Legoland Florida

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Legoland Florida Resort
Legoland Florida logo.svg
Slogan Built for Kids
Location Winter Haven, Florida, United States
Coordinates 27°59′21.02″N 81°41′23.77″W / 27.9891722°N 81.6899361°W / 27.9891722; -81.6899361Coordinates: 27°59′21.02″N 81°41′23.77″W / 27.9891722°N 81.6899361°W / 27.9891722; -81.6899361
Theme Lego toys and childhood amusement
Owner Merlin Entertainments
Operated by Merlin Entertainments
General Manager Rex Jackson[1]
Opened October 15, 2011 (2011-10-15)
Previous names Cypress Gardens
Operating season Year Round
Area 145 acres (0.59 km2)[2]
Rides
Total 29[3]
Roller coasters 4[3]
Water rides 6[4]
Website Official website

Legoland Florida Resort (stylized as LEGOLAND Florida Resort) is a vacation destination in Winter Haven, Florida featuring a theme park, water park and on-site accommodations. It opened as Legoland Florida on October 15, 2011,[5] and later rebranded itself Legoland Florida Resort with the opening of Legoland Hotel in May 2015. The park encompasses 145 acres (0.59 km2), making it the second-largest Legoland park after Legoland Windsor in the UK.[6] Built on the site of the former Cypress Gardens theme park, Legoland preserved the botanical gardens and re-themed the water park and select attractions and venues to reflect various Lego brands.

Designed for families with children ages 2 to 12, the resort has more than fifty rides, shows, attractions, restaurants, and shops, plus a botanical garden and water park. The 152-room Legoland Hotel opened May 15, 2015,[7] followed by Legoland Beach Retreat on April 7, 2017,[8] which has 166 rooms in 83 freestanding bungalows designed to resemble giant Lego sets.

History[edit]

On January 15, 2010, Merlin Entertainments declared its intention to build a Legoland theme park on the site of the Cypress Gardens theme park, which permanently ceased operations in 2009.[2] Six days later, a news conference was held with Florida Governor Charlie Crist and park officials.[9]

After a relatively short construction period (as compared to parks which were built from scratch), Legoland Florida opened on Saturday, October 15, 2011.[5] Three months later, Legoland Florida announced it would add a water park.[10] The former Splash Island water park reopened as Legoland Water Park on May 26, 2012. The park expanded by adding more lands such as The World of Chima, Heartlake City, and Lego Ninjago World as well as expanding itself as a resort. On November 21, 2013, LEGOLAND Florida announced they would be adding their first onsite hotel, the LEGOLAND Hotel. It opened to the public on May 15, 2015.[11] A second resort, LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, was announced March 15, 2016 as part of a major expansion effort and it opened on April 7, 2017.[12] The most recent development was the announcement of the world's first land based on The Lego Movie. It is scheduled to open in 2019.

Park layout & attractions[edit]

Entrance to Legoland Florida

More than fifty rides, shows, and attractions are featured in the park based on those at other Legoland parks. The Jungle Coaster ride from Legoland Windsor was moved to the park and renamed Lego Technic Test Track (now currently The Great Lego Race).[13] Cypress Gardens' botanical park was preserved as part of the park.[14] Also surviving is a vast Banyan tree that was planted as a seedling in a five-gallon bucket in 1939.[15] The Splash Island Waterpark was kept and is a separately ticketed admission. In addition, four attractions originally from Cypress Gardens were renovated and renamed: the Triple Hurricane wooden rollercoaster was renamed to Coastersaurus, the Okeechobee Rampage family coaster was renamed to The Dragon, and Swamp Thing, a Vekoma family inverted coaster, was renamed to Flying School. The Starliner coaster, formerly of the Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City, was dismantled for sale. The Island in the Sky observation tower was retained and operated from 2011 to 2017.[9]

The theme park has fourteen sections:[16]

The Beginning[edit]

The Beginning features no attractions, but it has the park's main gift shops, restaurants, and facilities.

Fun Town[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Grand Carosuel October 15, 2011 A two-level carousel. It originally opened with standard horses but it was refurbished in February 2012 to replace the original horses with ones based on Lego horses.
Wells Fargo Fun Town Theater October 15, 2011 (Theatre)

July 3, 2013 (Lego Chima 4D Movie Experience)

January 29, 2016 (The Lego Movie: 4D - A New Adventure)

May 26, 2016 (LEGO Nexo Knights: The Book of Creativty)

January 20, 2018 (Lego Ninjago: Masters of the 4th Dimension)

A 4D cinema with seven hundred seats. It originally premiered with Lego Racers 4D, Spellbreaker 4D and Lego City: A Clutch Powers 4D Adventure. As of 2018, the theatre is currently playing The Lego Movie: 4D - A New Adventure, Lego Nexo Knights: The Book of Creativity and Lego Ninjago: Masters of the 4th Dimension. The theater is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Heartlake City[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Mia’s Riding Adventure June 26, 2015 A Disk-O flat ride manufactured by Zamperla which has guests strapped into a horse and spin on a disc alongside a track.[17]
Heartlake Stepping Tones Fountain: June 26, 2015 Interactive, heart-shaped fountain filled with LEGO brick instruments that play music.[17]
Theatre June 26, 2015 Currently plays the show Lego Friends to the Rescue.

Miniland USA[edit]

Location Represented Added Features
New York City October 15, 2011 Rockefeller Plaza, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building, Guggenheim Museum, and Central Park Zoo.
Washington, D.C. October 15, 2011 White House, U.S. Capitol building, Smithsonian Museums, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and parts of Georgetown.
Las Vegas October 15, 2011 A realistic walk through along the Las Vegas Strip from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, past the Luxor, Excalibur, Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Paris, and the Stratosphere tower.
Florida October 15, 2011

November 19, 2014[18] (I-Drive 360 Complex)

Florida Keys, the Everglades, Miami, Tampa, Central Florida, Daytona Beach, The Kennedy Space Center, St. Augustine, the Panhandle and the I-Drive 360 complex (Orlando Eye, Sea Life Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando).
Pirates October 15, 2011 A pirate themed area featuring miniature Lego pirate ships.
Star Wars November 9, 2012

May 4, 2018 (The Force Awakens model)

A collection of models from various planets in the Star Wars universe that also replicates famous scenes in the films. The planets and respective films from which scenes are represented are: Naboo from The Phantom Menace, Geonosis from Attack of the Clones, Kashyyyk and Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith, Tatooine from A New Hope, Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back Endor from Return of the Jedi, and Jakku from The Force Awakens. The area formerly featured Christophsis featured from Star Wars: The Clone Wars but was replaced with Jakku. Also featured are life-sized models of Darth Maul, R2D2, Darth Vader, Rey and Chewbacca.

Duplo Valley[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Duplo Train May 23, 2014 A ride in a Duplo-themed train carriage.
Duplo Tractor May 23, 2014 A ride alongside a farm in a Duplo-themed tractor.
Duplo Farm October 15, 2011 An indoor, air-conditioned playground also housing the park's baby care center.
Duplo Splash Pad May 23, 2014 A toddler sized water play area.
Duplo Tot Spot May 23, 2014 An interactive play area featuring Duplo bricks and a slide.

Lego Kingdoms[edit]

Lego Kingdoms
Attraction Added Description
The Dragon October 15, 2011 A steel family coaster manufactured by Vekoma which featured an indoor dark ride portion. Originally called Okeechobee Rampage and located at a different place within the park. During construction of LEGOLAND Florida, the track was extended to include the dark ride segment and was put alongside the perimeter of the park.[19]
The Royal Joust October 15, 2011 A simulated 'joust' attraction where children ride Lego-themed horses through medieval scenes.
Merlin's Challenge October 15, 2011 A mini Himalaya flat ride with a LEGO model of Merlin as the centerpiece.
The Forestmen's Hideout October 15, 2011 Large multi-level wooden playground designed for younger children, a structure with slides, rope ladders, and bridges.

Land of Adventure[edit]

Coastersaurus
Lost Kingdom Adventure
Attraction Added Description
Beetle Bounce October 15, 2011 A dual junior drop tower ride manufactured by Zamperla.
Coastersaurus October 15, 2011 A wooden roller coaster manufactured by Martin & Vleminckx and was formerly known as Triple Hurricane. On November 21, 2013 the ride received new Millennium Flyer trains from Great Coasters International.[20][21]
Lost Kingdom Adventure October 15, 2011 An interactive dark ride manufactured by Sally Corporation based on the Lego theme Adventurers.
Pharaoh's Revenge October 15, 2011 An interactive play area involving small plastic balls (ball pit balls) moved around by air currents and suction.
Safari Trek October 15, 2011 A jeep ride featuring life-sized LEGO animal models.

Lego Ninjago World[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Lego Ninjago: The Ride January 12, 2017 An interactive 3D dark ride where four riders assume the powers of the ninjas and use their hand motions to swipe at various obstacles and villains.

Lego City[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Ford Driving School October 15, 2011 A “real-life” driving experience for children ages 6 through 13, where children receive their official Legoland driver’s license which can be upgraded to have their photo and watch a video on how to drive. The ride and the junior ride are sponsored by Ford.
Ford Jr. Driving School October 15, 2011 A smaller version of the driving school attraction for children ages 3 through 5.
Flying School October 15, 2011 A Suspended Family Coaster manufactured by Vekoma themed around an airport. The attraction was previously called Swamp Thing.
Boating School October 15, 2011 Self-propelled boat-ride that travels a winding watercourse.
Rescue Academy: October 15, 2011 Competitive team attraction where groups propel a hand pumped truck in a race down a street to douse a simulated building "fire" or to take down a "criminal" and return the truck.

Lego Technic[edit]

AQUAZONE Wave Racers
Attraction Added Manufacturer Description
AQUAZONE Wave Racers October 15, 2011 Zierer A dual water carousel where guests spin out over the water while off-riders try to blast water cannons in the ride's pond.
The Great Lego Race October 15, 2011 (as Lego Technic Test Track)

March 23, 2018 (as The Great Lego Race)

Mack Rides A large wild mouse coaster with a VR experience. Replaced Project X, the Florida version of Lego Technic Test Track.
Technicycle October 15, 2011 Zamperla A pedal-powered spinning machine that propels riders into the air.

Imagination Zone[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Built & Test October 15, 2011 An exhibit where guests can build a Lego car and test it on the digitally timed track.
Kid Power Towers October 15, 2011 A set of towers where guests can hoist themselves up to the top then enjoy a “free-fall” to the bottom.
Lego Mindstorms October 15, 2011 An exhibit where guests can build and program computerized Lego Mindstorms robots.
WB Games Zone 2012 A room where players can try out levels of the Lego video games.

Pirates' Cove[edit]

Attraction Added Description
The Battle For Brickbeard's Bounty October 15, 2011 A live-action water ski show performed daily on Lake Eloise Lake, featuring a mix of human skiers and LEGO costumed characters such as the pirate Captain Brickbeard.

Cypress Gardens[edit]

Cypress Gardens

Legoland Water Park[edit]

Attraction Added Description
Lego Wave Pool May 26, 2012 A gentle wave pool[4]
Twin Chasers May 26, 2012 Two 375-foot (114 m) long tube water slides[4]
Splash Out May 26, 2012 Three body slides each with a 60-foot (18 m) drop.[4]
Joker Soaker May 26, 2012 Children's water play area[4]
Build-A-Raft River May 26, 2012 A 1,000-foot (300 m) long lazy river with interactive inner tubes that had a baseplate which could stack floating Lego bricks.[4]
Duplo Splash Safari May 26, 2012 Toddler's water play area[4]

Former Attractions[edit]

Island in the Sky

The following are individual attractions that have closed formerly operated throughout the park's history:

Attraction Section Added Removed Description
Lego Factory Tour Fun Town October 15, 2011 2014 A walk-through attraction that taught visitors how a Lego brick was made. The building also shared space with the model shop, where visitors could peer in seeing the park's master builder's build the models for not only LEGOLAND Florida but for the LEGOLAND parks and discovery centers around the world. The walk-through attraction closed around 2014 to expand the model shop. The model shop was then moved off-site to a larger facility and space eventually became a store housing a "Pick a Brick" wall as well as discounted sets.
Fresh from Florida Greenhouse Fun Town 2012 2015 A conservatory where guest could walk through and be educated on foods made in the state of Florida. The conservatory was demolished and replaced along with some of the mansion's grounds with the Heartlake City section.
Island in the Sky The Beginning October 15, 2011 2017 A 150 feet (46 m) rotating platform ride that provided a 360° view of the park that opened with the park. After standing dormant throughout 2017 on January 25, 2018, LEGOLAND Florida officially announced its closure [22]

As of 2018 only one section of the park has closed while another has been rethemed:

  • The World of Chima

The World of Chima was a section based on Lego's Legends of Chima sets and was sponsored by Cartoon Network throughout the area's lifespan. The area opened on July 3, 2013 and was the park's first new land.[23] It was closed on May 29, 2017 and will be replaced by The LEGO Movie World. The area contained the following attractions:

Attraction Description
Quest for Chi A splash battle attraction manufactured by Mack Rides
Cragger's Swamp An interactive water play area.
Speedorz Arena An interactive LEGO play station where children raced their Speedorz creations.
  • Duplo Village

Duplo Village originally opened with the park on October 15, 2011. On October 3, 2013 it was announced that the area would be enhanced and rethemed as Duplo Valley.[24] One attraction would be removed while the others were re-themed:

  • Junior Fire Academy: A small roundabout where children could control a fire truck and attempt to take out fires, similar to the Rescue Academy attraction across the park.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rex Jackson Named General Manager of LEGOLAND® Florida Resort". Legoland Florida Resort. July 21, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Merlin Entertainments Group to open Legoland Florida" (PDF). Legoland Florida. January 15, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Legoland". Legoland Florida Resort. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Legoland Water Park". Legoland Florida. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "It's a date: Legoland Florida to open Oct. 15". May 23, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ "World's Largest Legoland Park 'Legoland Florida' Will Open Saturday, October 15, 2011". Net News Publisher. May 23, 2011. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved August 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Florida's Legoland Hotel is literally a toddler's dream house". Mashable. May 18, 2015. Archived from the original on June 28, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Endless Fun in the Sun Awaits at LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat, All-New Accommodations Now Open at LEGOLAND Florida Resort". Legoland Florida Resort. April 7, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b Garcia, Jason; Sara K. Clarke (January 21, 2010). "Legoland Florida: Merlin Entertainments reveals details of new Winter Haven park". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ Driver, Wendy (January 2, 2012). "The best events of 2012: Launch yourself into a thrilling New Year!". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  11. ^ "LEGOLAND® Florida Announces LEGOLAND Hotel Opening in 2015". 
  12. ^ "LEGOLAND® Florida Resort Announces All-New Beach-Themed Accommodations, Immersive Theme Park Land with Cutting-Edge LEGO® NINJAGO® Attraction and '4D' Theatrical Experience Starring LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS™". www.prnewswire.com. 
  13. ^ "Project X". 
  14. ^ "Legoland Park Information". Florida Bricks. Retrieved June 28, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Legoland in Florida". LEGOLAND in Florida. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  16. ^ "LEGOLAND Florida Amusement Park Map". Legoland Florida Resort. Retrieved January 6, 2018. 
  17. ^ a b "LEGOLAND Florida's new Heartlake City area now open to the public - LEGOLAND in Florida". LEGOLAND in Florida. 
  18. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Legoland Florida creates brick version of Orlando Eye". 
  19. ^ Marden, Duane. "Dragon  (Legoland Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved June 14, 2018. 
  20. ^ "Behind The Thrills - Legoland Florida digs up new thrills with all new GCI "Mini-Llennium Flyer" trains on wooden coaster". behindthethrills.com. 
  21. ^ Marden, Duane. "Coastersaurus  (Legoland Florida)". Roller Coaster DataBase. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Island in the Sky now closed at Legoland Florida Resort". January 25, 2018. 
  23. ^ Sentinel, Dewayne Bevil, Orlando. "Legoland Florida: World of Chima expansion to open July 3". 
  24. ^ "Legoland Florida Expanding Toddler Area - Coaster101". October 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]