Industry Veteran Takes Helm, Bringing Three Decades of Experience to Lead Park Operations and Innovation

Merlin Entertainments’ LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is pleased to announce the appointment of Franceen Gonzales as its new Park President, effective June 10th. With more than 30 years of experience in amusement parks, water parks, hotels, and family entertainment, Gonzales brings a wealth of expertise to the role. She will oversee all park operations for LEGOLAND Florida Resort, LEGOLAND® Water Park, Peppa Pig Theme Park, LEGOLAND® Hotel, LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel and LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat.

Gonzales has garnered extensive industry knowledge from leading U.S. companies in the theme park sector. Previously, she served as Park Director at Six Flags Great Adventure and as Vice President of Risk Management at Great Wolf Resorts. Most recently, she held the position of Chief Experience Officer at WhiteWater West, spearheading customer experience initiatives across five business units and five global offices. Among her notable projects are Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day Island, featuring its inaugural cladded tower, AquaNick Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, with custom SpongeBob and PAW Patrol themes, two major expansions of the highest-attended water park in Brazil, and various other high- profile projects that have set industry benchmarks in innovation and guest experience.

"I'm excited to return to my roots in park operations and thrilled to continue the legacy of success at the world-class LEGOLAND Florida Resort, alongside a dedicated team committed to delivering exceptional guest experiences,” said Gonzales. “Stepping through the Park, I rediscovered the sense of wonderment that both children and adults experience here. It's truly special, and I feel deeply honored to be joining this incredible team."

With a hobby and passion for the amusement park industry and industry safety, Gonzales currently holds the distinction of being ASTM International’s first female chair for its 2024 committee, which writes the global technical safety standards for the industry. She has also served on the Board of Directors for IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) twice, as well as on the board for the WWA (World Waterpark Association). Additionally, she has held the position of Chairman of AIMS International (Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers).


About LEGOLAND Florida Resort
LEGOLAND Florida Resort is the ultimate vacation destination for families with kids. Located 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, the Resort features an interactive, 150-acre Theme Park with more than 60 rides, live shows and themed attractions inspired by popular LEGO brands and characters, a seasonably heated Water Park, that is open year-round, with more than a dozen family water slides, and three uniquely themed on-site accommodations. Located 130 kid-steps away from the Theme Park’s front gate, LEGOLAND Hotel and the new LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel bring the Theme Park fun into the hotel with nightly entertainment, resort pools, and guest rooms with separate adult and child sleeping areas, and in-room treasure hunts. Just across the street, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat features beach-themed bungalows in village-style layouts centered around outdoor play areas and unforgettable Florida lake views.

See for more information and follow @LEGOLANDflorida on social media.

About Merlin Entertainments
Merlin Entertainments is a world leader in branded entertainment destinations, offering a diverse portfolio of resort theme parks, city- center gateway attractions, and LEGOLAND Resorts which span across the UK, US, Western Europe, China, and Asia Pacific. Dedicated to creating experiences that inspire joy and connection, Merlin welcomes more than 62 million guests annually to its growing estate, with more than 140 sites across 23 countries. An expert in bringing world-famous entertainment brands to life, Merlin works with partners including the LEGO Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Peppa Pig, DreamWorks, and Ferrari to create destinations where guests can immerse themselves in a wide array of brand-driven worlds, rides, and uplifting learning experiences.

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Vanessa Evans
Head of Public Relations, LEGOLAND Resorts, North America