's boat.
When asked about this new partnership with Cypress Gardens, Paul Singer, Malibu VP of Sales and Marketing, had this to say, "We are extremely excited to throw the 'Malibu Difference' behind Cypress Gardens' return to the rich heritage of show skiing that made this historic Florida park great." Singer continued, "The world's number one ski show and the world's number one tow boat make a great pair and a wonderful show!"
Tickets to the show.
Cypress Gardens general admission tickets provide access to all activities in the park including the Ski Show. Grand Opening price - $29.95 + tax for admissions through Feb. 28, 2005! Tickets can only be purchased online or at the park. For more information visit Cypress Gardens.