Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LEGOLAND set to open October 15, 2011


They’ve been used to create everything from sea serpents and soaring cathedrals to likenesses of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But when more than 50 million LEGO® bricks are fully assembled in Central Florida this October, they’ll produce the most stunning creation yet – LEGOLAND® Florida.

Inspired by the ubiquitous LEGO brick, dubbed “Toy of the Century” by Fortune Magazine, the new 150-acre theme park will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions, and a breathtaking botanical garden.

Just 45 minutes west of Disney and a 45-minute drive east from Tampa, LEGOLAND Florida rests along the shores of Lake Eloise in the city of Winter Haven. Guests will experience 10 easy-to-navigate and highly-themed zones:

The Beginning serves as the park’s entry and features the Island in the Sky, a 100-foot rotating platform ride that offers a 360° view of the entire p ark. Also found here are The Big Shop – one of the largest LEGO retail stores in the world – and The Market Restaurant, which includes a coffee shop with freshly baked pastries, espresso, milk, juice, fruit and yogurt, as well as freshly prepared, healthy family meals served throughout the day.

Fun Town offers families a firsthand look at how LEGO bricks are made from factory to finish. This zone is also the location of a two-story Grand Carousel with LEGO-themed horses and the Fun Town Theater, a 4D movie center that seats 700 and shows three different 4D movies throughout the day. Fun Town also features the Studio Store which sells licensed LEGO products.

Castle Hill is inspired by all things medieval and takes kids back to a time of knights, princesses and dragons. Major attractions include The Dragon, an indoor/outdoor steel roller coaster that offers a hilarious, behind-the-scenes view of life within the enchanted LEGOLAND Castle; and The Royal Joust where kids can storm the castle riding LEGO-themed horses and challenge other riders in a simulated joust.

Miniland USA is the heart of every LEGOLAND Park, and home to eight remarkably themed areas that represent miniature versions of landmarks found throughout the United States.
  • Florida. This version of the Sunshine State spans the entire state from Mallory Square in Key West to antebellum mansions in the Panhandle. Miniland Florida also includes expanded areas for Kennedy Space Center and an interactive Daytona International Speedway® racing experience where guests can race LEGO brick cars;
  • Las Vegas includes the world-famous Strip with casinos, a miniature wedding chapel, monorails and real-life sounds recorded in the city;
  • Washington, D.C. features faithful re-creations of the White House (including the first family and “first dog”), as well as the U.S. Capitol building and Smithsonian museums;
  • New York City, where a fleet of animated yellow taxicabs navigates the streets of Times Square, along with iconic landmarks like The Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station and a 21-foot Empire State Building;
  • California showcases a San Francisco skyline complete with the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and painted row houses, as well as famous southern California icons like Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Bowl, the Hollywood sign and Madame Tussauds; and
  • Pirates, a themed section that hosts a full-on swashbuckling pirate adventure and several large-scale ships.

Land of Adventure entices adventurers of all ages to explore this fun-filled zone. Major attractions include Coastersaurus, a wooden coaster that curves and dips in and around a lifesized LEGO brick dinosaur; Lost Kingdom Adventure, a spectacular, Egyptian-themed dark ride that lets guests fire laser blasters and navigate an ancient ruined temple in all-terrain roadsters; and Safari Trek which explores the wilds of Africa and features amazingly life-like LEGO animals.

XTreme is the most “intense” zone in the park. Here courageous youngsters and daring adults will brave the LEGO TECHNIC® Test Track Coaster where they’ll harness the power of acceleration, braking and maneuverability as they race a life-size LEGO TECHNIC vehicle along a wildly twisting track. This area is also home to AQUAZONE® Wave Racers, which lets riders zip in and out of waves as they dodge kid-powered water blasters on their own LEGO jet skis.

LEGO City is the perfect place for youngsters to live out their dreams in a scaled-down town created just for them. At Driving School (and its counterpart Jr. Driving School), youngsters from ages 3 to 13 get to drive their own car, navigate roads and earn a commemorative driver’s license. Other major attractions include Boating School, a fun-filled ride that allows kids to captain their own mini-vessels; Flight School, a suspended rollercoaster that simulates the thrill of flight; and the LEGO City Rescue Academy, where families compete with one another in fire and police vehicles to be the first to put out a simulated “blaze” and save the day.

Imagination Zone is the most hands-on section of the park, emphasizing exploration and creation. The zone is home to several of the most visually exciting LEGO models in the world, including a giant replica of Albert Einstein’s head. The Imagination Zone is where guests can build a LEGO car they can test against the competition on the digitally timed track; or build and program cutting-edge, computerized LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots. It’s also home to Kid Power Towers, where kids and parents hoist themselves up to the top of a tower to get a great view of the entire park, then enjoy a fun “free-fall” to the bottom.

DUPLO® Village is an ideal area for the youngest set who get to fly a plane, drive a car or explore a whole town designed with their height in mind. The little guys call all the shots here on Big Rig Rally, Granny’s Jalopies and the Junior Fire Brigade where tots become voluntary firemen and work together to extinguish “flames.”

Pirate’s Cove rests along the picturesque shores of Lake Eloise, but alas, has been taken over by a host of swashbuckling LEGO “mini-fig” pirates who star in a live-action, water-stunt show that will bring families nose to nose with all the action.

In addition to the 10 zones, LEGOLAND Florida has taken great care to preserve the soul of the park – the historic gardens established on the grounds of its Cypress Gardens predecessor more than 75 years ago. The setting has been restored to its pristine condition, and the collection of native plants, including azaleas and camellias, has been reclaimed and combined with a range of exotic species to create a horticultural masterpiece. And still standing sentinel in the garden is the vast Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in 1939.

A full day of high-energy, memory-making fun awaits families at LEGOLAND Florida, the ideal family vacation getaway with plenty of heart-pounding rides and exhilarating attractions in quite possibly the world’s most charming theme park setting.

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