You CAN go home again. Starliner, the wooden roller coaster transplanted to the now-defunct Cypress Gardens park in Winter Haven, will be reassembled in its birthplace, Panama City Beach, according to a report in the News Herald of Panama City.
The coaster, first constructed in 1963, was purchased by Cypress Gardens after the Miracle Strip closed in the Panhandle. It moved to Winter Haven and began operation in 2007. However, after Legoland purchased Cypress Gardens earlier this year, the new owner decided it didn't fit into the plans for the reconfigured theme park, set to open in late 2010. It was unassembled and put up for sale. (UPDATE: Legoland officials said late Monday that despite reports to the contrary, the sale of Starliner has not been finalized.)
Enter Teddy and Jenny Meeks, who are operating Pier Park in Panama City Beach. They plan to add a magnetic braking system to the classic wooden structure and hope to have it running by summer of 2012, according to the News Herald. Teddy Meeks said the project -- including purchase, transportation and rebuilding -- will run about $2 million.