America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No.11 Legoland
LEGOLAND is a chain of family theme parks, which has its main focus on the toy Lego. They are not fully owned by The Lego Group itself; rather they are owned and operated by the British theme park company Merlin Entertainments. Only two of the LEGOLAND parks are located in the United States (California and Florida). The other parks are located in Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia and Dubai.
The parks are marketed to families with younger children (11 and under), and although the attractions include a number of roller coasters, the roller coasters are not as numerous or as extreme as those in other parks, and there is a greater emphasis on rides suitable for younger children.
LEGOLAND parks are split into various areas, which are consistent among the chain’s parks. All of the parks include a LEGO mini-land, a model village which includes models of landmarks and scenes from around the world, made from millions of genuine LEGO bricks.
LEGOLAND and Education
An important aspect of LEGOLAND is education and learning. Examples include:
- Water flow channels in which kids can construct dams from LEGO blocks to understand water flow.
- Interactive musical instruments, such as musical fountains, and the Aquatune hydraulophone, which is an underwater pipe organ in the shape of a giant LEGO block
- A LEGO Mindstorms centre for fun-based learning
- Duplo Gardens (for smaller children)
- Driving area (including attractions such as Driving school, Boating school, Ballooning school, Flying school, and Fire Academy)
- My Town
- Wild Woods
- Knights’ Kingdom
The parks’ rides are all LEGO themed and many are made to appear as if they are built from LEGO bricks. They tend to be based on one particular line of LEGO: for example, a popular ride at all six parks is the Dragon Coaster, which is loosely based on the Knights’ Kingdom LEGO sets. Another popular ride is the Driving school, in which children can drive small electric cars made to look like LEGO cars around a small road network, after which they gain a mock driving licence.
Despite the commonality of the above-mentioned attractions, the exact set of rides varies between parks, although as with the Disney parks there is some overlap.
The LEGOLAND resorts located in the United States are made up of the theme park, water park, LEGO themed hotels. California also offers an aquarium while Florida offers a botanical garden.
LEGOLAND California Resort
The park is located in Carlsbad, California and opened in 1999. Legoland California is home to over 60 rides and attractions and 30,000 LEGO models.
LEGOLAND California is split into sections including: The Beginning, Explorer Island, Heartlake City, Fun Town, Castle Hill, Mini-land USA, Imagination Zone, Pirate Shores, and Land of Adventure.
A Sea Life aquarium is adjacent to LEGOLAND California. In 2010, a water park opened on its grounds, as one of the only three of LEGOLAND parks (Followed by LEGOLAND Florida [Formerly known as Splash Island], Malaysia, and Dubai being the newest) to feature a water park.
On May 24, 2014, an add-on was built for the water park, themed after Legends of Chima.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Located in Winter Haven, LEGOLAND Florida Resort opened in 2011 and houses over 50 rides and attractions. There are over 32 million LEGOs used just in the Mini-land USA section of the park.
In Mini-land USA you can see replicas of iconic locations from around the country including Daytona International Speedway and Kennedy Space Center. LEGO Star Wars offers a chronological path through the Star Wars film saga with seven scenes depicted in 2,000 LEGO models.
The park was built on the former site of Cypress Gardens, a historically famous Florida theme park.
This park is divided into many areas: The Beginning, Fun Town, Duplo Land, Mini-land USA, Kingdoms, Pirates Cove, Imagination Zone, Technic, Land of Adventure, Lego City, Chima, LEGO Friends, Ninjago, and a restored replica of Cypress Gardens.
LEGOLAND Florida opened a water park replacing the former Cypress Gardens “Splash Island” water park on May 26, 2012.
LEGOLAND hotels are located steps from the main entrance of LEGOLAND parks. The hotels feature interactive areas, entertainment and surprises around every corner. Rooms are all LEGO themed.
All stays at LEGOLAND hotels include interactive LEGO features throughout the property, a FREE hot breakfast buffet, nightly children’s entertainment and an in-room treasure hunt that leads to even more fun for the kids.
PLUS meet a Master Model Builder and follow step-by-step instructions as you build your own LEGO souvenir in the Master Model Builders’ Workshop – an experience exclusive to hotel guests.
LEGOLAND Water Parks
The water parks on both coasts are a separate admission ticket and are themselves a full day of enjoyment for families.
As with everything LEGOLAND, even the floats in the lazy rivers look like LEGOs!
On either coast be sure to bring your appetite! LEGOLAND has all of your favorites from cheeseburgers, pizza, and a wide range of sweet treats. Freshly prepared choices from grilled paninis, tasty salads and fried chicken can also be found. Popcorn, novelty ice cream and cold beverages are available at carts weather permitting.
LEGOLAND is also concerned with food allergies and food sensitivities.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Legoland Discovery Center is an indoor family attraction. There are over 20 throughout the world (over 10 in the U.S.) and they feature models and attractions inspired by the LEGO building toys.
A typical Legoland Discovery Center occupies approximately 30,000–35,000 square feet of floor area.
Discovery Centers include models of local landmarks rendered in LEGO bricks. Visitors can also learn how the LEGO bricks are manufactured or take a building class taught by a Master Model Builder. Some locations may also include 4-D movie theaters offering multiple showings throughout the day.
A number of children’s attractions, such as small rides and play fortresses, are also available. The centres can host birthday parties as well as scholastic and group functions and also include restaurants and gift shops selling LEGO merchandise.
Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! Also, don’t miss:
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – No. 1 Walt Disney World
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – No. 2 Disneyland.
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 3 Universal Orlando Resort
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 4 Universal Studios Hollywood
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 5 Six Flags
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 6 SeaWorld Parks
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 7 Silver Dollar City
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 8 Hersheypark
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 9 Dollywood
- America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 10 – Knott’s Berry Farm